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A Curious Curriculum by Mick Waters and Claire Banks

Written by Claire Banks and Mick Waters, A Curious Curriculum: Teaching foundation subjects well details the insightful and transformational steps that a school can take towards designing and delivering a rich, rigorous and wide-ranging curriculum. 

Before becoming Director of Education for The Olympus Academy Trust, a cross-phase multi-academy trust in north Bristol, Claire Banks was a head teacher for nine years in an inner-city primary school. Throughout her career she has been interested in social and emotional learning and school climate, which has led to her work on leadership culture. Claire now works on curriculum design and school improvement in a system leadership capacity, offering school-to-school support to school trusts. Her passion for succession planning for the profession has led to her coaching and mentoring on aspiring heads and women in leadership programmes.


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Details of the Primary Education Summit can be found at



This presentation will aim to inspire listeners to understand why Values-based Education (VbE) is now being considered as the foundation of school culture worldwide. He will explain the key elements of the VbE model and why practitioners love it so much. He will draw on good practice from Primary Schools that find it to be the ‘beating heart of their education’. Neil will describe the impact that VbE is having on developing what he describes as ethical leadership and why this concept should be central in the Primary School curriculum. 

Dr. Neil Hawkes is well known as an educator, motivational speaker, broadcaster, writer and social commentator. 

He first gained international recognition when he was a Headteacher in Oxfordshire, where he worked with a school community to devise and implement a pedagogical system that would give children a transformational ethical vocabulary, based on values such as respect, tolerance, humility and justice. Pupils were empowered to be self-leaders, with an active moral compass that affected behaviour, their thinking and the quality of their school work. Values-based Education (VbE) is now recognised internationally as a key dimension in school improvement and enhancing the nature of pupil experience and many schools have now gained accreditation for the quality of their values-based education, including Bannockburn Primary School where the Schiller lecture is being hosted.

Get notified about the Christian Schiller Lecture here

NAPE YouTube Channel

Primary Education Summit

Primary Education Summit 2023 – NAPE 083

National Association for Primary Education is proud to present a Primary Education Summit ‘Visions for the Future’ over two weeks starting on 15th March 2023. This is intended to promote discussion about the type of rich and engaging primary education which will enable all our children to meet the challenges they face now and in the future. This will include the annual Christian Schiller Lecture ‘Values-based Education – the beating heart of Primary Education’ presented by Dr. Neil Hawkes, eleven pre-recorded guest presentations and four live panel discussions led by prominent figures in primary education. Full details of these are given below. We very much hope that you will wish to join us for some or all of these sessions – and let other people in your school or organization know.

Taking Tes digital with editor Jon Severs – NAPE 082

Jon Severs is editor of Tes. He was previously commissioning editor at Tes, responsible for the teaching and learning content, as well as policy, leadership and pastoral articles. Before that, he wrote and edited for both trade and consumer titles. 

Jon explains the journey of taking the traditional Tes magazine, which was established in 1910, to their new online delivery which can be more reactive in our modern age.

If you want to contribute to Tes in the way mentioned in the show here are the 2 contacts.

360 Skills For Life with Rob Hattersley – NAPE 081

Prepared for life, not just exams

360 are a dynamic social enterprise developing essential skills for life in young people through an interactive learning approach we call discuss, decide and do.

360 Skills For Life provide scenario-based educational experiences that equip learners with the skills, knowledge and confidence to live active, fulfilling and safer lives in stronger and more sustainable communities.

Experience Skill City, their unique VR environment, bringing to life real world safeguarding dilemmas in realistic but safe scenarios.

Their values

  • We listen in order to continually learn and improve
  • We connect and collaborate because partnerships achieve more for less
  • We put the learner and their needs first
  • We empower and challenge rather than instruct
  • We engage and involve learners in our development
  • We adapt and are flexible when encountering new situations and knowledge
  • We include all learners regardless of age, disability, gender, relationship or parental status, race, belief, sex or sexual orientation
  • We seek the best in everyone to realise individual and collective potential

Their approach

  • Holistic, cross-curricular education that delivers transferable skills for 21st century life
  • Immersive, practical and interactive learning in which users discuss, make decisions and then do, rather than simply learning facts
  • Awareness of surroundings to make good risk assessments, confidently make better decisions and deal with individual and collective challenges
  • Blended learning where online, in-school and outdoor strands are closely integrated
  • Provision of a realistic dilemma-based virtual Skill City as the core resource
  • Partnership with other organisations to maximise impact and value

Full details available at

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