Helen Ralston

Deputy Head Teacher
Speaking at


Building a Research-informed Curriculum and Assessment Model: A Case Study

Are you trying to mobilise change in curriculum and/or assessment practices at your school? Where do you start? How do you boil it all down? How do you communicate it with your team of varying degrees of expertise?

This session will provide an overview of how I have led the redesign of our curriculum and assessment model from the research-base up and, importantly, how I have synthesized and presented these ideas to bring staff along with me on the “research-informed” journey.

Having sown together a substantial evidence base – that includes Wiliam, Willingham, Yana Weinstein, Paul Kirschner, Christodoulou, Dunlovsky as well as innumerable posts and policies from “intermediaries” (to use Daniel Muijs’ words) – into a coherent, credible and manageable mandate for curriculum and assessment redesign in an all-through school, this session will share our school’s case study.

After this session, attendees will be in possession of signposts to the relevant readings, successful strategies to communicate complex ideas and achieve buy-in, templates to stimulate and support the right kind of thinking on these areas in their school.


Helen trained to teach English via Teach First in 2007 in a comprehensive in Croydon. She spent a total of seven years there (with an international school diversion in El Salvador) enjoying a range of roles: KS3 coordinator, English Lead, AHT for Achievement before securing her dream SLT role: AHT Learning and Teaching. Passionate that all staff should be empowered and proactive in developing their own practice and relishing every opportunity to talk L&T, Helen enjoyed that role for several years before moving to become a DHT (with a learning, teaching and assessment remit) at a small, new school for pupils with autism in Feltham.