1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Do schools really need curriculum intent statements?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Are curriculum intent statements really for schools, pupils or for Ofsted? Either way more schools are adopting what critics describe as a box-ticking exercise to please Ofsted and meet the demands of the inspectorate’s new framework:

    ‘The same is true of the other bullet points. Any headteacher can write a statement saying that their curriculum is carefully sequenced or that pupils study the full curriculum, but the proof of the pudding is, as they say, in the eating. Inspectors will, understandably, overlook any such bluff in a statement and want to see the reality of what happens in school. Or worse, they’ll use a poorly written or ill-thought-through statement to judge a school against its own expectations. Nobody wants to be found wanting in such circumstances.

    The schools that have written such statements for every subject have only created more waffle for inspectors to gloss over. Will every teacher read and take on board each of those different intent statements and use them to guide their planning and teaching? Or will they just sit on the website in the hope that it keeps Ofsted happy?

    What a waste of valuable time that could have been spent on the real work of ensuring that we design and create the best curriculum for the needs of the children in our schools.’

    Michael Tidd is headteacher at Medmerry Primary School in West Sussex.


    What do you think?
  2. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Box ticking ---- nice!
    BetterNow likes this.
  3. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    No, of course not.
    Jamvic likes this.
  4. thyr

    thyr Occasional commenter

    We are going to teach your children maths/science/english/etc. We hope they get the qualification their work & effort deserves.
    BTBAM85, Sally006 and Jamvic like this.
  5. drek

    drek Star commenter

    No we don’t. At secondary for the academic subjects we spend thousands on published resources which have passed OFQUALs and the exam board’s criteria for writing these out...... Their writers are paid (well I hope) for this job.

    Teachers teaching a particular unit will incorporate these objectives and outcomes and plan to deliver/differentiate these resources. This takes a lot of time particular for those teachers teaching upto 850 hours a year with large groups of pp and SEND for which we have to provide additional evidence for the leads in charge of those areas according to individual demands.
    The curriculum leaders should be putting a document on the school website giving an overview of the way the curriculum will be run over 5 years Nd concentrate on other areas. Instead huge numbers of hours are going into copying and pasting intents from publishers on a document ‘designed’ by a particular senior leader..... which provid3s evidence of their apparent leadership!
    It’s a huge huge waste of resources and time. Not to mention doubling up the workload since these inspections started.
  6. banjouk

    banjouk Occasional commenter

    From a recent briefing:

    The first conversation with SLT must rapidly get beyond ‘vision’. What are SLT’s actual plans and actions which ensure and assure a strong curriculum in each subject?

    How confident are leaders that:
    • the scope of the curriculum in each subject is ambitious (at least the breadth of the National Curriculum)?
    • the curriculum in each subject contains well chosen content, sequenced coherently?
    • content is planned with ‘readiness’ for future learning in mind: emphasising ‘enabling knowledge’?
    • teaching ensures that children know and remember the curriculum?
    Also consider how well the curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all pupils including SEND pupils and disadvantaged pupils.

    The pre-inspection discussion should not be repeated in the day one discussions with curriculum leaders.

    Important note! You’ll see from these questions that curriculum intent is much more than a statement or vision. It is the actual curriculum planning (as would typically be contained in schemes of learning.)

    Also consider:
    • How does curriculum design ensure that pupils read at an age-appropriate level?
    • How do leaders ensure planning addresses typical gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills?
    • Is there high ambition for all pupils?
    • How does the curriculum reflect the school’s local context?
  7. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    This is so full of nebulous terminology, it is meaningless.

    Typical OFSTEDese
    agathamorse likes this.

Share This Page