7th June 2019
At the end of the half-term break I attended a gathering of head teachers, senior leaders and classroom teachers at a conference on the importance of the curriculum.
It might seem strange for this to be a focus as we would all believe that the curriculum - what we learn and study - is at the heart of our provision. However, over the last ten years, many schools have taken their eye off this important element as a result of a desire to focus instead on performance tables.
This latter approach leads to an inevitable narrowing of the curriculum, with students in years seven to nine often practising the techniques that are used in GCSE assessment.
It was good to hear a senior leader from OFSTED stressing the importance of a fully rounded curriculum, one that ensures that there is a breadth of understanding and development of knowledge in key stage three that then acts as the strong foundation for a successful key stage four.
A successful curriculum is one where students can develop a solid understanding of factual knowledge, held in their long term memory and which then informs their grasp of new knowledge.
It is why we at Chilwell value the depth and breadth of the curriculum we offer, with a focus on students developing core skills in literacy and numeracy, but also a breadth of knowledge across the sciences, technologies, humanities, arts and languages.
Our year nine students are now about to embark on the next stage of their learning and the options process at Chilwell will ensure that this breadth continues to prepare for the stage after that.