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From Paper to Practice: Beyond Curriculum Intent, and Into Implementation (Part 2)

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

Before reading this, make sure you've caught up on the first blog post in the series:

Getting Implementation Right By...

The good news is, that you as head teachers will already be doing everything that you need to do in order for your curriculum implementation to be successful. You are already providing training to staff on a variety of matters. You are already giving staff planning time. You are already supporting in the development of teachers, most likely through various evaluation and monitoring processes. It is this manner of activity which is necessary for your intended curriculum to become a reality in the classroom.

Use the drop down arrows to read more around each point.

...Communicating The Intent To Staff By...

...Generating Buy-in

Let’s think first about getting buy-in and understanding from the staff members who are going to be implementing your new curriculum. It’s likely that very few of those class teachers are going to have been involved heavily in the development of that curriculum – one or two maybe, those who are subject leaders.

Buy-in means that someone is invested in something – they have an interest in it because it matters to them. Better results are gained from teachers when they have bought into something, and they feel like that thing is important to them.

And how is this buy-in gained? Well it is gained best, and most deeply, through understanding. Do teachers know what this new curriculum is all about? Do they understand why it has undergone a revamp? Can they see how perhaps the old one was actually substandard?

As a headteacher, you will need to present this new curriculum to your staff very carefully. Mindful of the plates that they’re spinning and in a way that really sells it to them as something which is to everyone’s benefit. In a way that acknowledges and is already thankful for the hard work that they will inevitably have to put in as they implement it.

...Providing Training On The Contents

...Enabling your staff to implement the intended curriculum by...

...Giving Them Time To Plan

When staff understand the why and the what of your curriculum - and therefore understand the intent - it is probably wise to give them time to be able to put this new learning into practise at the planning stage. Normal amounts of PPA time, and staff meeting time, probably won’t be enough, if you want a strong start in the implementation of your curriculum. Even the most willing and experienced of teachers will need more time to plan and deliver brand new content.

For example, can you use staff training days, or cover members of teaching staff for the whole day, or for an afternoon, to provide additional time? Do you have the resources and people power to allow members of staff to plan alongside school leaders, the ones who actually developed the curriculum, so that further knowledge of the intent can be passed on to the teachers who will be implementing the curriculum?

...Providing Them With The Resources They Need

...Supporting Them In Developing Their Subject Knowledge

...Providing Guidance on Desired and Optimal Pedagogical Approaches To Teaching

...Ensuring That Planning Is Of A High Quality...

...Ensuring Nothing Is Interfering With The Delivery

...Keeping In Touch With What’s Happening In Classrooms

...Providing Developmental Feedback

That's been a hefty blog post so it's best to finish there. In the third part of this blog series we look at learning from mis-implementation and the constancy of curriculum development: read it here:

If you would like Aidan to work with you at your school on your curriculum, go to to find out more, or use the contact page to get in touch.


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