Chris Hodges Report 2019


Headteacher
Cleves School

Chris took the conference topic off to a very good start by highlighting the path taken by his school to developing an interesting and progressive new curriculum.

Staring with a look-back to where they were 18 months ago with a curriculum of which they were proud. The school had strong basic skills, teaching with strong year on year SATs results. They had invested a lot of time and creative en- ergy into planning with staff , parents and most importantly pupils. A genuinely broad and bal- anced curriculum which was externally validated by our School Improvement Partner.

However despite this strong position they made a decision to review the curriculum yet again
A culture of continuous improvement and always asking – What more can we do ?
Confident but not complacent
We thought we were at 95% efficiency and looking for 5% further gain
We wanted to consider progression
New OFSTED framework

By the time we had finished we realised that in retrospect our previous curriculum did not achieve 95% success not 85% success and not 75% success. We have made significant chang- es established a better understand of the learn- ing process and the need to build in retrieval and hanged our approach to planning and identi- fied knowledge content. This had the effect of achieving far more than we anticipated

The process of any change had to add value these were the steps we took:
Step 1 . We went back to basics . Rather than think about new things to add we decided to start our thinking from scratch . What do we want our young people to know/experience and value by the time they leave Cleves ?
Step 2. We all started reading more then shared and discussed
Step 3 . We were honest with ourselves
Step 4 . We started re planning beginning with learning behaviours and skills
Step 5 . We created a Cleves curriculum guar- antee to ensure all pupils enjoy important experiences
Step 6 . We created an out of school activity award
Step 7 . We started re planning History and Ge- ography
Step 8 . We referred to OFSTED framework
Step 9 . We implemented the new curriculum and monitored for impact
Step 10 . And now for all the other foundation subjects

Chris is advice to governors and trustees to help develop the curriculum in your school is
No significant improvement can happen without you
Knowledge and cultural capital matter Check your school’s curriculum maps
Establish basic key questions to keep you focused – What currently works? What’s the evidence ? What’s the research say ? What improvement does it bring ? How do we know ? So what ?
Encourage reading and check the research
Involve everyone in the discussion – staff , parents pupils
Offer staff time and release to read , visit schools , talk and debate
Allow time to trial ideas which always evolve and improve before whole school delivery – i.e . retrieval
Keep talking about the curriculum in committees and governing body meetings

The entire presentation was delivered in an easy to follow pathway through Chis Hodges slideshow. A valuable download on the SGA website and it is well worth downloading to help your progress in the new curriculum.