Professional Development Platform

May 4, 2020 Reading Time: 25 Minutes Contributor: Susie Weaver

Framing the CLF 3-19 curriculum

The CLF Curriculum is an ever-onward, evolving and developing body of work, curated by teachers and leaders across the trust and is only brought to life by the quality of learning experiences that our children experience on a day to day basis and over time.

The teaching team across the trust take the CLF curriculum, and enact it, day to day; the learning experiences come together, over a period of fifteen years for children who begin with us in EYFS and stay on through to Post-16, to make something that is greater than the sum of the parts. The following short blogs from Mary Myatt are useful think pieces, which, when read in conjunction with some of the key elements from the CLF Curriculum, allow us to share and consider the rationale and tell the story of our curriculum. The reflective questions that follow aim to place focus and emphasis on the successful enactment of curriculum, now and help us to consider as we move forward, in the collective pursuit of purposeful and meaningful learning for each and every child in the trust.

Click below to access the articles and return after reading to answer the reflective questions and deepen your understanding.

Using stories in the curriculum

Stories have the power to open up the imagination, to create the background for a new unit, to supply tier two and tier three vocabulary and to provide a context for the big ideas and concepts. They are one of the most efficient ways of providing a hinterland.

Intellectual architecture

If we pay attention to developing a conceptual structure, then new information from different contexts will become ‘stuck’ to the concept and children are able to make better sense of it. The danger with rushing through content without developing a structure is that it is possible for information to float around, unconnected. Humans seek pattern and connections and we are depriving our children of crucial intellectual development if we do not show them how information fits into a bigger whole.

What has emerged is that in some schools, the ambitions expressed in the vision have not always been translated into the quality of plans and materials provided for pupils. Too many tasks and worksheets focus on completion of the exercise, as opposed to making children think. 

Humans seek pattern and connections and we are depriving our children of crucial intellectual development if we do not show them how information fits into a bigger whole.

It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time”. David Allan Coe

Useful and Beautiful? Plato in Republic XIII argued that in order for children to learn they need to play with lovely things. Now playing is not mucking about, it is exploring, engaging with and thinking about stuff. And I would argue that the things also include books, words and language.

Reflective Questions – Click to Open

• Think back to your most successful lessons. Did you create a sense of story in the message? Are there further opportunities for you to consider the power of stories as a starting point for new learning?

• We promote, within the CLF curriculum design, the opportunity to develop plan and teach in a way which provokes, encourages opinion and supports all children to question and make meaning in their learning. How could you build in opportunities to ensure deep learning for children by incorporating stories, conflicts and dilemmas into learner’s schemes?

• The CLF curriculum is designed to be progressive and build up through key concepts to ensure learning is progressive, sequenced and supports learning over time. organising structure to support progression and conceptual structure. How do you plan to make sure that children have understood the learning rather than just completed the task?

• Reflecting on your own teaching, how far do you currently preference task completion over understanding? Do you think this is part of a set of conscious decisions? How do you think we could build in habits that enable us to preference learning opportunities that allow children to develop their understanding over time?

• In your own teaching, how do you make sure that the learning resources and opportunities are irresistible and of value? How can we plan for learning that makes children think and leads to deeper understanding?