Placing teachers’ professional learning at the heart of curriculum development
At Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we believe the arts play a vital role in young people’s learning, and improving young people’s education and learning through the arts is central to the Teacher Development Fund (TDF).
Launched in 2016, the Fund promotes partnerships between primary schools and arts/cultural organisations across the UK, supporting teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, confidence and experience to deliver effective arts-based learning opportunities, improving their practice and the outcomes for young people.
As the new school year begins, we’re delighted to be opening Round 3 of the Teacher Development Fund. This Autumn the priorities and approaches at the heart of the TDF have particular relevance. The last year has seen increased emphasis on curriculum design and implementation, particularly in England where Ofsted has published a new inspection framework and in Wales as colleagues prepare for a new curriculum from 2022. In parallel pupils’ entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum which includes the arts and the importance of creativity in education have also been a focus for debate.
The TDF speaks directly to the interests of primary schools around curriculum in each of the four nations. Evidence from our work points to the need for curriculum design and implementation to be underpinned by a relentless and rigorous commitment to high quality and effective Continuing Professional Development and Learning (CPDL) for school leaders, subject leaders and classroom teachers alike in order that schools can articulate thoughtful choices about curriculum content, informed judgements about pedagogy and ensure teachers have secure subject knowledge.
Through the TDF over 300 teachers from 100 schools have enriched their practice to ensure depth in pupil learning; better support pupil progress; become more reflective and adaptable practitioners; engage in action research; work as part of a community of practice; and develop inclusive teaching practices that can address specific barriers to learning experienced by disadvantaged pupils. School leaders have in turn embedded and mobilised this project learning within curriculum development.
In TDF projects, schools work in partnership with experienced and skilled artist practitioners who enable CPDL and scaffold professional learning through a two-year, enquiry-driven process. Working with local artists and arts/cultural organisations supports schools in harnessing, and connecting their staff and pupils to, the cultural capital within their community to develop a curriculum which reflects local context and is relevant, engaging and meaningful for all.
The TDF pages give full details of PHF’s objectives and priorities for this area of our funding. The pilot evaluation and case studies, together with details of the projects we have funded so far, will give further insight into the array of exciting work that is happening in schools around the UK.
The deadline for applications is 29 November 2019; we look forward to seeing the next round of creative projects emerge through the Fund this Autumn.