Descriptions of the main themes and topics that our speakers intend to cover in their sessions are outlined below to assist you in gaining a strong overview of the conference:


Curriculum intent is all the planning that happens before teaching happens. Put simply, it is the 'why?’ and the 'what?' of education. In this keynote speech, for primary and secondary colleagues, Matt Bromley will outline the six steps of curriculum intent he articulates in his book School & College Curriculum Design, namely: 1. AGREE THE VISION; 2. SET THE DESTINATION; 3. ASSESS THE STARTING POINTS; 4. IDENTIFY THE WAY-POINTS; 5. DEFINE EXCELLENCE; 6. DIMINISH DISADVANTAGE

Matt will summarise and explain what Ofsted says about curriculum design and share a practical approach to whole-school and subject-specific curriculum planning that ensures all pupils are afforded fair access to an ambitious curriculum that’s broad and balanced and tackles disadvantage.


Sarah Jones: Workshop, CROSS-PHASE

The challenges of curriculum design in alternative provision are unique given the vulnerable nature of the student cohort, the range of needs present, and the short periods of time which pupils often spend with the school. In this workshop, Sarah Jones, a former mainstream school leader and now executive vice principal at the Springwell Alternative Academies Spalding and Grantham, will discuss how curriculum design and delivery in mainstream primary and secondary schools can and must cater for our vulnerable learners. The workshop will discuss the schools’ curriculum approaches and interventions for its students, who are aged from four to 16. Discussions will centre on reading & literacy skills, SEMH, and high-quality first teaching among other key approaches to ensure vulnerable children can access the curriculum. Ultimately, the workshop will help delegates to self-evaluate their schools’ own curriculum in the context of vulnerable learners and accessibility.


Chris Willis & Luke Mulhall: Workshop, CROSS-PHASE

In September, Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust will begin rolling-out its community curriculum which will deliver a broad and balanced curriculum offer, while at the same time engaging parents and the local community. The Community Curriculum, which has already been validated by Ofsted inspectors, will offer students the range of EBacc subjects during morning lessons while afternoon lessons will then introduce a range of other, ‘marginalised’ subjects and skills. This will include the likes of RE, music and the arts, and careers education. Activities as part of the curriculum will be based in the community, including voluntary work in the local area, regular employer engagement opportunities with more than 40 local businesses, artists in residence and local theatre companies and more. The idea is to build the skills and knowledge, raise aspirations, and prepare students for life in the local area or further afield. The curriculum also includes activities for parents to help them support their children’s learning as well as develop their own skills. This session will look at how this curriculum has been constructed, the lessons learned and will offer tips for other schools.


David Gardner: Workshop, CROSS-PHASE

How should we plan, and implements a coherent, and sequenced curriculum from Reception to GCSE and beyond? Through the prism of geography, this keynote session will look at how to create and map a subject curriculum from scratch and will offer insights and advice that are applicable to all subjects and both primary and secondary phases of education.

A former school leader, QCA curriculum advisor for geography, and an international curriculum specialist, David Gardner, has extensive experience of what it takes to build a coherent curriculum. He has worked across the world on a wide range of curriculum models. David will discuss the principles of curriculum design, the dynamic relationships between intent, implementation and impact, and how these then relate to curriculum planning for a specific subject area. Using geography as his case study, David will explain how his principles of curriculum design should be applied in a single subject area – but these are principles that should run across all subjects.

He will address the common confusion he encounters around the three “Is”, the specific challenges at primary and secondary level.How to plan for pupil progress, developing the curriculum as the progression framework. He will include key messages from Ofsted about its curriculum expectations and research. He will also offer access to curriculum design tools that delegates can use as part of their work back in school.


Louise Smith and Chris Jones: Workshop

During the past year, the curriculum offering of the six primary schools within the Warrington Primary Academy Trust has been radically redesigned with research evidence, empowered subject leaders and high-quality CPD being placed at its heart. In this workshop, CEO Louise Smith – who is also an Ofsted inspector – will discuss the research base that they have drawn upon, how this has been translated into practice, and the range of elements that have gone to make the MAT’s final curriculum model.

Discussions will include a focus on what powerful knowledge actually is and its place in the curriculum, how the curriculum has been developed to match the context of all six schools, and how staff have been supported via CPD and training.

A key focus will include how the MAT has involved and prepared its subject leaders to ensure ownership and empowerment, as well as models of succession planning to ensure new staff members understand the intent, implementation and impact of the new curriculum.

The MAT’s new curriculum is already being taught – “we’re flying the plane as we build it” – and it has also been subject to an Ofsted inspection with very positive results.


Helen Frostick: Workshop, PRIMARY

This workshop will present a case study of how St Mary Magdalen's Catholic Primary School has prioritised a creative curriculum. It will include how to share the curriculum intent to inspire all stakeholders – pupils, staff, parents, governors, Ofsted and visitors in general – including the role of the school website. 

National Leader of Education, Helen Frostick, will also consider how to incorporate pupil voice into curriculum design and will offer practical ways to communicate the vision through eye-catching themes and visuals while at the same time linking it to the School Development Plan. The workshop will also cover what to include in curriculum knowledge maps for each subject – what, why now and what next? – to ensure that they are Ofsted-ready (from the phone call right through to the deep dives in terms of curriculum).


Deborah Wylie and Sarah Koratzitis: Workshop, PRIMARY

Cramlington Village Primary School begins each term’s curriculum planning well in advance by choosing a “big question” to be placed at the heart of teaching and learning. Recent examples include: What makes a great scientist? (science), Can we beat the greatest invention? (computer science), Where will our stories take us? (the arts), Why is clean and green our perfect dream? (Environment/geography). Dedicated off-site planning days for staff then take place when the term’s teaching and learning is developed, including key learning points, essential questions, activities/projects, and final outcomes.

Each term starts with a WOW event for children and staff to introduce the big questions and themes. These include off-site learning expeditions or in-school visitors. Other elements of planning include the role of the classroom environment (which must be interactive), key texts and literacy links (guided reading and “WAGOLLs” for quality writing), weekly key learning aims, and cross-curricular links (literacy, numeracy, Forest School, PE, Art, PSHE, etc). Each year group (N/R, Y1/2, Y3/4 & Y5/6) has a separate planning day before ideas are shared and further developed.

This workshop will give an overview of the Cramlington approach, how it works in practice, the implications for teachers and school leaders, the benefits the school has seen, how it relates to Ofsted’s new framework, and examples of planned curricula and WOW events across subjects.


Julian Rose, Jane Perrons and Jon Warrener: Workshop, PRIMARY

Holmfirth Junior, Infants & Nursery School began the process of re-examining its curriculum in September 2019, a process which has led to the 4Cs – Communication, Collaboration, Curiosity, & Creativity – being placed at the heart of the school’s teaching and learning. In this workshop, headteacher Julian Rose will discuss the reasoning behind the new-look curriculum, how the school has gone from vision to implementation, how the 4Cs work in practice, how curriculum milestones have been set for each subject, and how the Kagan principles have been implemented at the school. A key topic for discussion will be how the school has empowered its teaching staff to have ownership of the curriculum, including the school’s subject leads – known as Subject Supporters – who are playing a key role in delivery. The workshop will seek to facilitate debate among colleagues about curriculum reform and implementation within their own primary schools.


Clare Duffy: Workshop, SECONDARY

This workshop will be led by Clare Duffy, a senior leader from Uppingham Community College who has been working to create the conditions for staff to authentically develop its curriculum provision. The practical workshop will look at the lessons learned so far from this work, including a focus on the leadership strategies used at Uppingham Community College to tweak and refine the curriculum without overly focusing on the Ofsted inspection framework. Other areas of discussion will include how the school has structured its directed time to give departments more time together to jointly plan their curriculum frameworks and resources.


Maria Alexander-O'Neill: Workshop, SECONDARY

This session will consider practical ways to integrate the pastoral curriculum into the whole-school curriculum/programmes of study. It will provide useful whole-school strategies & approaches across a number of areas, including statutory Health Education & Relationships and Sex Education, eSafety, pupil wellbeing, and financial understanding. The session will also link the advice and ideas on offer to Ofsted EIF’s requirements for pupil wellbeing, safety and pastoral education.


Colin Logan: Workshop, SECONDARY

In this session, Colin will give a whirlwind overview of the history of curriculum in England; before exploring SSAT and Professor Dylan Wilams’ seven principles of curriculum design, and the four pillars of curriculum design – two frameworks to help schools think through and articulate their curriculum offer - based on your curriculum intent, content, delivery and experience. Delegates may leave with more questions to take back to school than answers, as well as tangible actions for next steps in delivering a world-class curriculum for all young people.


Livvy Black and Matt Halls: Workshop, SECONDARY

This workshop will provide an overview of our own curriculum development journey, including practical advice on redesigning a curriculum and insights into the lessons learned. It will explore barriers faced when managing a curriculum review and discuss solutions. And it will reflect on how you could use a range of take away strategies in your own context. This workshop will consider how this process has worked in practice and offer an honest overview supported by good quality evidence, including practical advice on redesigning a curriculum and insights into the lessons learned. Discussions will include: auditing subjects against the national curriculum, the creation of whole-school and subject-level action plans, careful sequencing of knowledge and skills, creating a curriculum vision, factoring in cultural capital, effective assessment, and building up to implementation/delivery. The Radclyffe School is a maintained 11-16 comprehensive school with 1,500 students in Oldham, Greater Manchester.