module specification

AE5005 - Curriculum: Syllabus in Practice (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Curriculum: Syllabus in Practice
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
18 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
210 hours Guided independent study
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Curriculum critique
Coursework 40%   Curriculum plan and rational
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North - -

Module summary

In this module students will learn about range of curriculum models and their underpinning philosophical and pedagogical principles within national and international contexts. The difference between curriculum and syllabus will be explored by examining different approaches to relational and play pedagogy and the implications of these approaches in practice.  These, in turn, will shape students view of what children should be taught (the curriculum) and how they should be taught (pedagogy).

This module aims to enable students to:
- Study range of curriculum models and approaches within social and political context.
- Explore the underpinning philosophical views of the child and pedagogical principles within UK and other countries
- Examine relational and play pedagogy and the tension between theory and practice.
- Develop an understanding of the difference between curriculum and syllabus in practice and its impact on children’s learning.


In this module, students will study the difference between curriculum and syllabus, different models and approaches of curriculum such as such as subject centred and learner centred curriculum, the EYFS, the National Curriculum [Key stages 1 & 2], Froebel, Steiner, Montessori, Forest Schools, Home Schooling, and international curricula. The philosophical underpinning principles of different pedagogical approaches will be considered. Relational and play pedagogy will be explored in relation to national and international contexts and the tension between theory and practice. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars and collaborating learning. Students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of WebLearn for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises such as quizzes, and reflective tasks. By using Padlet, students and tutors will collaborate to reflect, and participate in the learning and teaching process.  

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching for all students.  This will take in the context of tutor-led sessions and after sessions by posting reflection on Weblearn using padlet.  For all students experiential learning promotes their growing ability to act as a reflective practitioner.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Critically analyse a range of curriculum models in relation to how children learn.
2. Describe, analyse and constructively critique relational and play pedagogy in relation to practice.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the need to draw on pedagogical approaches when evaluating and planning for children’s learning.
4. Articulate the adult’s role in developing, planning and implementing a curriculum.


Broadhead, P. and Burt, A. (2011) Understanding young children’s learning through play: Building playful pedagogies. London: Routledge.

Brogaard Clausen, S. (2015) Schoolification or early years democracy? A cross curricular perspective from Denmark and England. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 16(4), pp.355-373

Callanan, M., Anderson, M., Haywood, S., Hudson, R. and Speight, S. (2016) Study of early education and development: Good practice in early education research report. London: DfE Publications

Department for Education (DfE) (2014) Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five. London: DfE Publications.

Miller L., and Pound L., (2011). Theories and  Approaches to Learning in the Early Years, Madenhead: Sage

Blackburn C., (2016) The value of the relational pedagogy and professional love to Early childhood intervention and Child/family well-being

DfE(2015) Pedagogy in early childhood Education and Care (ECEC): an International comparative study of approaches and policies

Tovey H., (2014) Bringing the Froebel Approach to your Early Years Practice, Oxon: Routledge

Nicol J., (2016) Bringing the Steiner Approach to your Early Years Practice (3rd ed), Oxon: Routledge

Doyle, J. and Milchem, K. (2012) Developing a Forest School in Early Years Provision, London: Practical Pre-School Books

Wyse D., (2012) Creating the Curriculum, Oxon: Routledge

Cremin T., and Arthur J., (eds) (2014) Learning to teach in the Primary School, Oxon: Routledge