And the child grew…
Valuing today, ready for tomorrow
CURRICULUM DESIGN STATEMENT
‘Education should be about broadening minds, enriching communities and advancing civilisation.
Ultimately, it is about leaving the world a better place than when we found it.’
-Amanda Spielman, June 2017
1. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION
We are developing a curriculum based on a knowledge-led progression model. This curriculum will teach the key concepts within each specific subject progressively building upon secure previous knowledge within a broadly context-based framework (i.e. through a topic or theme). This will enable children to revisit and build upon the key concepts at an increasingly deeper level as they move through the school. In this way children will have the opportunity to make increasingly complex connections in their learning across a range of contexts, resulting in rich and deep learning that is transferable.
Interwoven throughout our knowledge-led learning will be our school values. This should enable our children to think critically about the knowledge they have gained, within and outside of the school, and use it to make emotionally literate and morally responsible decisions and choices.
(i.e. Our clear shared vision of what we intend our curriculum to achieve)
The core purpose of education at Farnworth CE Primary School is to provide our children with rich, deep and durable learning that is transferrable across a range of contexts. It is built upon a strong emotionally literate and morally responsible foundation. This will equip them with the knowledge, skills, understanding behaviours and attitudes necessary for success in their next stage of education, their future employment and for their adult life within an ever-changing world.
Our aim is for our curriculum design and curriculum approach to be aligned to our specific local context and our pupils’ particular needs.
Our curriculum will enable our children to:
· build strong, knowledge-based semantic memories, store them in their long-term memory and be able to retrieve and use them as a situation arises
· make strong connections within their learning that are durable and transferrable between contexts
· think creatively and critically
· innovate, solve problems and generate solutions
· develop strong analytical skills
· become emotionally literate and morally responsible citizens.
Our school values will help our children to:
· make emotionally literate and morally responsible decisions and choices, that keep themselves and others safe and be able to thrive
(i.e. How do we carry this out?)
3.1 Bespoke Curriculum
Our aim is to implement a bespoke curriculum which is designed around and responsive to the specific needs of our pupils. Consequently, our school curriculum will be dynamic in that it will be built and reconstructed in response to our pupils’ changing needs. As reflective practitioners, our staff will consider what works and what doesn’t.
3.2 Knowledge-led approach
· Through our knowledge-led approach, children will be taught to master subjects through subject specific knowledge, where skills are an outcome not its purpose (i.e. skills are the outcome of the repeated practical application of knowledge).
· The development of knowledge and consequent skills will be delivered contextually where appropriate, such as through a particular topic/theme. This helps children to store and retrieve their knowledge and skills. Staff will help pupils to make connections in their learning between different topics/themes. This strengthens learning and makes it more durable and transferable.
· Staff will use intelligent repetition of key concepts to enable deeper understanding and stronger connections to take place. Intelligent repetition is used to promote the acquisition of core knowledge, efficient recall, to practise, to deepen understanding and to make connections.
· Time will be built into lessons to re-visit information that has been forgotten.
3.3 Progression and Mastery
· Our curriculum will recognise that children need to be taught the key or ‘high dividend’ concepts within each subject in a way that minimises overload and maximises retention.
· Our curriculum will recognise the importance of progression. This is an understanding of the concept of Mastery. Through the Mastery approach new knowledge is built upon secure previous knowledge. Mastery includes making connections between different aspects of learning or different contexts in order to create a rich web of knowledge. This results in the construction of strong semantic memory.
· Our curriculum will grow progressively more and more complex through sequential and spiral learning, giving our children the capacity to learn more, make connections and deepen their understanding.
· As our school’s scheme grows progressively more and more complex and sophisticated over time, and our children move from year to year, our children will have the opportunity to think more deeply about important concepts and apply them to within other contexts.
3.4 Local Context, Educational Visit & Visitors
· Our curriculum will make good use of local and other areas, school visits and school visitors to close gaps in our children’s experience. It will provide wider opportunities and experiences that will enable our pupils to apply their: knowledge, skills, values and understanding in much wider contexts.
· Our bespoke curriculum will recognise that due to the nature of our catchment, some of our pupils may not have direct or regular experience of social, cultural or religious diversity. We are aware of the social and cultural gaps that our pupils may experience as a result of this. Where our children lack personal experience of culturally diverse societies, our curriculum design seeks to recognise these experiential gaps and close them through our specific provision.
· We teach children how to keep themselves and others safe, including from the risks associated with extremism, grooming, and bullying, both on and off-line.
· Assessment will continue to be interwoven throughout the curriculum. Summative and formative assessments have historically been used well by staff to check pupils’ understanding of key concepts. This supports staff in identifying gaps in knowledge and understanding and enables them to respond appropriately by adjusting their teaching.
· Assessment information is also used by staff to identify gaps in knowledge and skills, identify the depth of understanding and to inform and improve future curriculum design.
· At Farnworth CE we also recognise the value of assessment as an important learning tool. We make good use of assessment tasks by providing children with opportunities to ‘struggle’ and make sustained effort in trying to retrieve information. We understand that it is through the concerted effort within such tasks that memory recall is strengthened and the strongest connections in learning are created.
3.6 Leadership and management of the Curriculum
As we design and implement our curriculum, we will seek to develop strong subject leaders who:
· are passionate about their subjects and share their vision with confidence.
· monitor the delivery and coverage of their subjects well.
· strive for specialism and are confident in describing the impact of their particular subjects.
· know the quality of their own curriculum design and understand that their subject is important.
· understand that in depth understanding of fewer, but high dividend concepts is more important than surface level understanding of more content.
(i.e How will we know that it is working?)
Following implementation of our newly designed curriculum, most children who leave our school will:
· have a strong web of knowledge across the curriculum subjects that is deep, durable and transferable from one context to another can retrieve knowledge and make connections between contexts
· be able to think deeply about important concepts
· be able to apply their knowledge and use it to solve problems and generate creative solutions
· be creative, innovative and able to think critically
· be sympathetically aware of other people's feelings; they are tolerant and forgiving
· be able to make deeper connections in their learning as a result of their access to experiences through our school that they would not otherwise have had
· be able to think critically about the knowledge they have gained and make emotionally literate and morally responsible decisions / choices
· have the knowledge and resilience that they need to resist extremism and other potential risks in order to keep themselves and others safe.