What is your school curriculum like?
In the Excellence in Mathematics Leadership (EiML) materials Core Responsibilities (Primary): Having efficient and well-organised systems, at what level did you place your school, particularly in relation to curriculum documentation? If you have not yet studied this section, it would be useful to do so now. If you have already studied this section, review progress made to date and consider next steps.
Record your thoughts on your school’s current curriculum documentation in your Maths Subject Leader file.
Is progress being made? What are the next steps? Who is responsible for ensuring that progress is maintained? What is your role in this and your next steps?
As busy teachers, it is tempting to focus on the Year group that you teach and ignore the rest. Do you know what is going on in Year 1 this week? Or in Year 6? Or in any year group other than your own? Familiarise yourself with your school’s curriculum documentation (curriculum map or similar documentation) beyond your own year group. You could begin with the year groups either side of your current year group and move outwards from there. Alternatively, you could first go to a year group you have taught in the past and revise your understanding outwards from there. Whatever you decide to do, ask colleagues if you can have a look in the appropriate classrooms. Do you see what you would expect – on the working wall, displays and in books or folders?
For a better overview, talk to the class teacher about what they are doing this month. Repeat your observations and discussions on a regular basis to develop your knowledge further. A simple ‘eyes open’ walk around the school and informal discussions with colleagues should be sufficient to raise your awareness of your school curriculum across the full age range.
Record your impressions of the curriculum across the school in your Personal Learning Space. What surprised you? What raised questions for you? How could you find the answers to your questions?
How does the school relate to the wider, local community?
What involvement has there been with the wider community in the last (say) six months?
What is planned for the next six months?
Think about how you can find out the answers to these questions.
Consider the resources of the local community. These include people and their knowledge and skills as well as the physical environment. You might like to walk around the local area, particularly those areas with which you are less familiar.
Now that you are aware of the school’s curriculum, look carefully at the resources of your locality. Is the use of these local resources woven into your school curriculum? Display a list of what you have noticed on the staffroom notice board and invite colleagues to mark what they already use and how they might make use of these resources in future. You might like to organise the list under appropriate headings such as people, buildings, attractions, environment etc, as relevant to your area. Keep the list and occasionally follow up on some of the planned use of local resources. If there were any issues in using the local resources, consider how you might work with colleagues to resolve those issues.
Record your findings from the staff room noticeboard in your Maths Subject Leader folder
Is your school curriculum to be reviewed?
Talk to a member of the senior management team to find out what has been done and what might be done in the near future to review your school’s curriculum, in the light of the reviews of the primary curriculum. Include the information you gathered about the wider, local community. Discuss your role in any review.
Reflect on your involvement in the process of reviewing the curriculum, both as a class teacher and as a subject leader. This area will be explored in more depth later in this module in strand 3 entitled how do I develop our curriculum?
Record any emergent thoughts in your Personal Learning Space that you want to keep track of, that are not yet fully formed for your Maths Subject Leader file.
There may be areas of this strand that you want to work further on. Note down what they are and devise a plan for how you can set about this.
In the light of your discussions with a member of the Senior Management Team on your role in reviewing the school’s curriculum, you may find it useful to explore Module 5: Leading Improvement.
You will find more discussion about the future of the curriculum in the paper on the 21st Century Curriculum.