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Working with StakeholdersWhose Curriculum Is It? Working with Stakeholders Many schools work with their stakeholders to think through what should be in the curriculum. So who should be consulted? Teachers – the trained professionals? Employers – those in need of able and skilled future employees? Parents – who need to be confident of the appropriateness of the curriculum and informed enough to support children’s learning? Governors – with overall responsibility for the quality of the curriculum? Students – whom we hope will be inspired by the curriculum? This is a matter for each school to decide © Curriculum Foundation 1
Working with Stakeholders Case Study 1A group of Secondary Schools in Surrey was considering how to introduce competencies into the curriculum. They worked with local employers to draft the list of competencies and then the employers and schools worked together on ways of assessing progress in the competencies. The outcome was a set of practical ‘challenge days’ where pupils had to work in teams to solve problems. There was great ‘buy–in’ from pupils and parents because of the employer involvement. But, before we can think about assessing competencies, we need to think about how they fit with the subjects, and how they can be acquired. © Curriculum Foundation 2
Competencies and Curriculum PrinciplesSeeing learning in terms of competencies as well as subjects suggests several principles about curriculum organisation. For example: The curriculum needs to be be more than subjects Learning needs to involve knowledge, skills and understanding – but also attitudes and values Pupils will only develop skills with practice Skills need to be developed in the context of knowledge To apply skills and knowledge, we need practical situations that have some meaning for the pupils You can probably think of more. This is something you can do with stakeholders. © Curriculum Foundation 3
Working with Stakeholders Case Study 2A school in Birmingham began to question how appropriate its curriculum was for all of its young people. This led to fundamental questions about the purposes and aims of the curriculum and the school’s values. Consultation events were organised when parents, governors, teachers and employers, in mixed groups, discussed the purpose of the curriculum and produced ‘stick man’ descriptions of the ideal outcomes for a student in the 21st century. The results shaped the school’s aims and values as well as the key attitudes, skills and competences. There was universal agreement that the time spent represented a sound investment. © Curriculum Foundation 4
Finalising Your Curriculum PrinciplesIf you have already carried out the stick man exercise you will have described the ideal learner with a set of words and phrases which can now be classified into groups. You could use the ‘building blocks’ of the curriculum as the headings for these groups or you may wish to devise your own categories. Once this grouping has been done there will need to be a process of rationalisation, removing duplication and merging similar items to produce a description which is comprehensive but also coherent and manageable. The next challenge is to turn these words into a set of curriculum principles which will guide the design process and ensure the quality of the curriculum. © Curriculum Foundation 5
World Class Curriculum PrinciplesCurriculum Foundation colleagues have worked on curriculum designs in many countries and have often been asked what a truly world class curriculum would look like. No two schools are the same and therefore the design process inevitably produces principles which differ from one school to the next. Hence there is no blueprint, no ‘one size fits all’ set of curriculum principles. However, there are common features which every curriculum should have if it is to prepare our young people for success in the 21st century global economy. From these common features, the Foundation has developed a set of ten World Class Curriculum principles, grouped into four domains. The document A World Class Curriculum – The Principles is available from the Foundation website: Click here These principles are offered here to show how a set of curriculum principles might be expressed and presented and NOT as the right answer! © Curriculum Foundation 6
Values, aims and principles Key competencies for learning and life Organising Your Curriculum Principles The process by which you arrive at your own set of curriculum principles is for you and your colleagues to decide but you may wish to categorise the principles into domains in a similar way. Curriculum designers certainly find it easier to take account of principles if they are grouped into categories. Take a look at the four domains: Consider a traditional, examination-focussed curriculum. To what extent would you expect each of the four domains to be represented? Is there an appropriate balance of these four domains in your school’s current curriculum? Values, aims and principles Key competencies for learning and life The world’s major branches of learning Community, local, national and global contexts © Curriculum Foundation 7
Auditing Your CurriculumAlso available on the Foundation website is the World Class Curriculum audit: Click here Schools can use this audit tool to RAG rate* the curriculum against each of the ten principles. Many schools have used the audit as a starting point for their curriculum development process but it can be used at any stage, including at this point to cross-check or quality assure draft school principles. Colleagues have reported that it leads to deep and valuable conversations and helps schools on the path to developing a quality curriculum. *RAG rating: Red = not met; Amber = partially met; Green = fully met © Curriculum Foundation 8
© Curriculum FoundationIn this Unit we have looked at: Curriculum planning and curriculum design The building blocks of the curriculum The wider aims of education – preparing for life A set of competencies Working with stakeholders Principles underpinning the curriculum In the next Unit we shall look at: How competencies can be built into subjects Deep learning and national requirements In the meantime – work on those lists of competencies with your stakeholders, and the principles that flow from them. © Curriculum Foundation
© Curriculum Foundation"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire." The Irish poet W. B. Yeats Do you recognise this man? He had an interesting view of the purpose of education. © Curriculum Foundation 10
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