Curriculum Consultancy

Our experienced consultants can run a bespoke curriculum inset day in your school. Below you will find a list of our most enquired and booked inset days based around curriculum in primary schools. To view other areas which our consultants have run inset days around or to find out more on our general inset/consultancy options click here.

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Creating a Knowledge-rich Curriculum

As you can’t help but know the new inspection framework will focus heavily on your curriculum.
It will look at three areas:

  • Curriculum intent
  • Curriculum implementation, and
  • Curriculum impact

Focus offers a consultancy which helps senior leaders to develop a bespoke curriculum which takes account of the following features already specified by Amanda Spielman:

  • A knowledge-rich curriculum
  • One that focuses on the important knowledge that children must know and one which ‘alters long-term memory’
  • One that puts high focus on vocabulary
  • One that looks at your cultural, historical and geographical features

The day will begin by considering the positive features your children bring with them when they start school but also one which starts by looking at the children’s barriers to learning. These may include:

  • Limited life experiences
  • Limited speech and language
  • Poor social skills
  • Not in a good position to be ready to learn

From here, we will move on to consider ‘so what needs to be done’
The aim is to ensure that your curriculum intent is based on what you know your children need. Decisions can then be made about the National Curriculum requirements.

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Creating a statement of Curriculum intent

As you are no doubt aware, the new Ofsted framework will put much emphasis on your curriculum intent, implementation and impact. The inevitable part of this, going forwards, is that school’s will have to be clear about their curriculum intent and how the needs of the learners have been taken into account.

Focus offers a consultancy, working with senior leaders, to help schools prepare their statements. This is a one-day consultancy which aims to have a statement, bespoke to your school, in place by the end of the day.

The day will focus on the context of your school, considering the positive features that pupils bring as well as the barriers they may have to learning. In addition, it will look at the curriculum and recognise the decisions you have taken because of the pupils’ context.

The statement will be along the lines of:

  • Because we know this about our pupils, we are doing …

This will focus on both contextual and academic features.

Here is an example of one feature.

Curriculum intent

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Is their Breadth and Balance in Your Curriculum?

This full-day consultancy is designed for senior leaders of: primary, infant and junior schools as well as primary academies.

Amanda Spielman in her June speech to the Festival of Education said:
… if you are putting more resources into providing exam scribes than in teaching your strugglers to read and write, or scrapping most of your curriculum through Year 6 to focus just on English and maths. If you are doing any of those things then you are probably doing most of your pupils a disservice.
At a time of scarce pupil funding and high workloads, all managers are responsible for making sure teachers’ time is spent on what matters most. This means concentrating on the curriculum and the substance of education, not preparing your pupils to jump through a series of accountability hoops.

As a result, the quality of the broader curriculum will once more come under scrutiny.

This training considers:

  • how to deliver greater challenge for pupils of all ages and all abilities through the broader curriculum;
  • using literature as a central feature of the Learning Challenge Curriculum and aim to ensure greater coherence in cross curricular learning;
  • embedding continuity and progression through knowledge, understanding and skills;
  • considers assessment of non-core subjects
  • exemplars from a range of schools who have had success in delivering mastery and depth across the broader curriculum;
  • planning on a mid and short-term basis;
  • practical examples of how to bring the curriculum to life;
  • engagement of pupils in a curriculum that is meaningful, interesting and exciting.

The event is aimed at anyone wanting to check that their curriculum is still appropriate and broad and balanced. It will focus on curriculum cohesion with an emphasis on learning.

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Ensuring Mastery and Depth Across the Whole Curriculum

This one-day consultancy is designed for senior and middle leaders of: primary, infant and junior schools as well as primary academies.

The training will address, or provide, the following:

  • How to deliver greater challenge for pupils of all ages and all abilities through the broader curriculum;
  • Using literature as a central feature of the Learning Challenge Curriculum and aim to ensure greater coherence in cross curricular learning;
  • Embedding continuity and progression through knowledge, understanding and skills;
  • Exemplars from a range of schools who have had success in delivering mastery and depth across the whole curriculum;
  • Planning on a mid and short term basis;
  • Provide practical examples of how to bring the curriculum to life;
  • Ensure that pupils will be engaged in a curriculum that is meaningful, interesting and exciting.

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Improving Standards in Oracy

This 2-hour training is designed for senior leaders of primary schools, including literacy leaders. The training will help you to think through issues associated with learner’s speaking skills – especially in relation to using Standard English. It focuses on the recent work conducted by Professor Robin Alexander and on the research undertaken by the conference presenter, linking improvement in pupils’ standards to using different genres of talking. The training offers a new way for schools to focus their work on improving pupils’ speaking skills by considering the principles of ‘Learning Talk’.

The session will address the following questions:

  • What is Learning Talk? How do we develop it in our school?
  • What does a good assessment framework look like? (APP fails to adequately assess this aspect)
  • Where does learning talk belong in a cross-curricular curriculum?
  • Why is teacher talk so important? Dialogic teaching – what and why?
  • How might you organise a programme for Learning Talk around different genres of speaking such as: narrative talk, instructional talk, explanation talk, etc?
  • What are the practical implications for this work from Foundation Stage to Year 6?

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Developing Excellence in Maths and Science

This one-day consultancy will provide science and maths subject leaders and coordinators with practical ideas, to enable them to improve standards in maths and science, developing and improving links with English and maths so that pupils develop an understanding of how their learning is meaningful and can be applied in context. This training will enable all subject leaders to ensure they can impact on standards, helping pupils reach the expected standards by the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, taking into account the renewed national emphasis on science from both the DfE and from Ofsted.

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Mastery in Maths

This full day training is aimed at primary school and academy leaders, especially mathematics leaders. In addition, it is suitable for infant and junior school leaders.

A critical concept of the mathematics curriculum is that it encourages the learning of fewer things in greater depth. It also demands that great attention be paid to the sequencing of key concepts.

  • Explores the concept of ‘constructs’ and aims to provide teachers with a detailed plan for delivering the mathematics curriculum.
  • Outlines a week-by-week guide by indicating the small steps learners need to make so as to enable them to meet the national standard and then to master it.
  • Emphasises which aspects of learning need to be re-visited on a half termly basis so that learners are mastering basic skills.
  • Designed with a conscious effort to help teachers ‘take control’ of the mathematics curriculum and is aimed at the ‘thinking’ teacher.

Look at appropriate formative and summative assessment procedures.

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Mastering Spelling

This half-day training is aimed at primary teachers and Teaching Assistants. It focuses on subject knowledge and strategies to enable all children to progress in and master the spelling requirements of the 2014 curriculum.

The training will address the following:

  • Understanding the spelling requirements of the curriculum;
  • Understanding the development and progression in spelling;
  • Understanding the role of spelling strategies to support the mastery of spelling;
  • Consideration of a range of practical approaches and ideas to engage children and ensure progress.

The benefits of this training include improved and secure subject knowledge of the content of the spelling curriculum and progression within it and understanding of how spelling can be effectively taught.

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Teaching Grammar Effectively

This one-day training is aimed at primary school teachers and teaching assistants. It focuses on raising the confidence of all staff, in relation to teaching grammar in an engaging, purposeful and effective way and improving pupils’ standards in grammar, reading and writing. It offers an opportunity to secure subject knowledge.

The training will address the following:

  • The grammar learning for each year group and how to plan the teaching and application of it, in appropriate and purposeful writing activities;
  • How to embed and contextualise grammar and vocabulary teaching in a rich literature-based curriculum, to improve children’s spoken and written language;
  • Effective and creative teaching strategies to embed grammar within the curriculum linked to high quality texts;
  • The role of reading in the teaching of grammar.

The benefits of this training:

  • Improved and secure grammar subject knowledge.
  • Understanding of how grammar can be effectively taught to raise standards and secure progress in reading and writing.
  • Understanding of how grammar can be effectively taught to engage and enable children to become enthusiastic and confident writers.

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Improving Standards of Writing Across the Curriculum

This one-day training is aimed at Literacy Subject Leaders, Key Stage Co-ordinators and Teachers and Teaching Assistants in KS1 & 2

In line with Ofsted Expectations, the English Programme of Study and latest research this training will provide delegates with an opportunity to explore Guided Writing and how it can be used to support and challenge target groups. It will consider the key principles of assessment for learning related to planning for writing and feedback.
Using a mixture of informative, reflective and practical activities delegates will revisit and review key principles and effective practice in Guided Writing and Formative Assessment, Feedback and Improvement Marking.

The training will address the following:

  • What is Guided Writing and how can we use it to focus support and promote progress for all children?
  • How can we plan clear learning intentions and co – create toolkits for writing to enable focused feedback?
  • How can we ensure feedback on writing promotes thinking and improvement?
  • How can we effectively manage marking?

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Moderating Pupils Writing

This one-day training is aimed at teachers and English leaders in primary schools. It focuses on developing a shared understanding of the moderation process and expectations across the year for Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 and looks at how to meet these expectations.

The training will address the following:

  • End of year expectations for each year group;
  • Progress across the year – recognising “on-track” progress;
  • A practical moderation session;
  • Using moderation as part of the assessment process to inform teaching;
  • Consideration of a range of practical approaches and ideas to ensure progress.The benefits of attending this training:
  • Improved and secure subject knowledge of the expectations of the writing curriculum;
  • Understanding of how moderation can be used to inform teaching, ensure progress and raise standards;
  • Understanding of the range of evidence used for moderation.

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Embedding the Principles of Metacognition

The main theme running throughout this inset day is ‘making the theory work in practice’. We are all fairly familiar with the research undertaken by the EEF, which suggests that the most cost-effective way to raise standards is through the implementation of the principles of metacognition. However, putting this into practice is not as familiar as the theory. The day will attempt to link the theory and the practice and provide practical ideas to help support a school’s metacognition programme. It will look at the issues from Early Years through to Year 6.

This training aims to delve deeply into the teaching and learning culture at school and academy level. It will make you take a realistic look at what makes teaching and learning great. It will focus very much on excellence and how to achieve it.

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Teaching Vocabulary to Raise Standards in Reading and Writing

The aim of this training is to explore the issues around children’s vocabulary development and how to address them through its explicit teaching in an engaging and effective way.

The training will address the following:

  • Barriers to vocabulary development;
  • EAL learners and vocabulary issues;
  • Pedagogy and research into the best practice in teaching vocabulary;
  • How this translates into classroom practice;
  • Consideration of a range of practical approaches and ideas to ensure progress.

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A Different Way to Think About Your Curriculum…

We can work with you to construct a curriculum which is:

  • Exciting
  • Engaging
  • Relevant
  • Challenging
  • Fit for purpose

Our ‘Learning Challenge Curriculum’ is an approach to planning which puts children at the heart of learning. It is not an ‘off the peg’ or downloadable resource.
It is a way of working, underpinned by a clear pedagogy, which ties together a quality curriculum with quality learning leading to strong outcomes.

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How to book

Call  Linda Davies on 01457 821 811 or fill in the form here. If you need more information take a look at our consultancy page which will break down the what we can offer. Click here to view what we can do.

Take a look at our books on the curriculum by clicking here. You can find English books here and Maths books here. 

 

History/Geography Knowledge MatsMastery & Depth in the National CurriculumFocus MathsExemplification of Standards in Writing