Implementing a knowledge-rich curriculum

Understand what a knowledge-rich curriculum is and prepare for common challenges you might face when implementing one. See approaches from 3 schools to help you get started.

Last reviewed on 30 November 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
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  1. What makes a successful knowledge-rich curriculum?  
  2. How 3 schools have approached this
  3. Consider these common challenges before diving in 

What makes a successful knowledge-rich curriculum?  

The DfE says that, taught well, a knowledge-rich curriculum: 

  • Focuses on the essential building blocks of knowledge required on the path from novice to expert (rather than how to ‘think like an expert’) 
  • Teaches pupils about the struggles and achievements of people from all races through learning the arc of history
  • Is diverse and inclusive 
  • Provides pupils with knowledge and facts so they can challenge opinions and form their own

Ofsted describes a knowledge-led approach as pupils mastering subject-specific knowledge and becoming 'fluent' in that knowledge. They then develop skills as an outcome of the curriculum.

The 2019 Ofsted inspection framework also emphasises that pupils should be provided with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. 

How 3 schools have