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Coherent curriculum and the potential for better assessment

Written by: Christopher Tay
10 min read
CHRISTOPHER TAY, VISITING LECTURER IN INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF CHESTER, UK Coherent curriculum (CC) as a model represents a particular approach to any knowledge-rich curricula; how Ofsted are using it to inform their work on curriculum and assessment is the initial focus here. Ofsted’s subject reports, compiled from inspection evidence and research visits to schools, show how far the influence of ‘the factors that contribute to high quality education’, collated in the earlier subject research reviews, has extended beyond inspection into regular practice (Ofsted, 2021). The reports embody a model of curriculum and assessment drawn from recent work on the coherent design curriculum (Rata, 2019; McPhail, 2021), and represent a shift in Ofsted’s interpretation of the National Curriculum (DfE, 2013), from its original genesis as a Hirschian canon of essential knowledge – ‘the best that has been thought and said’ – to the social realist paradigm of ‘powerfu

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