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Designing & Reviewing Your Curriculum ...

Sean Harford


Director of Education

He said Ofsted would increasingly look for evidence of “strategic decision-making” in a school’s curriculum, something that was likely to form part of a new common inspection framework in September 2019. Leaders would need to “know what their curriculum is and what the intent is” and be able to “articulate that really clearly” to inspectors, including showing how it was having a practical impact in the classroom.


Ofsted was also researching the link between different kinds of curricula and “social mobility”, and would use any findings when inspecting schools, he said. “We’re going to see if there is a linkage between the curriculum that young people study in different schools and their destinations afterwards.”


A major challenge was that most schools were “ambiguous” about what they meant by “curriculum” and other terms that claimed to describe it, such as “skills-based” or “enriching”. Ofsted currently required schools to offer a “broad and balanced” curriculum, but Harford said many schools failed to understand the term. “They aren’t clear about when a narrow, imbalanced curriculum becomes a broad one. “It’s really interesting how much stumbling there is on this, and how much diversity of opinion.”

As you can see from the quote above, OFSTED are beginning to focus on the curriculum - it's design and impact.


In response we have produced a new guide : 'Designing and Reviewing Your Curriculum : A Simple Guide'. In line with all our publications, this has been written to help school either review of start the design of their curriculum.


The pack helps schools to think through a range of issues and helps them identify sources of evidence as well as ways to prove impact. Themes included are :


- How has the school balanced high standards with breadth ?


- How has the school responded to local issues in it’s

  currficulum ?


- How is progression tracked in ALL subjects ?


- Does the curriculum promote social mobility ?


- Is SMSC and British Values an integral part of the curriculum

  (woven into) rather than simply ‘ an add on’ ?


- How is personal development planned ?


- What makes your curriculum stand out ?


- How do you teach the full curriculum and not just

  the assessment criteria ?


- Subject leaders : are they able to evidence that design has had

  an impact ?


The pack comes with a support CD which contains :

- A PDF version of the pack

- An evaluation framework

- A sample curriculum design policy

- Ideas to promote your curriculum

Curriculum Design Support CD

Copies are available to order now for just £95 (Less than half a days supply cover !).


You can order copies by following the link below :

Illuminate Learning Ltd UK Registered Company : 10963855 T : +44(0)1704 320510 F : +44(0)1704 320103 E : contact@illuminatelearning.org