Tom has successfully planned, implemented and measured impact of a whole school approach to a ‘Broad and Balanced Curriculum’. In this case study he shares the approach, methodology and impact.
The Creative Curriculum Model aims to raise the profile of foundation subjects and pupil leadership in your school…
The ‘creative curriculum’ enriches pupils’ learning and personal development. Pupils enjoy working with different age groups and become confident and articulate learners.Ofsted, 2019
How can you raise the standards of the foundation subjects and pupil leadership while hitting teachers performance related targets? The answer is adopting a Creative Curriculum (CC) syle model.
Our most recent Ofsted Inspection stated one of the best strengths of the school is the Creative Curriculum approach. The following highlights were observed:
- ‘The ‘creative curriculum’ enriches pupils’ learning and personal development. Pupils enjoy working with different age groups and become confident and articulate learners.
- The school’s ethos is based on mutual respect and leaders have ensured that pupils have a strong sense of moral rules and responsibilities. Pupils demonstrate their care for the world around them as ‘eco-warriors’, for example, by running a sale of produce they have grown, recycled and made.
- Pupils’ social development is enhanced through regular opportunities to work with pupils of all ages through the school’s ‘creative curriculum
Every school is different. What works for one school may not be successful in another. However, if you are looking for ideas and evidence of a successful change to your school curriculum with a vision to keep teacher workload low while bringing something exciting, enriching and engaging to both students and adults in school, read on.
What do you subjects look like? How are they shown? Who leads them?
Since the introduction of ‘Deep Dives’ in primary schools, never has it been more important to support our subject leaders. As well as increased accountibility, there is also anxiety about the ability for staff to successfully pitch, evidence and explain the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of their subject.
How can you be confident your staff are leading their subject successfully across the school?
The four areas I used were:
- Innovation and Enterprise – subjects include science, technology, engineering, maths, computing and e-safety.
- Culture and Community – subjects include history, geography, RE, British Values and language.
- Expressive Arts – Dance, music, drama and art.
- Health and wellbeing – Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) Physical Education (PE) and School Rules/Ethos.
The beauty about this model is that you can tailor each area to your school vision and aims. Depending on your school size, you can change the amount of pupil leadership teams based on your staffing capacity.
Subject leaders linking new model to help with performance management:
Each pupil leadership team (underlined outside their curriculum area) is led by a teacher. This teacher is usually the subject leader e.g. the Sports and PE lead would run the Sports Superstars team. This means creates ideal conditions to complete teachers’ performance management targets based on impact outside their classroom. There is no longer the need to run extra lunchtime or after school clubs during their personal time.
Reducing workload for teachers:
As the subject leader for computing, I used to run an after school coding and YouTubing clubs once a week as well as a 30 min pupil leadership meeting every Friday at 12.30pm. Although I had the passion and commitment to run these clubs, I was only helping to enrich one part of the school curriculum. With this model, I can do all the things I did in my extra curriculum clubs but I have designated time within the whole school timetable to complete my sessions. I also am able to reduce time finding evidence for subject coverage as I can speak to children across all year groups in school.
Logistics- how does it work?
This is a whole school approach and you will need to spend a lot of time on the preparation before introducing it into your school. Please get in touch if you are a school leader and would like to discuss your school’s current approach so I can share some overviews ideas.
Case study- what we did to prepare (intent), implement and measure the impact
- Our intent- quite simply, we wanted to ensure our children had the best oppurtunity to experience a broad and balanced curriculum.
- Founded on research. We read and discussed the following research: Mastery in foundation subjects, Conceptual Understanding, Procedural Fluency and EEF case studies.
- We look at successful models at other schools and visted head teachers to dicuss thier curriculum models- Glennbrook Primary curriculum and Sunnyside Spencer Academy Curriculum.
It is important not to rush and consider the potential risks and barriers before adopting a whole school change.
- Timetabling for CC sessions (once a week/fornight/month)
- Setting up staff for each area
- Creating online (editable) pupil registers
- Staff meeting time to plan sessions
- Evidence- where will it be shared/saved?
Impact – what have the students thought of the CC?
We selected 4 children from each year group that included a Pupil Premium/Disadvantaged or SEND student as well as an equal mix of boys and girls. We interviewed them before, during and after the last CC session of the academic year. This is what they said:
I love being with my friends. The teachers listen to our ideas and plan what we want to do. We had a real artist visit us. He taught us how to make stencils. We are planning movie night to raise money so he can do artwork for our school. Expressive arts team.
We had a local Councillor visit us and she made me really want to be a politician. I’d like to visit the Houses of Parliament. School council.
I wanted to join the Science Investigators because I love science. We did a science experiment making ice cream. It was amazing and messy! Science Investigators.
We are making a school newspaper and I have been interviewing teachers. I think I would make a really good journalist.
I’ve never had a chance to be with so many people who love what I do. The Curriculum afternoons are awesome! SMART (Computing) crew.
The most fun I’ve had is organising Times Tables Rockstar day. I love maths and dressing up. It was so much fun. We plan to do more fun activities for the Christmas fair. Arithmetic All-stars.
You can read more about the impact by clicking the link…
If you would like to find out more about the structure and content of the Creative Curriculum then please get in touch.
You can follow me on Twitter @tomkonsek for more examples of the Creative Curriculum in action. If you would like to get in touch about the CC at your school or would like to arrange a school visit then please DM me directly on Twitter.
Thank you, Tom.
More about the author Tom Konsek