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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds TEACHER 1: So, when considering what should be in the scheme of work, it should be like a planned– like a logical progression of lessons and this should be planned progression of skills and knowledge throughout. So every lesson should fit into a wider context and should perhaps build on the next one and then also lead into something else.

Skip to 0 minutes and 29 seconds TEACHER 2: Yeah, it should give you an idea of where learning has just been and where it’s going on to, so you understand a good idea about how it fits all together.

Skip to 0 minutes and 37 seconds TEACHER 3: And then different opportunities for differentiation depending on which group you’ve got.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 seconds TEACHER 4: Yeah, putting in different skills as well, especially for science. You want to make sure that you get practical skills in there and you’re not just doing them for that practical. You’re actually developing your child or the pupil for a– the greater scheme of life.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 seconds TEACHER 2: Yeah, should be ideas and opportunities. That it’s not a compulsory task, but there are things that people know that their ideas and suggestions for tasks they can do and activities that can be carried out that link to that particular area of learning.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 seconds TEACHER 4: It’s opportunity, problem-solving, isn’t it, as well for when they–

Skip to 1 minute and 17 seconds TEACHER 3: And then resources that the technicians need to put out, so they know what they need to put out for that lesson.

Skip to 1 minute and 25 seconds TEACHER 1: Yeah, potentially lesson objectives and success criteria for certain lessons as well. Opportunities for assessment as well, planned opportunities for assessment.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 seconds TEACHER 2: What it shouldn’t be is too constraining. It shouldn’t be, you know very rigid, and it must be this sequence exactly, exactly, and there’s no flexibility for– because part teaching has to be adaptable. You have to be able to look at what is working well and what needs focus to help students understand. If they’re not getting it, we need to revisit that area in future. There’s no point in assessing something and then coming back to it and going, well, we don’t know that, but we have to move on because the scheme of work says I have no time to go over that thing again.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds TEACHER 4: It’s part of your assessment as well. You’ve got to look at different ways of assessing your pupils because what fits one doesn’t necessarily fit another one.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 seconds TEACHER 1: Yeah, yeah.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 seconds TEACHER 4: So definitely a range and a variation, a way of assessing peoples, so not just an end of unit test–

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 seconds TEACHER 1: Yeah.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 seconds TEACHER 4: –that’s it. You could plummet on an end of unit test, but actually still know and understand some of the things that you’ve learnt.

What to put in and what to leave out

Deciding what actually needs to be in a scheme of learning is a key part to designing a curriculum. This may be an activity you also want to do with your own department at the beginning of any journey to update your curriculum approaches.

In the video above, teachers discuss their views about what should or shouldn’t be in a scheme of learning.

We have provided a list of some of the features (PDF) and some thoughts about why they may, or may not, be useful in the scheme of learning.

Features of your scheme of learning: 3-2-1

Thinking about the needs of your own department, what features should be in a scheme of learning?

There is no right or wrong answer here. As we mentioned in our very first step, schemes of learning will vary depending on the needs and context of your school and department.

  1. Give three features that you think should be included in a scheme of learning.
  2. Give two features that should be left out of a scheme of learning.
  3. Give one factor from your teaching context that has influenced your choice in making these decisions.

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Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre

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