Back to school

Millions of children in England will be returning to school this week for the new school year and many of them will also begin a tough new national curriculum.

The government says its aim is to prepare children for life in modern Britain and also to keep up with other successful education systems in the world. The new curriculum puts a stronger emphasis on skills such as essay writing, problem-solving and computer programming.

From now on, five-year-olds at primary school will learn some basic computer coding, while those in early secondary school will have to study at least two Shakespeare plays and learn how to create and de-bug some simple computer programs.


a curriculum         a plan of work to be studied

tough                   difficult

to de-bug               find errors

primary school       school aged 5 – 11

secondary school    school aged 11 – 18

an essay                 a piece of independent writing