Curriculum

Our Curriculum

Providing a first class education for our children is our core purpose. We seek to lay the foundations of knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare children extremely well for their next stage of education so that transition from one stage to another is natural, seamless and timely. We seek to develop in children a life-long love of learning and the underlying skills to enable them to succeed. Our curriculum aims to go beyond the merely academic, but also into the behaviours and attitudes we wish our children to demonstrate as citizens of the world.

At CHANGE Schools Partnership we believe that:

  • The curriculum in our schools is everything that our pupils experience including the school and classroom environment, their interactions with staff and pupils and the quality of the daily pedagogy used in the delivery of a course of study.
  • The content of our curriculum should build 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and communication, and will continue to evolve responding to our ever-changing world.
  • We have a moral duty to our most vulnerable pupils for whom we know education is the best route for a successful future.
  • All children are capable of excellence through becoming reflective and independent learners within an environment that exposes them to great outcomes.
  • We seek to promote children’s intrinsic motivation by giving them ownership over the direction of their learning.
  • Children should love coming to school each day where their time will be filled with fun, purposeful and challenging learning.
  • Children deserve learning experiences that will stick with them for a lifetime.

Our Curriculum Intent

As a Trust, our aim is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that takes into consideration the overall requirements of the National Curriculum (2014). In particular, we recognise the priority of children to have core knowledge and skills in English, Mathematics, Science and Religious Education. (Religious Education is taught using the Essex locally agreed syllabus). We recognise the increasing need to develop children’s skills, exploring and using a range of technology and media as lives are lived on an international platform with international interconnectivity. Our aim though is to go further and provide an education that supports children’s holistic development – academically, intellectually and culturally; socially and emotionally; physically and spiritually.

We seek to provide an inclusive curriculum either as a whole school, across year groups or within classes. This would offer ‘learning without ceilings’; rigour and challenge; and enjoyment, engagement and enrichment whilst acquiring the associated knowledge, skills and behaviours. This includes a range of opportunities that further our aims via extra-curricular and enhancement activities where children are provided with the opportunity to enrich their learning further.

Curriculum Implementation:

At the heart of curriculum design is a thoughtfully designed curriculum map, which shows what knowledge will be taught, which subjects will be linked and the theme which will provide the context for the learning. Whilst we recognise that some subjects may be taught in isolation, we primarily want children to work on thematic based projects that bring the curriculum together with an intentional outcome. Projects need to be planned carefully and collaboratively, taking into account the following to ensure engagement, motivation, deep learning and progression:

 

The School’s Curriculum Map

A theme will begin with a ‘scintillating’ starter, progress through ‘motivating middles’ and end with a ‘fabulous finish’. Knowledge organisers will be used to extend teachers and pupils’ subject knowledge and communicate what will be learnt within a unit with children and parents. Planning will build on children’s prior learning and provide challenge through the use of progression documents to ensure children are learning and knowing more.

All learning within our curriculum will aim for excellence through the emphasis on the crafting of ‘beautiful’ work – asking children to develop work and expertise through multiple drafts or revisions until it is ‘beautiful’ and has meaning beyond the classroom, representing the very best that the child is capable of producing. Teachers will make use of all the ‘Make it stick’ strategies to support children to remember what they have learnt and to retrieve this knowledge when needed. We will equip learners with a menu of learning strategies which they can deploy according to the context of the learning, explicitly ensuring learners see the analysis of and reflection on their mistakes is a sign of strength and not weakness.

Make it Stick Principles (See Attachment below)

We know that we are responsible for educating the whole child and so we have a moral duty to ensure that we have a values-led curriculum, which promotes the behaviour and dispositions we wish to see in the citizens of the future. As well as ensuring that the children have a grasp of the age expected knowledge base for their year group, there are broadly two kinds of outcomes that we wish our children to demonstrate: prosocial outcomes are to do with cultivating the attitudes of a good citizen; while epistemic outcomes are to do with the qualities of mind of a powerful learner who is able to deal with the uncertainty of an ever-changing world with confidence. Through our culture of learning and the curriculum we deliver, we need to develop the following characteristics within our children:

Prosocial Outcomes:

  • Kind (not callous)
  • Generous (not greedy)
  • Forgiving (not vindictive)
  • Tolerant (not bigoted)
  • Trustworthy (not deceitful)
  • Morally brave (not apathetic)
  • Convivial (not egotistical)
  • Ecological (not rapacious)
  • Epistemic Outcomes:
  • Inquisitive (not passive)
  • Resilient (not easily defeated)
  • Imaginative (not literal)
  • Craftsmanlike (not slapdash)
  • Sceptical (not credulous)
  • Collaborative (not selfish)
  • Thoughtful (not impulsive)
  • Practical (not only ‘academic’)

Our curriculum therefore reflects the following principles when designing short and long-term units of learning:

  1. A focus on cultivating dispositions as well as developing knowledge

Helping learners to be confident about the disposition they are developing (e.g. getting better at dealing with setback) as well as what they are learning (e.g. complex algebra).

  1. A set of learning to learn strategies

Equipping learners with a menu of learning strategies which they can deploy according to the context in which they find themselves (e.g. encouraging them to make inferences from the information they are given or scaffolding using a simplified version of a problem first).

  1. Growth mindsets for all

Explicitly ensuring learners see that the analysis of and reflection on their mistakes is a sign of strength and not weakness.

  1. Learners as teachers

Giving learners regular opportunities to teach other pupils something (e.g. having mini-mentors during lessons or encouraging older pupils to coach the younger pupils).

  1. Authentic and connected prior experiences

Ensuring all learning themes and units of learning in English and Maths start by finding out what learners already know and inviting them to share this through pre-assessment tasks.

  1. Stretching goals, feedback rich environments; all powered by engaging questions

Beginning all learning themes by exploring a ‘big question’, which is capable of being investigated at many levels and to which there are no easy answers.

  1. Emotional and intellectual, social and individual

Consciously creating opportunities for all four of these important aspects of learning to be developed during units of learning.

  1. Practical and academic experiences, within and beyond the formal curriculum

Learning of all kinds is genuinely and equitably celebrated within and beyond school (e.g. Children’s University and recognition of sporting/personal achievements).

Throughout our learning journeys, in a variety of subject areas, we aim to move children’s understanding from the shallow to the profound so that all children can demonstrate mastery in their understanding.  Shallow learning is necessary within a curriculum, so that children grasp the foundational concepts of a theme or theory. Once they have built a core knowledge, they are then able to move into deeper learning where they can apply their understanding in a variety of ways, recognising and valuing how the learning is transferred through metacognition.

Through the curriculum offered in our schools and the emphasis on mindset and metacognition, children should develop some of the following characteristics of different modes of learning that moves their understanding from the shallow to the profound.

This deeper learning can be developed through the types of inquiry based questions we ask children as part of their project based learning journey. This also models to children the type of questions we wish them to ask of themselves and their learning opportunities. Children should also be given the opportunity to continuously reflect on their learning journey and adapt their questions and thinking as the learning develops and they gain new knowledge and insight through the crafting process. 

Reading, Writing and Mathematics

See attachments below for further detail around our approaches to teaching reading, writing and maths.