Why the word ‘curriculum’ is important in Early Years

  • #UKEdChat session 548
  • Curricula come in many forms and are adhered to in different ways
  • The way a curriculum is implemented changes greatly for different age groups.
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In my experience, the there are two main sources of curse words in schools: behind the bike sheds and from the head’s office. Some see the word ‘curriculum’ as a dirty word - a prescribed set of knowledge or skills which every pupil works towards - with the national curricula in the different devolved areas of the UK being the most pertinent examples. But should we impose a minimum goal for all pupils, or should we cater for pupils individually, and are these mutually exclusive?

No where is the debate more acute than in the Early Years classroom, where the age of the pupil can vary by 20%, and the life experience has not been ‘standardised’ with a set home-life and home learning up until this point. While our focus for this session is on the Early Years, the question of the role of a curriculum resound up the age range.

There is also the question of access and equality of opportunity different types of schools are mandated or are able to opt out of a national curriculum, and what there consequences are for pupils moving thought the educational production line.

The questions for this session were written by Dr Sue Allingham, a specialist in Early Years education, and Sue will guide the #UKEdChat discussion on Twitter, and then join the After Hours webinar to continue the conversation.

In this #UKEdChat session hosted by Dr Sue Allingham, which took place on Thursday 1st April 2021 at 8pm(UK), and the #UKEdChat After Hours Webinar at 9pm, we discussed the role of a curriculum in the modern classroom with a focus on Early Years, what our expectations should be, and where we go next.


  1. What do we mean by ‘curriculum’?
  2. What should children know and when?
  3. What do we need to know in order to create a ‘curriculum’?
  4. What expectations are there?
  5. Why is it important to know what the expectations are?
  6. How will a ‘curriculum’ affect everyday practice and provision?
  7. How do we know we have it right? Or wrong?
  8. What next? How will your ‘curriculum’ be informed?

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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