Curriculum Update

I have decided that I am not a great bloggr as I get so caught up in work that I forget to share what is happening.

Getting to grips with terminology

We have come a long way this term and th curriculum fog sems to be lifting. I have to admit to some frustration with the language of curricula design in the UK. It seems that everyone I speak to uses different terminology such as:

A: component and composite knowledge

B: core knowledge and substantive knowledge

C: skills, knowledge and key outcomes

I have come to think that as long as your staff use these terms in a way that is consistent in your school then it doesn’t really matter. If it helps anyone, we use them in this way

Component knowledge – all the knowledge within your curriculum including skills (procedural knowledge) that you explicitly teach in ouder to reach a key outcome. That key outcome is your composite knowledge because you have composed the key outcome from the component knowledge from that unit of work and previous work. We don’t use the words core knowledge. Instead, we separate skills and knowledge in our curriculum. So we have procedural knowledge progressions, and an overviw of factual knowledge – this factual knowledge is split into general knowledge that is needed within the unit of work and substantive knowledge that is built upon across multiple units of work as a key strand running through the subject.

Finalising our paperwork

Our school prioritised the children and families during the pandemic and continue to do so. However, we are alos battling on with our curriculum design and how best to represent this via a paper trial.

In order to do this, we have split the subjects into three disinct tiers.

CORE – Maths and English

DRIVER – Geography, History and Science

FOUNDATION – Computing, RE, PSHE, PE, DT, Art and Music

Core in detail

The knowledge and skills progressions for our core subjects are mapped out in detail in NC2014 and we are happy with this. Subject leads have then mapped out text types we teach in writing, core texts that we read across the year groups etc. Each unit of work in writing has a detailed teaching sequence that is currently loosely based on the Talk for Writing approach which we adopted 10 years ago ( I will write anothr blog about planned tweaks to this apporach to better serve our children going forwards). For reading we follow a guided reading scheme created by Devon County which means that we are teaching from real texts all the time. For phonics, we follw the Twinkl phonics scheme and Codebreakers intervention across the whole school.

Drivers in detail

In our driver subjects we have mapped out our own curriculum in the following way.

  • Subject overviews show when units are taught and which units are revisited at the same time.
  • Detailed Medium Term Plans map out the knowledge and key questions for the unit of work and what prior learning will be revisited.
  • Knowledge organisers allow children to pre-learn core facts prior to teaching sequences
  • Teaching sequences have detailed plans of the lessons – we plan in teams so wwthis allows us to give the detail needed for other team members to understand the detail of our implementation
  • Assessment matrices – these matrices clearly show teachers the component knowledge we expect the children to have mastered by the end of the unit and the key outcome we expect an ARE child to achieve at the end of the unit of work.

Foundation subjects

We then map these using the following paperwork

In our foundation subjects we have managed the curriculum design in some areas by buying into very well respected schemes of work that have helped us structure our progressions. We use:

  • Charanga for Music
  • GetSet4PE for PE
  • Somerset ELIM for Computing
  • The UK Online Safety curriculum from Common Sense Media for Online Safety
  • Jigsaw for PSHE
  • and the Devon Sacre for RE

We then map each subject within the school using the following paperwork:

  • Subject overviews, showing where each unit of work is covered and which units are revisited at the same time.
  • Skills progressions
  • Detailed teaching sequences which clearly show the componnt knowledge that is bing synthesised to create our key outcome.

So, that is the paperwork we have created in each of the three Tiers. Subject leaders now have a full and detailed overview of the intent of their subject and are busily overseeing the implementation and impact of the planning we have put in place.

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