Curriculum is important because it’s the
substance of education. It’s what is taught. And I think we can think about curriculum in different
ways. Curriculum is about of course the offer, the qualifications, the subjects that are taught to children in
schools. But curriculum is more than that. When we’re
thinking about the curriculum, we need to think about what is taught at the level of
the subject, and the sequencing of that content. I think a really nice analogy for this is
to think about a restaurant, and if you were to judge the quality of a restaurant that
you visited, you’d want to look at the offer, the menu, at what the dishes were. But you’d also want to, if you’re thinking about the quality, you’d want to look at those dishes and think about the
quality of those dishes and so in the same way, a curriculum is more than just the offer.
It’s also the quality of the “what” that is taught, subject by subject, phase
by phase. Sequencing means thinking really carefully about what the order is in terms
of what you teach so that pupils are actually able to have success in the tasks that they
attempt, and those really high-level activities that schools aspire that children should be
able to achieve in. And of course, if we think about what that means, the sequencing is also
important because sometimes schools need to identify the gaps that children have in their
learning. And so sequencing is also about working backwards and thinking about what
children need that they might have missed out. So first and foremost, schools, subject leaders,teachers need to think about what is taught.
But then they also need to think about how that can be best delivered, pedagogy – we
could say teaching methods. And the best ways of assessing what children have learned to
find out what gaps there have and remediating those.