The English National Curriculum (ENC) is used by all schools in England and by thousands of British curriculum schools all over the world. It is estimated that over 30,000 schools in total follow the English National Curriculum.
The ENC was first launched in 1988 and has been developing consistently since then. It is a very well-established and recognised curriculum and often characterised by the terms broad and balanced because it covers a full breadth of subjects up to the age of 14. The curriculum focuses on delivering high academic standards whilst ensuring that students also develop wider life skills.
What is unique about the curriculum?
One of the strengths of the ENC is that it is highly structured, from early years to age 14, with progress measures throughout to inform parents and teachers. Students’ progress is benchmarked against the expectations from the curriculum, and against all the other schools. After the age of 14, students enter two years of preparation for the (International) General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examination, taken at age 16. This is one of the only curricula which has internationally- recognised qualifications in every single subject at this age.
Because students become accustomed to examinations at this stage, they are very well-prepared for study beyond the age of 16, as they enter the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme – now followed by the majority of international schools worldwide – or A-levels. IGCSE is therefore widely accepted as an excellent foundation for this next stage.
The ENC is also adaptable to an international school setting. For example, our international schools offer the Juilliard performing arts curriculum and a new STEAM programme, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whilst still delivering the full requirements of the ENC in these subjects.