Curriculum design and planning

The coaching focus for this half term is curriculum design and planning. Over the next five weeks there will be four coaching sessions organised by groups of two or more faculties.

The challenge

With so much change in the air, there are a number of challenges to consider for our students:

  • With the removal of levels and some welcome freedom to innovate, what will KS3 look like in your subject area from next year?

Whilst the new specifications for a number of A’ levels and GCSEs are being produced, there are some known quantities we can plan for:

  • Courses are becoming linear rather than modular – how will that change the structure of teaching and assessment?
  • Many KS4 courses are becoming broader and involving ‘harder’ subject content – what are the key concepts, terms and skills our students need to develop across KS3/4?
  • The emphasis shifting to exams over coursework within many GCSEs – how will we use study time effectively given that ‘cramming’ isn’t an effective option?

You’ll need to identify some of the key priorities for curriculum development within your subject / faculty area. To help try and answer some of the questions posed above, here are some ideas from evidence-based research:

One scientific insight for curriculum design: Joe Kirby

Research-based strategies that all teachers should know

Organising instruction and study to improve student learning

Reducing workload and increasing the impact of marking

Lastly, there must be an output to this process that you will share with others, both within your faculty and outside it. The July 9th session will involve some kind of presentation and opportunity to review some of the ideas and resources developed over this half-term – how will you show off your contribution?

Curriculum planning ideas:

Year 7 English:




National curriculum in England (for reference):

The individual programmes of study for key stages 3 and 4 are also available for each subject:



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