The University of Southampton

National Curriculum Links

There is a very strict curriculum of study that applies to all state primary and secondary schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, however, there is no National Curriculum (NC) that has to be adhered to but a set of guidelines known as the ‘Curriculum of Excellence’. See Appendix 2 for more information about each of the curricula and guidelines and examples of subjects covered.


Students investigate the anti-bacterial properties of different substances.
Students investigate the anti-bacterial properties of different substances.

I wish I had a me when I was younger at school, to show me all these good things and give me all these experiences.’

Chemistry researcher

For your school-university partnership, have you identified…

The school subject/university specialisation you are working within?
The direct section of the school curriculum that the subject matter of your activity relates to?
Whether you can cover something that it is particularly difficult to cover in schools? (See Appendix 2.)
The key stage (see Glossary) of the pupils who will be involved?
Which examination board the pupils are working on (this will effect pupils working towards GCSEs, AS levels and A levels)?
The ability of the pupils you will be working with?
The previous learning of the pupils in the relevant subject area?
The assessment criteria – how do you know pupils have learnt what you intended?


It is not always the case but many schools will be more likely to take part if the activities undertaken are curriculum related. This is especially true if you are hoping to work together on a longer term basis than just a one off workshop or visit, or if you would like to work with Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils.


If you do have a definite area of the curriculum you would like to cover you may need to be prepared to offer advice as the academic disciplines studied at universities do not always fit exactly with the way the curriculum subjects are structured within schools. However, the rewards for this can be huge and can be used with your classes year on year.


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