How to design a curriculum

Be clear on how to design an effective curriculum with this guidance on 3 core principles to bear in mind, plus resources and examples to help you improve your curriculum design.

Last reviewed on 7 January 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 31185
  1. What is curriculum design?
  2. 3 core principles of curriculum design 
  3. Use these resources to help you improve your curriculum design

What is curriculum design?

Curriculum design is, broadly speaking, how you interpret a designated curriculum in the context of your pupils.

This means taking the schemes of work and end-of-year expectations and delivering them while taking into account:

  • Your local environment
  • The expertise of staff
  • The traditions of your school

It’s likely that for you, the “designated curriculum” will be the National Curriculum. However, the above principles also apply to academies and international schools that may use a different curriculum as a framework.

3 core principles of curriculum design 

1. The curriculum should be developmental

This means it should: 

For example, a child may learn about light and dark in Key Stage 1, but as they move through school they would learn about areas such as how light is created, electricity,