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Primary Huh: Curriculum conversations with subject leaders in primary schools

Primary Huh: Curriculum conversations with subject leaders in primary schools

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Following the success of the secondary-focused ‘Huh: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders’, Mary Myatt and John Tomsett have teamed up with primary specialists to have conversations with primary teachers and key stage co-ordinators who are doing great curriculum development work.

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There’s plenty to do when planning the curriculum in primary schools. If it feels daunting, then one of the most helpful things is to talk to other people about how they have developed the curriculum for their particular subject or key stage.

This is what John Tomsett and Mary Myatt have done. After the secondary ‘Huh: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders’ was published, they were flooded with requests to produce a primary version.

They enlisted the help of renowned primary specialists, Rachel Higginson, Lekha Sharma and Emma Turner to have conversations with primary teachers and key stage co-ordinators who are doing great curriculum development work.

Each chapter provides insights into the importance of individual subjects and the unique contribution each makes to pupils’ cognitive and personal development.

The subject chapters discuss the steps colleagues take to ensure that there is a coherent thread across the year groups, as the discrete subjects deliver, collectively, the primary curriculum.

These conversations show how the craft of creating a rich, challenging curriculum for every subject is not a quick fix. This is a nuanced piece of work, and there are many ways of approaching it. Each chapter also contains links to subject associations and helpful resources.

Primary Huh has been written for subject leaders and key stage co-ordinators; it has also been written for senior leaders, as they prepare to have supportive conversations with their colleagues who are responsible for curriculum development.

Primary Huh is offered as a prompt rather than the last word. Informed debate is, as they say, the fuel of curriculum development.

And why have John and Mary called it ‘Huh’? Well, John discovered that Huh is the Egyptian god of endlessness, creativity, fertility and regeneration, and they thought that was a pretty good metaphor for their work on the curriculum!

About the Authors

Mary Myatt is an education adviser, writer and speaker. She trained as an RE teacher and is a former local authority adviser and inspector. She engages with pupils, teachers and leaders about learning, leadership and the curriculum. Mary has written extensively about leadership, school improvement and the curriculum: ‘High Challenge, Low Threat’, ‘Hopeful Schools’, ‘The Curriculum: Gallimaufry to Coherence’, ‘Back on Track’ and 'Huh: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders'. She has also established Myatt & Co, an online platform with films for teachers, including teaching assistants and leaders including governors. Mary has been a governor in three schools, and a trustee for a Multi Academy Trust. She co-founded the RE Quality Mark, is chair of the board for the Centre for Education and Youth and a member of the curriculum advisory group for Oak National Academy. She maintains that there are no quick fixes and that great outcomes for pupils are not achieved through tick boxes.

John Tomsett taught for 33 years in state schools and was a teaching headteacher for 18 years. Until August 2021 he led Huntington School in York. He writes a blog called 'This Much I Know', and has written extensively about school leadership. He has previously published six books: 'Love over Fear: Creating a Culture for Truly Great Teaching'; 'Mind Over Matter: Improving Mental Health in our Schools'; 'Putting Staff First: A Blueprint for Revitalising our Schools' (with Jonny Uttley); 'An Angler’s Journal'; and 'Cognitive Apprenticeship in Action' (editor); and 'Huh: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders', co-authored with Mary Myatt. He maintains that the best thing for our students is that our teachers are happy, healthy, well-qualified, highly motivated, hard-working, well-trained experts; consequently, he believes we should put staff first. He is now engaged in supporting the next generation of school leaders, with a resolute focus upon improving the quality of teaching & learning, and developing the school curriculum.

Additional Information

Author Mary Myatt and John Tomsett
ISBN 9781915261151
No of pages 240
Format Paperback
Publication Date 25 Apr 2022

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