C1. How are the school’s science and maths curricula developed to provide pupils with a rich and broad learning experience?

Why this is important

Science and maths are both core subjects and form an important part of the school curriculum. School leaders, including governors, should be confident that the curriculum taught in their school is fit for purpose and allows pupils to benefit from a broad and inspiring programme of study.

School governors should be aware of whether their school follows the National Curriculum, and if not, why not; they should have viewed their school’s curriculum and be aware that in a classroom, this can be broken down further into a taught curriculum.


The National Curriculum covers the minimum of what pupils should be taught and forms only one part of the school’s curriculum.

The Department for Education states that all maintained schools in England must teach the National Curriculum. Academies and free schools, although not required to follow the National Curriculum, “must teach a broad and balanced curriculum including English, maths and science57
, as well as religious education.

The aims of the National Curriculum for maths and science can be found on the Department for Education’s website.58
In a “significant minority” of schools Ofsted has found that leaders were failing to ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum due to their perception that science was not a priority.59

Ideas for improvement

Governors should question whether the school’s curriculum offers pupils a rich and broad learning experience. This could include understanding how much time pupils spend completing hands-on activities in science (see C3).

School leaders, including governors, should be aware of the overarching aims of the National Curriculum, in order to ensure teaching and assessment focuses on these.

Subject leaders should ensure that they are highly familiar with the National Curriculum, where followed, to guarantee its full coverage.

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