For our pupils to be successful in life, we believe they need cultural capital: knowledge of the world in which they live, experiences to make sense of it, and the confidence to make judgement of what they see. For this reason, our curriculum aims for all pupils to enter secondary school with:
- A thirst for new knowledge and skills
- A broad range of experiences
- The ability to communicate effectively
These three aims become the three core principles underpinning our curriculum: knowledge, experiences and communication.
We recognise that knowledge is the pathway to skills, creativity, critical thinking and the ability to problem-solve. Our curriculum is knowledge-rich and intends:
- To provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and numeracy. When pupils build firm foundations in literacy and maths, they find it easier to access the wider curriculum.
- To ensure pupils understand the importance of both their physical and mental health. We aim for pupils to develop positive lifelong habits and understand how their physical and mental health are entwined.
- To promote curiosity and wonder. By inspiring young minds, we hope that this in turn creates a lifelong love of learning.
- To build concepts sequentially and revisit key concepts over time, with special focus on the knowledge that pupils need in order to access subjects in later years and make sense of new learning.
- To make connections and activate prior knowledge. This provides an essential anchor point when acquiring new knowledge.
- To provide appropriate support when necessary. We understand that not all pupils have the same prior knowledge and some pupils need to make accelerated progress from their respective starting points.
Experiences help pupils to know and remember more over time. Our curriculum provides a broad range of experiences and intends:
- To enrich learning through educational visits, workshops and experiences. This helps pupils put their learning into context while providing pupils with experiences they might not have access to otherwise.
- To offer enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom so that pupils can identify and foster their interests and talents.
- To make links to the local area and wider community, developing pupils' understanding of the world in which they live and fostering educated citizens of the future.
- To promote reading as an essential experience, ensuring pupils read widely and often and develop a love of reading.
Communication is crucial and provides our pupils with a way to share their knowledge and experiences. Our curriculum promotes effective communication and intends:
- To encourage pupils to articulate their thinking and engage in effective discussion. This helps pupils become active participants in their learning, clarifying their thinking while providing opportunity for teachers to assess understanding.
- To promote collaboration and teamwork, ensuring pupils learn how to cooperate and value working with others.
- To promote digital literacy: a vital skill in the 21st century that will allow our pupils to become lifelong learners and global citizens.
- To promote emotional literacy, helping pupils understand, express and manage their feelings.
Programmes used to support the implementation of our curriculum reflect the ambitious aims for our pupils and include: Read Write Inc. Phonics, Maths Mastery, Ark Curriculum Partnerships and DB Primary.
A literature spine sits alongside our curriculum, offering texts that support discussion and exploration. Knowledge Organisers are shared before starting each unit and detail the key vocabulary and facts pupils will study.
Staff are given time for intellectual preparation before each new topic and participate in school-based and network-wide professional development, feedback and training. Co-planning and CPD is provided weekly for all staff to ensure sharing of best practice and to facilitate continual conversations about the whole school curriculum. These conversations mean our curriculum continues to develop to better meet our pupils' needs and in turn improve all pupil outcomes.
Impact & Assessment
Effective assessment provides vital information to improve teaching and learning outcomes. Our rigorous progress and target setting model supports this. We continually assess our curriculum’s impact by analysing:
- Our reading, writing and numeracy results
- Whether pupils’ physical health is improving and if the time spent being active is increasing
- Our pupils’ feelings about learning
- The quality of pupils’ discussions
- How well pupils work together
- Pupils’ confidence in their use of technology
- How well pupils understand, express and manage their feelings.