The DfE School Website Requirements specify that you have to publish the "content of your school curriculum information on your school website". You can find out the exact details in our School Website Requirements Guide. The purpose of the curriculum information on your school website is twofold.
- Firstly, to meet an information requirement - This could be a statutory requirement or meeting the needs of an engaged parent.
- Secondly, it is to encourage learning - Moving further through education this purpose becomes more pressing. Students choose what they want to study and have options. Curriculum information can help them do that aid conversation at home.
Curriculum 2021 Update
While the requirements for curriculum information on your school website have not changed. We suggest you read this alongside the curriculum section in the School Inspection Handbook: October 21 to find out more about inspectors expectations. Understandably they are interested in how schools have adapted their curriculum in response to extended periods of remote education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The handbook states that...
...inspectors will explore how leaders’ decisions about remote education have led to changes or adaptations to the school’s curriculum. For example, inspectors will look at how subject leaders and teachers have identified pupils’ learning gaps and new starting points, and how they have responded to that in their curriculum planning.
What do we suggest?
Curriculum information on your school website has always been an important requirement. But perhaps, this year more so than ever. It is important to adapt the content that you publish this year. This should be based on the experiences of your children during the pandemic. Make it clear how you have adapted your curriculum based on the learning gaps and challenges you have identified.
As ever we suggest trying to make sure your website answers as many of the inspector's questions as possible before they arrive.
How much content should you include on your curriculum pages?
Content is key. This is true right through the school website, but perhaps most importantly on the curriculum pages. The curriculum content on your school website needs to clearly convey what is studied at school in line with the statutory requirements. The goal is to emphasise why the curriculum is offered in this way (intent).
Many schools publish termly curriculum plans on their website that are based on a specific year group. These tend to range from not much detail to detail overload. I would suggest that somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios is where you want to be. You need to publish much more than a topic title. Show what it is the children are actually learning.
For example, in Year 2 the children might be learning about the Great Fire of London. So, what 'bits' of the curriculum are going to be covered in this topic? It might be 'events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally' (History) or 'to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products (DT). Having spoken with an inspector they want to be able to walk around with a curriculum plan and see the reality of it when they visit your school.
How to display curriculum information on your school website
How the information is displayed makes a big impact. Content that is really good, well written and engaging but difficult to read, or not accessible across a wide range of devices, has been compromised. There are other approaches to look at too. Bring content to life with colourful graphics and break it down with useful headings. Make use of videos, images, MP3 files and other engaging media to show how vibrant and exciting your school curriculum is.
A text dump onto a page, with a PDF file showing your curriculum information might meet the statutory requirements. But it's not likely to persuade visitors that your school curriculum is really important and a big priority. Consider how you can use a variety of documents and media to engage visitors on your website right from the start!
How to engage your audience through your school website curriculum pages
The challenge for the school or college, whether engaging with the parent or the pupil, is to attract them to your establishment. Why should a parent pick your school for their child? For the student, what options do they have? Does your school offer look good in their eyes? How does it compare to the other schools they are considering? The interest has been generated, now it needs to be captured. The hard work put into your curriculum pages has generated interest. So make the most of it.
Explain the action - to learn more. Better yet provide links to a contact form or an email address to get in touch. This action could be to request a prospectus, request more detail about the course, book a visit round school, view upcoming open evenings, or all of the above!
Below you'll find some related resources to help you get to grips with understanding Ofsted's position on the curriculum and all the latest requirements.
- School inspection handbook (updated - October 2021)
- Providing remote education on your school website