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.

Formative Assessment – essential to assessing curriculum impact on learning and progression

Assessment should be an integral part of planning how to deliver a curriculum.  “They are inseparable” according to Amanda Spielman of OFSTED.  Research suggests that it is formative assessment that has the most impact on learning as long as teachers and support staff have the relevant skills to encourage pupils to focus on what they need to do to improve.

The EEF research into marking, A Marked Improvement? mainly focuses on summative written marking and its efficacy in aiding learning and progression. There is a tacit acknowledgement that written marking is time consuming and is a major contributor to teacher workload.  It is also clear from each of the sections of the research that formative assessment has a deep impact on learning and, therefore, should be an integral part of any kind of written marking policy.

If the curriculum is a focus for change or review then it is essential that this includes an opportunity to reflect on the efficacy of summative as well as formative assessment in enhancing pupils’ motivation, how they focus on how to improve their work following assessment and how they deepen their knowledge and understanding before moving onto the next topic.  The research suggests that for every aspect of assessment it is the involvement of the pupil in a dialogue about their work that has the most impact.

Here are some of the messages:

  • Focus feedback on the student and how they can improve and not the work they have produced
  • Make sure that pupils have the opportunity to re-visit previous learning where it dovetails into the next stage
  • Create the culture where learning is an expectation not an aspiration
  • Use highly skilled probing questions that ensure pupils are stretched and challenged to focus on how they can improve on their own work and find their own solutions
  • Create opportunities for pupils to work independently alone, in one-to-one situations and in groups to focus on how they can assess their own work
  • Deepen knowledge before introducing new topics or concepts
  • Present new information in small steps that are easily absorbed and that will not overwhelm
  • Distinguish between a mistake and an error
  • Be aware of misconception and try to find out why these occur for some pupils or for groups of pupils
  • Forget the grade, focus on how to allow pupils to focus on the skills they need to learn and improve

The conclusion here is that dialogue is essential to creating the right conditions for assessment that leads to learning.  Marking has its place but without a verbal interaction the impact of summative assessment is negligible. Developing the right skills to ensure formative assessment achieves successful outcomes requires a deepening of understanding of the power of deep and rich questioning techniques, the ability to listen and allow time for the pupil to draw their own conclusion and reflect on their own learning and giving pupils ownership of their own learning power.

Below we offer solutions focused CPD that looks at how the ensure that teachers and support staff have the skills and strategies to ensure formative assessment achieves positive learning outcomes and creates confident and independent learners.

 

 

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!

Curriculum Conversations and Professional Dialogue to Shape a Learning Culture

Curriculum conversations and the power of coaching

We need to start to have curriculum conversations especially about the three questions that emerge from the latest announcement on changes to the OFSTED handbook for next September relating to the curriculum.  Amanda Spielman’s speech to Schools North East summit

  • What is it that schools want for their pupils? (Intent)
  • How well does teaching and assessment fulfil this intent? (Implementation)
  • What is the impact on results and the wider outcomes that children achieve? (Impact)

These questions are explored in our Re-defining the Curriculum courses.

The fundamental changes link closely to how well leaders, managers and teachers can articulate their intent in relation to the content of the curriculum and how it is sequenced. There is a clear emphasis on ensuring leaders and their managers are able to show through collaboration and professional dialogue that there is consistency of curriculum delivery across all year groups, subjects and key stages.  The flow of learning is seen as important and all those involved in delivering the curriculum need to understand fully the debate about skills and knowledge and how this impacts on the way the curriculum is taught and assessed to ensure breadth and deeper learning over time.

The shift in emphasis is clearly drawn.  The focus for those involved in planning for curriculum change is in ensuring there is an unambiguous vision. The vision must be translated into a consistent and cohesive plan for delivery that focuses on excellent teaching, learning and assessment. Success can then be measured through a well-crafted quality assurance process.   Cohesion, consistency, the use of structured professional learning conversations and opportunities for cross-curricular and cross-phase interaction are important components.   The essential ingredient that will create the right conditions to make this happen is coaching.  Essentially, coaching encourages high quality professional dialogue, the sharing and cascading of good and outstanding practice and encourages collaboration, positive conversations and a willingness to embrace change.  Have a look at our comprehensive suite of coaching courses and plan your coaching journey linked to curriculum intent, implementation and impact.

Amanda Spielman: OFSTED speech to Schools North East summit.

“I’ve used the word ‘conversation’ a number of times in this speech.  The nature and impact of the conversations in an inspection are fundamental. As we shape the new framework, with your help, we really are thinking about how each inspection can be the most productive exchange between a school and its inspection team: how we can make it about substance, more than about numbers.”

“I am firmly of the view that a focus on substance……will move inspection more towards being a conversation about what actually happens in schools.  Those who are bold and ambitious and run their schools with integrity will be rewarded….”

There is to be no prescribed curriculum model, no preferred approaches. The emphasis is on how individual leaders and their teams can justify their strategy and how it is delivered and can demonstrate clearly the impact their approach is having on their particular and unique pupil cohort.

Our Rethinking the Curriculum courses are essential for leaders and managers. We offer well – researched resources, in-depth information and expert advice linked to a coaching model.

How seamless is your curriculum?

OFSTED are currently reviewing how the curriculum is designed and delivered in all phases of education.

In a recent presentation Sean Harford of OFSTED made a plea that schools should be ‘bold and courageous’ with their curriculum.  There are many clues from different commentators and especially from Amanda Spielman as to what is wanted here.  Essentially the curriculum should have depth and breadth, build on prior learning and challenge pupils to master the essential principles embodied in the learning of the core skills especially, reading, writing, communication and Mathematics as well as digital and scientific literacy.  Pupils should be able to make connections and become unconsciously competent in their use of these skills in the pursuance of deeper knowledge and understanding that expand their horizons.

There are, according to Sean Harford of OFSTED, three parts to a framework that make up the essential planning of a cohesive and successful curriculum, these are:

  • Intent – What will be included in the curriculum framework and what knowledge and understanding will be gained by pupils at each stage?
  • Implementation – How will the curriculum be translated over time into a structure and narrative within the institutional context
  • Impact and achievement – Evaluating what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations

‘Depth and breadth’ are words liberally used in much of the documentation and transcripts from speeches.  Sean Harford admits that there is some ambiguity as to how different schools interpret these words.  For me, the essence of this is to create a seamless curriculum where pupils build on prior learning from lesson to lesson, subject to subject and from year to year.  The curriculum design is a tapestry of learning and the planning of the curriculum needs to draw on all those who will deliver it to understand how their input is an integral part of a whole school drive for deep and meaningful progression for all pupils.

There will be a new OFSTED handbook and framework from September 2019 and if the current literature is correct there will be a greater emphasis on how schools plan, implement and evaluate their curriculum.  If this is so, now is the time to start to focus on ensuring there is a dialogue that involves everyone at school involved in teaching and learning to focus on how the curriculum is woven together to ensure pupils are continually developing their knowledge and skills and deepening their understanding over time.

To create the right culture for cohesion and collaboration the curriculum needs to be at the heart of the planning process.  The vision for school success must be linked to the design, delivery and impact of a curriculum that develops pupils to know more and remember more over time.  An assessment policy needs to be seen to support the pupils’ journeys through the curriculum and be pupil centred.  Pedagogy needs to be explored and defined in terms of how it allows pupils to deepen their understanding, refine metacognition and create the unconsciously competent learner who deftly uses skills in a wide variety of contexts within school and beyond.

Following in-depth research our curriculum experts have some ‘bold and brave’ solutions and a wealth of resources to support schools in both the primary and secondary phases of education to focus on their curriculum, what to keep, what to change and how to create the evidence that your curriculum delivers high quality learning over time.

Creating a Coaching Classroom delivers positive, successful and outstanding learning

Coaching as a powerful pedagogy in the Classroom – Innovative training that impacts on learning and pupil motivation

Coaching is the most successful pedagogy we can use in the classroom. For many coaching remains something else or something different that does not immediately equate to learning with pupils.  On the contrary, the principles embodied as part of a coaching culture and put into practice in a coaching classroom align so completely to those that an observer would look for in an outstanding lesson.  The impact on learning and achievement is visible and tangible.

The ultimate lesson is one where the teacher has high expectations of all pupils, where pupils are encouraged to focus on how they learn, are able to share their strengths and happily embrace challenge. Also, the teacher celebrates effort and the success that flows from it.  Pupils are expected to find their own solutions and learn from their mistakes.  There is an atmosphere of positivity from which flows self-belief, resilience and reflection. All of which embody the principles of coaching completely.

The Learning Cultures’ coaching team have recently designed a new coaching course specifically aimed at coaching with pupils in the classroom.  There is a consensus from those who have attended one or other of our coaching courses that the opportunities to use coaching as a powerful learning strategy in the classroom are profound.

The day will include:-

  • Establishing a coaching pedagogy in the classroom – the positive coaching ethos that motivates and inspires pupils to reflect, solve problems and be able to articulate how they learn as well as what they learn
  • Coaching and resilience – fostering for pupils a sense of their own self-worth and how developing a deeper understanding of how they learn can have positive benefits that deepen understanding and raise aspiration
  • Focusing on the coaching skills specifically listening and questioning and how developing these skills for both the teacher and the pupil unleash a positive learning culture in the classroom
  • Reflecting on specific classroom situations and weaving coaching solutions that will ensure positive actions are taken, learning takes place and the self-esteem of pupils is raised
  • Time to practice coaching in triads using a coaching model to decide on next steps in developing a coaching culture with learners in the classroom

Where teachers learn some coaching skills and model them for their pupils outstanding change happens and a culture of positivity means that pupils put in more effort, teachers believe all their pupils can achieve and there is a measurable impact on teacher and pupil well-being as well as pupil behaviour, progress and achievement.

Have a look at the course details on our website and book your place for the summer term.  It will be the tonic you have been looking for after another action-packed year.

Coaching as a Powerful Pedagogy in the Classroom – effective pedagogy and skills that foster mastery, progression, resilience and self-belief.

A primary focus – How well does your curriculum stand up to what inspectors are looking for?

Create an outstanding primary curriculum and have the evidence for OFSTED.

OFSTED are questioning the quality of curriculum content in their latest announcements and speeches, especially those of Amanda Spielman, the Chief Inspector.  This is whilst the Government still insist on inflicting upon us yet more testing.  The EYFS baseline test may be in place by next year unless heed is taken of those who are fiercely contesting it.  Times-table tests for year 4 and SATs at KS1 and KS2 remain. The balance between accountability on the one hand and ensuring the curriculum has breadth and is challenging is sometimes difficult to achieve as many primary headteachers are quick to point out.

Curriculum is high on the OFSTED agenda. They are planning a new framework and handbook for September 2019, not very far away in school calendar terms and this, they say, will include a review of the curriculum and how it is delivered. OFSTED are saying that the way in which we can “unlock the potential for all” is not wholly dependent on testing.  They are focusing on how the nature of assessment and actual achievement are linked through a supportive curriculum.  Whilst there is no official guidance from OFSTED they are carefully saying,

know your curriculum – what are the reasons behind its design

know how the curriculum is being delivered across all year groups

know what impact your curriculum is having on pupils’ knowledge and understanding

have evidence that pupils build on prior learning as they progress at points of transition and across year groups

Amanda Spielman (2017) wants leaders to take a “whole school strategic approach to the spiritual, cultural and moral development of pupils to make the world a better place”. School leaders, she says, should be thinking less about preparing pupils for exams and more about the “body of knowledge” young people will gain during their time at school.

Here at Learning Cultures we are following these developments, attending forums that will keep us completely up to date and reviewing the research that is cited as relevant to current policy and quality assertions.

The nature of our training supports leaders, managers, teachers and support staff to take ownership of how the curriculum is planned and delivered.  We focus on what is meant by outstanding pedagogy and how to cascade good practice. We believe that the curriculum should be a tapestry of knowledge and skills that weaves engaging learning opportunities from early years to year 6 and beyond.  This is the time to think deeply about designing a powerful knowledge rich curriculum that is truly relevant to the needs of your particular context specifically in relation to how pupils learn and what engages them in becoming truly competent in mastering the concepts and using them in innumerable contexts.

Join us at our updated primary curriculum event,

Designing the Primary Curriculum – Ensuring depth and breadth and a continuum of learning

You may also be interested in our event that looks specifically how to embed literacy and numeracy as part of learning across all subjects and the wider curriculum,

Mastery and Deeper Learning in Literacy and Numeracy across the Primary Curriculum

Closing the Gap – Social Mobility at the heart of education policy

Social mobility at the heart of education policy – no community left behind

In December we saw the publication from the DfE of  Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential – a plan for improving social mobility through education.

The Dfe have four key ambitions to close the gap on disadvantage,

  • Closing the ‘word gap’ in early years, focusing on the development of key early language and literacy skills for pupils who are disadvantaged or not achieving their full potential
  • Closing the attainment gap in schools while continuing to raise standards for all, a focus on intervention where it is now most needed
  • High quality post 16 education choices for all young people, a focus on the ‘technical education system’ being a part of the drive to raise standards
  • Everyone achieving their full potential in rewarding careers, improving the provision of careers advice through effective Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)

This is a very early stage document with laudable intentions. It will, however, take a long time to become a reality.  There is a promise of substantial sums of money to support some of the suggestions. There is also planned research to ascertain the extent of the problems that exist and where they exist.

One of the observations included in the report is that often the best way to make a difference is to have a look at where schools and partnerships across the country have developed strategies that are creating significant change and are closing the gap.  So, in the spirit of trying to find solutions that can be put into practice now, I have had a trawl around to find examples of good practice.  The themes are fairly uniform across a wide range of research and are what one might expect.  You can download a list of the research papers I have used here.

The main points that emerge are:-

  • Early years intervention can make a significant difference to the life chances of learners especially in supporting the development of explicit literacy instruction and the setting of clearly defined, consistent teaching objectives.  One to one support is also highlighted as is the use of phonics based programmes for struggling readers
  • Making effective use of data can have a profound impact on identifying and addressing under-performance and will help schools to understand the reasons why.  This is especially true when learners are able to use information about themselves to self-evaluate. Data is also seen to be useful for tracking progress or the lack of it and as an essential part of effective formative assessment strategies
  • Raising aspiration is a recurring theme.  How do we ensure that learners believe in themselves and are prepared to have faith in their own ability? The use of ‘Growth Mindset’ theory and other similar interventions are making a significant difference in some schools and across school partnerships or MATs
  • Engaging with parents and raising parental aspirations about their offspring can have an impact on the extent to which learners will see their potential beyond that of the ambition of previous generations.  There are some interesting approaches being applied across the country
  • Developing learners’ social and emotional competences through strategies that raise self-esteem, develop communication and social skills and nurture deep and profound thinking around some of the important local, national and international issues pertinent to the 21st century are proven to have an impact
  • Ensuring there are focused strategies so that pupils do not fall behind at times of transition where there is a well-documented dip in performance for many learners especially between years two and three and years six and seven
  • Where there is strong, visionary leadership that focuses on zero tolerance and a determined and consistent whole school approach change happens
  • Poor literacy skills continue across a raft of research to be at the heart of low achievement, this is especially highlighted in science and the STEM subjects but is a problem across all learning
  • Developing the meta-cognitive (‘learning to learn’) skills of learners is an essential element for success.  Where learners understand how they learn, listen well, think with clarity, have good comprehension and recall skills and can communicate and learn through co-operation with their peers learning and improvement takes place
  • Creating a common language and a consistent strategy to issues around discipline makes a difference
  • The use of technology especially interactive whiteboards and other whole school technology interventions is also seen to improve learning for all

None of the above say anything new or different.  Successive governments have highlighted the fact that there is a persistent group of disadvantaged learners who do not achieve as well as their peers.  The reasons are also well-documented and to some extent obvious.  There are, however, some amazing examples of good and outstanding practice that are making a difference.  We do need to learn and apply these strategies to ensure every school across the country supports every learner to achieve and exceed their full potential.

Learning Cultures are working with several successful schools who have begun to make big strides in this area.  Our own programmes focus on how to cascade and share good and outstanding practice and we can support schools, MATs and alliances who want to develop highly effective strategies that will ‘close the gap’.

Some of our courses also address one or more of the themes above and will go into much greater detail than we can here.  I have put together a comprehensive list on a PDF that you can download here.

Weaving literacy and numeracy through a Mastery Curriculum

Effective and progressive curriculum planning to ensure mastery is high on the agenda for OFSTED.  At a recent conference, several eminent education experts suggested that the profession, especially those new to it within the last ten years or so do not have the skills to design a highly effective curriculum. We have a national curriculum which provides the building blocks of curriculum planning. It is what we do with it next that is likely to make it meaningful and accessible to all pupils in an individual school context.

The essential idea behind mastery is that all children need a deep understanding of the essential concepts and content they are learning so that future learning is built on solid foundations which do not need to be re-taught, catch up programmes should not be necessary as all pupils work towards the same outcome and pupils are confident enough to embrace challenge. A focus on mastery in mathematics for instance will help to sharpen the thought processes when developing this rich and innovative curriculum plan.

Mastery is policy because it is seen as the best way to raise standards and deepen learning for all pupils whatever their starting point. In a mastery classroom all pupils are capable of understanding and learning the concepts with time and the right teaching. The curriculum is designed as one set of concepts and ideas for all which includes the connections between them and the contexts to which they apply.  The key ideas and building blocks are important for every pupil whether they are deemed a low achiever or a high flyer.

Which pedagogical principles to use in this approach is an essential part of the planning process. Lessons need to be carefully designed to ensure all pupils grasp the concepts through the development of their thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills.  Teachers need to know how to scaffold the learning so that pupils can see the connections, deepen their understanding and know how to put the concepts they are learning into context through topic work and practical examples. The evidence that will be there if pupils have achieved mastery will be their ability to use knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations.

There are a host of issues to consider even in this short explanation of mastery as to how to equip teachers both experienced and inexperienced with the skills and knowledge to deliver this approach, lets quantify this:-

  • The curriculum needs to be planned so that it is seamless from key stage to key stage and from year to year, for example what is taught in year 2 needs to dovetail into what will be taught in year 3 and what has been learnt in year 1.
  • There needs to be a consensus as to how to ensure pupils have mastery of the basic skills and how these are used to deepen and master more complex uses of these skills, therefore, teachers need to have a clear idea as to what constitutes deeper learning within a given concept, theory or idea
  • This approach changes many teachers understanding of how to plan for differentiation and requires them to take risks themselves with allowing pupils to make mistakes or fail to succeed the first time
  • Teachers need to have a sound repertoire of different pedagogical approaches that will encourage reflection, learning conversations and experiential learning

Join us for our training Mastery and deeper learning in literacy and numeracy across the primary curriculum  where we focus on the theory and practical application of embedding a mastery curriculum, planning the curriculum, looking at the pedagogy and focusing on differentiated learning in a mastery context.

Telephone 01746 765076 : Email us by using our Contact us page on our website