Curriculum Thinking. Blog collection all in one place.

I’ve written a lot about curriculum in the last year or so… so here’s a one-stop-shop to access them all in place:

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Clarification about the idea of ‘knowledge rich’ and the wider context.

What is a knowledge-rich curriculum? Principle and Practice.

I have found recent discussions and debates about the concept of a ‘knowledge-rich curriculum’  – or knowledge-led; knowledge-based – fascinating.   Some of this has been explored brilliantly in various blogs.  Here is a selection: Summer Turner https://ragazzainglese.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/pub-quiz-or-published-what-are-the-aims-of-a-knowledge-rich-curriculum/ Jon Brunskill  I’m bringing knowledge back. | Pedfed   which is worth reading along with his school’s website info on…

The great gift of knowledge and the joy of passing it on.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Clare Sealy’s lovely school, St Matthias, tucked in just off Brick Lane.  I had the best time.  When I arrived, she was about to take the daily assembly, promoting one of their core values ‘awe and wonder’.  To do this Clare had chosen to celebrate the ‘awe and…

Knowledge and skills: Explicit; sequenced and, ultimately, interwoven.

It has been fascinating engaging in the debate around knowledge and skills over the last few years; I’ve made various attempts to make sense of it.  Here are some related posts: Some knowledge-skills interplay The progressive-traditional pedagogy tree Drills, skills and being match fit.  I’m a natural third-way person, uncomfortable with polarised positions.  I often…

Trivium 21st C: Could this be the answer?

I’ve just finished reading this wonderful book and, as I said on twitter, it’s the best education book I’ve read by far.  There are lots of teacher-tips books and plenty of academic system-reform or leadership books – but Trivium 21st C occupies different ground altogether.  Martin Robinson has produced a manifesto for reforming and revitalising…

Signposting the hinterland: practical ways to enrich your core curriculum.

Working with several schools on curriculum development over the last couple of years, a regular challenge has been to resolve the tensions that arise from having finite time and the inherent need to make a selection of  material to teach from all the possibilities that swirl around.  What to cover? What to leave out?  How…

Curriculum Review process:

Your curriculum defines your school. Own it. Shape it. Celebrate it.

At the Heads’ Roundtable event this week I was making a pitch for school leaders to get stuck into a deep curriculum review process – as many already have.  Not because of the expectations of whatever accountability process is underway, but because it matters so much.   To a degree that is underplayed all too…

10 Steps for Reviewing Your KS3 Curriculum

Now that schools are getting into the swing of the new GCSEs and KS3 assessment continues to present various challenges, it’s natural that a lot more attention is being given to the curriculum content at KS3.  Of course some will say that Ofsted’s much-trailed renewed interest in curriculum is playing a part too – but I’ve…

Curriculum Review at KS3: Some common issues.

Over the last couple of years I have had the great privilege of working with several schools on the process of curriculum review.   It’s such an enlightening process for all concerned – asking questions about what should be taught, why things should be taught, what absolutely must be kept in, what gets squeezed out…

Designing Curriculum: Values, quality, preferences – and sofa theory.

Sofa Theory:  Ever bought a sofa? It can be a complicated process.  It might be possible to write down a list of qualities you would like: comfortable, contemporary-looking, ‘well designed’, sturdy, ‘high quality’ material, a colour coordinating with the living room, ‘stylish’, ‘good value’.  Of course this all presumes that the basic criterion to ‘be…

Details of Curriculum Review Challenges

These two posts contain a lot of details that schools wrestle with – with examples of some of the trade-offs and solutions.

Curriculum Murmurations #1. Thoughts from 2019.

A murmuration of curriculum.  That’s how my wife – a secondary Deputy Head – described the current state of things nationally.   It’s a great image: the energetic but chaotic swirling around of individuals trying to stay together, following-the-leader in short bursts within a flock that has no overall sense of direction; patterns emerging here…

Curriculum Murmurations #2: Secondary Models Analysis. Compromises!!

This is the second in a series of posts about the direction of travel with curriculum thinking.  The introductory post is here: Curriculum Murmurations #1. Thoughts from 2019.    The image of a murmuration captures the sense of a system looking for direction with all the twists and turns and fluctuations. In this post I am…

Short posts exploring ideas about the knowledge that matters:

A map/terrain metaphor to explore the process of making choices, mapping out a knowledge domain:

Blending knowledge with creativity and other curriculum elements.

Mode A + Mode B = Effective teaching and a rich enacted curriculum

The slide below is one that I often use in my CPD presentations.  The percentages are revealed after some reflection time.  I’m keen to stress that, as a physics teacher, this is how I see my time is divided.  I am not recommending this particular split; I am reporting my experience of it.  Other teachers…

Eureka! Teaching for creativity. C = f (K, P, D)

  Over the years I’ve thought a lot about the question of teaching for creativity.  Back in 2012 I wrote this post where I made some reasonably sensible general statements: It is uncontroversial that for us to solve Humanity’s problems, to create the conditions for a sustainable future and also to maximise the cultural richness of…

Anti-Racism: initial thoughts.

Towards an anti-racist curriculum: Step 1. Reading

Ever since the wave of discussions about racism that flowed from the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in June and July, I’ve been thinking a lot about what an ‘anti-racist’ curriculum would look like in schools. It’s a huge, important, complex area – one you don’t want to get wrong – so, I’m writing this with…

Towards an anti-racist curriculum: Step 2. “Usualise diversity”

My last post on this topic was Step 1. Reading. This wasn’t necessarily meant as the start of a series, but I’m going to continue taking steps along the path, when I feel ready to do so. It’s time for Step 2. Since posting Step 1, the debate regarding responses to the BLM protests has…

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