Reviewing and Redesigning the Primary Curriculum

There is a lot being said about what your curriculum needs to look like with the new Ofsted framework, but do you know how to turn what you have into what you need it to be for September?

We’re hosting a one day curriculum review with Julie Goodridge, a curriculum development expert from our partners EdisonLearning, at our Rose Lane office – just five minutes walk from Norwich train station.

The course provides a comprehensive set of resources for schools to review their current curriculum and create a broad and balanced curriculum that is appropriate and inspiring for each and every school community. It is particularly pertinent given Ofsted’s renewed focus, from 2019, on curriculum breadth and balance and is designed for primary school headteachers and primary school leaders with responsibility for curriculum.

We thought we would ask Jerry Baker, Managing Director of EdisonLearning, a few questions to get the background on how our companies became partners and where their expertise lies.

PA: Hi Jerry, could you tell us a little bit about EdisonLearning?

We work with schools across the UK with the NAHT in our Aspire Partnership programme, and as EdisonLearning Partner Schools. Our partner schools range from schools mostly in two camps – schools with Requires Improvement (RI) judgements from Ofsted, schools with multiple RI judgements – those stuck schools as Ofsted calls them, and Good schools looking to maintain and develop their practice. Our reputation is built on helping them to get better. If you look at national average of Ofsted inspections of RI schools around 58% managed to get to good at the next inspection, the rate for schools in the same position that partner with EdisonLearning is 68%. We’ve got a much better track record, likewise, 89% of our good schools retain or improve at inspection.

We also work with the DfE delivering the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund programme working with 96 schools across England in areas of low social mobility in a one year high intensity programme.

PA: Is there a secret to your success?

The main NAHT Aspire EdisonLearning program is built around an internationally researched five strand design. The five strands are; leadership, pedagogy and curriculum, assessment for learning, student and family support and learning environment. All the work that we do ties into those five strands so it’s not a sticking plaster short term intervention – everything is linked back to that five strand model building sustainable improvement.

PA: How did the partnership with Pupil Asset come to fruition?

We met James and Stella back in 2015. At the time our Assessment for Learning strand of the model didn’t have it’s own tracker. What we had were our own Achievement Statements for measuring pupil progress, and what we wanted to do was to link those to an assessment tracker. What we developed between EdisonLearning and Pupil Asset is what we call Compass.

PA: What is Compass?

Compass is a version of the Pupil Asset Assessment Tracker combined with the EdisonLearning Achievement Statements. We currently have about 30 of our partner schools using Compass.

PA: You also have your own curriculum, could you tell us about that?

One part of our five strand model is pedagogy and curriculum – we’ve developed our own, what we call Connected Curriculum. The Connected Curriculum links all the subjects together, rather than keeping them as individual units. That’s been in place for a number of years, we relaunched it in 2014 with the then new National Curriculum. There are over 400 partner schools using the curriculum in the UK and abroad, both state schools and in the private sector.

The Connected Curriculum always meets the Ofsted requirements, so it’s not just narrow and focussed on the core subjects. It’s got a curriculum map across all year groups in a primary school, from early years through to key stage 2, and then also around all the key subjects.

PA: You’re running a one day course at our Rose Lane office, can you explain why schools should attend?

One of the things we’ve been offering our partner schools is practical support to meet the new Ofsted Inspection Framework. There is a lot of advice out there about what to do, what your curriculum should look like, but there’s not so much aimed at the process of getting from where you are now to where you need to be. That’s what our one day course is designed to do.

PA: How exactly will you do that?

Our curriculum lead Julie Goodridge (who has more than 25 years’ experience in schools in Essex as a teacher, senior leader and also adviser supporting schools to develop the curriculum) has designed a set of review materials, where you work through what’s currently in your curriculum, and what should be there with the new requirements of the inspection framework. It’s a planning module that examines what you do at the moment – it doesn’t matter if you don’t use our Connected Curriculum, or if you use Cornerstone’s, or IPC’s or any other curriculum – the task at hand is helping schools adapt to the new requirements and that’s what we’ll help attendees with.

PA: Have you run this course before?

Yes, we’ve run this course in schools and with the NAHT in Manchester and London and we thought it would be a good idea to follow up the success of that by opening up the opportunity to include all Pupil Asset schools as they wonder what to do with their curriculum in the new academic year.

Feedback so far has been very positive:

“Incredibly useful day. The small number of delegates meant discussion was meaningful – lots of things to do back at school”

“Really clear – loved the small group. Great to have lots of thinking time and to leave with a mini action plan of next steps”

Reviewing and Redesigning the Primary Curriculum takes place at our Rose Lane office on July 9th, it’s being run exclusively for Pupil Asset schools, for more details click here.

For more information about EdisonLearning, click here.