Best Practice

How do we know our curriculum is any good?

How do we go about judging our whole-school curriculum? Expert Martin Robinson considers the elements that make up an effective curriculum and how schools might evaluate their provision

Would stopping a child in a school corridor and asking them to tell you the names of the six wives of Henry VIII in order and their individual outcomes be a good test of the quality of a school’s curriculum?


If this information was the sole focus of a school’s curriculum then it wouldn’t be a bad question to ask, but 13 years focusing on the marriages of that Tudor king wouldn’t be a broad and balanced offer.

The quality of a curriculum cannot be ascertained in a few quiz questions because a curriculum is not just a series of pieces of information, rather it is made up of webs of knowledge, of narratives.

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