The Secretary of State for Education has announced that learning a foreign language will be compulsory from the age of seven in England’s primary schools in an overhaul of the national curriculum. Alongside the publication of draft programmes of study for English, Mathematics and Science,, outline decisions have also been taken on the shape of the curriculum. Most of the subjects currently taught will be retained, but with considerably slimmed down statutory elements. A language will also be included.

In line with his view on the primacy of content, the Secretary of State has already outlined the main elements of the new primary languages curriculum – a balance between spoken and written language, speaking in sentences, appropriate pronunciation, expressing simple ideas with clarity, writing phrases and short sentences from memory, basic grammar, songs and poems.

It has also been decided that “teaching should focus on making substantial progress in one language”, so implicitly rejecting the possibility floated in the Expert Panel’s report that the curriculum for 7-9 year olds might centre of language awareness programmes.

At some point it will be possible to comment on the new proposals.

Read the full curriculum review update here