6: How to design a coherent curriculum

Module overview

In this module, you will learn how to design a carefully sequenced and coherent scheme of work and increase the likelihood that the teaching of it leads to successful learning for your pupils.

The module is divided into six sessions: 


As a new teacher, now is a great time to begin practising your curriculum design skills. As you become a more experienced teacher, and especially if you choose to move into middle or senior leadership, you may find yourself designing the curriculum for a whole year, key stage, or even for a child’s entire school life.

The curriculum design skills that you’ll develop during this module can equally be applied to any future curriculum design you embark upon, no matter what the scope. What you’re learning now will therefore be of great value to you throughout your teaching career.

This module brings together many of the things you have learnt in previous modules this year. It is designed to revisit and draw upon your existing knowledge and apply this to think about what makes good curriculum design.

It is not intended to provide a step-by-step instruction guide or recipe to producing a scheme of work. First, curriculum design is rarely a linear process and you should expect to go backwards and forwards as your scheme develops. Second, schemes of work can take many forms and there is not a blueprint for a scheme of learning that will suit all contexts. So, use the principles outlined in this module as a guide and remember that any scheme of work should be a supportive framework for responsive teaching and learning, rather than a bind that restricts your teaching, or the learning of your pupils.

Throughout the module, you’ll hear from two teachers who will talk through how they have approached the design of a scheme of work.

Primary and Secondary teachers will hear from Emily, Humanities lead at Reach Academy Feltham, as she talks you through her scheme of work on tectonic plates.

Early Years teachers will hear from Maria, a teacher at One Degree Academy, as she talks you through her scheme of work on learning the alphabet.

At your weekly mentor interactions, you’ll have time to share, discuss, and get feedback as your own scheme of work evolves.