Cliffe Woods Primary School is passionate about ensuring that our children have a lively, interesting and fulfilling curriculum which builds on procedural knowledge.
Statement of Intent
The breadth of our curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:
- To give pupils appropriate experiences to develop as confident, responsible citizens
- To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’
- 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 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:
Curiosity which helps pupils to have the confidence to explore, investigate and immerse themselves in their learning.
Opportunity which helps pupils to build aspirations, recognising and exploring all available opportunities for their future lives.
Tenacity which helps our pupils to become resilient, understanding and to be persevering individuals in all that they do.
Diversity which prepares our pupils to be global citizens by exposing them to people with disabilities, and those from different cultures and social groups, allowing our pupils to be empathetic to the experience of others.
Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read and experience. It is the currency for social mobility and the acquisition of this will allow pupils to transcend their economic-given status whilst repairing divisions in society caused by gaps in knowledge. Specifically, cultural capital is powerful knowledge. It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way. At Cliffe Woods Primary School, the way in which cultural capital is acquired and developed is multi-faceted. We give pupils access to carefully considered areas of knowledge through our breadth of curriculum design. Pupils are able to develop their knowledge of many topics. The continuous provision also plays a part in the development of each and every one of our pupil’s procurement of cultural capital and further opportunities continue to be reviewed, enhanced and added.
Statement of Implementation
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 can be invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.
The school’s curriculum content is based upon the “Essential Curriculum” model. This involves the children being immersed in a curriculum that is coherent, progressive and appropriately sequenced to enable our pupils to develop subject-specific and procedural knowledge to prepare them well for the next stages of their education.
The curriculum builds progressively from learning in the Foundation Stage. The milestones (1, 2 and 3) that are built into our curriculum, allow the children to embed their knowledge. These milestones are aligned with the National Curriculum and indeed go beyond the National Curriculum requirements. We have mapped out key procedural knowledge for each subject across each milestone (a 2-year cycle). Choosing this approach enables our children to develop meaningful links and opens their eyes to a world beyond their immediate locality. It also builds their cultural capital, preparing them with essential knowledge for their future success. Planning in this way ensures all children have access to a full curriculum which progresses in skills and knowledge across the year – we know that during each milestone every indicator is covered at least twice, so children have the chance to work at a Basic, Advancing and Deep level.
The curriculum implementation emphasises the importance of developing the depth of children’s learning. In essence, this means providing children with an increased cognitive challenge, allowing them to apply their knowledge independently in a range of contexts rather than moving them on needlessly when they have not truly mastered it.
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 practice for previously learned content.
Statement of Impact
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each Milestone, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember key concepts and are fluent in them; Some pupils will have a greater depth of understanding. We track carefully to ensure pupils are on course to reach the expectations of our curriculum.
At Cliffe Woods, because we work together to provide an exceptional curriculum and enrichment opportunities, there is a real impact on both academic and personal development. We believe that every child should be encouraged to achieve the highest standards possible, in an atmosphere where all success’, great or small, is properly celebrated. Our children enjoy school and have the confidence to grow in responsibility and independence, leaving us as flourishing citizens, equipped for the next stage in their education and for a journey of lifelong learning.
The impact of the school’s curriculum can be seen through talking with the children and the work they produce, as well as outcomes for all groups of pupils within the school. Everything we do is with the child in mind, and strong relationships are built between pupils and staff which create an atmosphere for learning which is conducive to success.
If you require any further information about our curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact the school office who will put you in contact with the relevant subject leader.