Successfully riding the curriculum wave and reshaping your thinking on the curriculum to adapt to the radical change of approach needed, while exciting, can be quite a daunting prospect:

  • How to begin?
  • What is the purpose of your curriculum?
  • How do you review your curriculum?
  • What are the aims and structures of the whole curriculum?
  • How do you plan for sequences of lessons which align curriculum, teaching and assessment?
  • How do you develop curriculum expertise in every subject?

The new Ofsted framework has helped raise the profile of the curriculum and given schools the impetus to refocus on the real substance of education.

This new course is designed to support schools in their work in re-evaluating their curriculum, developing new curriculum designs, re-invigorating disciplinary thinking and working with the end point in mind to achieve a higher quality of education.

The INSET day, led by curriculum expert Matt Bromley, is based on the six steps of curriculum design, outlined in his recent extensive work on the curriculum. It is intended as a full day, but could also work as a half-day, with reduced content.

The day would be structured as follows, but can be tailored to suit your priorities:

  1. First half: whole school – training for all on Ofsted, on your school vision and culture, on the commonalities of curriculum design

  2. Second half: Subject specific teams – this would involve teachers working with their middle leader on designing their curriculum including  the progression model

At each stage, course leader Matt Bromley will give input and model the processes, then colleagues could spend time as subject teams thinking about their subject curriculum.


  • Agree a vision – what is the purpose of education at your school? Consider the local and hidden curriculums
  • Set the destination – what are the end-points, the non-negotiable concepts all pupils must acquire?
  • Assess the starting points – what do pupils already know? What language do they use?
  • Identify the way-points – what are the checkpoints? What are the threshold concepts pupils must know at each stage in order to access the next?
  • Define excellence – what does ‘the best that has been thought and said’ look like in your school and in each subject at each stage? Ensure the curriculum is ambitious for all pupils
  • Diminish disadvantage – identify the barriers, agree the strategies, and monitor and evaluate the impact – start by building cultural capital and closing the vocabulary gap


  • The Ofsted context – why do we have a new inspection framework and what’s changed?
  • Intent, implementation and impact – what do they mean in practice?

Session One: Agree the vision

In this session you will explore:

  • What is a curriculum?
  • What is a broad and balanced curriculum?
  • Why does the curriculum matter?
  • What is the purpose of education?
  • What is the role of senior curriculum leaders?

Session Two: Set the destination, assess the starting points and agree the waypoints

In this session you will explore:

  • Why knowledge matters and what knowledge matters
  • How to identify key concepts
  • The importance of curriculum continuity and transition
  • How to identify individual starting points
  • How to plot a course through the curriculum by identifying threshold concepts
  • How to sequence an increasingly complex curriculum
  • How to use waypoints as a progression model

Session Three: Define excellence and diminish disadvantage

In this session you will explore:

  • What is excellence?
  • How to teach to the top and model high expectations
  • How to pitch learning in pupils’ struggle zones
  • How to close attainment gaps
  • The centrality of cultural capital and vocabulary to an inclusive curriculum
  • Three waves of intervention
  • Literacy, numeracy and metacognition as cross-curricular themes

Session Four: Putting it all into practice

In this session subject teams will:

  • Write a curriculum plan
  • Work with other subjects to identify what makes their subject a discipline and identify cross-curricular links