Our curriculum has been developed with our mission and vision at the forefront of our minds. We want the children to develop a love of learning; we want them to leave us with the skills, knowledge and tools they need to thrive on the next step of their education. Our school values of positivity, courage, perseverance, love and nurture thread through our curriculum too. We are very mindful that curriculum development is never complete, we’re continually refining and making improvements.
The National Curriculum is at the core of our curriculum and we see this like the skeleton, this is then built upon making it relevant to our children. We also enrich our curriculum with memorable experiences, which is especially important for our most disadvantaged children.
We’ve based our practice on research, one which has made the most impact for us is Ebbinghaus’ research of the forgetting curve, which has supported our implementation of spaced retrieval and recall tasks.
Our staff have worked hard to ensure that each subject is carefully planned from our Nursery through to Year 2. It is planned to support our most able and those with the greatest level of need. We have developed subject pathways which demonstrate progression and we’ve also developed year group overviews so we can see how the pieces of our curriculum fit together.
Our medium-term planning identifies:
the children’s prior learning
next steps in learning
an end goal
Through the children’s time with us they have opportunities to revisit learning to help them deepen their knowledge. Enrichment activities such as Forest Schools support this too.
We make links between subjects when they’re relevant but we won’t shoehorn in activities to make them fit with a topic as this could damage the integrity of the subject.
We have taken a staged approach to developing the curriculum over the past 5 years. Firstly, looking at our sequencing, hooks and end goals. This led onto developing pathways and overviews. In the last couple of years we have been refining, making medium term plans more detailed, with the top sections being like knowledge organisers, including previous learning, next step learning, high quality text and links.
Our journey has involved a range of CPD activities such as staff led or consultant led INSET, opportunities to network with other subject leaders across the Trust and beyond, opportunities to visit other settings to share experiences and practice.