DD2025 London Curriculum - Primary Programme

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
09 September 2016
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

The London Curriculum expansion to the primary phase will take place during 2016-17. The initial pilot activity is underway during the summer term and will be rolled out during the academic year 2016-17.

The primary programme is being supported with external funding from the Mayor’s Fund and Be Open Foundation.

The primary phase of the London Curriculum will support the Mayor’s priorities on engaging pupils into areas of skills important for London such as STEM, digital and arts/culture. The London Curriculum is well established at the secondary phase, covering eleven subject areas. A new unit on Citizenship will be developed in 2016-17 supporting the Mayor’s objectives on social inclusion and personal identity.


The London Curriculum has been approved by MD 1499 for secondary school activity, extension of the programme to the primary phase and delegated authority to the Director of Communities and Intelligence to approve receipt and expenditure of external income.


The Director of Communities and Intelligence approves: 

•    Receipt and expenditure of £208,011 via the Mayor’s Fund from Be Open Foundation. The funding will support delivery of the primary phase of the London Curriculum. £158,011 will be a cash grant to the GLA and a further £50,000 will be received in the form of in-kind contribution from the Mayor’s Fund.
•    The focus of GLA £100,000 funding approved by MD1499 on the secondary schools and Citizenship subject area work to support the wider professional development across key stage 3 secondary activity.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The London Curriculum is an education programme designed to help teachers bring the national curriculum to life inspired by the capital’s cultural, heritage and scientific institutions. Curriculum resources support learning inside and outside the classroom and showcase the educational offer of a wide range of London institutions. The aim is to raise pupil attainment and strengthen young Londoners’ subject knowledge, city knowledge and sense of connection to their city. The programme began with a focus on secondary schools (key stage 3) and will expand to primary schools (key stage 2) in 2016.

The London Curriculum has been developed for Key Stage 3, to provide a sense of stretch and opportunity in the formative years of secondary school. The first London Curriculum units were launched in July 2014. Resources have been developed in 11 subjects: English, music, art and design, geography, history, dance (PE), science, design and technology, maths and computing. “London Curriculum Lates” support teacher professional development and offer teachers the opportunity to attend learning events at London institutions profiled within the materials. 

The London Curriculum has been well received by schools since its launch in 2014. Over 300 state secondary schools have signed up (out of 470) and 675 when including alternative provision and special educational needs, plus many more independent and international schools.

The programme has had expenditure approved for £267,000 between2012-13 and 2015-16 (MD1132) and £127,000 in 2015-16 and £100,000 in 2016-17 (MD1499). DD1069 approved awards of contract for the pilot phase of the programme focused on secondary schools and DD1278 approved expenditure for the in-house delivery.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Expansion to primary schools


MD1499 approved the expansion of the programme to the primary phase, following requests from primary schools. We have consulted on a new range of London Curriculum materials for the primary phase and announced this with a workshop in February 2016. These materials have been refined and will be piloted by approximately 30 schools during the summer and autumn term. We already have almost 200 primary schools signed up (June 2016) well on the way to achieving the initial projection of 269 for 2016-17 (as per MD1499).


We have secured additional funding from the Mayor’s Fund and Be Open to enable us to extend the programme to primary schools. The funding will secure additional staffing and enable a support programme for teachers to be put in place. The funding will support our activity from July 2016 to July 2017. This work also includes the development of family resources to support engagement with London’s cultural institutions by families.


New Citizenship unit for secondary schools

We are currently also developing new plans to address citizenship as part of the London Curriculum. The unit will explore what citizenship and identity mean for children and young people growing up in London today, how this has been changed over time and how children and young people can shape the London of today and tomorrow. 


We are working closely with Museum of London, London Metropolitan Archives and the Association for Citizenship Teaching to develop this unit. We will also explore opportunities for collaboration on external funding bids.


Key deliverables across primary and secondary

The key deliverables for both the expansion to primary schools and the further development of the London Curriculum are:

  • Three units for primary schools to be developed, one called “Going Underground” and a further two  units, the focus of which will be determined by May 2017.
  • New digital presence for the London Curriculum to be developed for primary and secondary;
  • Development of family materials encouraging use of London’s cultural, art and science offer;
  • Development of new key stage 3 Citizenship unit and digital interaction; and
  • Development of digital “map” for the key stage 3 resources to show cross curricular and geographic location of activity


Timetable and key milestones:


July 2016 - announce the new partnership with the Mayor’s Fund and BE OPEN which will fund the extension of the London Curriculum to primary schools, at the cost of £208,000.

July-October 2016 - A pilot set of resources for primary schools, Going Underground will be tested with primary schools from June until October,

September 2016 - Cultural event, (part of the Thames Festival) offering musical, drama and art experiences for the 30 schools involved in the pilot.

February 2017 – Launch primary materials and undertake a series of promotional events with London institutions (spring/summer term 2017)

Spring 2017 – Pilot Citizenship unit and launch summer 2017

May 2017 – Three primary phase units completed

Summer 2017 – Launch family packs

Delivery model

The London Curriculum is delivered through an in-house team of staff. Staff activity includes development of materials, including some external commissioning, promotional activity, professional development activity for teachers, engagement with partners and building relationships to enhance the offers for schools and teachers joining up activity between London institutions and making it work more closely with the London Curriculum and accessible for schools.



London Curriculum Programme funded (and included in the budget below)

Senior project manager



GLA programme funded – London Curriculum 2016/17

April to July 2017 Mayor’s Fund

Project officer



GLA programme funded  - London Curriculum 2016/17

Senior project officer



April to July 2017 Mayor’s Fund

January to August 2016 – GLA staffing and Mayor's Fund Be Open September 2016 to August 2017


With this additional funding we will seek the extension of the Senior Project Manager and Project Officer contracts from April to July 2017, and the Senior Project Officer from September 2016 to August 2017. 
Two additional members of staff also support the programme funded through other budgets; Senior project Officer FT G8 and an Apprentice 0.5. Both these post will continue to work on the London Curriculum in 2016-17 and 2017-18.  The total staffing is 3.5 FTE. 

Overview of outputs across the London Curriculum programme 
In order to access the London Curriculum teachers need to register online and from this we know we have multiple registrations from schools. In order to understand more qualitative information about how the materials are used and the support which teachers would like we have established the “London Curriculum Lates” which offer access to London’s institutions with a speaker related to the curriculum. These have been developed over the last year and are proving a valuable way to engage with teachers and gain qualitative feedback on the units, teachers and schools needs and how we can improve the London Curriculum programme. Analysis of the school registrations has identified that they are from across London and cover all types of schools. 


Cumulative programme figures for schools and teachers including Be Open funded primary activity.

Financial Year

2015-16 (actual)



Secondary state schools

299 (62%)

385 (80%)

474 (98%)

Primary state schools **

184 (10%)

300 (16%)

538 (29%)

Teachers – registering – secondary




Teachers registering – primary




Teachers – attending London Curriculum cpd*




Cultural partners ***




*From April 2016 data is being collected on primary/secondary school teacher event attendees
** Primary school targets have been revised upwards to reflect additional funding from the Mayor’s Fund with a total of 400 by the end of the summer term 2017.
Percentages based on school numbers: 1,800 primary schools and 479 secondary schools
Cultural partners engaged are involved in delivery of the programme

Outcomes and evaluation of impact
The main beneficiaries of the London Curriculum are London school pupils. However, the programme will impact four key groups of beneficiaries: pupils, teachers, schools and London institutions. The structure below sets out our approach (italics as set out in MD1499) and the activity we have undertaken and proposed plans.

I.    Pupils will develop improved subject knowledge, city knowledge and sense of connection with their city. Teacher assessment of pupil impact will be collected from a small sample of schools in autumn 2016 as part of the primary piloting phase.

II.    Teachers in London schools will be more confident and knowledgeable in their subject knowledge about the city and relate the city to the national curriculum. Teacher use and satisfaction will be collected in this academic year in relation to the humanities subjects. 

We have undertaken external evaluation on teacher satisfaction (SQW 2015) and will be repeating this annually through a small sample survey. 

III.    Schools will develop stronger links with London’s institutions and make more use of their cultural assets and learning materials. 

We are collecting qualitative information from our “London Curriculum Lates” to understand what teachers’ value from our London institutions and the barriers they face to engage better. We will produce a report in 2017 building on this soft intelligence to share with funders and London institutions.  

IV.    London’s institutions will find it easier to align their educational offer with the content of classroom teaching because of the new consistency across schools teaching the London Curriculum. Schools will find it easier to find relevant material and plan visits and identify cross curricular opportunities across the breadth of the London Curriculum material which is a key factor in undertaking school visits.

Our experience of delivering this programme indicates that London institutions welcome the opportunity to engage with schools via the London Curriculum. There is a wealth of “offers” for schools which can be overwhelming and are currently unco-ordinated. Schools require long lead-in times and ideally want to combine a number of activities on days out of school. These barriers mean that whilst the London Curriculum has successfully linked the national curriculum to London and London institutions it has not automatically led to greater out of school activity. 

We will be addressing this barrier through the next phase of work to improve information on cross curricular activity and geographical co-location of activities to support school trips.  
Each aspect of digital and enhancements will be developed, tested and evaluated with teachers. 

Sustainability plans 

Our investigation of external funding opportunities so far indicates that the London Curriculum is an attractive product but is more likely to be successful for charitable and trust funding when working with another partner which is itself an educational body, a charity or trust. We will be adopting this approach to seek further funding in 2016-17 to support the citizenship activity.
We also wish to establish an advisory group from London institutions which can help shape forward plans and help to promote and build the London Curriculum into the mainstream activity of their own organisations. This group will help us with raising external funds and developing a long-term vision. We would expect to establish this advisory group in 2017. 

In order to continue to develop, deliver and secure the London Curriculum some continued investment from the GLA will be sought to indicate the Mayor’s continued support and act as match funding for external resources. Current staffing is funded to July 2017 aligned with the Be Open funding for delivery of the primary programme.

Equality comments

3.1    The London Curriculum materials are aimed at all London secondary schools for use with Key Stage 3 pupils. The materials are aimed at teachers and also provide teaching materials and lesson plans which draw on London's extraordinary heritage, people and places and will foster recognition of different communities’ contributions to London encouraging good relations, tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups.  This will support the GLA’s delivery of the general equality duty. They aim to support teaching and teachers subject knowledge about London.The new primary materials are aimed at all primary schools for Key Stage 2 pupils and will be available on line. Teachers will be supported through events and lesson plans in a similar manner to existing Key Stage 3 activity.

3.2         Schools will need to register to access the materials so it will be possible to monitor take up by geographical area of London, school type and school rating (by OFTED and pupil attainment).  As the project develops further targeted activity can be taken to ensure that school uptake is spread geographically and across all types of schools and if necessary we could consider schools which have lower levels of pupil attainment may need more support to begin to access and make use of the materials. Analysis of school take-up will be published as part of the project evaluation. 

3.3         The London Curriculum materials are available on line and consist of teaching materials, background information for teachers and links to other material such as music, literature, websites which support the subject knowledge of the teacher and can be used with pupils. They are not being printed or translated to other languages or braille.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues

4.1     The project will be run by the GLA Education and Youth Team and external expertise will be bought in as required e.g. curriculum advice, professional design for the materials etc. 

Risk #

Risk description and impact

Inherent risk assessment

Control measures / Actions






Insufficient Staffing




Putting in place adequate team will mitigate many of the risks identified below. Additional staffing will be funded through the Mayor’s Fund/Be Open grant.


Lack of in-kind support by institutions




We will be building on existing strong relationships to expand the programme and aim to expand those relationships further


Low take up from schools




We already have relationships with some primary schools and the pilot will enhance this and provide case studies. We will use our wider relationships with schools to engage with more primary schools.


Poor quality new modules




Direct GLA management of quality and co-production approach working with writers and designers.


Managing demand




Demand may become a problem in the future working with many more primary schools. In order to support our relationship management this phase of activity includes improved digital presence on London.gov.uk and developing new inter-active features.


Longer term sustainability




Development of a longer term sustainability is part of our work programme and this includes building relationships with funders which take time to mature and establish appropriate partners. 

This is a low risk project as the GLA is able to manage the risks associated with the project. We can build on our delivery and reputation to date whilst mindful that the primary programme will need piloting and testing to ensure it meets the needs of Key Stage 2 teachers.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

•    Supporting access to the arts for all children in the context of high-quality curriculum provision is central to the London Curriculum. The new partnership with BE OPEN and the Mayor’s Fund will continue to extend these opportunities. There is substantial scope to align this programme with the Mayor’s commitment and pledge to extend cultural opportunities for young Londoners and families “Support London’s theatres, galleries and museums to open up access for all Londoners, and to spread their activity and presence across the city”. This partnership with the Mayor’s Fund and Be Open will include a substantial cultural event for schools in September, as part of the Thames Festival, offering musical, drama and art experiences for the schools involved as well as a family resource pack. 
•    Strong communities and social integration will be supported with a new module on citizenship, which is currently being developed. The unit will explore what citizenship and identity mean for children and young people growing up in London today, how this has been changed over time and how children and young people can shape the London of today and tomorrow. The London Curriculum team are working closely with Museum of London, London Metropolitan Archives and the Association for Citizenship Teaching on this. The team is also scoping whether the use of the new citizenship resources in schools could open up opportunities for children and young people to engage in tangible ways with the decision making processes at City Hall, have their voices heard and shape the city in practical ways. This could take a number of forms – a young people’s question time, an opportunity for them to ‘pitch’ proposals for things they would like to see in the city of the future to the Mayor or policy teams, or an exhibition of their ideas in the LLR.  A new focus on citizenship might speak to considering similar modules for 14-19 year olds.

Recent London Curriculum developments help support specific Mayoral priorities:
•    Promoting STEM skills and careers and public health – in May we launched a new set of Healthy London STEM resources, which bring science and maths to life by demonstrating their role in the fight for the health of all Londoners.  Healthy London Air shows how statistics are applied to the real life problem of securing air quality in the city. Healthy London Water explores the chemistry that helps provide over eight million Londoners with water fit to drink.  Healthy London Living draws on leading London medical and science centres, sporting events and venues to introduce the biology of nutrition and digestion and the skeletal and muscular systems. 
•    Raising awareness of key environmental issues in London Our new Green London? geography resource provides students with the chance to investigate how ‘green’ London is, with a particular focus on the purpose and value of green spaces, the Green Belt, urban regeneration and biodiversity, explored through Kew RBG’s global work. The unit invites students to develop a manifesto for the changes they’d like to see in London as the world’s first National Park City. 

c) impact assessments and consultations.

Independent research on the secondary programme by SQW (2015) has been positive. Teachers using the curriculum say it has helped their students to be more engaged and motivated. Teachers also say the curriculum has improved their own subject knowledge, their teaching and helped them learn more about London.  The evaluation focused on the implementation of the key stage 3 materials in 2015 and the feedback has been utilised to improve the delivery.

Learning beyond the classroom is a key part of the London Curriculum. The “explore” section of the units in the London Curriculum materials is to encourage schools to take pupils to visit London institutions to help pupils know their own city. Ofsted reports that when done well, learning outside the classroom can help raise standards and improve students’ personal, social and emotional development. A literature review of 150 studies concluded that well run field trips support knowledge and skills and help children to remember what they have learnt.  Feedback from teachers attending the “London Curriculum Lates “provides significant anecdotal information that taking pupils out of schools is challenging for teachers to do. This will be explored further and inform the future programme.
A self-evaluation process will be established for the development phase of the primary and secondary materials and an external evaluation will be undertaken once the materials are rolled out to London schools. 


Financial comments

5.1       This report is seeking approval to accept external funding of £208,011 via the Mayor’s Fund from Be Open.  £158,011 will be via a grant to the GLA and a further £50,000 will be received in-kind in the form of goods and services purchased by the Mayor’s Fund. This funding will support delivery of the primary phase of the London Curriculum. The £158,011 budget is to be spent over two years with £87,837 in 2016-17 and £70,174 in 2017-18. The £50,000 in-kind contribution will also be received over two years with majority in 2016/17.


5.2       As part of the 2016-17 budget process, a budget provision of £100,000 (MD1499) has been approved for the London Curriculum. This fund will support the development of the new unit for secondary schools on Citizenship and associated expenditure across key stage 3 secondary activity.


5.3       The Education & Youth Team within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing this programme and ensuring all activities and associated expenditure complies with the Authority’s Financial Regulations. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made. 


Planned delivery approach and next steps

Delivery activity will be led by the Education & Youth Team, the majority of the activity will be delivered in-house. The additional Mayor’s Fund/Be Open grant will fund additional staffing to develop and deliver the primary units and our GLA programme funding will continue to support the secondary key stage 3 activity to March 2017. The outline budget is set out below. 

External expertise will be commissioned in to support specialist subject writing, design of the materials and the development of additional digital and inter-active features for online access of the resources. We will continue to work with external partners from London Institutions who bring significant in-kind contributions to the programme. 

In addition to the grant the Mayor’s Fund/Be Open will directly fund a further £50,000 of services and activity whereby the commissioned activity will be paid-for by them. In planning this we envisage that much of this funding will be devoted to services related to development of the online presence and digital functionality which will be developed on London.gov.uk.

Budget for the Be Open and GLA programme funding





Primary (Mayor’s Fund/Be Open)




E&Y staff programme funded




Primary resource and family pack development and delivery




Sub total *








Secondary (GLA funded )




E&Y staff programme funded +




Secondary Citizenship resources and digital enhancements to key stage 3




Sub total












 *Plus additional activity up to £50,000 funded via the Mayor’s Fund. 
+ London Curriculum staffing also includes G8 post x1 and Apprentices 0.5 funded through other budgets (as listed in the detailed staffing schedule at 2. above).

Stage 1: Summer term 2016

  • Launch of new partnership
  • Piloting of first learning pack
  • Up to 30 schools testing/reviewing resources
  • Number of pupils testing resources 810 ( 1 class per school  x 27 pupils)

Pilot learning pack available online *

  • Confirm organisation partners (e.g. museum etc.)

June 2016

Agree selection of 30 primary schools to take part in pilot

June 2016

Agree framework for evaluation of pilot including:

  • Teachers/pupils feedback on materials content
  • Teachers view of website and CPD
  • Impact on pupils


June 2016

Up to 30 primary schools testing pilot learning pack  and providing feedback for the evaluation

June 2016 to October 2016

Ongoing evaluation of pilot learning pack, including feedback from schools,

June 2016 to October 2016

Filming/photography of schools using resources

June 2016 onwards

Scoping options for web/digital presence

July and August 2016

Initial Input / consultation into festival activities *

* to be led by Mayor’s Fund -  GLA to ensure activities link in with curriculum materials and ensure that pilot schools are invited to take part.

July and August 2016

Development of second learning pack begins, including conformation or partner organisations

July and August 2016

Investigate process for accreditation of curriculum materials, in line with learning from festival activities (Link with Art Award)

September and October 2016

Agree monitoring framework for Stages 2 to 4

October 2016


Stage 2: Autumn term 2016

  • Completion and evaluation of pilot
  • Celebratory events for schools and teachers
  •  Web Digital development (user research to understand functionality and minimum viable product)
  • 200 schools registered

Agree schools recruitment strategy -  link with existing networks, schools conference and other events (target 200 schools registered by end of term)

September 2016

London Curriculum Festival (Mayor’s Fund Lead)      

September 2016

Web/digital products  procurement

September 2016

Pilot ends

End October 2016

Evaluation report of the pilot

December 2016

Dissemination workshops (at GLA schools Conference – TBC or other events)

November 2016

Celebration Event for teachers (and/or showcasing children’s work)

November 2016

First learning pack finalised and accredited

December 2016

Second learning pack finalised and accredited

December 2016

Web/digital content  user testing

December 2016


Stage 3: Spring term 2017

  • Launch of new web presence to support primary packs
  • Two learning packs, approved/accredited with digital content
  • User feedback on packs including digital features
  • Development of family packs/online content for families
  • Third learning pack development
  • 300 primary schools registered
  • 100 primary schools teaching with resources
  • Pupils using the resources 2700 (1 class per school  x 27 pupils)

Launch of new website/ first and second learning packs

February 2017

Development of third learning pack

January 2017 onwards

Development of families pack online content

February 2017 onwards

London Curriculum Lates programme for primary schools

February 2017


Stage 4: Summer term 2017

  • Launch of third learning pack with digital content and next phase of digital features added
  • User feedback on packs including digital features
  • Launch family pack/online/digital part of London cultural offer
  • 400 primary schools registered
  • 200 primary schools teaching with resources
  • Pupils using the resources 5400 (1 class per school  x 27 pupils)

Launch of third learning pack

May 2017

Launch of families cultural offer

July  2017

London Curriculum Lates programme for primary schools

May 2017

Evaluation report on digital features of materials

July 2017