Curriculum Conference 2019

A review.

This conference attracted delegates from England, Scotland, Spain and Zimbabwe and from across the maintained and independent school sectors. Most delegates were senior school leaders, most of whom described their aspirations for the day to be to ‘find out about models of curriculum design’.

Designing a curriculum so that it can flex and adapt to changing circumstances, unexpected incidents and world/local news that grabs the attention of our communities is a complex challenge. In view of this and in relation to comments and concerns raised during this conference, we will create guidance in consultation with some of our World-Class Curriculum Schools in due course. Main features of this guidance will be to support schools to ensure that learning sits within a framework that suitably incorporates community priorities whilst reflecting national and international guidelines and expectations.

To reflect our belief in the power of formative assessment, we engaged with delegates throughout the conference and adapted the final session to address the following key questions:

What pedagogies in particular are linked to deep learning?

How do we organise learning to enable a depth of understanding? How discreet do subjects need to be and how can we balance that with making links across the curriculum?

How can we create a flexible curriculum that fits context and cohort whilst still maintaining progression and rigour?

How can we lead and manage the effective implementation of curriculum changes?

To capitalise on what was achieved during the day we challenged delegates to compose a short commitment that would guide their next steps for action. In some case these were practical steps to disseminate what had been learned, but it was encouraging to see a number of commitments relating to curriculum purpose, an exploration of progression and again, a focus on how context influences the design of the curriculum. A summary of the commitment post-its is presented below and several have been ‘blended’ due to the similarities of their theme. Feedback forms showed that schools were interested to see an international perspective on curriculum design and the opportunity to talk with senior leaders representing a variety of contexts, was an invaluable and unexpected outcome of the day also.

Commitment Post-its

To meet with the subject leader, share what I have learnt and agree action plan on next steps. X 4

Arrange a book scrutiny to check the curriculum story. X 2

Look at curriculum subjects and assess purpose and progression by using ‘Why that….? Why then….?’ X 2

Audit and evaluate what my school context has to offer the curriculum through meaningful experiences. X 4

Check that the sustainable development goals are part of our co-curricular themes or could be used vehicle to deliver the curriculum. X 2

Ensure that different levels of thinking are at the forefront of teachers’ minds when planning – this already links to our discussions of higher order thinking recently.

Make an initial reading of the WCC Audit – notice at least one thing we are already doing. X 3

Order the books mentioned today to add to our professional library – research for change. X 3

Thank you to our partners Osiris Educational for making arrangements for this conference.



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