CHILDREN across the Valencia region are now on holiday until 12 September and a plethora of summer camps begin tomorrow (27 June) to help working parents. But delays in the new curriculum mean teachers could be working over the summer to prepare for the new academic year.
Students in Secondary and Bachillerato broke up last Friday (17 June), and Tuesday (21)was the turn of Infant and Primary children, except for those in Valencia’s capital who had been given an extra day’s holiday in the week of Fallas in March and finished on Wednesday.
Classes will resume again on 12 September, slightly later than recent years. The planned date had been set for 8 September, but was changed to the 12th last week to give teachers two extra days to prepare for the 2022-2023 academic year and adapt the to the new curriculum which comes into effect in some year groups from September.
This new curriculum is part of the education law, the LOMLOE (Ley organic de la Modificacion de la LOE ) adopted in January 2020, but so far the curriculum is still only in draft form. Not surprisingly, this has caused chaos among school management teams, not to mention the publishing companies who have been unable to complete all their new books, which is why as a consequence, schools have been unable to send home book lists for next year. Both publishers and schools look set for an intense summer once the definitive curriculum is finally confirmed.
The main changes of the LOMLOE include a move towards greater fairness of opportunities, to compensate for inequalities due to religious, economic or social differences. The idea is to create a level playing field and try to keep bringing down the school dropout rate as well as reducing the number of students repeating. There is also more emphasis on creating students aware of the need for a healthy, sustainable lifestyle as well as helping to create peaceful, inclusive societies. The new law is based around eight key competences:
- Linguistic communication competence
- Plurilinguistic competence
- Mathematical competence and competence in science, technology and engineering
- Digital competence
- Personal, social and learning to learn competence
- Citizenship competence
- Entrepreneurial competence
- Cultural awareness and expression competence
According to the most recent draft of the new curriculum, there are also some major changes in primary education: the subjects of Naturales (Natural Science, covering biology, chemistry and physics) and Sociales (Social Science, encompassing history, geography and economics) are once again to be grouped together and called Conocimiento del Medio Ambiente or Cono for short. Anyone who studied or had children in primary about 10 years ago will remember the subject. The number of hours dedicated to English is to be cut to two while there will be three hours each of Valencian and Spanish.
In secondary there will be some changes to the optional subjects and in bachillerato a new Bachillerato General will be introduced while the Bachillerato de Artes will be divided into two; Music and Performing Arts, and Creative and Technical Drawing and Design.
The changes will occur this academic year in the odd-numbered year groups, ie. first, third and fifth of primary, as well as first and third of ESO and first of Bachillerato. In the following year, the changes will also be adopted in the even-numbered groups, ie. second, fourth and sixth of primary along with second and fourth of ESO and second of Bachillerato.