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A research approach to curriculum development: A British Curriculum Forum event report

A collection of groundbreaking new work on collaborative curriculum, research and development.

On 15 November 2019 an all-day event was held at Alfred Salter Primary School in Rotherhithe, London, to support teachers actively seeking and exploring means of developing their own institutional curricula. Its aim was to create a context in which curriculum development could be meaningfully developed, reviewed, shared and discussed.

This report, edited by Sarah Seleznyov and Gerry Czerniawaski, summarises the proceedings of that event, showcasing participants’ innovative work on collaborative curriculum, research and development.

  • Dominic Wyse (UCL Institute of Education) discusses the place of knowledge in the context of curricula, both nationally and internationally, and how this is linked to the enactment of curriculum in schools.
  • Michelle Murray, Vanessa McManus and Gemma Norman (Education Learning Trust) examine the ways in which the process of concept mapping can shape powerful knowledge and curriculum evaluations.
  • Tina Farr and Clare Whyles (St Ebbe’s Church of England [Aided] Primary School) describe a project that sought to engage the parents of children in receipt of pupil premium funding in order to encourage greater participation and better attendance, and evaluate the impact of a dilemma-led curriculum.
  • Dominika Majewska (Cambridge Mathematics) presents the Cambridge Mathematics Framework, designed to be a common frame of reference for those in mathematics education, curriculum design and resource and assessment development as well as those in teaching.
  • Lisa Worgan (Victoria Academies Trust) sets out the challenge-based approach to learning, underpinned by theories from John Dewey’s project-based learning, that Victoria Park Primary Academy in Smethwick has been working with for the past five years.
  • Richard Pountney (Sheffield Hallam University) offers the initial findings of an international project to develop a curriculum design tool that informs an appreciation of subject coherence and develops teachers’ curriculum design expertise.
  • Sonia Montiel Lopez (St Bernard’s Primary, Gibraltar) explains how mobile technology enabled teachers at her school to transform pedagogy and redesign learning tasks as part of a holistic 21st century curriculum.
  • Jeanette Scull (a practitioner for learners with complex needs) presents ideas arising from her emerging case study on developing an engagement-driven curriculum.
  • Rachel Jacob and Lara Ginn (Pinkwell Primary School, Elliot Foundation Academy Trust) write about their work on a globally immersive curriculum for 21st century global citizens.
  • Jasen Booton (University of Oxford) shares his fascinating study of vocabulary development and usage in narrative writing among children using English as a foreign language.
  • Arlene Holmes-Henderson (University of Oxford) summarises and reflects upon the day’s proceedings by exploring four key questions discussed by participants.