During the Phase 3 Curriculum research, inspectors used 25 indicators that they expected to see associated with curriculum quality.
As all schools are different, it is only fair that what is seen could be so varied so the indicators below are to ensure that what is seen is judged on based on the individual school.
They wanted to ensure that
different school contexts were not judged the same
effective and ineffective curriculum design could be distinguished
curriculum narrowing is happening is identified
curriculum intent and curriculum implementation are clear from the senior leadership team.
The list is split into three parts – pink for intent, green for implementation and blue for impact. All of which I will look at in due time but it may be worth a quick look before hand.
Each of the indicators will be judged against the following five categories:
The 1-5 categories were put into place to prevent an inspector’s unconscious bias. This is the beginning and all schools are taking a different approach, therefore it is important that we are all treated the same.
It is clear that the indicators and the five point judgements are rather lengthy but for the time being, this is necessary as we find out what is easy to evidence and what is more relevant. As more research is completed there may be evidence to allow for these to be refined or narrowed. This may be irritating to some as teachers, in general like to do a good job and know that what we are doing is right but that still can be done. In fact it is better.
At least for now, there is some chance of having an idea of what may be expected so that we can put things into place, while still keeping children at the heart!
In terms of the curriculum, there are things that we must include our school website about the curriculum.
As marked out on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/what-maintained-schools-must-publish-online, here is what we need to be website compliant.
You must publish:
- your values and ethos
- the content of your school curriculum in each academic year for every subject, including Religious Education even if it is taught as part of another subject or subjects, or is called something else
- the names of any phonics or reading schemes you’re using in key stage 1
- a list of the courses available to pupils at key stage 4, including GCSEs
- how parents or other members of the public can find out more about the curriculum your school is following
If your school receives PE (physical education) and sport premium funding, you must publish:
- how much funding you received
- a full breakdown of how you’ve spent the funding or will spend the funding
- the effect of the premium on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment
- how you’ll make sure these improvements are sustainable
- how many pupils within their year 6 cohort can do each of the following:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
Of course there are more things that have to be included but as Curriculum Leader, these are the areas that are need as part of the role.
I started at my new school with a lead on Key Stage One and the Arts, part of the curriculum that many people ignored. I did my best to lead on this because I see the benefits, the excitement and the joy that we give children when teaching this and other foundation subjects. However, twelve months into my role, there was a whole lot of upheaval. Taken over by an academy trust, which had a leadership model that they had used in their other schools, I was not sure my role played a huge part in that.
One SLT meeting, I remember the Executive Headteacher going around the table of our SLT and looking at each and every one of us, “you’ll lead maths, you’ll lead English, you’ll lead early year, you’ll lead SEN and you… well I don’t know Carla. Key Stage One?” My heart sank. I didn’t take on the role of Assistant Head teacher to just do the job I did three years previously. Maybe I should have accepted it. I was paid more for the privilege.
My reaction (my face does not hide anything and neither does the thick sarcasm) showed I was not happy. I love teaching, I love providing experiences for all children that are engaging and give them the skills for life. If I was not able to share this enthusiasm for my vocation, then there was little point in me taking on the role.
The Executive Headteacher saw this in me and mentioned leading Curriculum. I had led the arts, English and humanties throughout my career. I had led on foundation subject assessment and supported the curriculum leader at my last school to ensure that it was linked to English as much as possible. I loved the idea of being Curriculum lead but it wasn’t going to be easy… No one cares about the foundation subjects. It’s all about the English and Maths, end of key stage SATs, attainment and progress, surely? But wow, am I grateful of the opportunity that I have been given.