Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum. Content is sequenced and teaching is designed to help children remember what they have learnt and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas. There is a clear and coherent curriculum design which encourages children to make cross curricular links within their own year group and to make connections with prior learning in each subject as they move through the school. Knowledge organizers capture the key knowledge and vocabulary that will be covered and the skills progression documents in each subject help ensure teachers plan so children are building on their learning and are being continually challenged.
Our curriculum map shows the learning undertaken from the Early Years through to Year 6. In the Early Years we follow the statutory guidance of the EYFS framework. For years 1 – 6 we follow the National Curriculum. Subjects are taught in units that are planned to enable the development of knowledge and skills alongside gaining understanding of key themes and ideas. Each subject is valued as its own discipline. Where possible links are made to ensure there is a connection in learning. Cross-curricular learning where possible enables a chance for deepening understanding across subjects or units within subjects. Learning is purposefully planned to build upon prior learning and develop deeper understanding.
Year Group Overviews – connections, links and progression within year
- When possible, learning within a subject area builds on prior learning as children go through the year
- In KS1, subjects are grouped into topics. Teachers weave together the component parts from each subject’s progression map ensuring clear links are made with prior learning
- In KS2, where possible subjects are grouped into termly themes (World, Britain, Local)
- This creates a whole school focus and encourages teachers to make links between subject areas to strengthen the children’s understanding and to make their learning vivid, real, engaging, and memorable.
- For example, during the Autumn term, children in Year 4 learn about Ancient Egypt in History and connect this with their Geography work on Waters, Rivers and Mountains by learning about the Nile. In Computing lessons, they make Egyptian Animation using Scratch, in D&T lessons they will make Egyptian food and in RE lessons they will reference the polytheistic beliefs and rituals that formed an integral part of ancient Egyptian society.
- For some subject areas this is more difficult and tenuous links are avoided
Year Group Coverage
To ensure sufficient coverage to meet National Curriculum requirements, each year group has an overview of key objectives for each term that brings together all key learning and knowledge. Click here to see an example for Year 4.
All learning starts by revisiting prior knowledge to encourage children to make connections. This is scaffolded to help children to recall previous learning and make connections. Knowledge Mats are used to support children to retain new facts and specific vocabulary in their long-term memory. They are used for pre-teaching, to support home learning and as a part of daily review. Knowledge Mats for each term can be found on the relevant year group learning page. Click here to see an example.
Subject Overview: Progression from Year to Year
In KS1, subjects are grouped into topics. Teachers weave together the component parts from each subject’s progression map ensuring clear links are made with prior learning.
In KS2, where possible, subjects are grouped into termly themes (World, British, Local). For example, in the Autumn term all year groups focus on an area of ancient world history. They are sequenced in chronological order to help children build on their knowledge and understanding, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. This helps children note connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms.
Grouping together similar subject units for each year group during the term helps subject leaders to provide overarching guidance to all staff about what content and skills to include in a unit and the best way to sequence lessons. It also helps subject leaders track whether children build on their knowledge and skills year on year when they monitor outcomes. It enables leaders to assess whether progress is being made as they will be comparing like-to-like units.
Skills Progression: Planning
Each subject area has its own discrete progression document, detailing how skills are built up and connected over the years. Teachers and subject leaders use these documents to ensure there is appropriate challenge and progression in medium term plans. Skills progression documents can be found on the relevant subject page. Click here to see an example.
Medium Term Planning
Each subject leader checks teacher’s medium term plans every term to ensure there is sufficient coverage, there is clear, coherent sequencing of content which leads to a meaningful outcome and there is progression and challenge appropriate to the year group. This happens every half term for Reading, Writing and Maths.
This allows subject leaders to have a clear understanding and awareness of what is being taught across the school and to assess whether the skills and content required for each year group is appropriate and is building on what has been learnt previously. We encourage teaching in creative ways and give staff the autonomy to implement and deliver learning in different ways. Teachers themselves are in the best position to understand the children’s backgrounds, their strengths and weaknesses, and the pedagogical practices, tools, or resources necessary for an optimal learning environment. Subject leaders offer support with planning but they also question and probe teachers about choices, e.g. ‘why this, why then?’. This element of challenge is important in driving improvements in the quality of teaching and learning in the wider curriculum.
School visits are always integral to the learning and are therefore planned with precision to add to existing knowledge, build memorable links with class-based activities and to inspire discoveries. We are fortunate to be based in London, so we exploit all the opportunities around us to maximise cultural capital and depth of learning.
Teachers use natural links between subjects to add further learning opportunities and to show learning is connected. As much as possible, Literacy work relates to children’s learning within the wider curriculum. Each term, children produce a writing outcome for History, Geography, Science and R.E. For example, in the Autumn term, Year 6 may write a historical fiction outcome linked to their work on the Romans using the key vocabulary and knowledge they have built up; a non-chronological report linked to their Science unit on living things and habitats and an explanatory text linked to their Geography unit on volcanoes. Some areas of the curriculum are better taught discretely, and topic links are never forced. However, where links can be exploited they are, in order to motivate and immerse the children in a connected, engaging and memorable context. It is recommended that teachers plan in blocks to ensure lessons are closer together. This helps children build up vocabulary, knowledge and understanding to aid them in their final outcome.
Teachers set tasks to recap and revise core skills, such as times tables and spellings. In addition, each half term there is a home learning matrix set which offers parents and carers an opportunities to support their child’s learning and to engage with the work being carried out in class. Children pick from a range of tasks which are celebrated in the weekly newsletter, on twitter and during class assemblies. The focus is mostly on research and creative tasks. Click here to see an example of a home learning matrix for Year 3, who were learning about rain forests in Geography.
Reporting to Parents
Reports: provide information about children’s strengths and next steps in their learning, as well as their characteristics of learning, including a general teacher comment. For children in KS1 and KS2, these are sent out in Spring term. This gives parents and teachers a chance to work together, to focus on areas for improvement and targets set out in the report, before the end of the year. They are discussed in the Spring term parents evening and reflected on during the Summer term parents evening.
Parents’ Evenings: these take place once a term. Parents learn more about the learning covered and the expectations in their child’s year group. It is a chance for parents to discuss their child’s progress and how they can support their learning at home. Parents get the opportunity to look through their child’s books and ask any questions. They can also ask questions about their child’s annual report in Spring.
Reporting to Governors
The Curriculum Committee receives regular reports from subject leaders and senior leaders and this is supplemented by monitoring and visits with link governors who focus on one of the strategic priorities set out in the School Development Plan. The outcomes of the reports are shared in Full Governing Body meetings.
We measure the impact of the curriculum against various outcomes during:
- Pupil Progress meetings: triangulating teacher assessments, outcomes in books and summative assessment scores
- Professional Development Meetings with all staff
- Phase Meetings in teams
- Local Authority Standards Meetings: including the annual tracking of standards across the curriculum
- Internal Reviews and Learning Explorations carried out by leaders: sampling children’s learning across various subjects, pupil discussions about their learning and focused learning walks
- External Reviews, including Local Authority and Challenge Partners reviews
- Comparative reviews and moderation with other Local Authority schools and within our Challenge Partner Hub schools