What is the Curriculum Centre?
Our work focuses on the development of new, high-quality curriculum programmes for our schools to use. Initially, this work began in with Pimlico Academy in 2012 and has continued to grow as Future Academies has grown. In recent years, we focused on supporting our hub of primary schools in Pimlico, creating a common curriculum in ancient history, British history, English literature, English grammar, Latin, and geography. More secondary schools have since joined the trust, and we are developing our Key Stage 3 curriculum offer and broadening our subject expertise. Over the last two years, we have launched common curriculum programmes in English Literature, English grammar, history, science, maths and Latin.
Why do we have a Curriculum Centre?
Our trust, and by extension our curriculum, is built on a belief in imparting knowledge to our students that will empower them. This curriculum is designed to be delivered by teachers who are experts in their fields, and has been written with the importance of memory in mind. Our work is also driven by a desire to reduce unnecessary workload for our teachers through the provision of long and medium term planning documents, accompanied by classroom-ready resources that support complete, coherent and challenging curriculum programmes.
A common curriculum across the trust also offers practical benefits to our schools, namely: access to high-quality and cost-effective resources for all teachers to use; the opportunity to collaborate during assessment moderation, which is especially important at Key Stage 3; the chance for staff to share best practice from our classrooms and exchange ideas and expertise on curriculum content; and the opportunity to access career development opportunities in curriculum design and leadership.
Lady Caroline Nash - Co-Director of the Curriculum Centre
Lady Nash has a BA in History from Bristol University. A stockbroker by training, she had a successful career in the international division of a French merchant bank. She is a former counsellor for the Citizens' Advice Bureau.
Caroline is the leading force in curriculum development across the Trust. Caroline has overseen the development of the new KS3 curriculum at Pimlico Academy and the KS2 curriculum at the primaries, and she led a national pilot with the Education Endowment Foundation.
Paul Smith - Co-Director of the Curriculum Centre
Paul is the Chief Executive of Future Academies and a National Leader of Education (NLE).
Over almost twenty years, Paul has gained wide experience in schools, leading his own schools to be judged 'outstanding' by Ofsted and turning around some of the toughest schools in the north of England. Paul started his career in primary education, teaching across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. He has also spent time as an advanced skills teacher in KS3 and KS4. Paul has gained a reputation for leading highly-effective teams to secure outstanding outcomes for all pupils regardless of background.
Through his work with the National College, as a NLE and as head of a teaching school, he has worked on developing several national programmes looking at improving system leadership in the sector. He has worked on several key development groups at the Department for Education over the last 15 years, including the National Headteacher Reference Group. Paul has also worked as an Ofsted inspector and has taken part in international visits to schools in Shanghai, Sweden and South Africa.
More recently Paul took up the post as one of the first Regional Schools Commissioners at the Department for Education. In this role, he raised standards across schools in the north-west of England and established the Blackpool Challenge initiative to raise outcomes in the local area.
Our Principles of Curriculum Design
The work of The Curriculum Centre in designing and developing the Future Academies’ curriculum is based upon seven principles of curriculum design. Our curriculum materials are:
5. Academically challenging
6. Written with memory in mind
7. Written for novices, not experts