Curriculum management

 Module on Curriculum management

Curriculum management


The curriculum of a school includes not just the planned academic programme but also all co-curricular activities and other events, as well as that which pupils learn through the nature and quality of the school ethos.

The main task of the head of each school is to provide and deliver effectively an appropriate curriculum using all the resources - human, material and financial - which are readily available. This involves mobilising all possible resources including those from the Ministry of Education, the community and other organisations, and then ensuring their full and effective use.

The curriculum has been defined as all the experiences provided by a school to educate the pupils. It also involves helping teachers provide the best information on subject matter, taking into account the interests of pupils and contemporary social needs. A curriculum is a course of subjects and co-curricular activities that must be covered by the pupils, but it should also aim at developing them mentally, physically and morally, and at embracing the hidden curriculum which includes behaviour patterns and attitudes of the pupils and staff and the general tone and ethos of the school.

The curriculum should be dynamic and be evolving all the time. It is the job of the head to manage this process in the school.




Some of the basic principles which should be taken into account in designing your school curriculum include :

1 It should satisfy the philosophy and educational purposes of the school and the nation.
2 It should be developed from 'grassroots' level and include parent and community contributions.
3 It should make allowance for the special education needs of pupils.
4 It should take into consideration the culture, customs and traditions, both of the country and the region.
5 It should provide practical educational experiences.

You could also have considered :
• the time available for teaching and learning
• the availability of funds to provide both specialist facilities, such as laboratories, and simple resources, such as chalk and books
• the level of training and experience of the average teacher
• the type of work and its availability open to those pupils completing school.


* Creating a total curriculum

In many countries around the world the concepts of democracy, self-reliance and national identity are deliberately included in the daily instructional activities and general running of each school.



Timetabling is the method by which the curriculum is brought to the pupils. The head of a school has a number of resources at his or her command - teachers, teaching areas, finance and time. A timetable is the means by which these resources are marshalled to provide the greatest possible educational opportunities and alternatives for pupils in the most cost-effective manner. In the developing world the emphasis on cost-effectiveness cannot be overstated. The more efficiently resources are utilised the better the education for the greater number of children. Decisions expressed by the timetable affect the entire school population and reflect the educational programme and philosophy of the school.


Timetable preparation in primary schools

Under normal circumstances there is one classroom or teaching area, and one teacher for each class.It is quite common in lower classes for teachers to draw up the timetable themselves, adopting a flexible approach to the day's activities, whereas in the remaining classes teachers follow a formal timetable.

Step 1: Collect and have available all relevant ministry directives on time and subject allocations. It is important to ensure that the timetable meets all the requirements of these directives.

Step 2 : List all the teaching areas in your school.
science room
playing fields
other spaces

How many classes may be accommodated in your school at one time? You should note that a class working for a period of time in the school garden, or on the playing field may be regarded as accommodated for that period. However, the extent to which it is necessary to plan with such attention to the full use of every space will depend upon the pressure of numbers of pupils.

Step 3: How many class teachers are on your establishment? Allocate teachers and classes to classrooms or teaching spaces.

Step 4: Special education teachers, if available, will have to be timetabled separately to serve the needs of pupils with special needs whilst they are part of a class. Individual class timetables will have to be consulted and possibly adjusted to remove clashes.

Responsibilities of the head

In the lower classes of primary schools timetabling is often an integral part of the classroom teachers' duties. The head approves the timetable and then prepares the general timetable for the school.

The overall responsibilities of the head are to ensure that 
• government directives and policies are complied with
• each teacher makes the fullest use of school resources
• clashes between individual teacher's timetabling demands are resolved amicably and fairly
• special education teachers are used appropriately.


Double session primary schools

Double session arrangements occur where the number of pupils in a school catchment area exceeds its pupil capacity. It is therefore necessary to maximise the use of the physical plant and facilities by operating the school in two sessions. As many primary schools do not have electricity, the time when the school can operate is determined by the daylight hours. The first session usually begins at 07.00 hours and continues till 12.00; the second session is from 12.30 to 17.30. In some primary schools the two sessions overlap. Two sessions do not mean two schools; one head is in charge of the school for both sessions. Opportunities for co-curricular activities are reduced, but can exist for each session provided there is a timetabling plan to make use of the recreational and game facilities, the school garden and library. Without such timetables (one for each session) classroom instruction and learning will remain the sole means of education and many of the wider values of schooling will be lost.

Examinations, Testing and Record-Keeping

Pupils would not benefit much from a system of education unless there was some form of evaluation aimed at determining pupil performance levels at different stages in their school career. If such assessment did not take place one of the purposes for which schools exist would be defeated. In this unit we review various aspects of the evaluation of pupil performance levels through examinations, testing and record-keeping.

Although examinations, testing and record-keeping are three distinct activities, they are mutually interdependent. Without the presence of each the whole process would be invalidated.

Examinations and testing provide one objective measurement of pupil attainment. Qualities other than academic performance must also be developed in each pupil and assessed.

Without a well maintained system of record-keeping for pupil examination and test performance there would be nothing to build on; examinations/testing would take place in a vacuum and efforts to provide for effective teaching and learning would be frustrated. Records provide a long term profile of achievement for each pupil.

Principles and constraints of assessment procedures


Some of the principles you may have identified might be as follows:

1 Any form of assessment must be pupil-centred and discriminative.
2 Examinations should be syllabus guided.
3 Pupil records should be up-to-date and as comprehensive as possible.
4 All efforts must be made to create satisfactory conditions for examinations. An invigilators' manual with guidelines for standard procedures should be available.
5 All internal tests and examinations should contain a diagnostic component to reveal the learning needs of the pupils.
6 Tests, where possible, should be standardised and given under similar conditions of invigilation, time and venue, to all the pupils concerned.

Filing pupil records

It is very important to have a clear, well managed system of keeping pupil records. First, you need to check that you have the right type of record books and documents on which to record information about each pupil. You may need to design and produce suitable material. Second, you need to assign duties to each member of staff so that they know very clearly what information is required, by whom and when. Third, you need to have secure places for keeping the records which should be confidential. Last, as school head you will need to manage the system, ensuring everyone is doing the work well and reviewing procedures.

Resource Maintenance

A head is charged with the proper utilisation and care of all resources in his or her school. Some of these resources are intangible, for example, time, manpower and space; others require accurate recording and accounting, for example, finance; and a third category needs physical maintenance, for example, school buildings 

regard to the maintenance of resources in a school:

1 All school buildings, equipment and property must be well maintained.
2 A school head must be conversant with government supplies and maintenance regulations.
3 All school purchases must be correctly recorded and maintained in good order.
4 All school purchases must be used for the purpose for which they were bought.
5 Goods and materials must be frequently checked and controlled to ensure their effective use.
6 An up-to-date inventory must be kept in every location where there are school resources.


The first step would be to make a list of the main problems to be tackled, and separate them out into different levels of urgency. You would need to do this in conjunction with your staff, including non-teaching staff and your pupils. Then you would need to identify who is responsible for each problem and what resources are needed, are available and could be easily obtained. The next step would be to organise your resources, of people, materials and finance, to tackle the problems. Lastly, you would need to ensure that a regular system of maintenance is put into place, becoming part of the everyday regime of your school.


Stock-keeping, which is critical to the maintenance of resources, is the process of maintaining inventory data on the quantity and condition of supplies and equipment in order to know what is available for issue and distribution, and also to provide a base for making decisions on procuring additional supplies.

Stock must be classified as consumable or non-consumable and then recorded accurately in the appropriate ledger by the receiving officer (Supplies Officer, or Bursar, or Administrative Assistant, or designated teacher) and checked by the school head.

Consumable items, when issued against signature, are used and the use properly monitored.

Non-consumable items are issued and entered by the officer in charge of supplies on the appropriate inventory card. The items and the card are checked at intervals.