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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