Why is powerful knowledge essential to curriculum? Reflections on Social Mobility

Young suggests that the powerful knowledge principle can provide improvements to school curriculum decision making. His first argument is that by using it as a guiding principle, leaders can ‘return’ to one of the core purposes of schooling: ‘to enable students to acquire knowledge that takes them beyond their own experiences’. (Young, 2014, p7). What… Continue reading Why is powerful knowledge essential to curriculum? Reflections on Social Mobility

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

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

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

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.

Ofsted and the Curriculum: what you need to know

There has been a paradigm shift in curriculum thinking at Ofsted. It began on the 23rd of June 2017 at the Wellington Festival of Education. In a speech entitled ‘enriching the fabric of education’, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Speilman delivered these words: “One of the areas I think we sometimes lose sight of is… Continue reading Ofsted and the Curriculum: what you need to know