Curriculum

Termly curriculum information for your child’s class can be found by clicking onto their Year group under the ‘Our School’ tab on the Home page. 

Our Curriculum: has the best intentions; is implemented really well; and helps every child make really good progress in every subject.

 

Mr Rob Litten, Executive Headteacher, November 2018

 

Schools in the Aspire Learning Trust work together to help every child achieve their full potential.

 

Our curriculum is under constant review so that it will enable every child to succeed in life by teaching them kindness and respect for all and by enabling them to achieve their full potential, so that they may play a full and satisfying role in society.

 

Our approach to the curriculum is underpinned by established cognitive psychology research that helps teachers to understand how children learn and store skills and knowledge in their long term memory.

 

We strive to develop and deliver a high quality curriculum.

 

Our curriculum is designed to be exceptionally good as we strive to ensure the following:

 

  1. In every subject discipline children will acquire new skills and knowledge systematically and progressively year on year. 

  2. We regularly review and evaluate our curriculum and consider whether or not our intent is delivering the impact we wish for. In other words is our curriculum providing our pupils with a broad and deep education that will enable them to be successful when they move to secondary school! 

  3. To help us achieve the aims of our curriculum we have curriculum leaders for each subject who diligently plan and deliver a continuous cycle of curriculum improvement planning for the subject they lead. 

  4. We strive to have a curriculum which primarily focuses on what is taught rather than purely how it is taught and how it will be assessed.  By being clear about what is taught we hope that we can provide every child with the opportunities they so richly deserve. 

  5. Our curriculum is delivered in a series of learning projects so that pupils can make a strong connections between the different subject areas. Not only do we hope that pupils are able to learn a great deal about each subject and retain the knowledge and skills for a lifetime. We also keenly focus on our pupils’ experience of the curriculum. We believe pupils learn best when they are inspired, enthusiastic, having fun, and being taught in such a way that enables them to retain knowledge and skills for a lifetime. 

  6. We believe that getting better at a subject such as art or history means that pupils have to learn and remember the knowledge and skills they have been taught.   In our schools we believe that making progress in a subject means knowing more and being able to do more with the skills and knowledge that have been acquired.

  7. To help pupils know more and remember more we endeavour to be clear about the skills and knowledge we are teaching the children in every subject and every topic.  For example when teaching children to paint with colour, there will be a concerted effort to teach children about colour theory, properties of different paint types, painting effects such as stippling, and how to use various resources to achieve different effects.

  8. Our intention is to be clear about what we are teaching, so our pupils are clear about what they are learning.

  9. Subject leaders will evaluate the progress made by pupils in their subject over time. They expect to see significant progress in the following: accumulation of knowledge and skills, the use of vocabulary specific to that subject, understanding of keys events, people and places to that subject, understanding of concepts, and procedures and skills. 

  10. At the beginning of each topic the teacher will share with pupils the skills that are being taught and assessed and how they are linked to each other in that topic. 

  11. By focusing on the connections between different subject areas we hope to help children develop schemata (webs of learning) that help children to remember the knowledge and skills that they have been taught for a lifetime.

  12. Our curriculum aims to support generative learning (learning that sticks) by beginning with what a pupil knows and then building on this.

  13. We aim to do this because we know that when we begin with what a child knows we are beginning with the knowledge and skills that are in the child’s long-term memory.  By doing this the child is able to think more clearly and precisely about new skills and knowledge that they are learning.

  14. In our schools’ curriculum we do not consider skills and knowledge to be separate. We consider these to be two aspects of learning that are intertwined and dependent on each other.

 

We know what doesn’t work when designing a curriculum.

 

In designing our curriculum we are ever mindful of what we consider a weak curriculum to look and feel like for a child.

 

We consider a weak curriculum to be the following:

 

  1. One that that treats knowledge as isolated chunks with little or no connection to other subjects or prior learning;

  2. One that does not recognise the importance of long-term memory and how knowledge and skills are acquired by pupils progressively over time;

  3. One that does not have a clear structure and system to secure progress in knowledge and skills for pupils; 

  4. Finally, we consider a weak curriculum to be one that separates knowledge and skills and does not recognise their dependency on each other.

 

We know what does work when designing a curriculum.

 

By contrast we aspire to develop and constantly improve our curriculum into a high-quality curriculum which achieves the following:

 

  1. One that is based on proactive thinking, carefully considering how different groups of children learn and remember knowledge and skills;

  2. One that has a careful planned sequencing of content so that our pupils learn skills and knowledge systematically and progressively during their time at primary school; 

  3. One that gives each pupil the knowledge they need to make progress, so that they when they learn something new they feel that they have a deeper understanding of the subject rather than feeling confused; 

  4. One that helps every child fulfil their true potential. 

Expect the Best

Park Lane Primary & Nursery School is part of the Aspire Learning Trust, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales No. 8006711. The registered office is Eastrea Road, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 1XB