I took a break from my blog as, like everyone else, i needed to focus on getting my family and school through the COVID pandemic. It seems like there may be light at the end of the tunnel mow and discussions about curriculum development seem relevant again.
I have to say thank you to all those people who asked for copies of documents and overviews in the last year. I am glad my utterances have been helpful to some, I apologise to anyone who I manage to respond to. However, the pandemic has been a great chance to pause and look back. This first attempt to rekindle this blog will hopefully highlight what has become clear during that hiatus.
Firstly, everything I believe before still holds true, which is a relief. However, the strand plans were attempted too early in the process. They were great for Science as it already fits into neat strands but became far more complex for History where the strands weave in and out of each period of the timeline like a complex web.
MTPs – different types of knowledge
So, we have broad brushed our History and Geography Strand overviews, and will come back to them when we finish the next part of the process, MTPs for each unit. The focus being on pulling together all our investigations and conversations about a curriculum for Canada Hill. Once these are complete Subject Champions in each team will meet with the subject lead to look back at strand development, Year A/ Year B journeys, and the overall coherence of the subject.
The MTP’s will include information from, and eventually replace the boxes at the start of each teaching sequence. Each MTP plan will explore the main focus of the unit of work and teams will unpick the following elements.
- Previous knowledge that has been taught and can be built upon (on Strand Plans)
- Background knowledge that we would want the children to have engaged with via Knowledge Organisers and classroom quizzing and our Spark application prior to the start of the work.
- Core knowledge that may be on the knowledge organiser or may be discovered using subject specific skills within the lessons. What would we want an average student to be able to talk about with confidence if asked about their learning experience, during the unit and in their remaining time at the school. This is the knowledge we will continue to quiz and revisit to help them hold onto it. This has to be clearly defined so that something meaningful can be achieved in 5-6 lessons.
- Relevance of the work to our pupil’s lives -do we make this explicit?
- Tier 3 Vocabulary for the Knowledge organiser
- Tier 2 vocabulary that will help them express their understanding
- Core vocabulary that links to the core knowledge that will be used in class. These are words like industrialisation that we want them to understand and be able to explain to others with examples from their learning.
- The subject specific skills that we will be using to create, evaluate, analyse and apply their knowledge.
Due to our strand approach, staff are confident at identifying the areas above and are busy pulling together these plans across the three main driver subjects. I will share our MTP’s as they are completed.
Our next mission is to make sure that we have a structured approach to quizzing before during and after each unit of work to help pupils retain their core knowledge.