Q1. How are the school’s science and maths curricula developed to provide pupils with a rich and broad learning experience?

Why this is important

Science and maths are both core subjects and form an important part of the school curriculum. School leaders, including governors, should be confident that the curriculum taught in their school is fit for purpose and allows pupils to benefit from a broad and inspiring programme of study.

School governors should be aware of whether their school follows the National Curriculum, and if not, why not; they should have viewed their school’s curriculum and be aware that in a classroom, this can be broken down further into a taught curriculum.


The Department for Education states that

All maintained schools in England must teach the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum covers the minimum of what pupils should be taught and forms only one part of the school’s curriculum. The aims of the National Curriculum for maths and science can be found on the Department for Education’s website.58

Academies and free schools, although not required to follow the National Curriculum, “must teach a broad and balanced curriculum including English, maths and science”, as well as religious education.57 In a “significant minority” of schools Ofsted found that leaders were failing to ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum due to their perception that science was not a priority.59

Ideas for improvement

Governors should be aware of the overarching aims of the National Curriculum, in order to ensure teaching and assessment focuses on these.

They should question whether the school’s curriculum offers pupils a rich and broad learning experience. This could include understanding how much time pupils spend completing hands-on activities in science (see Q3) and whether teachers are adequately resourced and in a position to deliver the full curriculum in an engaging way.

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