Curzon's Take on the Curriculum
Our Curriculum at The Curzon
What is a knowledge-rich curriculum?
A knowledge-rich curriculum exposes children to ambitious content that has been highly specified and well-sequenced, leaving nothing to chance. Within schools, time is limited, and a knowledge-rich curriculum ensures that each precious moment will support children in acquiring the knowledge, skills and cultural capital that they will need to become well-educated citizens of the future. Every historical figure encountered, philosophical idea grappled with, and scientific concept applied, fits neatly into a scheme of learning that holds a sense of purpose and develops logically from lesson to lesson, unit to unit and year to year. Through utilising cognitive science, and the psychology of learning, memory and schemata, a knowledge-rich curriculum is designed to ensure that the knowledge is taught to be remembered. At its core, a knowledge-rich curriculum enables all children, regardless of socio-economic background, to be provided with the opportunities to succeed in later life. The Curriculum has taken all the evidence and research into account to ensure that it incorporates the principles of spaced retrieval, formative “low-stakes” quizzing and plenty of practice to develop knowledge fluency in pursuit of mastery. The curriculum is knowledge that is structured over time.
At The Curzon Church of England Primary School, we Aspire for our ambitious curriculum to excite, engage and enrich the lives of our children. We Believe our creative curriculum offers a progressive, sequenced, and structured approach to provide a knowledge rich, lasting and diverse understanding of the world.
We strive for our children to Care and make meaningful, and relevant connections to the world in which we live.
Our Curriculum Intent, we have developed a well-sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum based.
The principles of our knowledge-rich curriculum are: ·
- Knowledge is valued and specified
- Knowledge is well-sequenced
- Knowledge is taught to be remembered
The content in our curriculum has been carefully chosen by subject experts and has been sequenced in a meaningful way that enables children to make connections and progress from unit to unit, term to term and year to year. We recognise and value each subject and teach them discretely, ensuring that our children develop a deep understanding and love of each distinct discipline. Where appropriate, links are made across disciplines to enable children to make meaningful connections (e.g. our children learn about Northern Europe in geography before learning about the Vikings in history). We think carefully about local powerful knowledge (powerful knowledge relevant to their local context) and weave this into the curriculum. We specify exactly what we teach in each subject and communicate this with teachers and parents.
Our intended curriculum can be found in these documents:
• Our whole school curriculum overview outlines the units covered in each subject across the year
Subject curriculum maps: detail exactly what we cover in each subject, with additional detail showing what is covered in each lesson
• Subject rationales: explain the reasoning behind how our curriculum was developed for each subject
• Unit rationales: outline the substantive knowledge, concepts and disciplinary knowledge taught in each unit, and how each unit fits in with the bigger curriculum picture
• The knowledge goals (KG) and assessment goals set out in our planning documents for each subject: KGs explain what we plan for all children to know by the end of each lesson, and the assessment shows what we expect children to commit to long term memory by the end of the unit.
Our intended curriculum is translated over time in the classroom following a structured approach. Teachers are provided with detailed documents for each unit, to support with subject knowledge and planning. This ensures every teacher has secure subject knowledge and reduces workload, enabling teachers to spend more time thinking about how each lesson can be effectively enacted in their classroom to support their class.
Each lesson starts with a prior learning review, where children are supported to retrieve prior knowledge and make connections. We have an emphasis on explicitly teaching vocabulary, and each lesson starts with introducing, orally rehearsing, and engaging with key vocabulary (e.g., looking at the etymology of new words). Key vocabulary is contextualised throughout the lesson and children are given opportunities to apply new words. Our teachers enact our intended curriculum using research-based pedagogy, such as Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, to ensure information is presented in small steps, clearly explained and modelled, and children have many opportunities to talk, answer questions, explain their learning and work independently. Throughout lessons, teachers assess/monitor pupil responses (e.g., through questioning, written and oral responses, MCQs, using Knowledge Organisers) and provide effective feedback.
Lesson and curriculum recording
Individual lessons are then planned in finer detail. Use of powerpoint/ smart boards. Learning is evidence in the children’s enquiry books/ floor books. Knowledge organisers are displayed in the classroom/ stick in their books and knowledge collectors are used to review learning.( Mini quizzes)
As we have clearly specified what we want our children to know, do and remember, when reviewing impact, we assess against the Knowledge Goals laid out in the intended curriculum, enabling us to check whether children can remember what we set out for them to learn.
We carry out subject-specific monitoring and curriculum reviews to assess impact and use these to plan for future development. As we know that curriculum impact, implementation and impact go hand in hand, one cannot be successful without the other and the curriculum cannot be successful without careful thought in all three areas. We are always reflecting upon the impact of our intent and implementation and identifying ways in which we can improve outcomes for our children.
Our knowledge rich curriculum places our pupils at the centre and allows them to build schema by creating connections in their knowledge, skills and understanding which they can use across all subjects. We intend that our children will be fully prepared for the next stage of their learning and ready to contribute positively to society as a whole as confident world citizens in an ever-changing world.
Our curriculum work is never finished - it is at the very core of our purpose and our children deserve the very best curriculum we can create.