Phases of curriculum implementation

The phases of engage, enact and embed can be used as a guide for effective curriculum implementation in schools.

Effective curriculum implementation is an iterative process for school leaders and teachers, rather than a singular event. The phases of curriculum implementation:

  • can be used as a guide to support activities and reflective thinking in schools when implementing a new syllabus
  • are informed by evidence for effective implementation in schools and are aligned to department policies
  • can be used flexibly across a range of schools and a variety of specific roles.

Purpose of resource

The phases of curriculum implementation (Engage, Enact, Embed) can be used as a guide to support activities and reflective thinking in schools when implementing a new syllabus. They are informed by evidence for effective implementation in schools and aligned to department policies. These phases can be used flexibly across a range of schools and in variety of specific roles to guide effective curriculum implementation.

Target audience

The audience for this resource is school principals, executive teams and school staff.

When and how to use

Curriculum implementation is core and ongoing business in schools and effective curriculum implementation drives student growth and attainment, and school improvement.

New syllabuses provide schools with a unique opportunity to re-focus and place curriculum at the heart of school planning. This resource can be used to highlight the thinking schools may consider during each phase of curriculum implementation. Reflective questions and suggested activities are included to support this process for specific roles in both primary and secondary schools.

Research base

This resource was developed by Curriculum and Reform. The research base used was NESA’s NSW Curriculum and the department’s What works best in practice.

In addition, the following research was considered:

Contact

Email questions, comments, and feedback about this resource to curriculumreform@det.nsw.edu.au using the subject line ‘Phases of curriculum implementation’.

Alignment to system priorities and/or needsNSW Curriculum Reform

Alignment to School Excellence Framework

Learning domain – Curriculum, Assessment, Reporting. Teaching domain – Effective classroom practice, Learning and development. Leading Domain – Educational leadership

Alignment with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers – 2.3, 6.3, 7.2

Consulted with – Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners (CEYPL), Curriculum Secondary Learners (CSL), Teaching Quality & Impact, Strategic Delivery, School Excellence, Policy Implementation and System Registration

Reviewed by – CEYPL Director and CSL Director

Created/last updated – 2 December 2022

To be reviewed – December, 2023

Watch Phases of curriculum implementation – overview (3:22)

The phases of curriculum implementation – overarching guidance when implementing a new syllabus

Narrator

Have you been wondering how the NSW Curriculum Reform might strengthen teaching and learning in your school?

The NSW Government is reforming the curriculum to streamline and strengthen what is taught in every classroom in NSW, so every student is prepared and ready for their future.

A new curriculum provides an opportunity for all of us to examine what we do and how we do it, in the classroom, in a school and as a system.

So, what might the curriculum implementation journey look like?

The 3 phases of curriculum implementation guide school leaders and teachers to effectively implement a new syllabus.

Grouping activities into 3 phases makes it easier to understand the curriculum implementation journey and how to access the professional learning, resources and advice most relevant to you.

The 3 phases of curriculum implementation are:

Engage – Enact – Embed

The phases apply across the range of school contexts. They are informed by effective curriculum implementation practices and aligned to Department of Education policies.

The first phase of curriculum implementation is ‘Engage’.

In the engage phase school leaders and teachers explore aspects of new syllabuses.

They identify and plan for changes required for effective curriculum implementation.

The length of time for this phase may vary depending on your school context. It may be shorter or longer than a year.

The second phase of curriculum implementation is ‘Enact’.

In the enact phase, teachers teach, assess and report using the new syllabus.

School leaders and teachers evaluate their implementation of the curriculum to refine new practices and systems.

The length of time in this phase may vary depending on your school context and the stage you are teaching.

The third phase of curriculum implementation is ‘Embed’.

In the embed phase, school leaders and teachers strengthen and scale to ensure sustainable practices and systems.

Embedding effective implementation is ongoing.

You may move in and out of phases depending on the syllabus you are implementing .

By considering the key activities in the 3 phases, the curriculum implementation journey can be more responsive to staff and student needs.

Professional learning, resources and advice are available to support teachers and school leaders throughout all 3 phases of curriculum implementation.

For more information visit the department’s phases of curriculum implementation web page.

[End of transcript]

Explore the phases of curriculum implementation

Select engage, enact or embed to find out more information about the overarching activities and reflective questions within each phase.

Engage phase – Explore aspects of the new syllabus to identify and plan for changes required for effective curriculum implementation.

Enact phase – Teach, assess and report using the new syllabus and evaluate to refine new practices and systems.

Embed phase – Strengthen and scale to ensure sustainable practices and systems.

Poster

Print and display the phases of curriculum implementation poster (207.2 KB) in your school to gain direct access to resources and information.

Curriculum implementation journeys

The curriculum implementation journeys provide role-specific suggested activities, reflective questions and resources to support effective implementation.

The curriculum implementation journeys could support individual planning and reflections using the Performance and development framework. They could support collaborative teaching and leadership activities that underpin work for School Excellence in Action, Strategic Improvement Plans and Implementation and Progress Monitoring.

Select the journey for your role to find out more.

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