November 24, 2022

Evaluating the Impact of Your Curriculum Project

The impact of the curriculum lies in whether students have learnt the things you’ve taught them. How do you know whether pupils know what you think they know? This project is intended for primary and secondary headteachers, senior and subject leaders who want to ensure that all pupils benefit from a good quality of education and optimise their learning and outcomes.

Evaluating the Impact of Your Curriculum Project

The following next step has been featured on a number of recent Ofsted inspection reports: “Leaders have not ensured that there are effective systems of assessment in place in foundation subjects…” 

To know if pupils are making progress in a school’s curriculum, schools need to have absolute clarity on what they want pupils to know, understand and be able to do. 

My experience of the foundation subjects in schools is a combination of too much content and not enough clarity over what pupils should learn and what teachers should teach. If we are serious about every pupil learning the intended curriculum, then we need to change the way we think about the intent of our curriculum.

The National Curriculum subject content is not enough to teach from. It provides the composite goal, but not the component and the substantive knowledge and vocabulary that pupils will need to be taught. The role of the subject leader is to specify the exact knowledge that they want pupils to learn, the associated vocabulary and the concepts that pupils should understand and how their understanding of these big ideas will develop over time.

It is important that we ask ourselves the following questions:

When we have identified this knowledge, as well as the curriculum endpoints, we are in a strong position to gather information about whether pupils have learned the intended curriculum. 

How can we tell what pupils have learned what we’ve taught? To answer this question, we need to consider what it means to have learnt something: “Learning is the acquisition of knowledge and skills, and their application at a later time in a range of contexts.”

The best bets seem to be that they can recall their learning after a period of time has elapsed, and that they can apply this learning in a range of contexts. 

Teachers need to gather information about the extent to which pupils have learned each small step in the sequence of learning before moving on to the next lesson. 

At the heart of this approach is formative assessment and responsive teaching. When this is combined with enough time and space in the curriculum to address gaps in learning, we’re far more likely to see success in every child learning the intended curriculum.

Why does your school need to be involved in this curriculum project?

When inspectors evaluate the impact of the education provided by the school, their focus will primarily be on what pupils have learned. Having a well-structured, well-taught curriculum will lead to good results because those results will reflect what pupils have learned.

It is important to remember that the word ‘impact’ is threefold:

  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the way in which the curriculum is designed.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the way in which the curriculum is taught.
  • To evaluate the pace of pupil progress, pupil outcomes, and provide readiness for the next stage in their education.

The impact of the curriculum lies in whether students have learnt the things you’ve taught them. How do you know whether pupils know what you think they know?

This project is intended for primary and secondary headteachers, senior and subject leaders who want to ensure that all pupils benefit from a good quality of education and optimise their learning and outcomes.

Our work with our project schools will be infused with evidence-informed practice and research from cognitive science, in order to offer schools, the architecture for excellence.

This project will:

  • Provide delegates with an understanding of how the identification of knowledge components leads into assessment.

  • Provide delegates with an understanding of how to evaluate pupil progress through pupils’ work and discussions.

  • Ensure delegates know and understand how to use formative assessment strategies to check that pupils’ knowledge is being retained.

  • Ensure delegates know how to evaluate progress through discussion with subject leaders and teachers and how to check that pupils’ knowledge has been retained.

Who will deliver the project?

Photo of Emma Adcock – VNET EDUCATION CIC

Emma has just under twenty years of experience in the education sector, ten years of which she has spent working as an English Consultant for Norfolk Schools. She is a former head teacher, system leader and advanced skills teacher. She regularly provides additional leadership capacity for schools. This additional leadership has previously included: acting head positions, part-time assistant head roles and she has worked across schools as a teaching and learning coach to support Quality First Teaching. Emma is also an experienced trainer who regularly provides training for VNET schools on the following: curriculum design, subject leadership, Reading, Writing, Spelling and the explicit teaching of vocabulary.

Maria worked for OFSTED as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for schools for the past five years. Prior to this she was a successful headteacher of two primary schools in Suffolk, judged Outstanding by OFSTED. She has been an inspector/adviser for Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk Local Authorities. Maria started her career in inner London, working in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. She has wide ranging experience of working with small and large schools, in rural and city regions, and in supporting leadership development and school improvement.

When will the project take place?

Where will it be held?

The four interactive and practical online sessions will be held on Zoom. You will receive a Zoom link after booking for the project.

Who can attend?

Members and non-members are welcomed!

What is the cost?

VNET members can access this project using 6 of their membership credits or for £600+VAT, a second delegate can attend for free.

Non-members can access this project at £1000+VAT, a second delegate can attend for free.

How do I book?

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