South Gloucestershire Primary HTs: a courageous curriculum for 21c learning

Following on from a short presentation I made to South Gloucestershire Primary Headteachers on Wednesday 7th May, I have been asked to put together a programme for a day of 21c curriculum exploration for senior leaders. Here are my thoughts.

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Courageous Curriculum Design for 21c Learning

The world of work is changing four times faster than schools. Our relentless pursuit of government accountability measures, whilst an undeniable necessity, may have unintended consequences. The workshop will explore these consequences, investigate the “drivers” that are changing the workplace at a relentless pace, and suggest ways in which schools can develop a curriculum that not only hits imposed targets for performance and narrowing the gap, but also sows the seeds of self-management, relational management, enquiry and creativity that will underpin success in adult life for every child.

Session 1: Global trends that are shaping the future of working life

We will look at some of the forces at work that are shaping the future of employment, and reflect on whether our curriculum experience is addressing the emerging trends and issues.

Session 2: Do we value what we measure… or do we measure what we value?

Current school performance measures only hold us accountable for part of a young person’s vital life toolkit. We explore the needless dichotomy that appears to exist between knowledge and skills, look at some of the approaches that have developed to complement the acquisition of knowledge, from Feuerstein to Claxton, from Wider Key Skills to PLTS (Personal Learning and Thinking Skills), from RSA Opening Minds to the Modern Baccalaureate (and a manifesto emerging from Headteachers’ Round Table). We will also draw from evidence emerging from the EEF (Education Endowment Fund) pupil premium research into the effectiveness of current interventions.

We will also investigate a model that gives teachers, learners and employers a 21c framework to facilitate and express the growth of skills for learning, skills for work and skills for life.

Session 3: Principles that will underpin the development of a local, forward-looking 21c curriculum for South Gloucestershire children

In the final session, school leaders can reflect on learning from the day, and begin to formulate and agree a set of guiding principals that could shape curriculum development and collaboration.

These are some early first thoughts. I would value your input, Please leave any comments below.

Marius Frank

Bacc to Bacc- uniting two practitioner-led developments

Please click on the image below to link to my final post (for now) to inform discussion and debate on practitioner-led models for accrediting a whole education experience.

WE BACC composite

I would like to propose a way of uniting these emerging models under one developmental banner, each model learning from the other through pilot programmes, evaluation of learner outcomes and employer feedback.

After all, we are driving hard for evidence-led policy… so let’s supply the evidence!

If you are new to the debate:

Click here to access my previous introduction to the issues (on the Progressive Awards Alliance website)

Click here for a brief summary illustrating how close the two models are in terms of vision, design principles and practice.

Click here to see how the models differ. 

As ever, I welcome your thoughts, concerns and creative thinking. I see this as an iterative process, and the blog will be continually updated to reflect the issues raised.

 

Bacc to Bacc- Comparing two practitioner-led developments

Click here to see a comparison of the two emerging practitioner-led Bacc models. I have tried to keep it brief!

One more blog to come! In it, I would like to propose a way of uniting these emerging models under one developmental banner, each model learning from the other through pilot programmes, evaluation of learner outcomes and employer feedback.

After all, we are driving hard for evidence-led policy… so let’s supply the evidence!

 

Click here to access my previous introduction to the issues (on the Progressive Awards Alliance website)

Click here for a brief summary illustrating how close the two models are in terms of vision, design principles and practice.

As ever, I welcome your thoughts, concerns and creative thinking.

Headteachers’ Round Table Conference- Reflections

It takes something special to make me travel to Harlow!

More specifically, travelling by road from Bath to Harlow… in the rush hour… on a Friday. There’s nothing actually wrong with Harlow, it’s the M4 and 25 on the way that really puts you off!

But I did it, arriving on time at the splendid Passmores Academy, home of a vibrant school community under the caring, passionate and expert care of Vic Goddard, ready for the second major meeting of the Heads’ Roundtable.

For those of you who are unaware, the Heads’ Roundtable began as a  group of “twitterati”.

Twitter is an interesting social medium: it tends to be populated by individuals who have the knack (or not) of spreading thoughts, words, encouragement, complaint or vitriol in 140 characters or less. Quite often, you read these effusives in dispair: but it does take a special talent to sit on your a**e and talk (type) out of it at the same time.

But others are determined to go beyond rhetoric… actually do something: thus the Headteachers’ Round Table (HTRT) was born.

HTRT actually do want to change the world (of education). They are not interested in politics or polemic. They are only interested in securing the best possible outcomes for their schools, and for their learners. They are giving of their time, their energy, their experience and their expertise…. actually, I should be using the term “we”. HTRT made it abundantly clear that everyone who was there on Friday, who attended the previous conference, who contributed to their alternative consultations with concerns, thoughts and comments for system improvement, should all consider themselves members of the Roundtable. I like that.

Well, it was worth the six hour round trip for a number of reasons:

  • getting a feel for Vic’s school. You know, you don’t need Ofsted to tell you how good or bad a school is. All you need to do is visit and walk around unannounced during a breaktime or a lunchtime. I was struck by the unpretentious loveliness of Vic’s hordes; comfortable in their school, happy to “be”… and I was happy to be there
  • making real progress in terms of articulating a curriculum framework that supports a “whole education” experience, not just a set of filtered qualifications that have been deemed to “count”. It’s great to see Whole Education there, as well as my old employers ASDAN, looking for synergy with emerging thinking. With my “Modern Baccalaureate” hat on, I was delighted to see so much convergent thinking
  • and, not afraid to grasp a difficult nettle, a lengthy discussion on school accountability. No one there shirked the responsibilities that come with the post of “school leader”: in fact, the track record of many of the Heads there in terms of engineering school improvement in the most challenging of circumstances was immutable. However, all present lamented the unduly punitive and negative process that is called an “Ofsted Inspection”. I for one will look forward to the HTRT Consultation on this topic.

A final point: I have been amazed that some have criticised the HTRT, for being a “closed shop”, a small “inner circle” with a few acolytes in attendance, who listen in revered silence to their 140 character intonations. Well, despite my Catholic upbringing, I hold a candle for no one! By working with, and within, the Heads Roundtable, I feel I am actively contributing to the advancement of education. I feel my views are being listened to, and that we are helping to shape future educational thinking and direction of travel. This is in stark contrast to the body politic.

Apparently, if you count the twitter followers, there are now 8,000 sitting around a very large table indeed. Excellent!!!

First Education Alliance in Successful Free School bid!

Good news!

We are happy to let you know that the Department for Education has approved our new free school in Medway.

<http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/schoolorganisation/b00210493/new-school-proposals/established-schools>

The First Education Alliance is a unique and innovative partnership which comprises a number of educational specialists with long-standing experience and knowledge. As CEO of ASDAN, I was immediately convinced of the ethical and values-driven approach of the partners. ASDAN Education became a founder member. 

With our mix of background and skills, sharing educational goals, and exercising concerted teamwork, we can bring together creativity, quality and accountability in the delivery of services. The key reward is a seamless approach in the delivery of education that plays a role in the local community; is inclusive and sustainable and recognises the balance between the learning environment and the actual management of the facility.

http://www.firsteducationalliance.com

The First Education Alliance provides access to a flexible pool of educational and professional experts to support you in a range of projects of all sizes nationally and internationally.

Above all, we work collaboratively and in partnership!

We would be happy to hear from you, should you wish to partner with us on new school proposals.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with either myself (in one of my new roles as UK Partnership Manager for FEA), or Mustafa Erdem (contact details below)

First Education Alliance, <info@firsteducationalliance.com>

Marius Frank, <marius.scip5@gmail.com>,
Mustafa Erdem, <mustafa@haenlein.com>