Curriculum Design

Curriculum Design

We believe that a high quality curriculum is the foundation for success in learning and in life. We define the curriculum to be all the planned experiences that happen in school and through the school. This includes the pedagogy that is associated with implementing the curriculum effectively in order to reach agreed aims.

Our work in this area is undertaken in association with The Curriculum Foundationwho are considered to be world leaders in curriculum development.

Our work includes:

A review of curriculum intent;

The development of strategies for effective curriculum implementation;

A review of curriculum impact and related approaches to assessment;

Developing a competency-based curriculum.

Our experience and research has shown us that curriculum aims are achieved as a result of a holistic approach.

Skills for life such as communication, creativity and cooperation should be developed in increasingly complex contexts.

This approach can be illustrated using the tree model used by The Curriculum Foundation.

  • The leaves of the tree are key pieces of knowledge which come from major ’branches’ of learning.
  • The roots of the tree are generic skills for learning and for life, such as communication, creativity and resilience, through which knowledge can be transformed into understanding.  
  • The sunshine represents your school values and principles which breathe life into your curriculum, enabling it to grow stronger.
  • The soil within which your tree is planted represents your school context. Trying to deliver a curriculum that has been developed for a different context will not enable children to reach the intended curriculum aims.
  • The tree trunk represents quality learning experiences that bring together knowledge and skills for life.

Examples of our work

Advanced Skills Teacher for Sustainability

York City Council

Our lead consultant, Victoria Pendry, acquired Advanced Skills teacher status. Working with partners across North Yorkshire, she ensured that schools had access to quality resources to support them gain Eco School status, as well as other key aspects of related curriculum policy, strategy and practice.

Resource for Schools. Global Learning in Maths


In support of the The Global Learning Programme, we designed a series of maths lessons for upper primary aged pupils and their teachers in order to explore the use of global data as a rich context for teaching and learning in mathematics.

Schools transition project. From Bean to Bar.


Designed a cross-curricular transition project for years 6 and 7, using chocolate and Fair Trade as the context for learning.

Education for Sustainable Development workshop presentation

TEESNET conference 2017

Delivered a workshop, ‘We’ve go the Whole world in our hands’, to illustrate approaches to ensuring development education lies at the heart of curriculum design.

Conference paper presentation. The Sustainable Development Goals in South Sudan

The Education and Development Forum, UKFEIT

Presented a paper as part of this international conferenceto illustrate the way we have worked with the Curriculum Foundation to embed sustainable development as a cross-cutting issue through the new curriculum for South Sudan.

World Class Curriculum paper presentation

London International Conference on Education

Presentation at LICE 2017 outlining aspects of the World Class Curriculum.

Teacher’s Curriculum Implementation Guide for the Zambia Education Curriculum Framework

DFID UK, Ministry of Education Zambia

In line with the revised curriculum, we produced exemplar activities aimed at supporting teachers to deepen their understanding of key features of the revised curriculum.

Poetry on a Plate and Poetreein schools

Anneliese Emmans Dean & York Food Festival, UK

In association with the Big Buzz, we designed and delivered a ‘Poetree’ competition for families to write about food, and the winning entries were finally designed into an interactive placemat for cafes. Poetreeworkshops with more poetry and tree planting were also carried out in York schools.

Cross-curricular schools resource, Water Explorers

Global Action Plan

In association with Global Action Plan, we designed and delivered teaching and learning activities aimed at engaging schools and their communities in Water Conservation across 11 countries.

York Minster Teaching and Learning Review

In association with Innovate Educate, review and analyse the pre and post learning offer at York Minster. Research and report on opportunities for resource development in relation to local and national influencers on schools and learning.

Heritage learning projects

Innovate Educate, UK

In association with Innovate Educate, we developed teaching and learning resources aimed at connecting schools and families to the rich heritage of their local area. These projects include: Heart of Wakefield, Wakefield Council; International Bomber Command, Lincoln; A Route to the Hills, Malvern Hill District Council; Learning Review, York Minster.

York Edible Schools

Edible York, UK

Created York Edible Schools, a programme aimed at helping schools to embrace the opportunities that growing food presents for teaching and learning across the curriculum.

Schools maths programme, Energy Heroes

Northern Powergrid, UK

Designed Energy Heroes, a teaching and learning programme for year 5 pupils, in association with Northern Powergrid,aimed at improving mathematics and deepening understanding of climate change and energy conservation.

Evaluation Toolkit for Schools


Designed activities and resources to support schools to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning through the Everyone Counts programme.

‘Embracing student competencies’ workshop presentation

TEESNet conference 2016

Delivered a workshop aimed at illustrating features of a competency-based curriculum, including references to recent related research, examples of related curriculum frameworks and reports from business groups relating to employability.

Text Books for South Sudan

Ministry of Education South Sudan; Longhorn and Mountain Top publishers, Kenya

Working alongside two publishers in Kenya to write and design competency-based text books for all core subjects in the new South Sudan curriculum.

Assessment Guidance for South Sudan and Uganda

Ministry of Education South Sudan; National Curriculum Development Centre, Uganda

In line with the revised curriculum, production of training and related guidance documents to illustrate approaches to ongoing, classroom-based assessment, including exemplar materials.

Assessment Policy

Rothwell Primary School, Leeds City Council, UK

Review and redesign assessment policy and strategy for Foundation Subjects. Development of exemplar teaching and learning materials in support of a greater focus on formative assessment.

Curriculum Framework Workshop

Ebor Academy Trust, UK

We supported the Trust to explore and evaluate features of a curriculum framework that would embrace their creative curriculum intent.

Curriculum Framework Review and Redesign

Middleton Primary School, Leeds City Council, UK

We supported the school to agree curriculum aims and identify effective pedagogy that will lead to high quality teaching and learning.

London International Conference on Education


Presentation at LICE 2017 to outline aspects of the World Class Curriculum.

New National Curriuclum for South Sudan

Ministry of Education South Sudan, UNICEF South Sudan, Global Partnership for Education

We worked in partnership to design and make plans to effectively implement and monitor a new National Curriculum for South Sudan, including support for Alternative Education Programmes and text book Quality Assurance.

Teacher’s Curriculum Implementation Guide


In line with the revised curriculum, produce exemplar activities aimed at supporting teachers to deepen their understanding of key features of the revised curriuclum.