Evaluating your curriculum
Sustainable curriculum development should have evaluation of impact at its heart. Effective evaluation keeps a strong focus on the outcomes for learners.
The three questions underpinning good curriculum design are a useful starting point for evaluating the impact of curriculum development:
What are you trying to achieve?
How have you organised learning?
How do you know you are having an impact?
This website enables you to link the available national evidence with your own information, and help you to strengthen your approach to evaluating impact of your curriculum changes on your learners. Support and guidance is provided in three strands :
Disciplined innovation – providing an evaluation process for you to adopt to evaluate the impact of your curriculum changes
Impact measures – an overview of the impact measures linked to the intended outcomes which have been used to organise the evidence collected at a national level to evaluate impact
Using evidence – ideas for ways you might consider using national evidence with links to national evidence reports
The evaluation process is essential to help schools know themselves and their learners. This is what the Ofsted inspection process is all about:
"Rigorous self-evaluation is at the heart of effective school improvement. The new online self-evaluation form (SEF) introduced alongside the Framework for the inspection of schools helps schools to be sharply evaluative" (Ofsted)
Schools need to consider the links between disciplined innovation, using national evidence and the Ofsted process.
The government's aim is to make this the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. In 2007, they published the Children’s Plan to put the needs of children, young people and parents at the centre of everything we do.
If we are to achieve this, we must ensure that all young people are able to thrive as citizens in a globalised economy. That is why we have embarked on a transformation of services and expansion of opportunities for young people, ranging from support for the most vulnerable and their families, to reforms to qualifications and curriculum to stretch the most able.
The DCSF have published Delivering 14-19 reform : next steps which focuses on the reform programme for young people’s education and training:
"Our programme has three goals which are captured in the Government’s Public Service Agreement (PSAs):
To ensure that all young people participate until at least their 18th birthday – in education and training that stretches and challenges them to achieve their potential and go on to further or higher education or skilled employment
To give young people the knowledge and skills that employers and the economy need to prosper in the 21st century
To close the achievement gap so that all have an equal opportunity to succeed, irrespective of gender, race, disability or background"
The new secondary curriculum is a part of wider set of 11-19 reforms including diplomas, new GCSEs and GCEs and the foundation learning tier The aim is to develop a coherent 11-19 curriculum that builds on young people' experiences in the primary phase and that helps all young people to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
Intended outcomes of the new secondary curriculum
The aim is to develop a coherent 11-19 curriculum that builds on young people' experiences in the primary phase and that helps all young people to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
Specifically the curriculum is intended to help young people to:
achieve high standards and make better progress
narrow the gap and enable those not achieving age related expectations at age 11 to catch up with their peers
have and be able to use high-quality personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) and become independent learners
have and be able to use high-quality functional skills
be challenged and stretched to achieve their potential
have increased commitment to and enjoyment of learning leading to participation to 19 and beyond
The secondary curriculum is a part of wider set of 11-19 reforms including diplomas, new A – levels and GCSEs, foundation learning tier. The 11-19 reform programme as a whole should lead to a range of improved outcomes for young people and the curriculum is one of the underpinning reforms rather than contributing directly to any one outcome. Taken together these reforms are intended to have a number of broad impacts on young people.