To review links between curriculum breadth, pedagogic principles and congruent assessment


To review national aspirations and consequential links between curriculum breadth, pedagogic principles and congruent assessment.

Evidence and reflection

This activity challenges us to stand back and review our education system as a whole. Four questions might be posed, and could be tackled in discussion with colleagues.

1. Is there a broad consensus on educational purposes for schooling? An indication of this might be the nature of public debate about school provision. What aspects are taken for granted? Which are controversial?

2. How adequately do National Curriculum requirements represent educational goals on which there is broad agreement? For example, is the curriculum regarded as being sufficiently broad to provide an ‘all round education’ and to foster positive attitudes to learning whilst also ensuring mastery of basic skills and enabling appropriate qualifications to be obtained?

3. Are favoured approaches to teaching justifiable in terms of established, evidence-informed principles? Do these reinforce overall curricular intentions?

4. What sorts of assessment are significant in the school system in which you work? Are these congruent with overall curricular intentions?


These questions are framed above in quite general terms, for consideration of wide-ranging issues across an entire school system. However, they can also be applied much more specifically, to a particular school, department or classroom. If this is done, they become powerful tools for stimulating reflection on overall educational purposes and provision. Our aims and methods should match of course, but do they?