The expectation to plan a curriculum in Term 1 ready for the next academic year seems daunting at the best of times, let alone when the sole focus was on the recovery curriculum for the reopening of schools to all students.
Why plan so far ahead?
Given the essential role of curriculum in enabling quality learning and in articulating and supporting education to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, the benefits of planning the curriculum in advance for the next academic year mean that you were able to spend time thinking about a needs led curriculum.
You are able to look at staff retention and recruitment that importantly is costed, before you commit to submitting a proposed budget to the governing board – An Integrated Curriculum Financial Planning (ICFP) approach.
There is still time…
We know that schools and academies focus has been on developing recovery curriculums on the re-opening of schools and then remodelling during Term 1, according to student needs and staff availability as schools find themselves closing year groups and staff self-isolating.
Although Term 1 has been and gone, January to February still provides time to think about next years’ curriculum, ahead of recruitment and budget planning.
A good quality curriculum is most likely to be achieved as a result of good quality curriculum development processes. Good processes are:
- Planned and systematic
- Inclusive and consultative
- Led by curriculum professionals
- Cyclical in nature
The development of the curriculum should be looking inwards (at the current curriculum), outwards (at what others are doing – locally, nationally and internationally) and forwards (at what we need to do to prepare young people for their futures).
The development of next years’ curriculum will also need to include any gaps identified for particular student needs, for example, investment into Year 10 Core Subjects in preparation for Year 11 GCSE’s.
A well-planned and systematic curriculum development process is best conceived as a continuous dynamic cycle of development, implementation and evaluation which leads to and informs a new cycle.
The implications for adopting this cyclical approach to curriculum development particularly those related to;
- Development costs
- Teach education and professional development
- Resource and support materials development
As you can see the above implications all have costs and link both to the retention recruitment of staff and budget planning of the schools finances.
Good ICFP practises will ensure that the curriculum design is fit for purpose, meets the needs of students and is affordable and sustainable.
For further information ICFP please visit; https://www.edupi.org.uk/icfp/