Curriculum Intent

Intent

Vision and values

As outlined in our Vision and Values Statement, we provide ambitious learning opportunities for our pupils, promoting achievement in every area and nurturing social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

It is essential that we equip our children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought, said and done and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

As our children gain confidence, knowledge and skills we hope that they will go on to become compassionate, well balanced young people. They will take their place in society as active citizens, economically independent, exemplifying the British values of equality, tolerance, democracy, individual liberty and rule of law.

Our starting point for curriculum design are our four foundations.

  1. Educating for Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills (value link-perseverance)
  2. Educating for Hope and Aspiration (value link-forgiveness)
  3. Educating for Community and Living Well Together (value link-compassion, responsibility)
  4. Educating for Dignity and Respect (value link-integrity, respect)

We aim to help our pupils develop an inner discipline that encourages them to think for themselves. We want them to make up their own minds, thinking and being ready to accept responsibility for what they do. They will grow through making choices, taking responsibility and being honest with themselves and others. SMSC is taught in a cross curricular way throughout the year groups (see our curriculum map) and is not limited to specific Personal, Social, Health and citizenship Education (PSHCE) or Religious Education (RE) lessons.

Character and resilience are important to get us through the frustrations, dramas and setbacks in life. We must instill these qualities in our children and make sure that they are ready to make their way in the world as robust and confident individuals. In order to achieve this we have incorporated key aspects for building character into our curriculum, for example sport, creativity and performing.

Curriculum design

At our school we see the Year 1 to Year 6 curriculum as a body of subject-specific knowledge defined by us and the National Curriculum and so we take a knowledge led approach. Skills are an outcome of the curriculum, not its purpose. When children are ‘fluent’ in knowledge, such as number bonds or 8 times tables-they can then apply them as skills. We aim for our children to build up an accumulation of knowledge and a progression of skills on their journey through the school.

We have a clear focus on subjects as units to deliver the curriculum. Our Curriculum Map, and ‘Units of Work’ in every subject, contain the knowledge that we have identified as essential in our school taking into account cultural capital.

Our ‘Units of Work’ in each subject have been carefully crafted by expert teachers, identifying composite knowledge and skills and breaking them down in to component knowledge and skills to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition. These ‘Units of Work’ also support our particular style of teaching and help with the speedy and effective induction of new staff. This is particularly important in an inner London environment where the cost of accommodation prevents most of our staff from being able to stay with us long term.

We use ‘Knowledge Organisers’ in order to help children with knowledge retention and issues around working memory. Our teaching style has a strong focus on the effective retention and use of subject specific vocabulary.

Each term we replace the usual curriculum for a week in order for everyone to take part in a Whole School Project Week. In 2019-20 this will include: Equalities Week, Keeping Safe Week and Healthy Week.

As we are situated in central London, we use London as our classroom, providing pupils with a very wide range of off site visits and visitors to enhance their learning.

Look at the Curriculum Gallery section of our website for more information about individual subjects in our curriculum.

Look at our Curriculum Map below for an overview of subjects, year by year.

Look at our Curriculum Overviews for Parents/Carers to see termly information about our curriculum and how parents/carers might support children with their learning at home.

Implementation

The implementation of our curriculum is greatly supported by carefully structured unit plans, leading pupils through component knowledge and skills to composite knowledge and skills in all subjects.

The content of our curriculum has been carefully selected to emphasise ‘enabling knowledge’ and to ensure it is remembered. This includes:

  • significant knowledge
  • knowledge which enables subsequent learning
  • knowledge which enables a desired skilled performance

We understand that when the basics are embedded (stored deeply) and automatic (easily retrieved), then subsequent learning becomes easier. Therefore, we are aiming for the content of the curriculum to be learned long term.

‘Learning is defined as an alteration in the long term memory. If nothing has altered in long term memory, nothing has been learned.’ Progress is defined knowing more and remembering more. (Ofsted 2019)

We are developing our current pedagogical approach throughout the academic year 2019-20. This development is based on Rosenshine’s Principles of Direct Instruction. The clarity and simplicity of this approach supports teachers to engage with cognitive science and the wider world of educational research.

The Principles of Direct Instruction

  1. Daily Review
  2. Present new material using small steps
  3. Ask questions
  4. Provide models
  5. Guide student practice
  6. Check for student understanding
  7. Obtain a high success rate
  8. Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks
  9. Independent practice
  10. Weekly and monthly review

Impact

We will review our curriculum through regular subject based monitoring to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition and check that pupil outcomes are of a very high quality.

We will retain banks of high quality pupil work in order to induct new staff to our schools as effectively as possible, sharing our high expectations.

Children love to show what they know and what they can do. We aim for our children to make very good progress using this approach and for us to improve our pupil achievement data, the work in their books and their attitude to learning year on year.