Curriculum Lead - Mrs Whitehurst
The Curriculum at Arundale
Over the last few years, we have invested a significant amount of time and resources in developing a knowledge-rich, well sequenced curriculum to give our pupils access to the very best curriculum content. This ensures that pupils secure a solid base to build on as they move through school and into Key Stage 3 and beyond. Our curriculum is ambitious and goes above and beyond the requirements laid out in the national curriculum.The Arundale curriculum is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base and an extensive understanding of the world. The curriculum promotes long-term learning and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more. As pupils learn the content of the curriculum they are making progress. We have developed a curriculum built on current research regarding how memory works to ensure that children not only have access to 'the best that has been thought and said' but are taught this in a way that ensures children can remember the curriculum content in future years. We make use of knowledge organisers to ensure children know exactly which information is expected to be learned over the course of their study in a particular subject. These knowledge organisers are sent home each half term with a clear guide to indicate to parents and pupils which parts must be committed to memory each week. One of the central aims of the curriculum is to ensure that our pupils are both "interesting and interested". We want them to be 'interesting' to talk to, because they know a great deal about the world and 'interested' in finding out more. We believe that knowledge breeds curiosity - as pupils learn more about the world they become more curious. It is very difficult to be curious about something that you don't know anything about. We understand that knowledge is 'sticky', in other words, the more pupils know, the easier it is for them to know more. As a result, we carefully check and activate prior knowledge to ensure our pupils are able to understand and remember new things they are learning. This is why we place particular emphasis on children knowing by heart and building rich webs of knowledge as they progress through the curriculum. Parents can support this work through quizzing children on the knowledge organisers according to the revision schedule provided on the back.
Our knowledge -rich curriculum is built on the following five principles -1. Acquisition of 'powerful knowledge' is at the heart of the curriculum This means that pupils learn knowledge which empowers them to not only understand the world around them but to understand how each subject discipline works in order to extend this knowledge of the world. 2. Knowledge is specified in fine detail This means that we set out very precisely what pupils will know and be able to do in each subject. This means that we don't leave anything to chance. If we want pupils to know a specific piece of knowledge we specify when and how this is learned over time. 3. Knowledge is acquired in long-term memory This means that we expect all pupils to remember their learning into the future. We have planned the curriculum so that there are many chances for pupils to review what they have already learned and secure it in their memories. 4. Knowledge is carefully sequenced over time This means that we have thought carefully about the most effective order to learn new curriculum content in. WE have planned the curriculum so that each unit of work in a subject builds directly on what has been learned before. This helps pupils understand and remember their learning more effectively. 5. Knowledge is organised into subject disciplines and is derived from discourse within subject communities This means that from KS1 we teach individual subjects such as History, Geography, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Art and Languages. We treat each subject separately so that pupils have a very clear understanding of what is important about each subject and that their knowledge and skills progress systematically over time in each area of the curriculum. We work closely with subject experts and subject associations to ensure that what we choose to include in our curriculum is the very best that it can be.
At Arundale we have three core principles that underpin our curriculum: curiosity, well being and equity. These core principles run through everything the children experience. We believe that everyone is capable of being successful and happy. We want to celebrate individuality and give opportunities for everyone to follow their passions and strengths
Through our curriculum, we intend that every child will be a curious learner who loves to play, explore and is inspired to be creative.
Regardless of their background or starting point our curriculum intends to give every child the experiences and opportunities to be successful and happy.
Our intention is that each and every child will be knowledgeable and motivated to take an active role in their own well-being, happiness and achievements.
From the core principles, we have identified 12 threads within the National Curriculum including E-safety, SMSC, Mental health and Well-being and British Values. This is how the schemata of learning elements are linked.
How we do it at Arundale
We have a vision that is achieved through 'walking' our ethos every single day. We live by our HEART values to focus our actions and guide our decision making. Each Element of Learning is born out of curiosity, personalised to ensure equity and celebrated to improve children's well-being. Our 12 Golden Threads link the content of the National Curriculum to our 3 Core Principles to learning.
Using history, geography or science as a driver, the curriculum is delivered through individual learning elements which enable children to develop thematic knowledge through the undertaking of subject specific skills. It is through these elements that pupils are provided with the knowledge and language which enables children to link their learning from year to year
One example of this is to link learning through the Golden Thread of 'travel':
|World War II
|Evacuation and the Railway system
|Earth & Space
|London underground & The River Thames
|Countries around the Mediterranean
Example of Year 4
Core Principle - Curiosity
Golden Thread - Travel (linked to previous travel knowledge Year 3 Mediterranean topic of countries around the Mediterranean)
Learning Element - Why is the River Thames so important in London? (Geography focus)
Each 1/2 term, your child will bring home a 'Knowledge Organiser' to help develop children's knowledge and understanding of their current Topics and Themes.
Current research suggest that knowledge organisers can help our children to develop deeper learning and embed information into their long-term memory, creating links with prior learning and experiences. This, in turn, will encourage the children to be more confident and independent in class as well as developing their reading, writing and vocabulary skills.
This information leaflet contains the essential knowledge and key facts that children will be expected to know as part of the new topic they will be studying in class. We have chosen to share our knowledge organisers with parents so that you can help to reinforce learning that is already taking place in school.
Your child's teacher will be using the knowledge organiser each week within the classroom to revisit previous learning questions, as they introduce new concepts, ideas and facts.
All knowledge organisers are available to download from this website.
Improving Children's Confidence, Mental Health & Well-Being
We believe that improving children's self esteem is the key factor in developing them as effective and curious learners. Ensuring their emotional heath and mental well-being is looked after then we have laid the foundations for happy and successful children.
The aim of teaching children about mental well-being is to give them the information that they need to make good decisions about their own health and well-being. It should enable them to recognise what is normal and what is an issue in themselves and others. When issues arise, pupils must know how to seek support as early as possible.