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Ofsted - Curriculum Intent: what does it mean and how is it measured?

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What does intent mean?

“The framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and skills to be gained at each stage (intent).”


Don’t forget that there isn’t a specifically designed curriculum to fit in with Ofsted’s framework, so it is important to build one which is right for the needs of your school. Not every school will have the same curriculum and this is a good thing because it means that your curriculum is tailored for your pupils and setting.

How do I design my curriculum?

Look at your school's context and values - this is the best place to start. Your curriculum must reflect these and have a purpose. If you are going to redesign your curriculum it would be worth involving all your stakeholders, having an Inset and inviting your governors along. Send out a parent questionnaire on what they would like to see in the curriculum. This approach makes everyone feel like they have had input into shaping their child’s education and gives them even more of a vested interest. Above all you must make it inclusive of all of your vulnerable groups, and not focused solely on the core subjects.

Intent statement

Many people have asked about having a curriculum statement - this is not necessary but it does show that you have really thought about the design of your curriculum. Having it on your website in your curriculum section shows that you and all stakeholders not only know the vision of your curriculum but also the reasoning behind it.

This is Gawthornpe Academy's statement:

Curriculum Intent Statement

At Gawthorpe Academy the curriculum is designed to: recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers.

Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge.  We use Learning Powers to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.

What do you think? What are your top tips for shaping a curriculum? Leave a comment on our groups.

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 As ever, please leave any thoughts in the comments below and have a great week.

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