The National Curriculum underpins our learning and teaching; we are committed to delivering this in an engaging, inspiring and relevant way with opportunities for children to direct areas of their learning. The fundamental aims of our curriculum are for our children to achieve the highest possible standards, reaching their full potential; for the curriculum to be accessible and equitable for all and for our children to develop a love of learning.
Our curriculum aims to create opportunities that enable pupils to develop knowledge and vital skills that are essential to learning both in school and throughout life.
Our curriculum is designed to offer a wealth of opportunities to develop our children to:
- Enquire: ask relevant questions; pose and define problems; plan what to do and how to research; predict outcomes and anticipate responses; test conclusions and improve ideas.
- Problem solve: developing skills and strategies that will assist in the solving of problems including the skill of identifying and understanding the problem; planning ways to solve a problem; monitoring progress in tackling a problem and reviewing a solution to a problem.
- Think creatively: generate and extend ideas; to create hypotheses; to apply imagination and to look for alternative, innovative outcomes.
- Process: locate and collect relevant information; to sort; classify sequence; compare; contrast and analyse part/whole relationships.
- Reason: to give reasons for opinions and actions; to draw inferences and make deductions; to use precise language to explain thoughts and to make judgements and decisions informed by reasoning or evidence.
- Evaluate: evaluate information to judge the value of what is read, heard or done; to develop criteria for judging the value of their own and others’ work or ideas; and having the confidence in their judgements
Our curriculum is shaped and driven by our values, our beliefs about high quality education and our community. It gives our children a deep knowledge and understanding of the world around them to support them to become thoughtful members of our community who understand, respect and believe in British values. We develop children’s social, moral, cultural and spiritual development through experiences and meaningful opportunities across different subject areas. We recognise the importance of a diverse curriculum that values all subject areas. Our content is subject specific and intra-curricular links are made if they are meaningful and strengthen schema.
Research shows that working memory becomes limited and leads to cognitive overload if children do not secure the basics and are rushed through content. We do not rush to cover content at the expense of thorough understanding of knowledge and concepts. Knowledge is revisited & repeated and ‘simmering’ activities are used to move knowledge from working memory to long term memory. Once knowledge is secure at a basic level, children move into the advancing and deep cognitive domains. Based on Sweller, Kirschner & Rosenshine’s research we use direct instruction at the basic, early stage of learning and problem based discovery approaches in the advancing and deep stages.
We have the highest expectations of all learners and set no ceiling for the performance of any child. We set aspirational targets for the continual improvement of all of our learners and consider carefully opportunities where we can stretch and challenge every child. In order to secure a deep, rigorous understanding of concepts and skills we recognise that they need to work at a pace that allows them to do this. The teaching of reading, writing and maths happens daily and we give our children lots of opportunities tobecome highly articulate, using sophisticated vocabulary. We encourage our children to read a broad range of texts within and outside the classroom, fostering a love of reading. We teach Latin which provides a solid base for grammar and word derivations as well as engaging the children in the Greek myths and legends which will support their understanding of literature.
We enrich our curriculum through: visits out of school including residential trips away, inviting visitors in to school and offering a wide variety of before and after school clubs. Throughout the year we have different themed days and enriching opportunities such as Science Week, Art’s Week, Book Day, HT’s Got Talent, Summer Concert and class assemblies. As a school we are committed to offering as many high quality opportunities in sport, music, creative arts and drama as our financial budget allows.
Our teachers plan in year group teams to ensure cohesion and parity of learning experiences for our children. Their planning is used as a guide for teaching and learning and regular formative assessment and feedback from the children inform them as to where to direct the learning to and what to teach next.
Each subject area is led and developed by a member of staff. They are responsible for ensuring all other staff are kept up to date with changes and current, relevant developments; monitoring how it is taught and how well children are progressing and what actions the school needs to take to improve the teaching and learning in their subject.
Knowledge needs to be moved from working memory and secured in long term memory for learning to have taken place. We assess the practices taking place to ensure that they are appropriate, match our intent and are likely to meet our goals in the long term. We moderate and use comparative judgement alongside carefully planned assessment tasks. At the start of each lesson we use short quizzes to assess previous learning throughout the year and keep learning ‘simmering’. We use a triangulation approach of lesson observations, work scrutiny and pupil voice interviews to ensure that our pedagogy matches our intent, implementation and expectations.