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The LNF’s relationship to the whole curriculum

The National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) is a curriculum planning tool.

It builds on the current good practice in many schools, aiming to help bring about coherent approaches to developing literacy and numeracy across the curriculum. It also informs teachers of all subjects about how they can provide opportunities for learners to apply literacy and numeracy across the curriculum. Therefore, in both primary and secondary schools planning for developing literacy and numeracy skills needs to be truly cross-curricular rather than focused on English, Welsh and mathematics lessons.

The national curriculum implemented from 2008 introduced a skills-based approach to the curriculum designed to ensure that skills were developed across the curriculum. It is underpinned by the non-statutory skills framework which covers thinking, communication, ICT and number skills. As set out earlier in this document, there is strong evidence that the skills framework has not been as successful in achieving these aims as intended.

The LNF builds on the expectations set out in the skills framework, but it will be a statutory curricular requirement, providing a better basis on which to plan the whole curriculum. It will also provide greater clarity for teachers to assess and track skills progression. The LNF will replace the number and communications components of the non-statutory skills framework. The thinking and ICT skills components remain in place to guide schools on these important skills and these will be looked at separately for future guidance.

In developing the LNF we have had to consider carefully what the appropriate expectations at each age and key stage should be. During this process questions were raised about the current curriculum requirements, particularly in respect of English, Welsh and mathematics, and whether the current attainment levels specified in the subject Orders are sufficiently rigorous or stretching. The expectations set out in the LNF seek to raise the bar in some instances.

We have taken the opportunity to re-align expectations to ensure we have a rigorous approach to raising standards and ensuring our learners reach their potential. This means that LNF expectations for end of Key Stage 2 are closer to Level 5 and expectations at end of Key Stage 3 are closer to Level 6. In the light of this, we are considering current assessment arrangements and a broader look at the curriculum to ensure there is alignment.