Rethinking Curriculum


This bitesize CPD collection is an online micro learning unit for teachers and school leaders to use as part of a discussion about their curriculum. This is part of the launch of a national project in Primary curriculum development called ‘Rethinking Curriculum’.

This online micro learning unit incorporates a range of content types to support professional learning and reflective practice, including:

  • A pre recorded thinkpiece from Mary Myatt.
  • Chartered College articles about curriculum
  • Reflective questions and activities to support learning and discussions


To find out further information please register at Rethinking Curriculum Project – Rethinking Curriculum is generously being supported by The Helen Hamlyn Trust.

 ‘Three principles for an ambitious curriculum for every child’

Mary Myatt FCCT is an education adviser, writer and speaker. She trained as an RE teacher and is a former local authority adviser and inspector. She engages with pupils, teachers and leaders about learning, leadership and the curriculum. Mary has written extensively about leadership, school improvement and the curriculum: ‘High Challenge, Low Threat’, ‘Hopeful Schools’ and ‘The Curriculum: Gallimaufry to Coherence’, ‘Back on Track’, ‘Huh: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders’ and ‘Primary Huh: Curriculum conversations with subject leaders in primary schools’ with John Tomsett. She has established Myatt & Co, an online platform with films for ongoing professional development and the Huh Academy with John Tomsett. Mary has been a governor in three schools, and a trustee for a Multi Academy Trust. She maintains that there are no quick fixes and that great outcomes for pupils are not achieved through tick boxes.

Mary Myatt has designed and delivered a short thinkpiece around 3 principles:

  1. What do pupils say and want from your curriculum?
  2. The power of concepts 
  3. Importance of story.


We invite you to watch this video and consider the reflective questions at the bottom of this page.


Here you can read a variety of historical Impact articles about a variety of curriculum approaches. Think about what may or may not support you in your own curriculum journey and what you can learn from or apply to your own settings.

Redrawing the cross-curricular map: An interdisciplinary approach to curriculum design across the humanities
Curriculum design in discrete subjects: What are we missing?
A curriculum enabling all to achieve: International perspectives

Reflective questions:

Following on from your learning above, work with your colleagues to think about the following questions. These should be used as prompts for discussions about your own setting but can be added to or edited as you feel appropriate.

  • How does our curriculum provide our pupils with a broad knowledge base and the cultural capital necessary for them to thrive and achieve their full potential and aspirations?
  • How is our curriculum ambitious for our pupils and how do we ensure we are raising expectations around what we believe our pupils can achieve?
  • How does our curriculum provide experiences that supplement and strengthen the learning?
  • How does our curriculum give our pupils the arena to showcase their own knowledge and understanding, allowing a celebration of success and sense of achievement?
  • How is our curriculum representative and multicultural? Promoting diversity and respect? Developing our pupils as individuals?


For more focussed discussions on the concept and story application in curriculum:

  • What are our ‘holding baskets’ that help our pupils link the knowledge we are teaching them?
  • What opportunities do we have to introduce high quality texts and how could this be done?


These have been developed from Kaizen approach shared by Lekha Sharma(2020) Curriculum to Classroom, Woodbridge:JohnCattPublishing p74-75

Evaluation activity

This activity is very useful to engage with the principles of the curriculum and identifying the strengths and areas for improvement that in turn can lead to subject development plans or influence the school development plan. We suggest carrying this out before the new school year and again when new staff have joined the team in Autumn term. This will really clarify a leadership vision for the direction your curriculum will need to take to develop further.

Individually or in departments complete a ‘pros and cons’ list about the current curriculum of your setting, department, key stage or whole school.

  • What works really well and you must keep it ?
  • What needs to be developed?
  • What are the barriers that are stopping you from this development at this moment?


As a group choose 3 priorities and explore the potential solutions to move to overcome barriers. 

Further reading:

Kaizen principles for curriculum development- 


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