Curriculum Design Statement – Intent, Implementation, Impact
Our school is driven by its mission statement – ‘Inspiring and Creating Lifelong Learners.’
Inspired to learn in exciting and creative ways, the children develop the skills they need to become successful lifelong learners. This is the fundamental principle that underpins the design, implementation and ongoing review of our unique curriculum at South Failsworth: ‘Our World.’
The intent of our curriculum goes far beyond the outcomes seen at the end of Year 6. We have thoughtfully constructed a curriculum framework which focuses not solely on academia but on shaping our pupils into confident, passionate, life-long learners. We want our pupils to continue their journey with a secure foundation of knowledge, skills, ideas and, most importantly, a relentless curiosity about the world around them. Thus, when designing this curriculum, we endeavoured to ensure it was broad, complemented by a wide range of experiences and provided pupils with far more than just academic achievement. In our pursuit of providing our pupils with a balanced and rich education, we have crafted a curriculum based on three key constructs:
Our knowledge based curriculum is ambitious and places powerful knowledge at its heart. The content is chosen and organised carefully to ensure that it is progressive in nature from the Early Years through to Year 6.
Learning builds upon learning; children and adults gain new knowledge only by building upon what they already know. We are aiming for our children to MASTER the curriculum. The curriculum content provides engagement and plants the seeds for a lifetime of learning.
Prior learning is revisited regularly in all subjects and links are also made to future learning, learning in other subjects and real life. Children complete pre and post learning tasks in the core subjects and in history and geography. We use the acronym ROCKS (Remembering Our Curriculum Knowledge and Skills) with the children to reinforce the importance of remembering key knowledge that they have been taught.
In addition, at South Failsworth we use Knowledge Organisers (KOs) in class and as homework to help children to learn the essential knowledge they need for each topic they study. A Knowledge Organiser sets out in detail what we want children to know by the end of the topic.
The curriculum prepares our learners for life beyond primary school and promotes our core values – CREATE: Courage, Respect, Enjoyment, Acceptance, Trust, Equality.
Once pupils have a broad knowledge base, they need to explore, practice and master skills to allow them to apply this knowledge in a meaningful way.
Key skills of communication, mathematics, ICT, problem solving, improving own performance and working with others are promoted through our unique curriculum.
The curriculum at South Failsworth highlights these key skills and demonstrates how these are applicable in real life contexts. It is of crucial importance to us that our pupils are clear on how content relates to real life. This is integral to pupils’ developing positive learning attitudes from the earliest stages of their education.
Pupil’s experiences are of paramount importance in the delivery of our curriculum. It is these experiences that provide meaningful context to learning. In other words, it makes the learning ‘sticky’ and gives something for pupils to pin their developing understanding to. The curriculum details experiences that enrich and complement each unit and offer teachers suggested educational visits that will ultimately enhance pupil understanding. These experiences also serve a different purpose- it allows our pupils, who come from differing backgrounds, equal opportunity to experience people and places that they may not have access to otherwise. Through these experiences, they will also develop key life skills that we too often take for granted- how to use transport systems, how to interact with others and how to conduct themselves in public- essential development of them as both students but more importantly as active citizens in our society.
Our carefully crafted curriculum balances the national expectations and an all-encompassing range of experiences allowing our children to flourish. Clear strategic planning allows the curriculum to be dynamic and adapt to the context of the school and children’s needs. Age related expectations combine the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills to create a purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child. The curriculum has high expectations to combine transferable skills, demonstrate a breadth of vocabulary and develop strong cross curricular links. Classroom environments stimulate and engage quality thinking and reasoning. Explicit weekly and medium term planning is responsive to children’s needs; incorporating holistic approaches to teaching and learning. Peer coaching supports all staff to further develop curriculum pedagogy. Our marking policy is an opportunity for children to reflect on their learning and think deeply in their feedback.
We use rigorous triangulated monitoring throughout the year to gauge the impact of the curriculum design. Subject leaders monitor individual subjects: reviewing learning, evaluating pupil voice, providing individual feedback to move practice forward, celebrating positives and highlighting areas of development that through coaching trajectories are changed. Our whole school team strengthen our ethos and vision as we work together to reflect upon our curriculum and share outcomes driving forward next steps. We don’t confuse coverage with progress when assessing. Learning is measured through careful analysis of application of skills across the curriculum; showing how acquisition of knowledge is enhanced dramatically by expectations to evidence quality thinking and demonstrate individual understanding. Class teachers and curriculum teams conduct performance analysis linked to triangulated monitoring measuring performance against individual and school targets.