Curriculum Overview

Statement of Intent

At Corngreaves Academy, we are determined that every child, regardless of background, will achieve their very best. Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our pupils; an education which brings out the best in them, gives them a strong understanding of the world around them and prepares them for success in later life. We aim to shape the citizens of the future, enabling them to make a positive contribution to our society and the wider world.

Our curriculum is designed to provide children with the core knowledge they need for success in the next stage of education, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person and their individual talents and to allow all children to become active and economically self-sufficient citizens. We want our pupils to be both interesting and interested, with strong morals, emotional intelligence and integrity.

The design of our wider curriculum is evidence-based and driven by research findings of cognitive science and evidence-led principles and practices that lead to excellence in the classroom. By the time pupils have left Corngreaves Academy, they will have mastered a range of both procedural knowledge (skills) and factual knowledge through repeated low stakes cumulative quizzing; opportunities to deliberately practise and apply what they have learned, through careful planning for progression and depth via our spaced and interleaved sequences. Our curriculum is customised to meet the local needs of our pupils. Our long-term sequencing 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.

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 are exposed to exceptional 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.

Our curriculum is based on the following key principals:

Entitlement: All our pupils have the right to learn what is in the Corngreaves Academy Curriculum.

Coherence: Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within subjects and between subjects.

Mastery: We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills, and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupils revisit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts.

Representation: All pupils are able to see themselves reflected positively in our curriculum; we want our curriculum to open up new worlds – to expose children to beliefs, people, places and values that they would not otherwise encounter, and also to the voices of people whose voices have not always been heard.

Education with Character: Our ‘hidden’ curriculum teaches our pupils about creativity and resilience as well as providing them with opportunities to learn about teamwork, to care and to serve, to overcome difficulties and to manage themselves and their feelings. Children of Corngreaves are taught to have confidence and articulacy so that they can stand up for themselves and for what is right. These personal qualities and skills are the opportunities we provide beyond the classroom: in sport, music, performance, clubs, in chances to lead and take responsibility and in opportunities to volunteer and to serve. 

Vocabulary and Cultural Literacy: The curriculum has a core focus on vocabulary development within and across subjects. Our curriculum gives pupils access to the ‘best that has been thought and said’. Explicit vocabulary instruction shapes the structure and language provision throughout the curriculum. It is the golden thread that links and connects the breadth and depth of our curriculum. All subjects in our curriculum embrace language as an absolute cornerstone in eroding social disadvantage and embedding learning.

Subject-Based Learning: The curriculum incorporates the rigour of subject substantive knowledge. Therefore, it is based on individual subject learning. Links across subjects are made where appropriate, but the curriculum is planned so that it doesn’t sacrifice subject identity and progression for cross-curricular links.  

Subject Content: The overall content of individual subjects is structured as a narrative over time. Individual lessons build into coherent units of work throughout each learning module. 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.

Cultural Capital: Cultural Capital is planned for in all areas of our school life. Pupils are exposed to a wide variety of subject areas and arts; promoting character-building qualities that lead to creating well-rounded, global citizens which will enable them to interact with others leading to meaningful qualifications that will open up doors to paths in later life.

Curriculum Drivers

We have developed three curriculum drivers which infuse all subjects and 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.

Collaboration: 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.

Independence: 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.

Character: 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

Curriculum Structure

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 learning 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, 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.

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.

Lesson-by-lesson questions enable teachers to know where strengths and misconceptions appear before the end of the study.

Cumulative questions 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. 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.

Formative assessments are used as an ongoing assessment tool. These opportunities throughout the lesson allow teachers to identify gaps in knowledge, misconceptions and where knowledge may not be embedded. Teachers use ‘in the moment feedback’ and adaptations to planning to address these as they arise. 

SEND children are assessed in the same way; however, their barriers are removed. For example, if a child’s specific needs relate to writing, they may have a scribe/multiple choice to help them answer the same questions as the other children. At the start of a new lesson, previous knowledge notes are used to bring learning to mind for those pupils who have retention issues to reduce cognitive load. Where appropriate, knowledge notes may also be adapted to ensure the core knowledge is the main focus. Children working 2 years or more below their chronological age are tracked using our A2E progress tracker and next steps planned for bespoke provision or small group sessions. This helps SEND pupils achieve in line with their personalised trajectory from their starting points.  

Our curriculum is both ambitious and challenging. If children are able to keep up with the demands of their lessons, they will make progress

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 – cumulative 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;
  • Progress Postcards completed by parents in discussion with their child about the learning.

United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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