How did we design our curriculum?
As a school, we started to look at ways in which we could make learning ’stick’ for our pupils and we had a keen interest in the messages that were coming from cognitive science theories. We had strongly held views that a curriculum was not to be imposed on our staff and that all members of the school needed to be involved in its construction, as it needed to embody our shared vision, values, ethos before it could be successfully implemented. We also believed that Subject Leads needed to be key in our approach and in the curriculum being successfully implemented across the whole school.
Curriculum Design Statement: intent, implementation, impact
At Old Clee Primary Academy it is our underlying belief that every child should feel valued and experience the feeling of success in a wide range of curriculum areas. Therefore, we have designed, organised and planned our curriculum to ensure every child receives an appropriate mix of academic and personal development and have aligned the need for pupils to secure the expected standard at the end of KS2 by placing greater importance on the role foundation subjects play in contributing towards this.
How do pupils progress and achieve within our curriculum?
At Old Clee, our definition of progress is the widening, deepening, recall and use of essential knowledge and understanding – all of which will have been acquired through excellent pupil learning behaviours. We have designed, organised and planned our curriculum ensuring children are not merely covering content but achieving a depth to their learning which enables them to use their knowledge and understanding across all areas. Our curriculum design and planning means we build in many opportunities for revisiting, practise and retrieval of essential knowledge and understanding in every subject. This ensures children can revisit previous learning, which allows them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills and processes within subjects, at their own pace and in the best possible way for each individual child.
Our curriculum implementation is underpinned by our three goals in mind:
(1) To give pupils appropriate experience to develop as confident, responsible citizens;
(2) To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’:
Cultural capital is gained through first hand curriculum experiences when pupils are exposed to a large variety of subject areas and arts. It includes rich vocabulary and powerful knowledge which, in turn, helps pupils become subject specific experts. Our curriculum promotes character building qualities, thus helping our pupils to become independent thinkers and well rounded global citizens.
(3) To provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth understanding for those capable:
Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:
In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time. That some of our content drivers are subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross curricular approach.
Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memories. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed in the short term. Assessment, therefore answers two main questions: ‘How are pupils engaging with the curriculum content and their learning?’ And ‘How well are they retaining previously taught knowledge and skills?’
The impact aim of our curriculum is that by the end of each year, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content and concepts delivered - that is - they will remember, recall and further build on secure platforms, year after year; some pupils will have a greater depth of understanding. But for all – learning has been transferable so that the vast majority are ready to progress on to the next year’s curriculum having reached clear end points.
Pupils have also developed into ‘SUPERB’ citizens - capable of playing an active and successful role in society and who have happy and fulfilled lives.
Monitoring of this will be robust - through continuous, everyday metacognitive process whereby learners think about their own learning more explicitly and acquire the ability to monitor, direct and review learning themselves; and through teachers using many AFL opportunities, and through employing teacher/pupil ‘Assessment Conversations’; in addition, more summative POP tasks designed to retrieve learning will be used. More formal testing will also provide quantitative data for some subject areas.
If you would like further information on the curriculum we teach, please contact the school directly.
National Curriculum Links
RE - see below