At Thorney Close Primary School, our curriculum is designed to cater for the range of needs that our children bring to our school. We adopt fully inclusive practice which means all children are able to access the curriculum we offer, regardless of their learning requirements. Due to the high number of pupils with SEND and incorporating our Deaf Resource Provision, we ensure learning is sequential, repetitive and has literacy and language skills at its core.
We aim to inspire a love of learning. We want all of our children to come to school every day excited about learning new things, confident to try new experiences and enthusiastic about facing new challenges. Woven through our curriculum are rich and engaging learning experiences which we hope become life long memories – both in the knowledge, skills and understanding our children develop, as well as the joy and sense of achievement they experienced whilst growing. By igniting their curiosity, we hope that our children will go into the world open and receptive to learning and growing throughout their life.
The breadth of our curriculum is designed with two main goals in mind:
1. To give our pupils appropriate experiences to develop as confident, responsible citizens.
2. To provide a coherent, structured academic curriculum that leads to a sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of learning for those who are capable.
1. Curriculum drivers shape our curriculum. At Thorney Close Primary School these include, community, diversity, possibilities, mindfulness and sport are our main curriculum drivers. These are based upon the needs of our children and our beliefs about high quality education and our values. They are used to ensure we give our children appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities.
2. Cultural capital gives our children the vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British values (Democracy, English Law, Accountability, Individual Liberty, Equality, Tolerance).
3. Curriculum breadth is shaped by curriculum drivers, cultural capital, subject topics and our ambition for children to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of educators.
4. Cognitive science tells us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if children are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory. Cognitive science also tells us that in order for children to become creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding they must first master the basics, which takes time.
5. Our curriculum breadth and subject topics are shaped by The National Curriculum and the EYFS framework and their objectives, our curriculum drivers, cultural capital and our ambition for students.
6. Long term, individual subject plans for each year group ensures that each teacher has clarity as to what to cover and what the children should learn.
1. Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science. The three main principles which underpin it are:
- 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.
2. In addition to the three principles, we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.
3. Our content is subject specific; however we make cross-curricular links to strengthen understanding.
4. Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum, in other cases provides retrieval practice for previously learned content.
5. Children with SEND access the full curriculum with reasonable adjustments and scaffolding. In some cases children may follow their own bespoke curriculum as directed by other agencies and their EHCP.
1. We monitor carefully to ensure pupils are on target to reach the expectations of our curriculum and use comparative judgement in two ways: in the tasks we set (POP tasks) and in comparing student’s work over time. Furthermore, we use learning walks and lesson observations to identify whether pedagogical style matches our depth expectations.
2. Because learning is a change to long-term memory it is impossible to see the impact in the short term.
3. We do, however use deliberate practise. The means that we look at the practices taking place to determine whether they are appropriate, related to our goals and likely to produce results in the long-run.
4. We use comparative judgement in two ways; in the tasks we set and in comparing student’s work over time.
5. Children in the bottom 20% of the school population will make good progress due to staff considering and planning steps to allow them to overcome their learning barriers.
6. We use learning walks and lesson visits to see if pedagogical style matches our expectations.