Designing, planning and delivering our Curriculum
Our overarching Trust Curriculum Intent has been drawn together across all five schools within the Trust and reflects the importance of our children developing the skills, knowledge and ambition that they will need to be successful citizens of the future. We are a very local Trust with shared needs and demands and therefore our overarching intent for the curriculum is shared.
For all of our schools, reading, along with language development, is the driver since successful readers will lead to successful learners and we know that our standards must be improved. Therefore, creating a love of reading, teaching the skills of reading and early reading interventions are paramount within our curriculum.
Each Subject Intent has been created together across the schools, ensuring that it is firmly based on the National Curriculum but at the same time is meeting the specific needs of our children given their experiences, backgrounds and their starting points. Click here to see the History Intent for the Trust and our key history concepts.
We work to the National Curriculum across all the schools to ensure that the depth and breadth is taught effectively. The purpose of our curriculum is to ensure that children can build their knowledge, recognising that learning happens through staged repetition over time and through a change in the long term memory. In this way, we ensure that children acquire a broad knowledge and understanding as they move through the school.
Beyond this, schools have their own curriculum drivers which embrace their school community. For example, one is a UNICEF Rights Respecting school, another has oracy as a driver, alongside outdoor learning whilst another the environment. These thread through the curriculum in each school as do the values of both the Trust and the schools. The quality of our teaching, the positive relationships between children and adults and peer to peer as well as the embedded high expectations, ensure that our children receive a balanced curriculum where they can develop resilience, ambition and a confidence in themselves that will remain with them into their future.
Clear progression documents for each subject area have been created to ensure that learning is built upon as children move through the school from Early Years to year 6. These documents outline progression in the expectation of knowledge learned through each subject. Within each subject, we identify the key concepts that will drive the planning and teaching and these concepts remain the same as the children grow through the school. They show how they build on previous learning but also how they build to the composite knowledge that a child will be developing at each stage. This is the subject specific knowledge and understanding that we expect the children to retain in their long-term memory, which will make their learning joined up and memorable.
Example of history planning
The outline of these progression documents has been built as a Trust to identify the development of subject specific knowledge from Early Years through to year 6. They allow schools to build their curriculum based on the National Curriculum, identifying the key concepts within each subject. The documents also identify the direct links to the Trust Curriculum Intent and subject Intents in terms of the cultural capital, rich experiences and vocabulary development which are key across our curriculum.
Once these documents are complete, schools create their own year group overviews.
These identify the areas of knowledge being taught at each stage that will build on prior learning and support future learning. They will also link across subjects where appropriate. For example, where rocks and materials are taught in science, the history topic may be the Stoneage, Ironage etc. In this way, we can be confident that there is clear progression of knowledge and skills through the curriculum whilst enabling and encouraging children to link their learning across the curriculum.
The planning for each subject is concept driven and teachers understand the key ‘nuggets’ of knowledge that they need to teach to enable their children to develop their composite knowledge within that subject, drawing on their previous learning and making links with other areas of the curriculum.
It is important to ensure that the intended learning takes place. We know that children learn through repetition over time, regular recall and through making links with their other knowledge and understanding. It is therefore important that we provide regular opportunities for children to practise, repeat and build links in their knowledge and understanding so that they know more, can remember more and are able to do more. It is through our careful curriculum design, from Early Years to Year 6, that we ensure the children make good progress in their learning across all subjects. Teachers must recognise their role in linking new teaching to past learning and understand where their teaching fits into the bigger whole school picture within each subject and across our curriculum. It is in this way that we can be confident our curriculum meets the needs of all of our children and ensure that they make good progress in their learning as they move through our schools.