At West Horndon Primary School, we are passionate about providing a curriculum for our learners which meets their needs in the 21st Century. Our approach to curriculum planning is bespoke and flexible so that it can be adapted to meet the needs of learners over time.
As a maintained primary school we start by ensuring that we meet the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Basic principles1.Learning is a change to long-term memory.
2. Our aims are to ensure that our students experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.
We have developed four curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community:
We have identified five curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community:
Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way.
The diagram below shows model of our curriculum structure:
well as providing the key knowledge within subjects it also provides for pupils’ growing cultural capital.
b) 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.
c) Milestones define the standards for the threshold concepts.
d) Depth: we expect pupils in year 1 of the milestone to develop a Basic (B) understanding of the concepts and an Advancing (A) or Deep (D) understanding in Year 2 of the milestone. Phase one (Years 1, 3 and 5) in a Milestone is is the knowledge building phase that provides the fundamental foundations for later application. LEARNING AT THIS STAGE 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.
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?’ and ‘How well are they retaining previously taught content?’
Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles
underpin it:1)Learning is most 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.
Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practise for previously learned content.