The Government will announce this week plans to overhaul the way children are taught in primary school, reports The Telegraph.
In an attempt to improve standards in schools in England and bring them in line with the education systems in countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and some parts of the United States, Education Secretary Michael Gove will put forward proposals to toughen up the national curriculum.
Some of the biggest demands on pupils will be in maths, with 5 and 6 year-olds expected to count up to 100, recognise basic fractions and memorise simple sums. By age 9, pupils will be expected to know all their times tables up to 12×12.
The Education Secretary will also promise more focus on spelling and grammar in English, increase the importance of learning poetry, and propose learning a foreign language become compulsory from age 7. By 2014, as well as European languages, primary schools could be offering lessons in Mandarin, Latin and Greek.
The proposals are intended to give children a proper grounding in the basics to prepare them for secondary school in a response to criticism that too many pupils leave secondary school unprepared for work.
Simon Walker from the Institute of Directors said it was “manifestly clear that we need to raise the bar”, reports The Telegraph.
“We must be more ambitious about the level of achievement we expect from young people, particularly in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science,” he said.