Resuming the curriculum, September 2020

Questions for subject leaders and teams

Subject leaders and subject teams are already working hard on planning for September – for what they will teach, in what order and in what way – in order to meet the challenges of a return to full-time school.

It will not be possible just to switch the curriculum back on. Most pupils will be returning after an extended break from regular teaching and learning, and will have made very different rates of progress during this time. Some may have made little, and some may not have retained all of what they learned before. Planning within subjects will need to take all of this into account.

Continue reading “Resuming the curriculum, September 2020”

The primary English subject leader: overseer, monitor, director or trusted expert?

Graphic.JPGRecently, as part of our work with English subject leaders from across the county, the North Yorkshire English Advisory Team have been looking at how the subject is led differently in primary schools. English or literacy subject leaders tend to be talked about as a group, yet we know that what they actually do varies enormously.

We have been particularly interested in the role that subject leaders have in the planning of teaching and of what is taught. This has arisen out of an increasing sense that raising standards in English and literacy requires focusing on curriculum and on effective long and medium term planning. It has also arisen out of the perceived, urgent need to address teacher workload, including through the efficiencies afforded by ‘collaborative’ and centralised planning. (This was a point emphasised by the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group in 2016.)

Complex relationships

To an extent, the exact role of the English subject leader depends on school size. Leading a core subject in a four-form entry school (rare in North Yorkshire) is clearly different from in a school with a total roll of just 60, or even just 20. (Our smallest school has one pupil.) The role is also complicated by the fact that schools usually have other people involved in ‘leading’ planning and teaching. Continue reading “The primary English subject leader: overseer, monitor, director or trusted expert?”

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