The Curriculum Toolkit

(inc. 'Subject September' and updated 

Subject Leader & EYFS Toolkits)

The Curriculum Toolkit. 

A self-guided approach to professional development that gives you the control to enhance subject leadership, EYFS practice and curriculum leadership at your pace, in your own time.

What is it?

How could a school use it?

Why is it different?

The Curriculum Toolkit can be self-guided by schools or through guidance and/or facilitation by Lighting up Learning. 

Intro to The Curriculum Toolkit

In 5 minutes, Nicholas introduces The Curriculum Toolkit with 50+ films and associated resources, signposts, research papers, blogs, websites, links to associations and organisations, the aim is to inspire and support leaders of all levels create debate, discussion and dialogue with others to drive change.

Unlimited access to the 50+ sections per school per 12 months is £840 in total (that works out as £12 per film) and can be facilitated by Lighting up Learning for an extra fee or self-guided within school. Each setting gets a username and password to access the materials on a dedicated part of the website.

Contact: for further information, MAT or small school packages.

For Subject Leaders

Getting to grips with intent, implementation and impact

For EYFS Leaders

Developing the team and enhancing practice

For Curriculum Leaders

Supporting the leadership of others

For Subject Leaders

Divided into three sections, each section has a film and four signposts to more reading, watching or listening.

Intent: getting started and leading the way

1. One size does not fit all explores how different subject could be led in different ways.

2. New to leading the subject? helps to get you going when you've just taken on a new subject.

3. What is an 'intent' statement? gets you started.

4. Keeping the momentum going; does what it says on the tin!

Implementation: how to engage and empower

5. Sources of inspiration come in many forms.

6. Managing Change takes you through different aspects of leading others.

7. Know More! helps to explore how to improve subject knowledge.

Impact: how do you know what has been learnt?

8. Learning Walks: the why, how and what.

9. Looking at learning uses the words, walks and walls approach.

10. Asking people what they think looks at the focus group model.

11. Feeding back or feeding forward looks at a more productive way of instigating change. 

And specific subject content...

...which includes: Ofsted guidance, subject association articles, papers, blogs and books, signposted websites as examples of practice, and more.

English   |   Mathematics   |   Science   |   Geography   |   History   |   Music   |   Art   |   DT   |   PE   |   Computing   |   Languages   |   RE/PSHE

And interviews with expert practitioners including:  

A sample of a Subject Leadership section ⬇︎

  1. One size does not fit all

There is no one definition of subject leadership, and the mistake many people make is thinking that leading means 'being at the front all of the time, checking, checking and more checking. This is not the case. Every leader is different as is the subject, the state of the subject and the teachers in the schools are all different. What one Art Leader might do in one school will not be the same in another. It is a balance of being proactive and reactive. Thinking of subject leadership as a three year plan and what types of leadership might be needed at what time can be helpful. Breaking each academic year up into three: Autumn, Spring and Summer and thinking about how you might dip in and out of different form of leadership.

Film length: 25 minutes

Different 'modes' of subject leadership.mp4

What might the different 'modes' of subject leadership be?

Want a book to get into? Try this:

Garnett, S. (2018) The Subject Leader. Camarthen: Crown House Publishing.

Like a blog?  Read this one as a start

What I have learnt about being a Coordinator (Goulds, 2020)

More of a film person?

Something a bit more academic?

Rees, T. (2020) An article drawing together research and think pieces. Ambition Institute [online].

For EYFS Leaders

Divided into two parts, each section has a film, four signposts to more reading, watching or listening and key questions to reflect on or drive a team conversation.

Part 1: Intent, Implementation Impact

A. Challenges of EYFS leadership

B. What is an EYFS intent statement?

C. The team you lead

D. Aspects of EYFS practice

E. Assessments, observations and documentation.

Part 2: Developing practice and team

F. Enquiry-led learning

G. The Learning Environment

H. Family Engagement

J. Storytelling and Vivian Gussin-Paley

K. Different Early Years Traditions

L. Schemas, Play and Continuous Provision

M. Promoting Oracy

N. Exploring observations and documentation

A sample of an EYFS section ⬇︎

A. Challenges of EYFS leadership

EYFS is a wonderful part of the educational journey. Well, it is the best actually but keep it quiet or everyone will be wanting to join. EYFS Leads get to work with the most energetic, curious, fascinating and creative young minds. EYFS is based on teamwork, meaning triumphs and frustrations of teaching the tiny learners are shared. Generally, EYFS teams have more freedom to develop practice that is carefully tailored to meet your unique setting. Having said this, EYFS also has its own particular challenges to go with all the opportunities. The film looks deeper int o what some of the challenges might be.

Film length: 10 minutes

EYFS Challenges.mp4

Key questions to consider:

Want a book to get into? 

Barber, J.  (2018)  'Effective Leadership and Management in the EYFS'. Practical Pre-school Books

Here's a more 'in depth' book 

Siraj and Hallet (2015) 'Effective and Caring Leadership in the Early Years'.  SAGE

Like a blog?  

A light general overview of EYFS issues

A range of articles 

From Early Excellence

For Curriculum Leaders

Curriculum Leaders can choose from a wide range of topics that affect curriculum and/or the leadership of others.

A sample of a Curriculum Leader section ⬇︎

2. Dialogue, Discussion, Debate?

Dr. Nicholas Garrick explores how to gain trust in change with others through authentic and inclusive use of different communication forms, such as  the 'but' of debate,  the 'if' of discussion and the 'and, so' of dialogue.

After watching the film, consider how you could build in debate, discussion and dialogue to drive change forward in your subject?  

Dialogue, discussion and debate, with Nicholas Garrick

Contact: for further information, MAT or small school packages.