Creating the right culture for curriculum conversations to flourish
Creating the right culture for curriculum conversations to flourish in order to inspire teams and individuals to work together is a key driver in creating the evidence that the curriculum is aligned with the vision for school improvement. Curriculum conversations should be focused on consistent high-quality pedagogy. They should provide evidence that every team has at their fingertips the ability to cite the evidence that the way the curriculum is implemented is aligned to the intent, rationale and ambition for all pupils.
Professional and structured dialogue creates a synergy where all staff work together to focus on priorities for change, innovation and challenge that builds excellence, delivers high quality learning and creates the evidence that what is taught and how pupils access knowledge is having an impact on school improvement. Amanda Spielman from OFSTED certainly echoes this when she makes a plea for professional learning conversations to be an essential part of how schools create curriculum cohesion and the highest quality of teaching and learning.
“I’ve spoken a great deal about the power of professional dialogue between school leaders and inspectors. That dialogue should be the engine room – sparking ideas and helping shape the school’s next steps.”Amanda Spielman Festival of Education July 2022
Curriculum conversations for leaders and managers
The latest OFSTED handbook has some changes and as we all return to school this September what it contains needs to be carefully considered when planning any school improvement strategies. Certainly, in the guidance on evaluating leadership and management there is a continued emphasis on the curriculum as the fulcrum for decision making about school improvement. There is also the need to look closely at how to ensure there is evidence that professional development for staff is closely aligned with the curriculum in order to ensure the highest quality teaching and learning is delivered with absolute consistency within subjects and across the whole curriculum.
As part of our leadership coaching training programme the Learning Cultures’ curriculum team have produced a proforma for senior, middle and subject leaders to use as an aide memoire that will support team working and foster curriculum conversations and collaboration in all subjects and across the curriculum. To obtain a copy go to our Contact us page with your contact details and type in Evaluating Leadership and Management in the message box and we will forward a PDF copy to you.
The proforma lists the main criteria leaders and managers need to focus on and asks the following questions that should form the basis for focused conversations about how the curriculum intent leads to positive implementation that will deliver profound evidence of impact. They are,
- What is working well and how do you know?
- What are your priorities for change and challenge?
Curriculum conversations about the priorities for change and challenge
There are many challenges and innumerable reasons to make changes that will support continuous improvement. It is, however, essential to know what is likely to make the most difference and create those short-term wins that will motivate and energise teams and individuals to want to be a part of creating excellence and high-quality outcomes for all pupils and staff. CPD linked to school improvement must be relevant, sustainable and cost-effective and create for the recipient the opportunity to continue to learn and grow in their role.
A recent review of how the pandemic has impacted schools was published in July by OFSTED. Education Recovery in School: Summer 2022 highlights a number of key areas that have impacted on learning, achievement or well-being. Below is a synopsis of the key findings and the courses and programmes that Learning Cultures have to support schools to begin to plan their priorities to offset the impact and ensure that all staff and pupils can move forward towards a positive and successful future. Choose your priorities and book one of our outstanding training events.
- There continues to be concern that there is a lack of expertise in subject knowledge linked to the standards within the curriculum of those with a subject leadership role. This is especially highlighted in primary schools and in key stage 3. We have two highly regarded solutions for subject leaders and their teams, firstly,
Coaching and Team Building for Subject Leaders
Our newly launched Expert Series provides a deep dive into most of the foundation subjects and provides a wealth of resources, materials and expert commentary for the subject leader and his or her team. The subjects covered here are,
Creating the Expert Science Teacher
Creating the Expert History Teacher
Creating the Expert Geography Teacher
Creating the Expert Design Technology Teacher
Creating the Expert Music Teacher
Creating the Expert Art & Design Teacher
- Transition particularly from Key Stage 2 to 3 continues to be a concern and has been exacerbated by school closures and a lack of opportunity for partnership working. We have specialists who have worked within this arena for several years and have some highly innovative and empowering solutions to creating seamless learning across the transition divide, see below our highly praised course about transition from primary to secondary school.
Crossing the Transition Bridge from Key Stage 2 to 3 – creating seamless learning
- Key stage 3 is highlighted as an area for concern. It is ever thus. OFSTED’s report from 2015 Key Stage 3: The Wasted Years? highlighted many of the issues that make Key Stage 3 a poor relation and we know from much of the work we have undertaken here that nothing much has changed. For many schools trying to work out how to support exam age pupils means that Key Stage 3 still remains the poor relation. We look at how to change that in our course here.
Key Stage 3 – a vital piece in the curriculum jigsaw
- The issue of curriculum narrowing, and a lack of curriculum enrichment is raised in all three of the OFSTED briefings from last year. For many schools the sheer need to manage the day to day of absences, pupil behaviour, catch up strategies and staff shortages have meant that developing the right strategies for translating curriculum intent into implementation and defining impact has had to be less of a priority. Our highly praised and deeply well – researched curriculum courses are ready now so that schools can pick up the baton of curriculum change and challenge.
Creating a Consistent, Knowledge Rich & Sequenced Primary Curriculum
Sequencing for Progression and Deep Learning in the Secondary School
- Preparing for OFSTED – defining quality, refining curriculum, creating cohesion
- School improvement and how this is closely aligned to curriculum planning and implementation comes in for some criticism. We are a leading provider of coaching training for the education profession, and we know from our interaction with many schools and colleges that coaching is a powerful driver for change, it creates excellence in leadership, cohesion in teams and is a powerful pedagogy. Building a coaching culture provides the framework for delivering the vision and empowering others to take the baton and make it happen. We have coaching courses for all staff in a school or college.
Have a look at our range of Coaching Webinars
Take a look at our Creating a Coaching Culture section
Sign up for our new Coaching for Leadership programme
- There are deep concerns about well-being and behaviour from many schools and colleges across the whole of the country. We have two superb webinars to support this well-being theme.
Changing Behaviours – building positive strategies for change and challenge
Creating a Culture of Positive Mental Health in Schools
- The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on those pupils who have SEND or are disadvantaged and they need specialist support to ensure that they are not left behind. Three of our courses look in detail at these concerns and how to find the right strategies for move forward.
Widening Participation for Pupils with SEND
Managing the Pupil Premium to Close the Achievement Gap
Enhancing the Role of the SENCO – creating a culture of inclusion, parity and deep learning
All of us at Learning Cultures hope you have had a restful and enjoyable summer. We have a superb range of outstanding courses and programmes that will deliver continuing school improvement. We provide a model of CPD that means all delegates take back to their colleagues a wealth of materials and resources so that the learning is cascaded widely. We know that training and development only has an impact if it is shared and cascaded and is linked to a clearly defined plan built on powerful curriculum conversations.