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 and to help you choose the workshop sessions that best suit your needs and areas of interest:


MORNING KEYNOTE: A practical guide to diversifying your curriculum: Bennie Kara

In this session, Bennie Kara – authors of Diversity in Schools – will take an in depth look at practical ways in which you can diversify the curriculum. Bennie will examine how in diversifying the curriculum we can avoid tokenism and align with curriculum theory and research. Bennie will look at the process of diversifying the curriculum, offering practical tips for how to evaluate your current curriculum (including conducting curriculum reviews or audits) and the key steps in the process. Bennie will discuss clear, defined and cross-phase/subject strategies that can be applied in adapting the curriculum. The session will be relevant to all primary and secondary colleagues, including key stage 5. Slides will be made available in PDF form after the training.


 
   

WORKSHOP 1A: PRIMARY: Our Curious Curriculum: Teaching foundation subjects well
SPEAKER: Claire Banks

Our Curious Curriculum is a concept-driven, thematic curriculum that uses enquiry questions to drive and direct the learner's journey. It is designed with the belief that a learner's experience in school should ensure not only the knowledge needed to access academic success, but careful development of progression of skills in discrete subject areas. Our Curious Curriculum has been carefully designed to engage learners as active participants in their learning journey. We believe that leaners are the most successful when their imagination is stimulated, their curiosity is heightened, and when their learning makes links to their lives and the wider world. This workshop will facilitate a discussion around what makes a great curriculum and how to teach foundation subjects well, with practical suggestions and advice on how to design your curriculum or enhance an existing curriculum.

 
   

WORKSHOP 1B: CROSS-PHASE: The Meta Curriculum: A research-led approach to curriculum design
SPEAKERS: Amelia Walker, David Linsell & Kay Tinsley

The Meta Curriculum project has transformed how a number of schools within the The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT) talk about curriculum development. Developed by Amelia Walker , the initiative has sought to develop a common language for curriculum design to help schools overcome common barriers to curriculum review and reform. The framework and resources – which are available online – draws upon the thinking and theory behind curriculum design and helps school staff to have conversations about the curriculum based on an in-depth research-led understanding of knowledge and memory. In this workshop, David Linsell will discuss the impact on TKAT's schools and the architect of The Meta Curriculum, Amelia Walker, will explain the practicalities of using this approach. Delegates will be introduced to the Meta Curriculum approach and the lessons learned during its implementation across TKAT's schools, including a specific focus on the reading curriculum/strategy at TKAT. Ultimately, the workshop will seek to present key practical takeaways from the Meta Curriculum that delegates can use to influence their own curriculum design thinking: www.supportservicesforeducation.co.uk/Page/21525

 
   

WORKSHOP 1C: PRIMARY: DEI: Addressing the elephant in the room: Decentring whiteness in the classroom
Speaker: Sabrina Edwards

In this practical session, delegates will learn about the concept of whiteness and how it manifests in the UK’s education system, drawing from many years of academic research in the UK and abroad. They will learn about some of the strategies schools can employ to begin to redress the balance of a historically Eurocentric curriculum and discuss what a decolonised curriculum could look like in practice. The idea of "parallel and forgotten narratives" will be practically explored in more depth as an approach to primary curriculum development. Delegates will leave the session with some ideas and action points to adapt and adopt in their schools.

 
   

WORKSHOP 1D: SECONDARY: DEI: Intersectionality in the curriculum and the classroom
SPEAKERS: Sophia Kapcia

When considering diversity, equality and inclusion schools and teachers must consider intersectionality – which refers to how the different aspects of a person's social, racial and political identities combine to create different kinds of discrimination. But this can be a challenging task for teachers at the chalkface. In this workshop, Sophia Kapcia, a secondary school English teacher who is nearing the end of a PhD in Education and Social Justice, will offer practical advice about how teachers can ensure the invisible voices in their classrooms are heard. Sophia will consider race & ethnicity, gender, social class, disadvantage, disability and more, asking how we can ensure these many and diverse voices are heard in our curriculum, our subjects, and our lesson planning. This requires deliberate practice and planning, knowing your students, cultural understanding, and engaging with sometimes difficult and sensitive conversations – this workshop will offer positive advice for schools in creating a culture where teachers feel supported to engage with this vital work.


 
   

WORKSHOP 2A: PRIMARY: Placing values at the heart of curriculum design
Speaker: Bridget Knight

Many schools will have values as a core part of their ethos and will teach their pupils about the importance of values. However, values-based education places values seeks to create a whole teaching and learning culture in which learners "experience" positive universal values first-hand throughout their schooling and the curriculum. In this practical session, primary school headteacher and CEO of Values-based Education, Bridget Knight will discuss how schools can underpin their curriculum and subject delivery with universal positive human values. Rather than advocating whole-curriculum overhaul, Bridget's session will look at what schools can do today to begin incorporating the values that matter to them into their curriculum design, subject delivery, and lesson planning and activities. Taking inspiration from the forthcoming book, written by Bridget with Professor Mick Waters, Dr Neil Hawkes, Professor Mark Chater and other contemporary practitioners, delegates will leave with plenty of ideas and tips to begin this work immediately.

 
   

WORKSHOP 2B: SECONDARY: Time well spent: Extending the school day
SPEAKERS: Darren Lyon

On the face of it, the latest Education White Paper’s focus on a minimum of 32.5 hours in a school week seems to suggest that time spent within school is the key to success. The truth is perhaps more nuanced and depends on what actually happens in that time and how we inspire, engage, and enable our students to succeed. This includes our work through the formal curriculum but also through the less formal parts of our school day. Over three headships and significant support work in the UK and abroad, Darren Lyon has seen and implemented an extended school day model in a wide range of settings, both in the state and independent sectors. In this workshop, he will share some of his experiences with colleagues in order to examine just what an extended day might offer to young people, what the implications are for curriculum design, and the challenges this brings to schools.

 
   

WORKSHOP 2C: PRIMARY: DEI: Case study: Diversifying the pupil and staff experience
SPEAKER: Laura McPhee

This practical workshop will share the work of Loughborough Primary School in creating a diverse curriculum. The school has drawn on the work of Orlene Badu, a system lead for the Young Black Men Project, as well as its link governor for diversity and inclusion Dr Nic Mullings, who holds a doctorate in race in education. Headteacher Laura McPhee will discuss how to devise a roadmap for diversifying the pupil and staff experience, ensuring the appropriate accountability measures/systems and structures are in place, improving racial literacy, collaboration with the school community, widening your network to include local and national organisations that champion justice, and equality through community action and education. The workshop will discuss the role of governors, including Dr Mullings' role in co-authoring the school's mission statement for diversity and inclusion and heading the Diversity and Inclusion task force of governors that monitor this work. In this workshop, we will also examine the lived experiences of Black and ethnic minority children and families in accessing support. During the session, we will explore how close partnership working across services can transform the educational outcomes and life chances for pupils. Laura will share successful examples of school based Early Help which seeks to bring parity and equity of opportunity for children and young people. Participants will have the opportunity to audit the "cultural competence" of their setting and identify priorities to inform their own Diversity, Equality & Inclusion action planning. 

 
   

WORKSHOP 2D: SECONDARY DEI: A culture of belonging within a KS3 skills-based curriculum: A roadmap for success
SPEAKER: Zahara Chowdhury

Establishing a DEI curriculum is a three to five-year process. This session will provide a roadmap of what this might look like. Diversifying the curriculum can often lead to a "knowledge-rich" curriculum, which is encouraged by Ofsted. However, a conscientiously designed DEI curriculum must acknowledge the challenges to pedagogy itself and cannot fast-track a resources-based or content-led approach, as this could result in bolt-on change rather than cultural change. To secure the future success of every student and sustainable staff training and development for diversity, equality, and inclusion, we need to create a culture of belonging in every classroom. This session will provide a practical roadmap for how heads of departments and CPD leads can embed a sustainable, long-term approach to belonging, representation, and success for every student across their curriculum areas. The session will cover belonging and culture in the classroom, including what this can look like and how this can be achieved, as well as how to diversify the KS3 curriculum for every student, including data analysis, pastoral care, and sustainable change. The session will also confront some of the discomfort and barriers that staff may face from each other and parents and how these can be overcome, including with practical examples of language/management approaches. Colleagues will leave the session with practical and actionable items that can be put to work at your next CPD and department meeting.


 
   

AFTERNOON KEYNOTE: Curriculum design: Improving on previous best
SPEAKERS: Mick Waters & Tim Brighouse

The curriculum is a vehicle for helping children and young people to improve in all aspects of their learning. How the curriculum is co-ordinated and led influences the way it meets the pupil in the classroom, gymnasium, workshop, laboratory or studio. It is only when it meets the learner that a curriculum can have impact. Sir Tim Brighouse and Professor Mick Waters will highlight the range of ways that people with delegated responsibility can make a difference in their subject, phase, department, school or trust – and how teachers can help them to do that. There will some practical discussion and reflection as well as some clear advice and ideas to consider and use in your school.


 
   

WORKSHOP 3A: PRIMARY: DEI: Does your curriculum whisper 'you belong'?
SPEAKER: Speaker TBC

 
   

WORKSHOP 3B: CROSS-PHASE: Can you tell me about your curriculum? Developing an outstanding curriculum narrative
SPEAKER: Andrew Riches

Since Ofsted's EIF, many schools have overhauled the intent, implementation and impact of their curriculum – but can your school staff and students talk confidently about your curriculum in action?
What is your curriculum narrative and how do you communicate this to key stakeholders – including of course Ofsted inspectors? This workshop will consider how curriculum narrative fits into the three "I"s of the Ofsted inspection. The workshop will also offer practical strategies to equip and support your school staff to talk confidently about the curriculum, considering how we can translate the written policies and curriculum action plans into a narrative that everyone in the school and beyond can understand and embrace. There will be a specific focus on Ofsted's subject deep dives methodology – and how we can support our subject leaders to thrive when the inspectors come calling.

 
   

WORKSHOP 3C: CROSS-PHASE: Oracy: Curriculum, disadvantage and misconceptions: Action research and what we learned with students in primary and secondary
SPEAKERS: Helen Hall & Sean Harris

Tees Valley Education Trust is an all-through MAT. In the last 18-months, they have been leading action research around curriculum and tackling educational inequality. A pilot action research project has been run with a secondary school and TVED as well as with Bede Academy, an all-through school. The research sought to work with young people to explore how teachers can better understand the disadvantaged context of young people and the ways that curriculum could be better planned to tackle this. Young people have very much enjoyed being part of the research and contributing to the intent, implementation and impact of curriculum in their classrooms. The workshop will offer: Practical insights into what the on-going research has found; actionable recommendations for leading your own research project with a class; research-informed approaches to curriculum design with poverty and disadvantage in mind; and the opportunity to further understand how to link curriculum with wider Pupil Premium and poverty-tackling approaches.

 
   

WORKSHOP 3D: SECONDARY: Creating, reviewing, and maintaining your curriculum: A case study from the English department
SPEAKER: Chloe Testa

In this session, Chloe Testa will present a case study exploring the creation of her school's current English curriculum, the questions they asked in constructing the curriculum, and the follow up questions colleagues in the English department ask every half-term to consider how they can continue to improve. The curriculum is an ever-evolving document the school's teachers work from and with, depending on their students, and this step is an integral part in the creation of a successful design.


 
   

WORKSHOP 4A: PRIMARY: DEI: Decolonising assessment practices
SPEAKER: Orlene Badu

Many primary schools have diversified their school curriculums over the last two years to ensure that every young person sees themselves reflected in their curriculum. While we still work to create a curriculum that values all pupils and their families, we are often still considering what this means for our assessment procedures. This practical session will allow colleagues to consider their assessment approaches and identify clear next steps on what actions they can take to ensure that all children in your school have the opportunity to thrive and have opportunities to do their best as a result of a culturally competent assessment process.

 
   
WORKSHOP 4B: CROSS-PHASE: DEI: SEMH & SEN: Ensuring inclusive curriculum delivery
SPEAKER: Sanjo Jeffrey

Sanjo Jeffrey works as a SENCO at an independent SEMH all-through school in London. In this workshop, she will offer practical ideas and advice for ensuring our curriculum design and delivery (intent and implementation) is inclusive for all students, including those with SEN and with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. Core to Sanjo's approach is putting "Maslow before you Bloom" – referring to Maslow's Hierarchy of Need and Bloom's Taxonomy. Putting Maslow before Bloom isn’t antithetical to learning – research demonstrates that it’s a way to support better learning. The session will look at curriculum design and delivery and what we can do to cater to the needs of some of our most vulnerable children. Sanjo works in an all-through SEMH setting, but the session will be aimed at colleagues working in mainstream primary and secondary settings, looking at the lessons they can learn from specialist SEMH provision.


 
   
WORKSHOP 4C: SECONDARY:  The South Wirral Way: Improving the quality and consistency of curriculum implementation across the whole school
SPEAKER: Dr Helen Darlington

The South Wirral Way of Excellence in Teaching was developed with the aim of improving the consistency and quality of implementing the school and subject curricula in order to reduce the variation in student progress and raise student attainment. Primarily based around Barack Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, it draws on a range of lessons from educational neuroscience to provide a structure to each learning episode which can be adapted to support all students in making progress. In practice, its success has been achieved by embedding a clear structure to lessons underpinned by a set of core principles that bring together a number of the school’s pedagogical developments (including the "excellent teacher framework", alongside the school's work on literacy and the intent of the curriculum) in a coherent and manageable way. During this session, Helen Darlington will discuss how the school has developed the South Wirral Way, the strategies used to embed it across the whole school, and how they are now using it to inform improvement planning and professional development within subject areas and for individual teachers.
 
   

WORKSHOP 4D: SECONDARY: Moving to 100-minute lessons: Planning, delivering & evaluating curriculum redesign
Speaker: Simon Greiff

At the height of the pandemic, Manor High School in Leicester took the decision to move to all-day lessons. There were many positives that arose from this approach that the school wished to continue to benefit from. This year the school has overhauled its curriculum structure to implement a system of three 100-minute lessons a day. In this workshop, deputy headteacher Simon Greiff will discuss the curriculum design, planning and implementation processes the school has been through, the pitfalls and benefits of the approaches they have tried, and the key things schools will need to consider when evaluating their remodelled curriculum. The workshop will consider what questions we must ask when remodelling the curriculum, what support teachers must have, what challenges teachers must overcome, and more. Delegates will leave the workshop with a clear idea of the practical challenges of curriculum redesign and ideas and advice on planning, implementing and evaluating a new curriculum structure.

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