Concepts, context and the sequencing of learning

Learning is a complex and developmental process

Learning is a complex and developmental process that requires pupils to build on previous knowledge and relate that knowledge to new concepts and ideas.  It is, therefore, essential to ask the question ‘What do pupils already know? in relation to planning a new concept, topic or subject.  The pupil needs to be able to make links between what is being taught and what they already know.  New knowledge is connected with what has already being learned and this leads to deeper understanding and the real possibility that the knowledge enters the long-term memory.

Subject specialists and collaboration

The first step in creating the conditions for this to happen must be ensuring that subject and curriculum specialists consider the key concepts, knowledge and skills pupils will learn in order to achieve outcomes defined at the end of a topic or a specific time frame.  The second step is to create the opportunities for those with responsibility for facilitating the learning and teaching the concepts to collaborate on how to ensure the content does, in fact, build sequential learning opportunities.

Understanding the key concepts that underpin subject specific learning

Subject specialists need to define the key concepts that underpin core and subject specific learning and reflect on how these can be interwoven to deepen learning.  There must be a commitment from leaders to provide meaningful planning time for inter-departmental and cross curricular dialogue so that there are opportunities to identify how the learning can be assimilated so that teachers can support pupils to make links between what they are taught and what they already know.

Sequencing the learning

If we agree that there is an imperative to ensure that knowledge and skills are taught in a sequential order that enables pupils to make connections, it is essential that we reflect carefully on how the curriculum is planned over time. If teachers from different year groups, different subjects and different key stages plan in isolation and are unaware of the connections themselves then how can they help their pupils towards seeing the relationship between prior learning and new learning or between the concepts being taught in the core and those that are used in the context of learning elsewhere?

Literacy and numeracy are key to deepening learning

One of the most obvious and often neglected ways to create opportunities for pupils to see connections and to build on their learning is for them to know how the concepts that are integral to the core learning in Maths and English are used to access meaning across all of the foundation subjects.  Simply, give foundation  subject specialists copies of the age related programmes of study for English and Maths when they are planning their schema.  History requires the need to read and understand source material. Interpreting a map in geography requires an understanding of scale, the use of percentages is needed to measure the steepness of a slope and the knowledge of co-ordinates is essential when finding a place from an index. Building a bird table roof requires the ability to accurately measure angles for the apex and the sides.

Creating a strategy for collaborative curriculum planning

Collaboration is key to success here and must create opportunities for all staff to engage in professional conversations that foster new thinking and bring together expertise from across the subject spectrum. In the primary phase early years should work closely with KS1 teachers to ensure that learning has a continuum. There should be opportunities for the sharing of schemes of work from the end of EYFS into year 1 and between KS1 and 2.  Collectively year 3 and 4 teachers take the baton from year 2 and build on what has been taught before.  Equally year 5 and 6 work together to build again on the learning.  Transition from year 6 to year 7 needs very careful consideration and both primary and secondary schools must take responsibility for creating seamless learning across the transition bridge.  KS3 needs to be a stand-alone stage where skills and knowledge enrich prior learning and equip pupils with the breadth and depth they need for GCSE and other NQF qualifications.

Having the right CPD to make this happen

All of the above is at the heart of the philosophy that underpins all of the courses and CPD programmes that Learning Cultures design and deliver.  We have changed nothing in light of the current debate about curriculum intent, implementation and impact or about skills and knowledgeCoaching fosters collaboration. Seamless transition is essential at the end of EYFS, KS1 and 2. Embedding literacy and numeracy effectively across the foundation subjects deepens learning and formative assessment shapes future learning.  Simply excellent practice that leads to deep and profound learning and is sustainable and cost effective continuing professional development.

 

Planning CPD for the curriculum journey

What are the implications for school leaders now that the draft OFSTED handbook to be used from September 2019 has been published?

Creating a strategy for highly effective, cost effective and sustainable CPD is an essential component. All staff must know the part they play in contributing to the vision. They need to assess and refine their current provision and look at ambitious and new content and approaches that will provide profound evidence that what is planned and implemented has breadth and depth and is sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and move the learning towards well defined end points.

OFSTED recognise the need for training and development as one of their 25 indicators published as part of their research into the quality of education through curriculum intent, implementation and impact.

Leaders ensure that ongoing professional development/training is available for staff to ensure that curriculum requirements can be met.

We already have a CPD offer that matches what is being asked for here.  The research and suggested indicators for delivering a high-quality seamless curriculum for learning has been a part of our thinking over many years. We don’t have to change very much at all in reaching out to schools we work with across England with an offer that mirrors exactly the CPD that will make a significant difference to how schools manage change in this context.  Build a CPD plan with us. Use coaching to cascade learning, shape content and share ideas.  We help you define a pathway for ensuring professional dialogue delivers a profound high-quality education for all.

Clearly there is need to focus on what is different, what needs to change and how leaders, managers, teaching and support staff will contribute to creating the evidence that the quality of education linked to how the curriculum is planned and delivered creates opportunities for outstanding learning deeper, understanding and progression over time.

Remember, take advantage of our second delegate rate if you book different members of staff onto several of our courses.  We can also deliver all our training as INSET for your school are your partner schools where this applies.

OFSTED Inspection Handbook – a draft for consultation

The draft OFSTED Inspection framework is now available for review and consultation.  It is accompanied by a consultation document which asks for an approval rating and comments on several of the proposed changes to what and how future inspections will be carried out. For mainstream schools they are:-

  • the proposal to introduce a ‘quality of education’ judgement and looking at outcomes in context and whether they are the result of a coherently planned curriculum, delivered well
  • the proposal to separate inspection judgements about learners’ personal development and learners’ behaviour and attitudes
  • the proposal to ensure that the quality of educational judgements in early years will work well for all those working in different settings
  • the proposal to increase the length of section 8 inspections for some schools from the current one day to two days
  • the proposal for on-site preparation for all section 5 inspections and for section 8 inspections of good schools on the afternoon prior to the inspection
  • the proposal that inspectors will not look at non-statutory internal progress and attainment data

The curriculum is at the heart of the changes. We have seen throughout the build up to the announcement today how schools across the spectrum need to have a very clear rationale for their curriculum plan, know that this will be translated into a cohesive and substantive curriculum for learning and will have an impact on progression and achievement.

The Curriculum is the substance of what is taught

There is clarification that knowledge and skills are closely interconnected and inspectors will be asked to consider what providers are doing to develop both learners’ knowledge and their skills. It is also recognised that education providers may take different approaches to the curriculum and should have some freedom to choose their own approaches to content and delivery.

The school’s curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning…

The emphasis is on coherence and sequence in relation to curriculum planning so that pupils build on what has been taught before and focuses on building a learning platform that leads towards clearly defined end points. There should be logical progress, which is systematically and explicitly defined for all pupils in order that they acquire the intended knowledge and skills.

The school’s curriculum is strong. Across the school, it is evident from what teachers do that they have a firm and common understanding of the school’s curriculum intent and what it means for their practice.

Inspectors will look for a holistic approach that does not separate leadership of the curriculum from the implementation, the teaching and the assessment.  Assessing the impact of effective curriculum design will be through dialogue with curriculum and subject leaders and observations and reviews of pupils in lessons and the work they produce.

Teachers and leaders use assessment well, for example to help pupils embed and use knowledge fluently, or to check understanding and inform teaching.

School, curriculum and subject leaders must have the expertise to drive and deliver this change and be able to articulate how their rationale delivers a well-constructed curriculum that is expertly taught and leads to good results at the end of the relevant stage of education.  Leaders must be able to share how they know that the curriculum is having an impact for all pupils.

Teachers have a good knowledge of the subject(s) and courses they teach. Leaders provide effective support for those teaching outside their main areas of expertise.

Within the text published today there is reinforcement that OFSTED want to see this as an evolution and not a revolution and are looking for school, curriculum and subject leaders to begin to work towards the changes they need to make over time.  There is a recognition that a lot of what currently is delivered is good, however, some change is inevitable to strengthen and enrich the curriculum in terms of the rationale, the delivery and the impact it has on knowledge, skills and ultimate progression for all learners.

Inspectors will look at how carefully leaders and subject leaders have thought about what end points the curriculum is building towards, what pupils will be able to know and to do at the end of these points and how they have planned the curriculum accordingly?

We will incorporate any new messages from today’s announcements into our coaching and training programmes.  However, we have followed this so carefully over time that we feel that what is included echoes our own expertise and understanding.  We can support schools and colleges from early years to post 16 with a wealth of knowledge and are hugely excited at the opportunity to support these changes. Join us at one of our curriculum events.

Follow our news-posts on our website and have a look at some of our other courses that will ensure staff across the school have the right expertise to manage change.

Transition is an important aspect of creating the coherence and sequencing of learning over time, we have two courses that will support transition managers working between KS1 and 2 and KS 2 and 3.

Leading these changes will be challenging and we would recommend our Leading a Coaching School course which will deepen those leadership skills that empower others to manage change. The role of the middle leader especially for curriculum and subject leaders and Heads of Teaching and Learning is pivotal in driving this forward. Join us for our Coaching for Middle Leaders course and learn and focus on how to create the professional dialogue and positive outcomes that will deliver a seamless curriculum.

Leading an Evolution that Delivers High Quality Education for all

The third phase of OFSTED’s research into curriculum intent, implementation and impact is detailed, evidence based and provides a lot of information for leaders in primary and secondary schools. We discussed in our last news-post that the research highlights 25 indicators they have used to test whether it is possible to assess curriculum quality across a range of different school types.  In this post I wanted to focus on how these indicators provide a positive starting point for headteachers and their teams to assess their readiness for leading an evolution that will ensure their current and future strategies continue to deliver high quality education for all.

Putting the spotlight on the curriculum gives all leaders across the education spectrum an opportunity to reflect on their own understanding of their curriculum rationale and how that translates into a set of centrally prescribed curriculum aims that are ambitious, deliver depth and breadth of learning and ensure the acquisition of knowledge, the development of relevant skills and allow for sequential progression.

The research highlights the critical importance of how this is communicated in order to ensure high levels of accountability of subject leaders and teachers in ensuring they have evidence of informed planning, equitable delivery, progression and depth of content.

The indicators underpin a series of fundamentals that are essential to effective leadership and how the communication of a vision, a rationale and centrally prescribed aims are implemented coherently and consistently and deliver high quality education for all. Putting the curriculum at the heart of a whole school quality assurance strategy makes perfect sense and will embrace many other indicators that create an outstanding school such as strong principles of assessment, the embedding of literacy and numeracy, highly effective classroom pedagogy and differentiated learning that together create an inclusive learning platform.

Leaders must focus on their vision and rationale for the curriculum and audit the skills and gaps of their teams in order to build a coherent professional development programme that will highlight current successes, determine what needs to change and plan for new innovations.  Using coaching CPD as the catalyst for reviewing and improving quality is proven to be the most effective, sustainable and cost-effective way to manage change. Coaching encourages reflection, opportunities for learning conversations and will ensure the focus is on curriculum content, pedagogy and the desired outcomes for learners.

Join us to review and reflect on curriculum issues and how to respond to the current narrative.

Focus on leadership, middle leadership and teaching and learning with our highly praised coaching courses

What is being proposed by OFSTED is not new, it is, however, good practice linked to an approach that focuses on the learning and is not simply about data and end of stage testing.  The principles and ethos have been at the heart of our own well-researched and highly successful training programmes for several years.

 

 

Raising the Curriculum Profile – A whole school strategy that delivers inclusive and deep learning

The publication of the phase 3 findings of curriculum research from OFSTED leaves us in no doubt that all schools will need to reflect on their current curriculum design and raise their curriculum profile to ensure that all those involved in teaching and learning are working together to deliver an inclusive curriculum that ensures parity for all groups of learners and provides evidence that pupils successfully learn the curriculum and deepen their knowledge over time.

Amanda Spielman has described the change of emphasis as ‘an evolution and not a revolution’. Most schools have created a curriculum offer linked to the changes necessary as part of implementing the new National Curriculum in 2014 and much of that should be the starting point for any changes or innovations necessary to meet a new framework for September 2019.

A list of 25 indicators of curriculum quality emerge from the research.  They give us useful benchmarks to use to assess what is currently working well in school and what will need to be strengthened, changed or re-designed altogether.  There are four major areas for consideration,

  1. The role of the SLT including curriculum leaders is to ensure that the rationale for the curriculum design is shared across the school. In developing this there needs to be careful consideration given to knowledge progression and the sequencing of concepts in and across subjects.  The delivery of the curriculum has to be equitable for all groups and enhance pupils’ capacity to access the full curriculum. Leaders, including governors should, as part of the planning process, build in opportunities for review and quality assurance. There needs to be a commitment from SLT to ensure ongoing professional development so that curriculum expertise develops across the school.
  2. The role of the middle leader, phase leaders, heads of department, the SENDCO and heads of key stages is pivotal.  All middle leaders need to be involved in the dissemination and delivery of the vision for ensuring the curriculum offers parity for all groups of learners and meets and exceeds the standards set out in the National Curriculum. Reading is prioritised in every subject and Maths and numeracy are preconditions of success across the curriculum. Middle leaders collaborate to focus on knowledge progression and the sequencing of concepts in their own subject and in the context of learning in other subjects, projects or themes.  Effective CPD ensures middle leaders have the knowledge, expertise and practical skill to design and implement a curriculum.
  3. Teaching and learning teams including Teaching Assistants and support staff plan how the curriculum vision is put into practice in the classroom.  Working closely with their line managers, phase leaders or heads of department there is an imperative to ensure curriculum coverage allows pupils to access the content and make progress through the curriculum. Teachers need to prioritise reading as part of all subject learning and highlight how pupils access knowledge through the development of their literacy skills and their ability to use Maths and numeracy to deepen understanding where number applies in subjects other than Mathematics. The subject or curriculum team need to demonstrate that they are working together to create a model of curriculum progression and contribute to the development of curriculum maps that ensure sufficient coverage across a subject over time. Assessment of the learning is designed thoughtfully to shape future learning, is reliable and consistent and ensures pupils progress well.
  4. Ensuring the right expertise for all staff in school is essential.  Ongoing professional development needs to be an integral part of the planning and implementation process.  How to do this with tight budgets and possible capacity issues is most definitely a constraint.  Much of what is highlighted in the 25 indicators and summarised above is closely aligned to the approach we have developed over several years.  Essentially, what is being asked for is highly effective communication, collaboration and cohesion where all staff know the part they play in designing, implementing and assessing the curriculum. Using a coaching approach to planning a CPD strategy will provide a cost effective and sustainable model that will allow the professional conversations, shared learning and opportunities to deepen the knowledge required to enable curriculum expertise to develop across the curriculum.

Our Curriculum courses are highly rated and continually updated to provide you with all the resources you need to prepare for change,

We have a range of coaching courses that will provide all your staff with the expertise and professional dialogue to foster the sharing and cascading of good and outstanding practice that will ensure you can use the learning from our training to develop your own in-house cost effective and sustainable CPD programmes.

Or have a look at all our coaching courses here

Assessing the quality of education – a focus on purpose and impact of curriculum content

OFSTED have now published the third and final stage of their research into how the curriculum is planned and implemented and the impact this has on outcomes for pupils and schools. There is a lot on methodology and how the findings of the research have been recorded, who took part and how the sample cohort was chosen. There is within the text a desire to extend to all schools a message that the research is thorough and fair. They want to provide evidence that will lead to a much more accurate way to judge to what extent schools are reflecting on and assessing how their curriculum delivers education to a high quality that is carefully defined using a set of clearly crafted criteria.

Where schools displayed strong curricular thinking and who aimed to raise standards through the curriculum the report suggests some common factors:-

  • the importance of subjects as individual disciplines
  • using the curriculum to address disadvantage and provide equality of opportunity
  • regular curriculum review
  • using the curriculum as the progression model
  • intelligent use of assessment to inform curriculum design
  • retrieval of core knowledge woven through the curriculum
  • distributed curriculum leadership

The focus on this third piece of research is to look at how these aspects of curriculum quality apply across a broader range of schools and might form the basis for assessing how schools implement their curriculum plan effectively.  It is clearly stated here that OFSTED do not have an approved curriculum model and will recognise a range of different approaches. The research confirms for OFSTED that it can make valid assessments of the quality of the curriculum and that they were able to see difference in curriculum quality between schools and also between subject departments within schools.  One interesting conclusion from the research suggests that schools can produce equally strong curricula regardless of the level of deprivation in their communities and there is a suggestion that this new framework may be fairer to schools in disadvantaged areas.

The research findings result in 25  key indicators for quality of curriculum. Too many to translate into the new inspection handbook but useful to use as a starting point for planning some of the strategic and operational decisions that will need to be made if schools want to reflect on and re-define their curriculum to ensure it meets the proposed new criteria ‘quality of education’ that will deliver exceptional learning, is consistent and cohesive and is rich as well as broad and balanced.

The draft Education Inspection Framework will be available for consultation in January.  Teachers, subject and phase leaders, managers, leaders and support teams should all take time to make representations and ensure that the changes are those that are driven by educators.  The research is welcome, it shows that OFSTED are carefully considering a less pernicious and less data driven approach to inspection.  There are, however, many questions that will need further clarification.  We need as a profession to start the review of our curriculum intent, ensure consistent and cohesive quality implementation and decide on what we want to see in terms of impact for pupils, staff and the whole school in the context of a national perspective. This should inform the kinds of questions and comments we can make to ensure that the final framework supports all those stakeholders that want the best for pupils across all sectors, all schools and all regions.

We are conducting our own on-going research and our two curriculum events below continue to be highly regarded for their practical content, the resources that curriculum leaders can use with their teams and the deep expertise of the team who deliver these events.

 

Defining the Substance of Education – Creating the right culture for deep learning

The substance of education, says Amanda Spielman, will be at the centre of the draft new education inspection framework which will be published for consultation in the new year.  The substance, is essentially, the curriculum and how it is taught. This is re-inforced in the speech Ms Spielman has given following the announcement of her second Annual Report as Chief Inspector.  The message is clear, whilst the data is important as a measure of outcomes, it is the breadth of curriculum content that is under the spotlight especially poignant at key stage 2 and 3.  She says,

Here as in every country, the home language and maths are the spine of children’s learning.  But they can’t be the limit. They are the gateway subjects to a broad curriculum that includes humanities, science, languages and the creative subjects too.  Children should learn about the events that shaped our nation’s history, the forces that create our natural environment, the key scientific principles that underpin the world and universe around us, the ability to appreciate and participate in art and music, and develop some practical skills in crafts and technology.

The actual Annual Report focuses on four key themes:-

  • Getting the basics right
  • The impact of a lack of capacity and its effects on standards
  • The danger that schools are expected to become a panacea for all of society’s ills
  • The importance of focus on the substance of education

The over-arching message is that the profession is doing ok but there is still room for significant improvement. The report explains what has gone before. We as education professionals must look to the future and take control of what we believe is the right ‘substance of education’.  There is an implied criticism that across the whole sector, “there is a mentality of ‘what is measured is what gets done’ and this trumps the true purpose of education and curriculum thinking – the consideration of what needs to be taught and learned for a full education – has been eroded.”  A Spielman December 2018

If what is being said is to be believed and I can see no reason to doubt it we do have an opportunity to be a part of this evolution in the role OFSTED want to play in shaping the future ‘substance of education’.

Further research about how the curriculum is designed, delivered and assessed is due to be published this week. It will explain some more about how OFSTED  intend to inspect the curriculum and the draft new education framework will be published for consultation by the profession in January.  What has been said so far and what is due to be published give us the opportunity to shape an innovative curriculum offer. It should be pupil focused, rich in content and create opportunities for pupils to develop the skills for learning that will help them access a wide range of knowledge. It will also, incidentally, give pupils the ability to know how to answer SATS questions and respond with depth to the challenges of GCSE and beyond.

In conclusion I will quote from the most recent speech from Amanda Spielman,

What we will be interested in is the coherence, the sequencing and construction, the implementation of the curriculum, how it is being taught and how well children and young people are progressing in it. So, please, don’t leap for quick fixes or superficial solutions just to please OFSTED. That would be the wrong response.  From September, we’ll be interested in where you are going and how you intend to get there, not just whether you’ve arrived there yet.

We echo with such passion the sentiment here. The next two terms need to be a time for conversations, incisive discussions about subject knowledge and how pupils can deepen their understanding; questions about how we create opportunities for pupils to make connections across their learning; time to reflect on how the content relates to pupils’ own experience, interests and prior knowledge and time to share and cascade good practice linked to pedagogy, assessment and planning.

We have the CPD strategies and resources to support you and your teams.  There is no prescription here just a profound opportunity to make a difference.

Use coaching to foster the professional dialogue and challenge needed to create a cohesive, consistent and content rich curriculum that builds on prior learning and prepares pupils for the next stage or phase of their education.

Re-define your Curriculum Emphasis – Focus on learning and deepening understanding

The current emphasis on how the curriculum is planned and delivered should be a welcome opportunity for all senior leaders in schools to focus on ensuring their curriculum is all about learning and deepening understanding across a range of different topics, themes or subjects.  Amanda Spielman OFSTED’s Chief Inspector  started the debate, her concern, that the curriculum is narrowed to accommodate the need to teach to the test in Years 2 and 6 and in year 11 if not 10 as well is, in some cases, well founded.

Alongside this criticism is an acknowledgement that OFSTED may, in the past, have focused too much on the data and not enough on how that data is arrived at.  I have a long-held belief that focusing on passing tests and examinations at the expense of deepening learning over time is counter-productive.  Creating opportunities for pupils to access deep and rich text, apply numeracy skills to help to consolidate understanding of a problem or how to write to explain bias, cause and effect or express an opinion help to deepen their competence, strengthen their understanding and give them the resilience they need to see questions in a test or examination from different perspectives and give them a much better chance of coming up with the right level of response.

John West-Burnham in a research paper suggests that shallow learning is all about memorisation and leads to compliance and dependence and contributes very little in the pursuit of deep learning.  Read the whole paper here.Planning the curriculum should focus on what outcomes we want for pupils in terms of their knowledge and the skills that they need in order to access and apply that knowledge in a range of cross-curricular, thematic and subject contexts. Each school is different and that is why there is an imperative to focus on intent in relation to curriculum design that defines the right approach for individual school contexts.  Implementing that stated curriculum must focus on high quality pedagogy, teaching  that delivers inspirational learning and uses assessment strategies that lead to high levels of progression.  A positive impact is where all pupils have deepened their knowledge, are developing the core skills that will help them continue to make connections across all their learning and are mastering the wider cognitive skills that will ensure successful outcomes when they are tested or examined.

A good starting point is to have a detailed pro-forma scheme of work that everyone uses as part of planning in all departments, across all year groups and where appropriate for topic or sequential learning.  The headings should be built to ensure a consistency of purpose that mirrors the vision for deep knowledge and the development of the skills that will allow that vision to be realised.  These could include:-

  • What is the sequence of learning?
  • What do pupils know already to build on their knowledge and understanding?
  • What are the literacy skills that are intrinsic to the learning that are to be developed/further developed?
  • What are the numeracy skills that are intrinsic to the learning that can be developed/further developed?
  • What other learning skills will support the learning linked to deepening knowledge, fostering progression and demonstrating mastery?
  • What are the expected outcomes from this topic/series of lessons/theme?

The skills must be those that are naturally occurring as a part of learning. They do not need to be shoe-horned into the learning.  Also, pupils need to be a part of the process, continually re-enforcing their role in how they deepen their own learning, articulating what they need to do to make progress and improve their own work.

Whatever you do, don’t start from scratch.  In our last news-post we provided a tool called L.E.A.R.N. It starts with what will you leave in.  Always focus on what you do well before thinking about what needs to be changed.

Join us at one of our highly successful training days looking at how to re-define your curriculum, not for OFSTED but to reflect on how to make sure your curriculum is all about learning, highly effective pedagogy and the best outcomes for all pupils.

Read our news post that focuses on the skills/knowledge agenda

Focus on formative assessment to ensure the curriculum and how it is assessed is seen as a seamless process.

What is a full and rounded education? Do schools have the answer for OFSTED?

In her speech to the NCAS (National Children and Adults Services) last week, Amanda Spielman asked the question,

“How are schools making sure that children get a full and rounded education?”

She said that OFSTED exists to shine a light where children and young people are not getting a good deal in their education or care.  With the proposed changes to the emphasis on inspection from next September it is essential for all those with responsibility for children and young people to shine their own spotlight on how the curriculum is designed and how effective the pedagogy is in ensuring all pupils deepen their knowledge and build their skills for learning.  We need to ask our own questions and focus on the answers that will ensure what we teach and how we teach has an impact on learning for all pupils.

Use our L.E.A.R.N. proforma to start the conversation in teams, from your SLT to teachers and their support staff.

  • Leave in – What is currently working well and does not need changing?
  • Explore possibilities- How can we build on our current strengths?
  • Amend and adapt – What works well but may need adapting or amending?
  • Replace- What do we need to change and how?
  • New innovations- What will be completely new and different?

Focus on the questions below as a starting point.  The coaching message firmly stated in the LEARN strategy outlined above is; start with what currently works well and build from there.

  • What are the mechanisms for collaborative planning of curriculum content across subjects, phases, year groups and key stages?
  • How do teachers ensure they are building on prior learning from year to year and key stage to key stage?
  • Where is the emphasis placed between the acquisition of knowledge and the development of the skills that pupils need in order to learn?
  • What is in place to ensure that assessment is consistent, accurate and provides opportunities for pupils to continuously improve the quality of their learning?
  • What strategies are in place to ensure that literacy and numeracy skills are applied in context across all learning thus ensuring pupils become unconsciously competent in their use of these skills?
  • To what extent are pupils involved in their own learning journey and are given opportunities to reflect on how they can improve their work and deepen their knowledge?

Everyone across the school or a partnership of schools needs to be working together to build a cohesive and collaborative curriculum that is pupil centred and delivers deep and rich learning content.  Where this happens the data that describes successful final outcomes will emerge without the need for pernicious intervention in year 6 or in year 11.  Highly focused CPD is key to creating this outcome.  We have designed a suite of training linked to the main and most pressing issues that will support schools to re-define their curriculum and how it is delivered.

There are many more relevant programmes and courses. Go to our website to find out more.

 

 

Triad planning for curriculum cohesion – Professional conversations that lead to transformational change

Build curriculum cohesion using this triad approach to planning and ensure curriculum cohesion delivers transformational change.

For leaders it is essential to have a clear vision for what the curriculum will achieve in ensuring all pupils achieve their full potential and have access to deep and rich content. Middle leaders including phase leaders, heads of departments, heads of teaching and learning and heads of inclusion all need to focus on; how the curriculum is taught;  how connections are made for the learner; what pedagogical approaches will ensure a knowledge rich and skills focused outcome for all pupils, and how assessment informs the next steps for learning.

Integral to the planning process is the need to continually quality assure the impact the teaching of the curriculum content is having on how pupils are building on their learning, deepening their knowledge and strengthening their competence in the use of a range of inter-related skills for learning. This requires all teachers, support staff and pupils to be a part of a whole school consistent and cohesive formative assessment strategy that accurately assesses progress, informs the need for intervention and ensures pupils are challenged towards higher achievement.

All staff involved in planning or implementing the curriculum need to have a clear view of the part they play in ensuring the curriculum delivers positive, deep and rich learning experiences for their pupils. Where this happens there is real evidence that pupils are receiving a curriculum for learning based on their needs and their potential. The key to success is to create opportunities for on-going professional conversations about learning and the curriculum, sharing good practice and reflecting on what works well and what could be improved.

Have a look at the Coaching in Education section of Learning Cultures’ website and ensure you and your staff have the coaching skills that will influence positive change.

Join us at one our Re-defining the curriculum courses.  They have been highly praised and continue to be in high demand,

This is not about OFSTED or inspection in general it is about what is best for pupils, teachers and the whole school.  Creating the right dialogue for change is transformational!