Brandling Primary School Curriculum Statement
- A Knowledge engaged approach
What we do...
At Brandling Primary School we are committed to a knowledge engaged approach which ensures that children acquire the key knowledge and skills in the subjects that will allow them to be successful in their future lives. We strongly believe in the importance of the national curriculum subjects as a discipline to develop opportunities to ensure retention, subject-appropriate application and re-use of knowledge.
The development of solid basic skills is at the heart of all initiatives, however Brandling innovates using the arts and creativity to raise children’s aspirations, extend their knowledge, widen their experiences and get them to think “outside the box”. The curriculum offered has the potential to exert a lasting and fundamental influence on the quality of learning and achievement of all children in the school. We are developing the whole child in a way that will prepare them for future life.
We are committed to learning beyond the classroom. We have an active forest school’s programme that involves children throughout school in practical outdoor learning activities which develop their personal and social skills as well as technical and risk assessment skills. Our curriculum is built around an extensive series of visits and visitors which allows our children to learn through rich first hand experiences. We have an active local, national and international dimension to work and have excellent relationships with parents and the wider community.
The breadth of our curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:
1. To give pupils appropriate experiences to develop as confident, responsible citizens
2. To provide a rich “cultural capital"
3. To provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable
We have developed three curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and respond to the particular needs of our community:
Community-which helps pupils to be an active, responsible member of our school, the locality, our country and the world.
Possibilities-which help pupils to build aspirations and know available possibilities for their future lives.
Diversity-which helps pupils to be effective citizens in a multi-cultural society. We want our curriculum to teach respect, value and celebrate the diverse world we live in today be culturally awareness.
By ensuring that our curriculum responds to these drivers we have ensured that our community is at the heart of our teaching and learning and topics have been selected to embrace the wider community in which we live - celebrating our diverse community, with topics focusing on Felling and the North East to expand children's knowledge of events and places they wouldn't ordinarily visit or know about.
2. Cultural Capital
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 and be successful in life.
3. A coherently planned academic curriculum underpinned by the three drivers, our academic curriculum sets out
a. A clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered in our long term planning
b. The “concepts” pupils should understand the vocabulary to be introduced
c. Criteria for progression within the concepts in our Curriculum skills progression plans
d. Criteria for depth of understanding
a. The curriculum breadth long term planning cycles for each year group ensures each teacher has clarity as to what to cover. As well as providing the key knowledge within each subject it also provides for pupils growing cultural capital.
b. Concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within the subjects are repeated many times in each topic.
c Our Curriculum Skill Progression plans define the standards for the Concepts.
d Depth: we expect pupils to progress over the course of the year to develop a Basis (B) understanding of the concepts and an Advancing (A) or Deep (D) understanding of the skills and concepts. Learning at the early stage will involve a high degree of repetition so that knowledge enters pupil long term memory.
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?
All children will be provided with knowledge Organisers each half term when they begin a new unit in History, Geography or Science. The Knowledge Organiser is a document which shows what the learning will be that half term and gives children a chance to do some further research and reading at home. Over time, students will build up a core bank of facts and vocabulary that will help them excel in their achievements and understand the world around them. The revision and learning of the knowledge organisers will also help students embed their knowledge and support them as they access more complicated content in later years.
We hope the Knowledge Organisers will also support parents who would like to find out more about what children are covering in their lessons.
Why we do it....
Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:
- Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
- Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long term retention.
- 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.