ONSchool will need a curriculum for teaching and a set of qualification pathways for the subjects and careers that kids want to follow. The RSA Opening Minds Framework provides an approach for skills - and the options include the National Curriculum and the International and English Baccalaureate.
However, there is another option. The Scottish Government recently implemented a brand new curriculum across Scotland - The Curriculum for Excellence. It has been internationally acclaimed, and is a product of many years of research to combine excellence in subject teaching with creativity and a strong skills based approach to teaching and learning.
The subjects are very similar in name to those we all recongise - but different in important ways.
- Expressive arts
- Health and wellbeing
- Religious and moral education
- Social studies
The Scottish Quaification Agency is developing new assessments and qualifications to match the models of implementations flourishing across Scotland.
Some might ask why we should look North of the Border for a curriculum, when there is one right here - and also question the 'fit' of all the Scottish orientated references. I say, we should look carefully at this as an option, as the Scots are working hard to transform their country, and have recognised that education needs to be substantially better - and that change must also be significant. Also, the CfE has an excellent blend of the threads of technology, community and values, which match well to what we hope to offer at ONSchool.
The Free School policy enables us to use any curriculum we like (as long as Ofsted and the DfE approve) - and how can they object to one created for children on these British Isles?
There is one more reason that I must disclose. I have, over the past few years, been to loads of events where people from the Scottish education agencies talk at events in England - and there has developed a now well worn phrase used to describe the feelings that hearing about the changes in Scottish education - #JealousofScotland !
I have been lucky enough to get to know some of the amazing teachers who now advise the Scottish Government on how to implement digital resources into teaching and learning - and know that I am not alone being inspired by their work - and the space they are given to develop practice. I would love the chance to work with them to bring the best of Scottish education to Oxford. Special mention for Ollie Bray, National Adviser for Emerging Technologies in Learning at Education Scotland, who has supported ONSchool since I first mentioned it - and who helped me consider this idea further.
So, where now? I propose that we review, carefully, the idea of combining the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence with the RSA Opening Minds framework - to bring the best designed curricula around the needs of children in our part of South Oxford.
I will be following up with official in Scotland to consider the practical implentation of using CfE, but for now, this blog post is the start of seeing how concept survives in 'the wild'.
What do you think? Can it be done? Have you tried it? Are you Scottish and have another view of the CfE? What should we consider ditching? Would you like to help?
Looking forward to hearing your views!
Who could argue with the goal that the CfE sets all of those involved in education (see below)?