Curriculum design: Step 5 – Define excellence

The 6-step process of curriculum design…

Our approach to curriculum design – as outlined in the book School & College Curriculum Design: Intent – follows a six-step process as follows…

The fifth step towards designing an effective curriculum is to define excellence so that our curriculum is ambitious for all but that each pupil and student is afforded equal access to the curriculum and is supported to travel through it and achieve.

This is, in part, about developing a growth mindset, believing that every pupil and student is capable of achieving excellence, no matter their starting points and backgrounds. But it is also about ‘teaching to the top’ for all pupils and not dumbing down or reducing the curriculum offer for disadvantaged pupils for that is only to double their disadvantage and to make certain their birth is also their destiny.

Defining excellence and providing equal access to an ambitious curriculum is also about having high expectations of every pupil and explicitly teaching them the study and research skills – including how to take notes and revise – that they need to succeed.

Delivering excellence requires the curriculum – and teachers – to pitch learning at the appropriate level, which is to say hard but achievable because if the work is too easy or too difficult then pupils simply will not learn.

Go to: Step 1 | Step 2 | Step 3 | Step 4 | Step 6

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