In the new year my focus point will be the new curriculum.
Literacy: when I began training there was lots of support for the teaching of literacy, the national strategies were in their heydey and every school I trained at and worked at had several copies of government published documents. Really useful documents. Such as the National Strategies, The Spelling Programme for Key Stage 2 and my favourite – Grammar for Writing. These documents were vital for supporting the introduction of the Literacy Hour and drawing attention to what the teaching of English would look like for the then expected National Curriculum. All of these documents can be accessed through the National Archives
Personally I liked these documents, some hated them. I didn't like the forced 'Literacy Hour' but then I, like many, didn't really do it. But lots of resources, good teaching ideas and creative ways round misconceptions came from these documents. We didn't stick to the units particularly closely, but they were there if needed. Also there was the framework… The framework; the units; the order in which to teach things all came in handy for teachers who were not confident or schools who needed to ensure coverage.
However, we now have a new National Curriculum – all online – though handily sold by Scholastic (!) And we have several months to work with teachers. With the introduction of any school wide change key questions should be asked, and I can thoroughly recommend @michaelt1979's curriculum jigsaws.
This Haiku Deck is my plan for getting schools up to speed:
- Staff meeting in January : Begin with the big aims and take these from staff – what are we trying to do? Is an integrated curriculum still the main aim? Will our current topic layout still work? What books and genres are we still covering? Shall we discuss with parents? Share resources with staff!
- These key questions will form an idea gathering session, as well as allow staff to share pressing concerns for staff inset that may be needed. For some schools this is a golden opportunity to review your curriculum.
- Then we will give teachers / subject coordinators time… Work out what is needed and what is missing. Let them find any training / conferences they might want. A blank staff meeting time will be good for this, and allow for SLT to meet to check the assessment changes. Give staff deadlines for renewed subject action plans.
- We will plan a unit of work for summer, each year group looking at a particular subject or area.. This can be done together, and does not have to be literacy based.
- Finally review the whole school curriculum map!
Literacy so far…..
For staff we have a focus on Grammar across the school with short sessions and sharing of grammar games. I have a page here looking at this.
Big focus on vocabulary and topic based literacy. Including the learning environment.
We are identifying books / poems which will form Key Texts for our year groups – these will be topic linked.
I would love to hear how other schools are coping with the change! Worth noting that assessment is not a factor in these plans…yet!