What we talk about when we talk about curriculum - a blog series
All of Ark's schools are united by a common goal: to ensure that every child in our schools can go on to the university or career of their choice. Curriculum is an essential part of achieving that mission, and both Ark Schools and Ark Curriculum Partnerships (ACP) —the aspect of Ark which shares our curriculum work with schools outside our network—work hard to ensure that all our young people have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, which builds coherently and cumulatively over their time in our schools. We believe that such a curriculum empowers young people and allows them to be the authors of their own lives.
But what are we talking about when we talk about curriculum?
For a word used so often in education, “curriculum” can be a deceptively ambiguous term, meaning different things to different people. To help people understand the work Ark Schools and Ark Curriculum Partnerships is doing, we are producing a series of blogs about our work, exploring different meanings of “curriculum”, the theory and research behind our ideas, and examining the evidence from Ark’s own schools as well as national data.
John Blake, Ark Curriculum Partnership’s Curriculum Design Lead, writing about curriculum theory and the research ACP has based its work on. This will include a discussion of why we believe “knowledge-rich” curricula is important, what the National Curriculum does (and doesn’t do) to help schools plan curriculum, and why teacher professional development is so important.
Rich Davies, Ark School’s Director of Insight, writing on what we call “macro-curriculum” - i.e. the subjects and qualifications we teach, their availability to different students, and the resource we invest in teaching them.
A series of blogs on the structure of ACP’s work—what we call the “design architecture” and “delivery architecture”. The design architecture covers the specific knowledge we wish young people to learn and the sequence we expect them to study it in. The delivery architecture describes the combination of resources, professional development and intellectual preparation support which we aim to provide to ensure teachers are experts in their discipline and able to induct young people into it.
Members of our curriculum teams will also blog about their work - exploring how it makes a difference for teachers and young people.