Primary Huh: Curriculum conversations with subject leaders in primary schools

Primary Huh: Curriculum conversations with subject leaders in primary schools

By Mary Myatt, John Tomsett

Published 25 Apr 2022

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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!
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 9781915261151
  • No. of Pages 288
  • Format Paperback
  • Publication Date 25 Apr 2022