A Curriculum for Excellence – a grounded strategy

Our Quality Improvement Group met this morning to reflect upon our emerging Curriculum for Excellence Strategy.

One of the tasks I was given was to write a letter to all staff describing our approach.

Before sharing this draft – about which I’d welcome comments – I thought it might be an idea to refer back to the methodology we devised 3 years ago to develop learning and teaching in East Lothian. The methodology we came up with was Grounded Strategy:

The fundamental perception of most teachers when considering the problem of initiative failure is that these initiatives start from a point of where people are expected to get to as opposed to where they actually are . The selected strategy, hereafter referred to as grounded strategy, adopts an alternative approach in that it is fundamentally grounded upon to attitudes, perceptions, knowledge and day-to-day reality of practitioners . By grounding the initiative in reality the belief is that the likelihood of substantial change in the future is greatly increased.

Exc-el, Edubuzz and many of the current developments we are taking forwards in East Lothian have emerged from that approach.

As we considered our approach to Curriculum for Excellence it was important to make the link back to where we’ve come from.

The following letter (to all education staff in East Lothian) hopefully captures the essence of Grounded Strategy – without using that phrase.

Dear Colleague

“A Curriculum for Excellence – it’s not about doing different things, it’s about doing things differently” – so said a teacher in one of our East Lothian schools.

In essence this teacher captured our approach to the Curriculum for Excellence. For too long new educational initiatives have implied that teachers need to be fixed.

In contrast to the introduction of Standard Grade in the ’80’s, 5-14 and Higher Still in the 90’s, A Curriculum for Excellence provides us with a chance for to build from where we are as opposed to implementing something which has been developed by others.

Our strategy in East Lothian is based upon the Learning and Teaching process. The strength of this approach is that we can capitalise upon the tremendous practice which is already very apparent in our schools.

It is our intention to ground the development of our practice upon the huge variety of networks of practitioners which exist within our schools, within our clusters and within the authority.

I’d like to invite you to contribute to this exciting development by asking you to experiment with your current practice, share your expertise and experience with others, and actively engage with learners to co-create their curriculum.

There are three points of focus for the coming year:

  1. sharing our practice between nursery, primary and secondary – “learning from each other”
  2. inter-disciplinary projects and studies
  3. opportunities for wider acheivement

Regardless or experience, position or location you will have something important to contribute to the development of A Curriculum for Excellence in East Lothian.

I look forward to working with you in the coming year and learning more from you and your practice.

Could I take this opportunity to thank you for all your hard work in the last year – I know our pupils have benefited from your professionalism, enthusaism and support.

Yours sincerely

Don ledingham

Head of Education

Suggestions/corrections welcome.

2 thoughts on “A Curriculum for Excellence – a grounded strategy

  1. Don, this is a good letter – other than a few ‘typos’ (those dyslexic fingers of yours). There is much to put in place to support teachers to move forward here but the sentiments and the level of detail is about right.

  2. Pingback: Don’s Learning Log » Blog Archive » Permission to Learn

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