Essential Curriculum Principles: Powerful Knowledge

‘Powerful Knowledge’ is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. Yet, there has been little work done to clarify its meaning in the school context, let alone how it works in a curriculum. In this post, I’ll try and explain why I think it is a core principle for curriculum development that can… Continue reading Essential Curriculum Principles: Powerful Knowledge

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Leading Change as a Subject Leader: Work-Life Balance and Curriculum Development

In my last post, I explained why I started my subject leader responsibilities with the development of curriculum in humanities. I tried to explain that great teaching, embedded in the research evidence, assumed a great curriculum. Therefore, developing ‘what will be taught’ carefully is a very important first step – and one that shouldn’t be… Continue reading Leading Change as a Subject Leader: Work-Life Balance and Curriculum Development

Leading Change as a Subject Leader: Improving curriculum for enduringly great teaching

When I first started out on my journey as a humanities subject leader, I reflected on where I should start. I was (and still am) privileged enough to work in a school with some highly experienced teachers. Two issues, though, were immediately apparent to me in my new role. First, despite the great teaching going… Continue reading Leading Change as a Subject Leader: Improving curriculum for enduringly great teaching

Five ways to ‘frame’ a question

Five ways to frame a question As you’ll know from my previous post, I’ve been on a bit of a mission to improve the questioning that goes on in my classroom. I set out to ensure what I was looking for and what I was developing in my practice wasn’t gimmicky and faddish. I wanted… Continue reading Five ways to ‘frame’ a question

Three things I’m learning about questioning

I’ve always assumed that questioning is one of those ‘things’ teachers ought to be good at. I’ve reasoned along the lines of 'if we supposedly spend a third of our time in the classroom asking questions (equating to 400 a day and 60,000 a year) that ‘third’ of teaching time ought to be made worthwhile to… Continue reading Three things I’m learning about questioning

Curriculum as Narrative

Why we should approach curriculum as a narrative  “Talk the language of narrative; let curriculum do its work across time.”  Christine Counsell  What’s the best place to start when designing a school curriculum? How should we structure lesson content? Is there a way that we can interweave the knowledge, skills and dispositions that we want… Continue reading Curriculum as Narrative

Teaching with a Knowledge Organiser: retrieving knowledge, making connections, applying it in practice

Last week I put down the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a knowledge organiser (hereafter KO). This week, I wanted to dedicate a full post to the ‘how’…after a tiny bit more ‘why’. If you're not bothered about the 'why' bit and want to see the resources, skip to the next two sections. It’s probably… Continue reading Teaching with a Knowledge Organiser: retrieving knowledge, making connections, applying it in practice

The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a Knowledge Organiser: A Brief Summary and Example

I’ve been reading about Knowledge Organisers for over a year now. I have always been intrigued as to how they might be properly embedded in the everyday practice of primary teachers. In this post, I want to outline what a knowledge organiser is and why they are worth using...there's a link to one of my… Continue reading The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a Knowledge Organiser: A Brief Summary and Example

Problematic Approaches to School Curriculum – Part 2: Curriculum as ‘product’.

After last week’s instalment discussing the problems with the syllabus model, this week I’ll look at curriculum as product. This is another popular way of viewing curriculum: to see it as a way of helping achieve certain qualities in students. Objectives are set, plans are drawn up, outcomes measured and the cycle then begins again.… Continue reading Problematic Approaches to School Curriculum – Part 2: Curriculum as ‘product’.

Problematic approaches to School Curriculum – Part 1: The ‘syllabus’ model.

Just dubbing a curriculum as ‘knowledge-led’, making knowledge organisers and teaching in a particular way won’t improve attainment. Curriculum is far more nuanced and complex than that. I want to focus in on a way of beginning curriculum development (in certain subjects) that I think will lead to pupils remembering what they learn and understanding… Continue reading Problematic approaches to School Curriculum – Part 1: The ‘syllabus’ model.