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Primary Curriculum

Intent

Underpinned by the three drivers, our academic curriculum sets out:

  1. A clear list of the breadth topics that will be covered;
  2. The ‘threshold concepts’ pupils should understand;
  3. Criteria for progression within the threshold concepts;
  4. Criteria for depth of understanding

The diagram below shows the organisation for our curriculum structure building on from the Early Years’ Foundation Stage curriculum

  1. The curriculum breadth for each year group ensures each team has clarity as to what to teach. As well as providing the key knowledge within each subject, it also provides for pupils’ growing cultural capital.
  1. Threshold concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated many times in each topic.
  1. Milestones define the standards for the threshold concepts.
  1. Within each year group, we plan and assess effectively to ensure that the vast majority of pupils reach the expected standard for their year group and where appropriate have the opportunity to achieve greater depth. In order for learning to be embedded, it is acknowledged that the learning must not be rushed and will involve a high degree of repetition so that knowledge enters pupils’ long-term memory. If all of the core knowledge is acquired quickly, teachers create extended knowledge.

Sustained mastery

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 well are pupils coping with curriculum content?
  • How well are they retaining previously taught content?

 

Implementation

Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:

1. Learning is more effective with spaced repetition.

2. Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention.

3. Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.

In addition to the three principles, we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.

Some of our content is subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross-curricular approach.

 

Impact

The impact on our children is that by the end of each Milestone, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it; some pupils have a greater depth of understanding. We track carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum.

 

Spaced Repetition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVf38y07cfk

Interleaved learning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbDpYMp8F6o

Retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA9WCpePT14