Curriculum Conversations: Professional Development for School Improvement

by | Sep 4, 2022 | Curriculum, Quality

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

Curriculum Conversations: Professional Development for School Improvement
Creating curriculum synergy

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

A kaleidoscope of learning

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.

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.

New Books


The book ‘Primary Curriculum Design and Delivery by Glynis Frater‘ has now been published.

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