Statement of Intent
We believe the purpose of education is to help to shape the citizens of the future and enable them to make a positive contribution to our society and the wider world. Our curriculum has been designed to be ambitious for all of our pupils; to impart powerful knowledge; build sophisticated schemas and allow pupils to develop a richer understanding of wider human achievement. This enables our pupils to master skills, and recognise and experience success as historians, geographers, artists, musicians, athletes, designers, scientists, and theologians.
Our curriculum strategy outlines core content in a spaced and interleaved sequence for History, Geography and Science. This is made up of a long term sequence that is supported by evidence-led learning modules and high-quality teaching resources that clearly outline what pupils should know, be able to do and remember at key points in their primary education.
Our school’s reading and writing curriculum is evidence informed, carefully sequenced and maps core content in Reading and Writing across the primary journey, ensuring that learning is taught and revisited over time so that pupils commit their understanding to the long-term memory. The school’s reading and writing curriculum is written so that pupils use and apply the knowledge and content taught in Science, History and Geography to further strengthen their memory and make deep, rich connections.
Explicit vocabulary instruction shapes the structure and language provision throughout the curriculum. It is the golden thread that links and connects the breadth, depth and value of these units of teaching. All subjects in our curriculum embrace language as an absolute cornerstone in eroding social disadvantage and embedding learning.
All subjects have been built around evidence-led practice. This document summarises and directs the principles and practice that leads to excellence in the classroom.
Curriculum Principles and Structure
Our end goal is for all children to succeed, regardless of their starting points. Our curriculum is deliberately designed to give our children the tools and provision to know more, do more and learn more. Our priority is to improve teaching through evidence-led structure and practice, so that all children get amazing teaching. Ultimately our ambition is to erode deficits in cultural capital. We aim to do this by:
- Providing a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.
- Providing a rich ‘cultural capital’.
- Providing and promoting character education
We have developed three curriculum drivers that: infuse all subjects, shape our curriculum; bring about the vision, values and aims of our school; ensure inclusivity is at the heart of learning, as well as responding to the particular needs of our community and connecting pupils to their purpose.
This helps our pupils to work co-operatively with others to build positive relationships, teaching them tolerance, acceptance, understanding and respect of others and how to act with integrity and equity.
This helps our pupils to take initiative and organise themselves well and to have the confidence to make the right choices for themselves in matters of opinion, conduct or thinking.
This helps our pupils to find fulfilment in their lives. They grow through reflection and connection to develop the resilience to deal with the demands of modern life.
Statement of Implementation
Within our curriculum, we have defined the content that pupils will learn, subject by subject. These are the headlines for the sequence. We have designed a cumulative curriculum structure, starting with EYFS provision, ensuring prior knowledge is always a pre-cursor to a study. Teachers then make skilful connections to prior knowledge as they are aware of the previous studies, over time, and they make the most of the Big Ideas maps that we use to navigate the sequence of the study.
Prior learning is mapped into every learning module to show and remind teachers of the previous provision pupils will have encountered. This enables teachers to orchestrate meaningful retrieval and connect past learning. This has an added benefit of giving new learning an organised place to be stored in the memory, and therefore retrieved. Spaced retrieval practice has been incorporated to ensure areas of study are revisited, deepened and sophisticated.
Curriculum Planning and Resources
Our curriculum planning and resources support a knowledge-rich curriculum that is coherent and cumulative.
Core knowledge is defined and articulated across subjects through a focused teaching sequence that is coherent, interleaved and built around spaced retrieval practice. The Big Ideas maps help teachers and pupils see the complete learning sequence. These are also useful for parents to support home learning and engage with meaningful questions.
Knowledge organisers convey the essential knowledge in one place to reduce the split-attention effect. Tier 3 vocabulary and word generation are developed within the core concepts that the knowledge organiser projects. Knowledge notes support each lesson, conveying concepts and vocabulary. They are used to elaborate on the core concepts and content. Knowledge notes redefine the purpose of pupil books. Children use their books to retrieve and reuse prior knowledge. Knowledge notes also scaffold and support the selection, organisation and integration of new understanding. These strategies strengthen cognitive connections, deepen learning and increase procedural and conceptual fluency.
Resources are dual coded and designed to support easy retrieval. The use of contrasting black, simple icons is deliberate. Words and icons are designed to support decoding, use, connection and analysis of core vocabulary and concepts.
Vocabulary is mapped across Y1 – Y6 for Science, geography and history. It includes Tier 2 and Tier 3 words as well as etymology, morphology, colloquialism and idioms for each learning module.
Each study sequence is planned lesson by lesson using a question to focus the learning. Foundational knowledge is identified as an essential component within the sequence of learning.
We use cumulative questions. These are designed to test the understanding of the taught content, lesson by lesson. They are repeatable and reusable. They also are used to ease the forgetting curve and enable quick retrieval after dialogue and conversation that prime the memory. Lesson by lesson questions enable teachers to know where strengths and misconceptions appear before the end of the study. At the end of a study, pupils will respond and answer the full quiz to show what they know. This final quiz represents all the questions encountered and summarises learning for individuals and the class, then shared with subject leaders.
Pupils’ books are repurposed, so they become more than just a place to collect completed work from a lesson. Pupils’ books, supported by knowledge organisers, vocabulary modules and knowledge notes are used to engage children in a variety of teacher-led, guided and independent tasks to help them generate, build on and connect prior learning.
Task design specifically takes account of the need to build pupils’ conceptual fluency. By building pupils’ confidence and competence in tried and tested learning approaches, we can refocus their cognitive capacity to the most important thing – the content that they are learning. An example of this could be the use of an organisational Venn diagram in multiple contexts. At first it could be used to categorise Animals, including humans in Year 1 and then later in the sequence, through spaced retrieval practice, children compare and contrast Animals, including humans, using the same diagram. Likewise, pupil may meet similar response frameworks throughout the Reading units for skills such as retrieving facts to complete a table or sequencing events from a narrative and this will allow them to approach this task in the context of ever-more challenging texts.
Deepening concepts are revisited in each topic and form the foundations of learning for each subject, giving children the opportunity to revisit key skills in a number of contexts, utilising the spacing effect, to ensure they are retained and built upon in the long term. These are skills which underpin learning and deepen understanding of how to become a master within each subject.
Statement of Impact
Our children leave us with a broad, rich and deep knowledge of the curriculum studied, mastering skills and retaining knowledge so that they are well prepared for the next stage of their education. At the end of each key stage, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content taught, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it, with some pupils having a greater understanding. Children leave us as citizens of the future, able to make a positive contribution to our society and the wider world, drawing on their experiences and building on the foundations built during their time at our school.
We measure the impact of our curriculum in the following ways:
- the quality of standards achieved against the planned outcomes;
- a celebration of learning for each term involving pupils, parents and families – OSCAS;
- Proof of Progress – accumulative quizzing;
- vocabulary understanding;
- pupil discussions about their learning;
- independent learning carried out by children, beyond lessons within school;
- assessment of the retention and recall of substantive and disciplinary knowledge.