The curriculum: creating a tapestry of learning

by | Apr 12, 2023 | Curriculum, Leadership, Quality

The curriculum is a myriad of opportunities for learning. It creates the threads that bind together a picture that gives pupils the confidence to find out more, share ideas, question what others think and weave understanding and knowledge within and across subjects. The process is a collaboration of innovative design, exceptional pedagogy and incisive reflection that enriches the experience for the teacher and the pupil.

My book Primary Curriculum Design and Delivery is out now and will provide all those with a responsibility for the curriculum whether as leader or teacher with practical ideas and a deep dive into how to interpret the programmes of study and turn them into rich and sequential pathways that lead to knowledge, skills and understanding. My message throughout is the absolute need for a collaborative approach to the design and delivery of the curriculum from early years to year 6 and hopefully as part of a partnership with the secondary schools that pupils will join at the end of their time in primary school.

Creating a quality curriculum from early years to year 6 a live webinar

Hosted by Glynis Frater who has just
published Primary Curriculum Design and Delivery.
This online webinar is packed with innovative ideas and powerful resources.
Creating a High Quality Primary Curriculum from Early Years to Year 6

This book is part of my own sequential journey and a sister publication that focuses on the secondary curriculum is my current writing project. The analogy of the curriculum as a tapestry that weaves skills, knowledge and conceptual understanding are at the heart of both. The secondary journey for a learner does create for some a system where subjects are taught in isolation, as separate entities where cross curricular learning is not a part of curriculum planning.

Creating a Sequential and Seamless Secondary Curriculum a live webinar

An opportunity to work with Glynis Frater who is
currently writing a sister book to her recently
published Primary Curriculum Design and Delivery
that focuses on how to deliver a sequential and seamless secondary curriculum
Secondary Curriculum

However, creating opportunities through highly interactive and innovative professional development to focus on the tapestry of skills, conceptual understanding and cross – curricular themes can have a powerful impact on learning, on pedagogy and on pupils’ ability to retain and deepen their understanding in both the primary and the secondary setting.

A focus on transition from primary to secondary school

Creating the right conditions for effective transition from primary to secondary school can have a positive impact on learning and achievement. Where subject or phase leaders and teachers can work together to create a sequential learning platform in years 5 and 6 that dovetails into year 7 there are real opportunities for secondary teachers to see what has been taught and to what depth and for primary teachers to understand what pupils will need to have learnt in order to be ready for year 7 and the rest of key stage 3.

Crossing the Bridge: Transition from
KS2 to KS3 buy to use in your own time
or attend a live webinar

Outstanding and highly acclaimed
training from the curriculum team
at Learning Cultures.
A live webinar or an on-demand course
Crossing the Transition Bridge – creating seamless learning from Key Stage 2 to 3

There is a well-researched and deeply troubling statistic that has remained stubbornly similar for many years which states that there is an average dip in performance from the end of year 6 to the end of year 7 of anything up to 40%. The reasons are many and include a lack of collaboration over how what is taught in the primary school is taken into consideration when planning for year 7 and key stage 3, the difference in approach to how pupils are taught and the number of teachers they are exposed to. Also, the move from the cosy, small primary school to the cavernous and daunting secondary school all play their part as barriers to learning.

Designing a deliberate and focused plan for how to create opportunities for primary and secondary school staff to work together is profound. The potential to look in detail at how to make the curriculum seamless across the transition bridge so that pupils take with them their learning, their understanding and their ability to use with confidence and competence the skills they have gained does reap benefits that will make a difference right through to year 11 and beyond.

There is obviously some slippage in memory as pupils prepare and take SATs, enjoy their last few weeks in year 6 and then have a long holiday before arriving at ‘big school’. Where secondary subject leaders and teachers know what has gone before they can incorporate prior learning into new learning and stimulate the working memory.

Cognitive Science in the Classroom –
Putting theory into practice to deepen learning

a face-to-face event at the
Royal Society of Chemistry
on 27th April 2023
Cognitive Science

Creating professional learning communities to create a sequential and seamless curriculum

If we believe that the curriculum is the benchmark that defines high quality education and the qualities of a good or outstanding school then it must be at the forefront of a process of continuous professional learning that involves all those who have a part to play in its design and delivery. Transition from key stage 2 to 3 is a vital pinch-point so I have highlighted it more specifically above.

However, there are so many other ways that the development of a culture where professional learning communities can work together to ensure that there is seamless learning within and between the different key stages.

  • Reading as the key to learning in every subject
  • Numeracy and how the concepts transcend subjects other than maths
  • How are pupils encouraged to work and think scientifically?
  • Similar themes that emerge within the humanities curriculum
  • The power of oracy in the pursuit of deep learning
  • Cognitive science and how the theory translates into classroom practice
  • Formative assessment and the language of feedback and the positive question
  • Defining the concepts that are essential to subject specific learning and that also transcend subjects and ideas

This is a short precis of a list that could go on to be much longer. It is the dialogue and the opportunities to share ideas, to talk about good practice and what works well in different situations that create the professional development opportunities that are incredibly valuable and self-sustaining. Create time for talk, time for reflection and time to build a culture where teachers work together to build their own tapestry of powerful learning opportunities.

CPD and Curriculum conversations that lead to a Learning Cultures’ promise

Learning Cultures has been my focus for twelve years now. When the pandemic hit us all and schools closed we were riding high with a reputation for the highest quality CPD courses, programmes and bespoke training for the education sector. My role had always been to develop new courses to follow the education trends and build the strongest offer we could based on our philosophy that CPD is only meaningful if it has an impact on learning for the recipients and ultimately for the pupils. How to continue to create that same high quality training offer as an online product was a challenge.

We did it and continue to offer most of our training courses as online packages either with a trainer or as an on demand resource and we are beginning to offer some of our courses back in venues. We have an event on 26th April at the Royal Society of Chemistry ‘ Sequencing the Science Curriculum in the Primary Phase and Key Stage 3’ and another at the same venue on 27th April ‘Cognitive Science in the Classroom – theory into practice to deepen learning’.

The resources that our team of education professionals have created over the time we have existed as a business are exceptional, innovative and linked to the essential research and on the ground practice that all professionals need to guarantee that their CPD will make a difference. The reason for wanting to write two books chronicling the essential ingredients of the primary and secondary curriculum were originally to ensure that if the pandemic meant we couldn’t continue to be then I could capture the research, the learning and the resources in the shape of a suite of books.

The emphasis on curriculum has dominated the debate about how we educate in England for the whole of this century. The first ten years were focused on skills and the second on knowledge. The third must unfold as the decade that focuses on learning and a continuum that ensures all pupils have the skills they need to access knowledge, the technical future they are inheriting, the motivation and stimulation to want to learn and creativity and innovation that designs powerful sequential knowledge pathways and that inspire outstanding pedagogy. The place to start is through professional conversations about the curriculum that will create the impetus for the continuation and celebration of a learning culture in every school, college, classroom and community.

Book a course, ask about INSET or about bespoke coaching by using our contact us form. Talk to Glynis: or telephone us 01746 765075 or Glynis directly on 07974 754241. The highest quality pedagogy starts with powerful professional conversations.

New Books


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

Find Out More

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