Curriculum development initiative Essay Example
Curriculum development initiative Essay Example

Curriculum development initiative Essay Example

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  • Pages: 9 (2333 words)
  • Published: September 27, 2017
  • Type: Report
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This assignment focuses on critically investigating how the implementation of the 'Big Writing Adventures' (BWA) program at School A has impacted my future practice as a newly qualified teacher. It also involves assessing to what extent the curriculum accommodates the individualized needs of two students in my class. School A introduced BWA in Key Stage 2 in response to an OFSTED finding that highlighted weaker writing achievement compared to reading and mathematics. The decision was also influenced by the requirements of the new national curriculum, which emphasizes developing writing skills, including accurate spelling, punctuation, grammar usage, and expanding writing skills through various genres such as narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries, and evaluations.BWA provides comprehensive coverage of the new writing curriculum, encompassing grammar, punctuation skills, and vocabulary integration. Teachers have access to lesson plans, engaging resou


rces, and a handbook on effectively utilizing the lesson plans while differentiating instruction to challenge students.

According to Lewin (1951), implementing change involves a three-step process: unfreezing, moving, and refreezing. In School A, this process entailed deciding not to continue teaching literacy as they had been doing so far. Instead, they learned about the new approach and its implications before implementing it in their classrooms. The school believed that BWA would enhance student achievement, meet curriculum requirements, and provide a solution to their problems.

In contrast, researchers argue that organizations should remain adaptable rather than being locked into a specific mode of operation (Dawson, 2003; Kantor et al., 1992). Buchanan and Storey (1997) contend that change often involves significant backtracking. Burke (2002) agrees with this perspective by stating that the change process resembles a series of loops rather than a linear path. There

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are always unexpected consequences and adjustments need to be made continuously to stay on track with the change.

Hayes (2007) also supports this notion by acknowledging that although the need for change is recognized, finding a clear solution may be challenging and the ultimate goal may undergo constant modification.The school's implementation of this change contrasts with the strategy proposed in this text. The strategy emphasizes the importance of being flexible and adaptable, rather than assuming that the problem has been solved. According to Higgins (2005), successful organizations recognize that implementation is just as important as formulating strategy and addressing arising issues. However, given the constantly changing curriculum and the needs of today's educational environment, BWA may not be appropriate in the future. It is up to the leadership team to determine when a new change is necessary for continuous progress for the children.

At School A, most staff members supported the initiative and recognized the need for change. This support was crucial for successfully implementing BWA. Brundett and Duncan (2011) suggest that curriculum innovation is more likely to succeed when teachers and school leaders see its potential benefits and are committed to its values. Pendlebury et al (1990) also agree, stating that having a vision drives and guides change while providing its rationale.

The school had a vision to improve writing skills, which was shared by most staff members, resulting in minimal resistance. However, Newton and Tarrant (2002) acknowledge that resistance is natural and expected during times of change.Plant (1987) presents various factors that contribute to resistance to change and the reluctance to adopt new behaviors. These include fear of the unknown, lack of information, fear of failure,

fear of appearing foolish, and a hesitancy to experiment. The text also emphasizes that levels of opposition will be higher when there is low engagement and insufficient information. Therefore, it is advised to put in extra effort to effectively communicate during times of change.

At School A, the leadership team regularly held meetings with the staff with the aim of discussing strategies for improving writing attainment. They presented BWA as a solution and even organized a visit from an educational adviser from Oxford Owl who provided training. Furthermore, the staff had weekly meetings with both the head teacher and leading team in order to address any issues or concerns they may have had, as well as receive advice and feedback.

Newton and Tarrant (2002) suggest that teachers should participate in the planning stages of change so they can react appropriately, understand its implications, and adapt accordingly. Brundett and Duncan (2011) recommend consistently reviewing, modifying, and adapting changes according to evolving circumstances and needs.

The effective communication mentioned above enabled staff members at School A to obtain necessary information which helped minimize their fears and reduce opposition towards the changes being implemented. However, Herold and Fedor (2008) argue that although effective communication along with employee input are significant factors for successful change implementation, leadership teams must also take into account individual differences among employees while providing them with support throughout the process.In a school setting, teachers were paired together to encourage idea-sharing and reflection. The head teacher was supportive and open to discussing problems and finding solutions as a team. The success of implementing changes relied on the strength and effectiveness of the leadership team. According to OFSTED (2014),

the head teacher had high ambitions for the school and fostered a positive atmosphere that promoted teamwork among staff for the benefit of students. Research by Lippitt, Watson, and Westley (1958) suggests that effective change managers must develop strong relationships with those involved or affected by the change. The strong leadership provided instructors with support and alleviated their fear of neglecting their responsibilities, which in turn reduced opposition to the changes. Being part of this transformation highlighted the importance of being receptive to new ideas and adopting a flexible approach in educational institutions, where constant change is introduced through new initiatives aimed at improvement. Sugrue (2008) argues that educational change is ongoing and intense. Johnson (2007) proposes that teachers should be adaptable and acknowledge that learning outcomes can be unpredictable, especially when it comes to knowledge acquisition. Throughout my NQT year, I will explore different teaching methods to determine what works best for both me and my students while embracing these principles of openness and flexibility.The importance of recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution cannot be overstated. Each student has unique needs and every class is different. At School A, I had to become familiar with a new initiative and adapt resources and lesson plans accordingly in order to ensure appropriate differentiation. Being open-minded and receptive to new ideas was essential as I had to be prepared for new demands. As a result, my approach to instruction was constantly adjusted based on feedback from my students.

Within my category, it became evident that the introduction of the new enterprise brought excitement about writing among the children. They were exposed to experiences they had never encountered

before, such as receiving video messages from foreigners. This innovative approach inspired the children and sparked their desire to learn and explore further.

According to Cowley (2005), lessons should be creative, meaning they should possess qualities like inventiveness, originality, novelty, value, and purposefulness. Based on my own experience, employing the BWA strategy generates anticipation, excitement, and enthusiasm among the children. This enables them to fully engage in the lessons and become deeply absorbed in their learning process. Writing letters or messages to foreigners gives their writing a sense of purpose since it goes beyond what they typically do for their teacher.

This particular experience taught me that capturing a child's attention by providing enjoyable and stimulating activities is crucial for them to achieve their best outcomes academically. Utilizing information communication technology (ICT) offers clear benefits as it enhances children's learning experiences while also playing an important role in personalized learning approaches.Remote learning, whether through video-conferencing or electronic bundles, offers easier access to challenging subjects and a wider range of skills (Rudd 2013). According to McKeown and McGlashon (2012), this use of ICT motivates children, inspiring and encouraging them while also enabling those with various difficulties to engage with the curriculum. However, I faced a problem when learning to use BWA, an online resource whose engineering reliability was not always dependable. Login issues, internet connectivity problems, and improperly loading resources caused significant time wasted trying to resolve these issues and resulted in last-minute changes to lesson plans if they couldn't be fixed. To prevent such delays in the future, I will thoroughly research and test ICT resources before starting lessons and have a backup plan ready in case

of any technical difficulties. Given the unpredictable nature of classrooms, administration and preparation are crucial for teachers. While BWA had a positive impact on most students in my class, I chose to evaluate its effect on two specific students: one from my higher ability group (Child A) in literacy and one from my lower ability group (Child B). These selections were made as our class encompassed diverse abilities, effectively showcasing both the benefits and challenges associated with implementing this new initiative.Child B had been attending Key Stage 1 for all literacy lessons and was learning using the Read Write Inc. (RWI) strategy. However, just as BWA was implemented, Child B reached the required level to return to normal lessons. This presented difficulties as RWI only required minimal writing, while BWA included activities like narratives and non-chronological studies that Child B struggled with. As a result, constant support was needed for Child B, who felt inadequate due to these challenges. Adjustments were made for lower ability groups but collaborative work with peers would have been beneficial according to Hart (2005). Unfortunately, this was not the case in my placement school where the lower ability group received more attention from the teacher. On a positive note, BWA's emphasis on visual aids helped children like Child B write about what they saw and heard instead of relying solely on their imagination.Meier (2011) supports the notion that visual images have a strong impact on writing, while Edwards (2013) argues that images provide writing with greater focus. Particularly for lower-ability students, these images made writing much easier. During the activity, the students collaboratively created a spider diagram to generate ideas

and adjectives for describing a foreigner. Subsequently, they utilized a synonym finder to independently write their own descriptions. Child B's sentences were humorous, boosting his confidence to share his work with the class. The implementation of this activity also had a positive effect on Child A, who previously showed minimal progress and enthusiasm in writing despite being bright and enjoying reading. Child A despised writing and would avoid it whenever possible as evidenced by poor presentations and incomplete tasks. Spencer (2012) emphasizes the importance of engaging reluctant writers through interesting prompts and providing them with an authentic audience. This is precisely what the activity achieved by targeting foreigners with video messages. Child A experienced significant improvements in presentation skills and became more willing to experiment with sentence structure, language usage, and grammar. The difference in Child A's presentation was remarkable. This experience taught me about the significance of adaptability during times of change as schools constantly evolve based on individual student needs in my classroom settings.As a teacher, it is important for me to be willing to take risks, experiment, and continually evaluate my teaching methods, the resources I use, and my approach to the children in my class. I believe that BWA has successfully improved writing skills and met the requirements of the new national curriculum. Although there were some difficulties initially, I am confident that these will be overcome as teachers become more comfortable using BWA and gain more experience with it. The references for this information include government documents such as the OFSTED School Report for Mossfield Primary School and The National Curriculum for England by the Department of Education and Employment.

Additionally, books written by Buchanan & Storey, Burke, Cowley, Dawson, Edwards, Kantor et al., and Hayes have provided valuable insights into organizational change processes."The Theory and Practice of Change Management" by Herold, D. & Fedor, D (2008) is a book published in the United States by Palgrave Macmillan. "Leading Change Management: Leadership strategies that truly work" by Johnson, M (2007) is another book published in the United Kingdom by Kogan Page Ltd. "Capable to Change: New Thinking on the Curriculum" by Lewin, K (1951) is a book published in London by The Green Tree Press Ltd. "The Dynamics of Planned Change" by Lippitt.R, Watson.J. and Westley, B (1958) is a book published in New York by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Another relevant publication is "Brilliant thoughts for utilizing ICT in the Inclusive Classroom" by McKeown, S and McGlashon, A. (2012), which was published in New York by Routledge.

For those interested specifically in teaching children to write, there is "Teaching Children to Write: Constructing meaning and mastering mechanics" written by Meier, D. (2011) and published in New York by Teachers College Press.

A practical handbook titled "Managing Change In Schools: A Practical Handbook" was authored by Newton, C & Tarrant,T(2002). This eBook can be found on EBSCOhost viewed on 17 February 2015.

Furthermore,"Change and the Teacher: Facilitating Quality in Learning in Schools", written jointlyby Pendlebury,J., Grouard,B., Douglas Copely Consulting Group Ltd(2003). It waspublishedin Exeterby Learning Matters Limited.

Lastly,"The Ten Keys to Successful Change Management", authoredbyMeston,F.(1998),isavailableforpurchaseas a first edition from Wiley John & Sons Inc locatedintheUnitedKingdom."The following texts contain references to books, journals, and websites related to managing change, literacy and ICT in primary schools, educational change, curriculum innovation, successful strategy execution,

and engaging reluctant writers.

1. Sons, Incorporated Plant (1987). Managing Change and Making it Stick. United Kingdom: London: Collins/Fontana.
2. Rudd, A. (2013). Literacy and ICT in the Primary School: A Creative Approach to English. London: David Fulton Publishers.
3. Sugrue, C. (2008). The Future of Educational Change: International Perspectives. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Inc.

1. Brundrett, M., & Duncan D.(2011). Leading Curriculum Innovation in Primary Schools.Management in Education 25(3), 119-124.
2.Higgins,J.M.(2005) The eight "S's" of successful Strategy Execution.Journal of Change Management 5(1), pp.3-13

1.Oxford University Press (2015) Large Writing Adventures [Online] [Accessed on 16/02/2015]. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol://
2.Spencer,J,(2012) 13 Ways to Engage Reluctant Writers ,13/09.ThemeXpose[Online][Accessed on03/03,/2020.] Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol://

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