Area Based Curriculum
Based on four years of research and development of this idea with schools and communities in Manchester and Peterborough, the RSA has developed the idea of an Area Based Curriculum that is:
• about a place: making use of local context and resources to frame learning
• by a place: designed by schools in partnership with other local stakeholders, and
• for a place: meeting the specific needs of children and local communities
Based on practical projects with schools and teachers, we have developed a suite of reports, think pieces and case studies to support those thinking about or developing their own locally based curriculum. Read the Area Based Curriculum reports and case studies.
The curriculum has always been a political animal. As a nation, and as institutions and individuals, it defines our values and clarifies our hopes for future generations. Any attempt to try and ‘depoliticise’ the curriculum is neither desirable nor realistic. Indeed, most debates about the curriculum start from the wrong place. Instead of asking ‘what should the curriculum include’, our starting question should always be ‘who should determine what the curriculum includes’? Such a question enables curriculum development to play a significant role in building and reshaping civil society.
Throughout its 260 year history the RSA has built and sustained interest in school curriculum issues. Building on this reputation, as well as our successes and learning from developing this project we will continue to contribute in four specific ways:
First, we will continue to work in Peterborough through the new Learning Partnership, and find ways to transfer our learning to other areas interested in developing local curricula.
Second, in partnership with the Institute of Education and the Curriculum Foundation, we are developing a pioneering professional development programme for teachers and other educators. Grand Curriculum Designs will foster a new generation of skilled and sensitive curriculum designers.
Third, we will continue to foster curriculum innovation in our growing family of academies.
Finally, we will continue to offer the RSA’s House and online platforms as spaces for purposeful, evidence-based debates about the curriculum to take place.
If you are interested in working with the RSA to develop an Area Based Curriculum for your school or locality, please contact Joe Hallgarten at email@example.com.