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10 Steps to design your school curriculum

Designing a curriculum is a crucial, time-consuming, and complex task that requires careful consideration of OfSTED's Education Inspection Framework, which focuses on intent, implementation, impact, and sequence. As developers of Stedfast, we understand the intricacies of curriculum planning. We would like to offer a comprehensive 10-step guide for designing your school curriculum, drawing from OfSTED's school inspection framework and incorporating our school curriculum planner.

Designing a school curriculum plays a vital role in school management, improvement, planning, and monitoring, ultimately enabling staff to excel in their roles. To create a robust curriculum plan, managers must ensure that their designs:

  1. Clearly demonstrate intent

  2. Illustrate effective implementation

  3. Assess and measure the impact

  4. Showcase logical sequencing

  5. Provide comprehensive mapping

10 Steps to Design Your School Curriculum

  1. Begin by outlining your school's curriculum objectives, which will form the foundation for your curriculum plan.

  2. Contemplate your school's vision, mission, and values. What are the overarching goals you aim to achieve?

  3. Identify your school's strengths and areas requiring improvement. This assessment will inform the focus of your curriculum design.

  4. Establish clear goals for the curriculum, taking into account the entire school community, including staff, learners, parents, and governors.

  5. Ensure that your curriculum plan broadly aligns with and reflects your school's vision, mission, and values.

  6. Clarify your school's priorities. Remember that school improvement is a bottom-up process rather than a top-down one. Engage with staff to gather their opinions on priorities and the direction of school improvement and curriculum development.

  7. Detail your plan for monitoring the implementation of your school's curriculum throughout the academic year. Identify who will be responsible for evaluating its effectiveness, what evidence can be collected to demonstrate impact, and how often the plan requires review.

  8. Maintain comprehensive documentation of communication, including consultations with parents, carers, learners, and staff. Regularly communicate with stakeholders about school planning and development plans, such as future strategy documents or strategic plans encompassing curriculum plans.

  9. Ensure your curriculum plan is mapped from the school vision, mission, and values to objectives at all key stages of education, starting in Early Years and extending to Post 16 education, GCSEs, and A Levels.

  10. Determine how you will monitor the current year's development plan against previous years, such as future strategy documents or strategic plans that include curriculum plans. How can you ensure your school delivers its best?

Schools constantly seek innovative ways to enhance their curricula, management, and planning. By following these 10 comprehensive steps in designing your school's curriculum plan, you can develop a well-structured curriculum that aligns with your school's vision, mission, values, and staff priorities. This process will help you create an effective and purposeful learning experience for all learners, ensuring continued growth and improvement in your educational institution.

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