Building a Curriculum for Excellence

We are holding a conference in October entitled:

Curriculum Architecture in East Lothian Schools: Building A Curriculum for Excellence

Objective – To provide direction for policy decisions relating to curriculum architecture in our secondary schools.

Some of the issues which will be discussed at the conference will include:

Timetabling; Class Organisation (setting); Age and Stage; Choice and Personalisation; Transition from Primary; Transition beyond Secondary school; Learning Teaching; School Buildings; Disciplinary and Inter-disciplinary Approaches; Organisation of teachers.

Who will attend? All Secondary Head teachers, Two Primary Head Teachers per cluster; One Depute Head Teacher per secondary school; One Principal Teacher per secondary school; six elected members – one per cluster; Two senior pupils per secondary school; One local employer per cluster; Two parental representatives per cluster; Teachers’ Union representative; Community Learning and Development representatives; Representatives from JEVC and QMU; Representative from voluntary sector; and officers from Education and Children’s Services Department.

As things stand the programme will be as follows:
8.45 Coffee/Tea
9.15 Welcome and Introduction, Peter Mackenzie, Convener of the East Lothian Education and Children’s Services Committee (provisional)

9.30 Reflecting upon curriculum structures for the future: TBC
10.15 Some Options for the future: Don Ledingham, Head Of Education, East Lothian Council

10.45 Coffee/Tea

11.15 Task 1
Groups made up of a cross section of representatives from across the County will discuss and consider the following questions:

— The questions will be derived from the Literature Review Paper – see attached
12.50 Indicating Preferences: Following Task 1, members of the group will have the opportunity to indicate their personal preference in response to each question

1.00 Lunch

2.00 Summary of responses to Task 2 by Secondary Head Teacher – what would these preferences mean?

2.10 Introduction to Task 2

2.30 Task 2

In the same groups as the morning session representatives will consider a second series of curricular questions:

— The questions will be derived from the Literature Review Paper – see attached

3.50 Indicating personal preferences

4.0 Summary of responses to Task 2 by Secondary Head Teacher – what does would these preferences mean?

4.10 Summary of conference and next steps; Alan Blackie, Director of Education and Children’s Services

4.30 Close of conference

Next steps: The conference will be followed up by a working group who will design a policy paper which will go to the Education and Children’s Services Committee for approval.
We are using the comprehensive literature review undertaken by Professor Brian Boyd et al as a key resource. I’m having a go at providing a precis of this review with a series of options linked to each issue. Our hope is that each of the 100 delegates will have the chance to express their opinion – following discussion – about the various options. Delegates will have a series of green, amber and red dots with which they will indicate their point of view – green – agree, amber – unsure, red – disagree.

There’s still plenty of time to shape this up over the next few weeks but of you want to contribute ideas please leave a comment here.

3 thoughts on “Building a Curriculum for Excellence

  1. Don,

    My current post is Project Manager of an Inter-Authority approach to supporting CfE across Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray. A former HT, I am motivated by the general rationale of CfE but frustrated at the slow progress being made (as, I believe are many staff in the three authorities I serve). My view is that it is now up to LAs and schools to take on this agenda (we must not simply await answers from on high) and I am very interested in the approach being taken by your Council and in particular the In-service on Curriculum Architecture being held by your Council in October.

    Would it be possible for me to attend that conference and if not would it be possible for me to visit your authority to pick your brains on your approach to supporting /promoting CfE in scghools?

    i will try to phone you to discuss this nut felt this electronic communication might at least serve as an introduction.

  2. Hi George,
    My feeling is that there’s never been an expectation from ‘on high’ that we wait for something from them. CfE has never been about policy – it’s always been about a core of teaching and learning so, ultimately, it’s the teacher and student that are going to mould CfE into what the policymakers might have envisaged.
    (I’m not sure whether I qualify as being from that ‘on high’, but I’ve enjoyed working with East Lothian to harness what you might call ‘CfE teaching and learning’) 😉

Comments are closed.