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Magazine Issue 105: Curriculum design
March 2019

This month: Thoughts about Curriculum Design

Article: Curriculum Design
New Resources
Mike's Books

This Month's Article:

Is Your Curriculum Fit For Purpose?

Is Your Curriculum Fit For Purpose? An Article proposing 3 simple questions to help you to audit your existing curriculum and upgrade it if necessary.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Curriculum, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Curriculum School Improvement
The challenge with having a curriculum that’s fit for purpose is knowing whose purpose it’s fit for.

Is yours? Answer these 3 questions to find out:

Does it anticipate the kind of knowledge, skills and qualities that your students will need in order to be successful citizens and global contributors, not now, not 10 years ago, but in 2030?

Is it flexible, responsive, dynamic and evolving?

Do your students authentically enjoy it?

Curriculum is an arena where opinions, biases, preferences and specialisms do battle for minds. If you’re as old as I am (52) you’ll remember the very first drafts of the National Curriculum and the reviews and revisions that followed. You’ll recall the struggles and the strife as we wrestled it into a workable format. You’ll also know that from 1999 (I think? I am 52 after all) we didn’t have to follow it any more. With a sigh and an eye roll we wondered what all the fuss had been about.

Science had started out with 17 attainment targets, each one broken down lovingly and accurately into sub-targets and descriptions of finely tuned academic success. It was a work of art (how ironic) – broad and balanced coverage, interesting and relevant content. And created with no regard whatsoever for the other curriculum areas – whose authors also believed that their subject deserved a big slice of the learning pie.

Eventually (Dearing Review) some sense of order prevailed and we had a workable document. Until the national literacy strategy hoved in to view. Urban myth has it that visiting Russian educators gasped in awe at the hierarchical rigor with which it was disseminated, noting that not even in Stalin’s hey day would a national requirement be delivered with such mechanistic precision.

And herein lies a problem: everyone wants a say. Everybody feels they deserve a piece of YOUR curriculum, because everybody knows how powerful a document the curriculum is and everybody knows what’s best for (y)our children. It tells the next generation what to know, what to do, how to be, and, ultimately what to think.

So with Ofsted’s re-polish of their inspection lens to look at what is taught and how (and why if ‘intent’ means what we think in means) we see a scrabble. Companies are betting on the curriculum content with new resources, consultants and trainers are reworking old material in anticipation of a scramble for curriculum help, and schools are wondering if what remains in their long term planning is enough, after the data driven content famine which laid their provision bare.

Is your curriculum fit for purpose? Is it fit for your children’s purposes? If not, how might you redesign it?

New Resources:

Curriculum Design

Curriculum Design A Thinking Skills Tool to help you think through and design a new curriculum or upgrade an existing one.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Creative Thinking, Curriculum, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Curriculum Design
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Curriculum Design PowerPoint

Curriculum Design PowerPoint A Thinking Tool Template in PowerPoint to help facilitate staff thinking on curriculum design.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Creative Thinking, Curriculum, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Curriculum Design
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Curriculum Think Sheet

Curriculum Think Sheet A Think Sheet to help develop older students' thinking about progression and continuity in their learning.

Categories: Think Sheet, Curriculum, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Curriculum
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Mike's Books:

Books to help you enrich your curriculum

Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind
by Mike Fleetham

Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind <br>by Mike Fleetham A Book containing 27 original tales with follow-on currciulum-linked activities for Primary and Lower Secondary. Literacy infused with the full range of Thinking Skills inspired by Bloom's Taxonomy. Classroom tasks with photocopiable worksheets that will save you planning time and embed Thinking firmly into everyday lessons. 

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Thinking Skills, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assemblies Bloom's Taxonomy Thinking Stories


Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity
by Mike Fleetham

Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity<br> by Mike Fleetham The follow-on Book to Thinking Stories. 28 original tales with currciulum-linked activities for Primary and Lower Secondary. Literacy, Thinking Skills and Creativity are combined within engaging stories and tasks saving you planning time and ensuring rich curriculum coverage. Ideal for supporting a creative curriculum. Photocopiable worksheets included.  

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Creativity, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assemblies Thinking Skills Creative Curriculum Thinking Stories Creative Thinking

Multiple Intelligences in Practice
by Mike Fleetham

Multiple Intelligences in Practice<br>by Mike Fleetham Book giving a clear introduction to multiple intelligences for all age groups. Addresses differentiation, inclusion, engagement and personalised learning through a single coherent philosophy. Gives you concrete examples and case studies of MI in school and shows how MI principles can help you improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Multiple Intelligences, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Multiple Intelligences CPD

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Creative Curriculum

Creative Curriculum An Article looking at the idea of 'Curriculum' and a rationale for creative curricula.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Curriculum, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Creative Curriculum

Creative Curriculum Snapshot Audit

Creative Curriculum Snapshot Audit A Curriculum Planning Tool that prompts you to think about all aspects of creativity in school. An effective way to celebrate what you're doing and to plan developments.

Categories: Other Resources, Creativity, Curriculum, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: Creative Curriculum Leadership Planning
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