June 2013 – My role in school begins to shift from SENCO to ‘curriculum manager’. As changes to the proposed curriculum seem to come in on a weekly basis, I begin to wonder if this role is going to drive me insane! Then I discover Michael’s work on his blog here. Suddenly it all started to fall into place, just like the jigsaw he devised. I shared this with the staff and we decided to use the jigsaw theme for our school. It is visual, bright, easy to read, represents teamwork and collaboration; and is primary friendly. Michael has been very supportive of my work and we’ve had useful discussions about how I am progressing, thanks! Do follow his blogs they are of utmost importance to the primary teacher. Here he has plans laid out for each year group: https://sites.google.com/site/primarycurriculum2014/
I had been reading various books regarding developing curriculum, and particularly enjoyed Brian Male’s book which you can find here: http://www.curriculumdesign.org.uk/
He states in his introduction:
” We need a curriculum with a strong moral purpose; a curriculum that we all came into the profession to teach.” The visuals used in his work include a tree; where the roots hold the empathy, motivation, managing feelings, self-awareness and social skills, the trunk contains the learning skills which connect the roots to the leaves – the subject. He also uses Venn diagrams and design triangles. The point I am making is that the design is ours to choose and we chose jigsaws.
“The statutory requirement on schools is to ‘teach the Programmes of Study during the Key Stage.’ It is left up to the schools to decide how to teach the Programmes of Study, and how long to spend doing so.” Brian Male,2012.
The book really opened my eyes to my new role as he states that the role of the curriculum manager is:
“To impact on the designs before they are carried out to help ensure that they are appropriate to the intended learning. To review the outcome of the experiences to see what was learned and what was not and how this needs to be fed into the next stage of design.” Brian Male, 2012
So I am mid- design, playing with my puzzles, trying them out, throwing them out and expanding on them. I am happy to share where we are so far. We have medium/long term plans for foundation subjects linked with topics. We are on the cusp of all trying half termly plans using jigsaws (giving up on wheel planning, not cost effective for us). I have had a go at Literacy plans and ‘I can’ jigsaws for writing, and the RE and Maths co-ordinators are having a go at there respective subjects. Feel free to deride, ignore or steal. None of this is my own work, I’ve just pieced the puzzle together.
Overview of school plans, ‘I can’ statements, English planning, blank half-termly plans. More to follow!