A curriculum crossroads: The content is the engager

Sam Strickland's Leadership Blog

The curriculum, in my humble opinion, is entwined within a whole-school ethos and is just as critical and important as the approaches to assessment, student care, behaviour and discipline. The curriculum defines the tone of the school and, in some respects, sets the heartbeat and rhythm of the school. When I joined my current school as Principal I was faced with a curriculum heavily biased towards skills, quick wins and a circus of high speed intervention in the latter half of Year 11. This approach was expensive, unsustainable, broadly ineffective and fundamentally diminishing student life chances by limiting expectations and aspirations both of and for them. Quick win Bucket 3 courses to serve the wider demands of Progress 8 were favoured over prioritising the more academically rigorous subjects and were used to mask the fact that the curriculum was inherently flawed. There was certainly not a view from above that…

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