School and College Curriculum Design – the course

School & College Curriculum Design – The Course

Please note that we are now also running a series of curriculum masterclasses which can be delivered as webinars or face-to-face. These twilight sessions cover the intent and implementation stages of curriculum design. For more, visit our on-demand CPD page.

About this course

Curriculum intent is all the planning that happens before teaching happens.  This interactive course walks you through the six steps of curriculum design advocated in the book, School & College Curriculum Design.  It will help you to define what is meant by the term ‘curriculum’ in your school or college, what a broad and balanced curriculum looks like in practice, and how to ensure your curriculum is ambitious and affords equal access to all.  

It will help you to identify the ‘end points’ or ‘body of knowledge’ to be taught, and explore ways of making the curriculum increasingly complex.  It will offer strategies for making assessment more meaningful and for teaching the knowledge and cultural capital students need to succeed in life.  Ultimately, it will help you to ensure that your curriculum better prepares students for the next stages of their education, employment and lives. 

The programme (timings may vary)

09.30 Coffee & registration

10.00 Introductions

10.15 The Ofsted context 

  • Why do we have a new Education Inspection Framework and inspection handbooks, and what’s changed in practice? 
  • Why is the curriculum front and centre in the new framework and what is meant by ‘Intent, implementation and impact’

11.00 Coffee

11.15 Step 1: Agree the vision

In this session you will explore:

• What is a school or college curriculum?

• What is a broad and balanced curriculum?

• Why does the curriculum matter in schools and FE?

• What is the purpose of education in schools and FE? 

• What is the role of subject leaders and curriculum managers?

12.00 Steps 2, 3 and 4: Set the destination, assess the starting points and agree the waypoints

In this session you will explore:

• Why knowledge matters and what knowledge matters to most to our students

• How to identify key concepts in different subject disciplines / curriculum areas 

• The importance of curriculum continuity and transition

• How to identify individual starting points for students 

• How to plot a course through the curriculum by identifying threshold concepts 

• How to sequence an increasingly complex school or college curriculum 

• How to use waypoints as a progression model to assess learner progress

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Steps 5 and 6: Define excellence and diminish disadvantage 

In this session you will explore:

• What is excellence? How to improve Value Added scores and High Grade Achievement 

• How to teach to the top and model high expectations for all students inc those with SEND or High Needs 

• How to pitch learning in students’ struggle zones to make them think   

• How to close attainment gaps for disadvantaged learners  

• The centrality of cultural capital and vocabulary to an inclusive school or college curriculum 

• Embedding English and maths across the curriculum and within vocational areas, and how to help learners become increasingly independent by developing metacognition 

15.30 Putting it all into practice 

In this session delegates will:

• Self-evaluate their school or college’s current curriculum, and 

• Write a detailed school or college curriculum development plan 

15.50 Plenary, Q&A, next

To enquire about booking this course for your school or college, please email us at or complete our contact form.