This INSET cuts through the complexity of the issues and highlights common themes to support successful curriculum design”

Tim Jones, Deputy Head, Knowle Park Primary School

Curriculum Design

With a greater emphasis on how schools interpret the National Curriculum and how they design their own approach, subject leads are now in a position where it is necessary to evaluate the ‘offer’ they give and how they prepare all children to make good progress and are ready for the next stages of their learning.

What does Curriculum Intent mean?

“The framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and skills to be gained at each stage (intent).”

Ofsted 2019

Concerns over the Primary Curriculum

Nearly half of all primary schools scored poorly in Ofsted’s latest curriculum study – with an apparent focus on English and maths side-lining foundation subjects.
For instance, seven of the 33 primaries schools visited by the inspectorate under phase 3 of its curriculum study had a “complete absence” of curriculum design in humanities.
Overall, the research found that 15 of the 33 primaries schools inspected by Ofsted scored either a 1 or 2 for their curriculum (based on a five-point scoring system, where five is the highest).

This INSET will prepare your Senior & Middle leadership teams to audit and evaluate your existing curriculum and teaching against the new 2019 Ofsted Framework.

If you are looking for an Ofsted 2021 update for your whole staff then book our ‘Ofsted Ready School’ INSET 

A Broad & Rich Curriculum

According to Ofsted we can expect that ‘these changes will move Ofsted’s focus away from headline data to look instead at how schools are achieving these results, and whether they are offering a curriculum that is broad, rich and deep, or simply teaching to the test’.


• Update your SLT & Middle leaders with Ofsted inspection criteria (2019)
• Articulate how your curriculum meets the needs of your children and local context
• Be clear about what evidence is required, and what is not required, in order for judgements to be made.
• Ensure your curriculum is knowledge-rich and designed to maximise learning
• Explore the role of cognitive science and other research in designing an effective curriculum
• Understand cultural capital

Arrange for a Mock Deep Dive in your school or subject area

Contact our Inspection team to arrange a ‘Mentoring Dive’ to reassure your team & allay any fears

INSET Outline

Defining Curriculum Expectations

  • Ofsted Framework & its implications for schools
  • Intent
  • Implementation
  • Impact
  • Deepening understand of what a ‘knowledge-rich curriculum’ looks like
  • Lessons in Curriculum Design from Cognitive Science and other Research
  • Role of cognitive science in understanding memory and learning

Applying the latest educational research on curriculum design & evaluating your local context

  • Understanding your local context
  • Using local statistics
  • Transform the community through your curriculum choices
  • Weaving in the school ethos and vision
  • Tools to evaluate where your curriculum is currently

Planning your Curriculum

  • Clarity of Intent
  • Pedagogical approach (consistent)
  • Creating a curriculum development strategy:
  • 1. Knowledge
  • 2. Progression
  • 3. Implementation
  • 4. Productivity
  • 5. Vocabulary
  • 6. Metacognition
  • 7. Clarity and retention
  • 8. Improvement
  • The role of the Subject leader in developing subject specific pedagogy
  • Precision of end points
  • Planning progressive tasks that prove that students are gaining a deeper understanding of the curriculum
  • Increasing Cultural Capital

Monitoring Curriculum Implementation & Measuring Impact

  • Monitoring and improving T&L
  • Making accurate judgements
  • Creating a culture of improvement in your department
  • Measuring Curriculum Impact
  • The use of data to drive improvement

The School feedback on this training has been overwhelmingly positive:

“Incredibly engaging and Inspiring”

Katherine Letts, Assistant Head, St Laurence School

“Really useful for our KS3 Curriculum Review, as well as what Ofsted wants & what to say to them” 

Justin Jones, HOD English, KLB School

 “I feel I have much more clarity on the 3I’s & a better understanding of progression through book scrutiny”

Clare Marsh, Secondary Vice Principal, Preston School

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