Prepper Stories

Driving Education Greatness

Flat packed curriculum – David Didau

Flat packed curriculum – David Didau

“It is so simple to be mistaken – and to persist in becoming wrong – when the expenses of staying erroneous are paid by other individuals.”

Thomas Sowell

Why do we buy so substantially flat pack furniture? Initially, it’s many moments additional economical than bespoke hand-designed furniture, and second, it also will save us the not inconsiderable cost of having to make it ourselves from scratch. It also makes it possible for to change out-of-date, unfashionable outdated items handed down from our grandparents and apply our very own style to the properties we live in.

In employing the KS3 English curriculum we’ve created at Ormiston Academies Have faith in (see right here for specifics) we have found the flat pack metaphor a practical one particular for outlining to departments and instructors what it is we intend them to do with it. Like IKEA, we’ve equipped all the pieces wanted to build a upper body of drawers or a wardrobe, and all instructors have to have to do is thoroughly read the instructions, convey together their have metaphorical equivalents of a screwdriver and a hammer, and start turning the uncooked products into wonderful sequences of lessons.

This is meant to be an antidote to the ‘plug and play’ strategy to English educating characterised by Barbara Bleiman in this article:


Earlier, I’ve argued towards the use of PowerPoint as a usually means for utilizing the curriculum and share some of Barbara’s concerns at the way academics are significantly expected to basically produce a established of slides prepared by someone else. But, as has been lifted by many English trainer responding to Barbara, the different seems pretty bleak. My training vocation, which began in the late 1990s, was much from the halcyon idyll eulogised by some. My very first head of division gave me a duplicate of 101 Red Sizzling Starters and explained to me to teach what ever I fancied from the stock cupboard. I had no clue what I was executing. Pointless to say, the pupils I taught had been terribly let down. Had somebody been able to give me a fully resourced, sequenced curriculum I’d have bitten their arms off. Instead, I labored into the wee several hours organizing pointless exercise pushed lessons which – I desperately hoped – would attraction to my students enough that they’d sit in their seats and halt striving to stab each other with scissors. This was extensive right before lesson means ended up routinely uploaded onto the online and my only decision was to cobble alongside one another wonky schemes of get the job done myself or wing it. This was what my much more seasoned colleagues seemed to do. They by no means seemed to compose nearly anything down and just emptied the contents of the minds into the classrooms, generally to mesmerising effect. It almost never worked that way for me while.

Sadly, it was not until finally numerous yrs afterwards that I was fortunate ample to operate in a division in which we labored collaboratively on strategies of work which we had collectively agreed upon. But even then, academics would add their slides to the shared region for other academics to use or adapt as they noticed healthy with quite little knowledge of what the reason of the curriculum was.

When, in 2015, Ofsted revealed Important phase 3: the squandered several years? it was a fairly reasonable critique of everything I’d expert. Yrs 7 to 9 was an interminable keeping ground in which small children circled until they ended up authorized to start out finding out GCSE specs. No surprise so many schools chose to annex Yr 9 into Vital Stage 4.

Our curriculum is – we hope – significantly improved than some scuffed center floor of drained consensus. Instead, it requires the most effective of the current and the earlier and offers academics with everything they need to train superb, lively, enjoyable lessons that induct young children into the fantastic mysteries of language and literature. It took at crew of 5 English guide practitioners hundreds of hours to build. Every single has then been piloted in at the very least a single of our schools and feedback taken wherever there are kinks to iron out and improvements that have to have to be manufactured. This iterate method by no implies can make our curriculum best, but it has resulted in a quality of sources which few faculty-primarily based academics would be ready to match. The pupil anthologies and teacher guides we present are mini masterpieces of style and design, craft and imagined.

We are thoroughly informed that whichever a central scheduling crew may possibly conceive is generally mediated (at times awesomely, sometimes disastrously) by academics. So, we have embraced this inevitably and offered lecturers with everything they need to have to know and allow them to assemble it as they assume most appropriate for their learners.

This is all some teachers will need. But quite a few other individuals require aid placing into all into motion. With this in head, we occur up with 5 main pedagogies which we have located to be very simple to put into observe and extremely successful at helping pupils make that means from their lessons. These are:

  • Couch to 5k producing – this sentence degree strategy combines ‘the deconstructed essay’ for analytical creating and ‘slow writing’ for inventive and transactional writing. This includes plenty of stealth grammar instructing, but it’s all in support of meaning. There are 9 deconstructed essay sentences and 30 resourceful producing sentence types that are specified throughout KS3.
  • Looking through fluency – a system not only for improving upon students’ orthographic recognition but one which also has an effects on comprehension. It includes lots of oral examination which builds up to performances of quick sections of texts. It makes for some of the most remarkable lessons I’ve ever taught or experienced and when it college students make it do the job, it’s electric powered! (See additional in this article.)
  • Structured discussion – this is our oracy approach which is also created to help students orally rehearse their thoughts and as a result make improvements to not only their capacity to debate but also to compose. (Here’s a web site I wrote about this technique some years back.)
  • Say it, Spell it, Know it – an strategy to teaching topic terminology and subject matter vocabulary which does specifically what it states. It includes loads of enjoyment with etymology and morphology.
  • Retrieval and hinge questions – we partnered with Carousel Finding out to make sure retrieval exercise is rapidly, fun and effective and stimulate the use of mini white boards for hinge inquiries. I’ll generate far more on this at a afterwards date.

Most of our educational institutions have adopted diverse methods to lesson construction to which instructors are meant to adhere and these 5 pedagogical methods will have to be versatile sufficient to be employed with any lesson construction. Of study course, instructors can opt for not to use any or all of these core pedagogies, but after they’ve found them in action, most lecturers by no means glimpse again. And, similarly of course, there are many other elements to excellent English teaching – we really encourage teachers to use regardless of what approaches they obtain pleasurable and effective – but these 5 give a solid basis for making positive every little thing else you may possibly want to do is extra helpful.

For individuals who have the time and talent to develop a curriculum that is as excellent or improved than the a person we have designed, they are welcomes to adapt any of our methods or are equally welcome to overlook them. But if you’re likely to argue what English training need to be and hark back to a misplaced entire world of children dancing happily by means of solution gardens then you require to know that the previous was not like for most of us. It was tricky and bleak and frustrating. Try out to don’t forget what it was like to be a new teacher, caught in the headlights of alien routines and sullen college students and think about the chance that what you with all your decades of creating knowledge might want is unlikely to operate as nicely for the regular ECT.

Perhaps they’d profit from a superior top quality, flat packed curriculum.