We have designed our curriculum to support the needs of our children. This means that we understand the context of the lives of our children, the community in which they reside and use the curriculum to build upon this knowledge and offer new possibilities and opportunities. Knowledge is the power to success, our job is therefore to give every child the knowledge they need to be a success. By giving them knowledge, we arm children with the choices to prosper in all manners of life, whatever their life path may be.
Through cognitive research, we have designed the curriculum to aid long-term retention of different types of knowledge. Key concepts tie the subject topics that we teach together into meaningful learning which are returned to regularly in order to build their understanding and transfer that knowledge into their long-term memory. By the end of the key stage, children are therefore able to connect key ideas through each subject in order to inform understanding and deepen their knowledge as opposed to weak understanding through information exchange alone. We approach the subjects and the key concepts that need to be taught in accordance with the different types of knowledge required. For example, in science, the key concepts are to teach children how to think as a scientist which needs different types of knowledge to say, for example, thinking as a musician. This supports the formation of schema around the key concepts within a subject e.g. investigating and interpreting evidence in history, rather than learning unrelated historical facts or topics.
Each concept is built upon to ensure progression and repetition of learning. New ideas are the hardest for children to learn. Therefore sufficient time is spent to ensure that the basics are secure and that we can sustain mastery leading towards greater depth. We call these ‘milestones’ which is how we can show what our children have learned. This means that our programme of study will take place over 2 years to ensure children are in the advancing stages of understanding the key concepts across all subjects. This means our children will be Key Stage 2 ready.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure that children move forward with secure knowledge. Teaching of our subjects is interleaved and retrieval of previously learned content is frequent to aid long term retention. Key curriculum concepts are built upon across the key stages to ensure progression and are pushed through the topics that we teach ensuring intra-curricula links which allows children to build meaningful schema and move their learning from working into long term memory.
Our provision enables application and replication of the knowledge taught in different contexts, with pertinent cross curricula links, offering a more open ended approach to learning which challenges and empowers children to demonstrate their learning in imaginative and different ways. It also builds on previously taught knowledge, both day-to-day and across year groups. It supports the needs of the less knowledgeable children but challenges those more knowledgeable children. Support staff facilitates children’s learning within a context which engages them and develops their problem solving skills, independence and attitudes towards learning.
All of the school’s activities demonstrate our uncompromising drive to maintain the highest levels of achievement for all pupils in order to maximise their life chances.
The school’s frequent monitoring cycle ensures effective practice. Children’s gaps in knowledge are identified through Assessment For Learning strategies and at summative assessment points throughout the year. AFL determines pre-teach or catch-up sessions planned by the class teacher. Immediate interventions are delivered where necessary. Wave 2 and Wave 3 interventions are monitored and evaluated by the SENCO. Rigorous pupil progress meetings take place every 10 weeks to analyse and inform next steps. Milestones are used to describe attainment at the end of a particular period and proof of progress, (POP), tasks are used as evidence to measure children’s progress towards the milestones.
Curriculum drivers help shape our curriculum and are incorporated across all areas of learning to broaden our children’s horizons and extend the boundaries of their lives equipping them with the knowledge and cultural experiences they need to succeed.
UIS curriculum drivers are: Possibilities, Environment, Diversity
We are passionate about ensuring that even from a young age our children are exposed to a range of possibilities to broaden their aspirations and develop a strong sense of ambition.
We believe that forming a sense of respect and caring for the natural environment in our children is an essential part of their education and will enable our children to have a clear understanding of their role in both local and global issues.
Our children enter school with a secure sense of their own cultural identity. We aim to build on this with an emphasis on celebrating their uniqueness. Furthermore, we teach and promote an ethos of valuing and respecting the individuality and cultural differences of all people both locally and globally. As a result, our children are empowered to become positive global citizens.