This week the leadership team at my school will be discussing the intent of the curriculum ready for the new OFSTED framework. We already have an idea of what we are providing for our children but now we need to make that vision more succinct.
Starting the meeting with a discussion on the list of curriculum indicators will also give us a good start. Here we need to discuss the clear rationale for curriculum design. This is an important part of the job as you can then go to others and think of how to implement the ideas. There are many people out there with lots of great ideas so use them.
A rationale need to be clear and coherent setting reasons to why we are providing what we are providing for our children within the curriculum. When discussing this area of our intent, I will be looking at the areas of an outstanding curriculum that I shared on my first post.
Look at these areas and how you want these to look in your curriculum and then you can work on how to implement them. In order to do this, it is a good idea for Senior Leaders to decide what is working well, what needs to change and what can go. Getting staff and other stakeholders involved can also be extremely beneficial.
Number 1C of the curriculum indicators states that we have to be clear on the important concepts related to curriculum design such as knowledge progression and sequencing the concept. A curriculum overview and progression of skills will ensure that progression and a clear sequence is in place. There are many ideas on the internet and schemes which include these so that you don’t have to do all the hard work. However, you do need to think about how all children are going to make progress within your curriculum.
How are you going to include children with SEN needs?
How are you going to engage boys?
How will you keep children who have emotional needs focused?
How will you inspire disadvantaged children that they can do well?
Making your curriculum ambitious can be difficult when focus has been primarily on data but this is a good change. Coming away from this mindset can help with English and maths outcomes if you get it right. Developing learning behaviour can help get children on the right track and then providing deeper learning experiences can give children the scope to challenge themselves, as well as us. That’s ambition from two corners!
I have found that open activities or projects not only gives children the opportunity to the challenge themselves but also decreases work load on teachers. Children have the opportunity to work out problems and develop their skills while teachers can facilitate challenge and support.
I have seen some great examples of this:
Design a Saxon village, making sure that you can get to everything that you need. (Year 4)
Create an advert to sell a Victorian invention and persuade the teacher to buy it. (year 6)
Make an advert on road safety. (Year 2)
2B looks curriculum principles and there is a create article on this here: https://cornerstoneseducation.co.uk/curriculum-principles-important/
Values in a school are so important and these can give school’s a clear idea on what they want children to become. Think about these values and how you are going to deliver these, along with where your school is, the kind of children you have and what you really believe in. Just like Early Years leaders believing that child led learning helps children’s development. They and other practitioners have made this happen! If our ideas really work for your children and become embedded within the curriculum then it gives them the best chance of succeeding.
English and maths are also mentioned in these areas. This is impportant to. As Curriculum Leader, with colleagues who have roles for leading and maths and English, it is easy to let them get but it is important that the core and foundation subjects merge together. So many people see English and maths as a reason to push out the rest but they should all work together. It’s great to see that these are not seen as separate entities.
And that’s what I have concluded for the meeting. Hopefully it goes well and we can then all be clear on what we are providing for our children.
“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.”
“A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free