Curriculum jargon buster

There are lots of bizarre curriculum terms flying around. Get up to speed on what they mean.

Last reviewed on 5 September 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 36726
  1. Download our jargon buster
  2. Curriculum
  3. Intent, implementation and impact
  4. 'Broad and balanced'
  5. Thematic curriculum/cross-curricular
  6. Discrete subjects
  7. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) education
  8. Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE)
  9. Relationships and sex education (RSE)
  10. Core and foundation subjects
  11. English Baccalaureate (EBacc)
  12. Attainment 8 and progress 8
  13. Differentiation
  14. Scheme of work
  15. The Gatsby Benchmarks

Here are some common curriculum terms you might come across. If your senior leaders ever use a term you're not clear on, ask them to explain it to you.

Download our jargon buster

Download and print off our jargon buster so you have it handy – feel free to share it with other governors too.

If you prefer to go paperless, read the article below instead – it's got the same information.


A framework which sets out:

  • What’s going to be taught
  • How it'll be taught
  • How pupils' knowledge and understanding will be evaluated as a result

A school’s curriculum sets out the aims of a programme of education. It also sets out the structure for those aims to be implemented, including the knowledge and skills to be gained at each stage. It enables the school to evaluate pupils’