Huh: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders

Huh: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders

By Mary Myatt, John Tomsett

Published 18 Sep 2021

Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Out of stock
Unit price

Schools need to have purchase on the curriculum: why they teach the subjects beyond preparation for examinations, what they are intending to achieve with the curriculum, how well it is planned and enacted in classrooms and how they know whether it’s doing what it’s supposed to. Fundamental to this understanding are the conversations between subject leaders and their line managers. However, there is sometimes a mismatch between the subject specialisms of senior leaders and those they line manage. If I don’t know the terrain and the importance of a particular subject, how can I talk intelligently with colleagues who are specialists? This book sets out to offer some tentative answers to these questions. Each of the national curriculum subjects is discussed with a subject leader and provides an insight into what they view as the importance of the subject, how they go about ensuring that knowledge, understanding and skills are developed over time, how they talk about the quality of the schemes in their departments and what they would welcome from senior leaders by way of support. We have chosen this way of opening up the potentially difficult terrain of expertise on one side and relative lack of expertise on the other, by providing these case studies. They are suggested as prompts rather than the last word. Informed debate is, after all, the fuel of curriculum development. And why Huh? Well, 'Huh?' may be John's first response when he walks into a Year 8 German class but, in fact, we chose 'Huh' as the title of our book as he is the Egyptian god of endlessness. As Claire Hill so eloquently comments in her chapter, “Curriculum development is an ongoing process; it’s not going to be finished, ever.” And we believe that 'Huh' captures a healthy and expansive way of considering curriculum conversations.
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. Her current work focuses on the Huh Curriculum series for primary, secondary and SEND alongside the Huh Academy with John Tomsett.

She has established Myatt & Co, an online platform with films for ongoing professional development including the popular Primary Subject Networks and Secondary Subject Networks. Her most recent work is the development of The Teachers' Collection, underpinned by the findings from the 'Faster Read' research from the University of Sussex.

Mary is a patron of CAPE, and has been a governor in three schools and a trustee for a multi-academy trust. She maintains that there are no quick fixes and that great outcomes for pupils are not achieved through tick boxes.
X: @MaryMyatt

John Tomsett taught for 33 years in state schools and was a teaching secondary headteacher for 18 years. He writes a blog called This Much I Know and has written extensively about school leadership. He has published 10 books, including: Love Over Fear: Creating a Culture for Truly Great Teaching; Putting Staff First: A Blueprint for Revitalising our Schools (with Jonny Uttley); Cognitive Apprenticeship in Action (editor); Huh: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders; Primary Huh: Curriculum conversations with subject leaders in primary schools; Primary Huh 2: Primary curriculum leadership conversations; SEND Huh: Curriculum conversations with SEND leaders; and Alternative Provision Huh: Curriculum conversations with AP leaders (all 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.
X: @johntomsett
  • Author Mary Myatt,John Tomsett
  • ISBN 9781913622732
  • No. of Pages 294
  • Format Paperback
  • Publication Date 18 Sep 2021