Since the publication of the latest Ofsted inspection framework, the three I’s of intent, implementation and impact are a recurring theme when talking about curriculum. Over the last few weeks I have been working closely with our fantastic Deputy Headteacher, Mel Cook, to produce a document describing the curriculum intent for Thomas Alleyne Academy. At first we were guilty of trying to create a monster document that explained every aspect of our curriculum down to the smallest detail. This was fast becoming a chore that would lead to something that was barely read or used, and certainly not lived and breathed throughout our school. Following a conversation with a colleague who had experienced the recent Ofsted pilot inspections I realised we were approaching this in the wrong way. We needed to feel passionate about the statements we were making and we needed to ensure they reflect the reality of life in our school and our community. The original document went out the window and has been replaced by six simple bullet points that encapsulate our curriculum intent.
At the Thomas Alleyne Academy, our curriculum will:
- Be as broad as possible for as long as possible;
- Build on our students’ prior learning and work towards mastery of subjects in Key Stage 4 and 5;
- Clearly specify the knowledge and skills our students need to learn;
- Be sequenced to enable reinforcement of knowledge and skills, within and across subjects;
- Be enriched through a substantial and varied extra-curricular programme;
- Prepare our students for their next steps and link to the world of work;
These statements should not be a surprise to anyone associated with our community. We have worked by these guiding principles for a number of years now. At our governing body meeting last night we shared these statements and had an interesting discussion about introducing an additional point about the positive mental wellbeing of our students; this may be something that appears in the final version. For now, I am confident that we have a set of statements that match the reality of the excellent work that goes on in our classrooms and around our school on a daily basis.