Whole school approaches to enhancing the wider curriculum

We can help in three different ways


  1. Enquiry Pedagogy and States of Being (using your own content)

  2. Catalyst Framework (from one of four 'flavours')



Enquiry Pedagogy and States of Being

Through carefully constructed, cognitively progressive questions, enhanced by the concept of being not doing, we can help take your existing curriculum and elevate it using enquiry-led pedagogy. Ultimately, the enquiry-led process leads to a challenge, enhancing oracy and 'know more and remember more'.

Changing the language from 'Science' to 'Scientists' is not enough because the reasoning is not underpinned by a pedagogical shift. It simply will not make a difference. Just because topics have questions, does not make it an enquiry-led curriculum.

The research is clear: when young people are held responsible for their learning, they are engaged and challenged. Teachers planning for young people to be Scientists is different to teaching them Science. When enquiry questions follow the cognitive development of child, they develop a sense of progression and ownership. When the music subject leader is challenged to become Lead Musician, the engagement changes. This process though is complex. It requires an understanding of cognitive development and how this affects the construction of enquiry challenges.

We will work with you and your staff during an INSET and three subsequent staff meetings (online or in person) to embed enquiry led pedagogy using your current curriculum maps.

We always quote for a school's individual needs, and as with everything we offer, all of our prices are indicative. Typically this work would come in around £1750, and please get in touch to discuss prices if you're a small setting or MAT.

Filton Avenue Primary did exactly this.

When Filton Avenue contacted us, they were confident about their curriculum content, but they wanted to elevate learning to include deeper local links, more curiosity and higher challenge. Over an initial INSET and a series of deeper twilights we worked with the staff to 'enquiry-ise' (yes, we have made that word up) content using enquiry-led theory and pedagogical principles.









A catalytic framework


Imagine the National Curriculum progressively mapped from Year 1 to Year 6 using enquiry-led pedagogy and locally enriched in different ways:

  • Curious-city (community and heritage)

  • Diverse-city (equality and culture)

  • Curious about Climate Change

Curious conversations- Dave Payne.mp4
Dave Payne, Assistant Head at Stanbridge Primary (Bristol), talks Curious-city 10 weeks in.

With people, places and stories at the heart of each enquiry-led framework, we combine cognitively appropriate questions with progressive challenges, enabling the school to localise content and make it their own.

Starting in EYFS, States of Being form the core driver for learning. Through on the ground training and support, our team work with teachers to adapt enquiry skeletons to better suit the local content, utilising contacts, organisations and events, past and present.

Each of the three catalyst framework includes the enquiry and States of Being pedagogy (as above),

  • Access to 49 enquiries and EYFS guidance

  • States of Being characters to use in classrooms, books, displays

  • PPA as CPD: curriculum specialist working alongside teachers to localise Curious-city enquiries to your setting.

  • The Curriculum Library: access to editable policies, resources, articles and research for Senior Leaders, teachers and Families.

  • Collaborative online planning sessions with teachers from the Curious-city network

  • Curriculum Leadership support

  • Curriculum Correspondence: includes articles, signposts and updates.

  • Discount to Curriculum Architects, EYFS Seminars, Leadership Circles etc.


Meet Oscar, our enquiry-led learning mascot. This is what he says:

'It's good because you get to do more exploring and have more fun. It also feels more adventurous than usual. It feels like you are really a 'geologist'. He was able to learn a lot about the different parts of planet earth and it was really interesting.'

Oscar, a learner at Blackhorse Primary School, voluntarily made this film providing an answer to his enquiry question, and this is exactly the power of an enquiry curriculum. Our journey with Blackhorse started with a combination of enquiry-led pedagogy and innovating their existing curriculum. It became apparent quickly, that the existing content just didn't stand up to an enquiry-led pedagogy and so it was decided to use Curious-city as the catalyst it was designed for. Using 'champion learners' as a driving force, Curious-city, launched in September 2020, is providing a solid foundation of enquiry-led pedagogy and content enabling subject leaders and teachers to take it to levels we didn't think possible.


We always quote for a school's individual needs, and as with everything we offer, all of our prices are indicative.

Typically, a catalyst framework (which includes Enquiry pedagogy and States of Being (£1750) as well as full access to the above (£3500) is a one-off, no annual subscription fee.

Mixed age classes, small schools and unique positions mean that this is a guide price as every project is bespoke.



The Dolphin School

elley Flanagan, Headteacher, explains the difference Curious-city curriculum made to The Dolphin School in the first 18 months from when they started in 2016. As the Curious-city flagship setting, The Dolphin School are now in their fourth year of using Curious-city as the foundation and making it their own with a focus on representation. States of Being permeate the school, and children now take ownership for being the best Artist, Athlete and Author they can. On the surface very little has changed, the enquiry questions remain the same but what has evolved is the inclusion of local people, places and stories.

Five Schools, One Trust

Same, same, different' is the approach to the five autonomous curriculums within the Pickwick Academy Trust. With shared learning outcomes for both young people and staff, the opportunities for collaboration, CPD, capacity building, leadership development and succession planning are endless. Through shared INSETs, Subject Leadership sessions, Curriculum Reviews and bespoke planning sessions we work strategically with Trust leaders as well as with individual schools, leaders and teachers as needed.


Venturers' Academy

specialist setting for young people with Autism as their primary need, we started the curriculum journey using Curious-city. Soon realising that the needs of the school revolved around personal, social and emotional learning, we used Curious-city as a foundation and combined States of Being in different ways to develop the Curiosity Curriculum. With six whole school themes, learners engage in enquiries relevant to one of three phases of learning: 'Establishing' (EYFS and KS1), 'Developing' (KS2) and 'Enhancing' (KS3+) leading into individual choices of study at KS4.


Each framework is built on same enquiry-led pedagogy, states of being, cognitive development theory and question and challenge approach with slightly different 'flavours', a leaning that colours enquiries, such as Community and Heritage of Curious-city above.

The National Curriculum is progressively mapped in each, with different emphasis placed on different states of being depending on the flavour. These states of being are 'dialled up' and feature in most enquiries.


What's your preference?

Community and heritage?

Culture and diversity?

Change and climate confident?

Sustainability and the future?





Design your own curriculum


We can work with you as Curriculum Design Partners to review what you currently have, what the strengths, opportunities, desires and needs of your school community are, and help construct an utterly bespoke curriculum - it's yours and always will be.

We usually start with a review and consultation to kick start the process, and then, over a year or two, we co-construct your curriculum, test, trial and refine.

The cost is similar to the catalyst framework but is very much dependent on what and how you want the curriculum to look like, how much training, research and development we need to do.

The first step is a Review and Consultation (click here).



The icon used on this page is: Puzzle by Aiden Coquet from the Noun Project