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Curriculum

 
 
Phonics and Reading
In Early Years and Key Stage 1, pupils take part in daily phonics and reading lessons. Our Phonics Planning currently follows the Letters and Sounds program, however we are investigating other schemes such as 'All Aboard Programme.' This is then followed by Spelling Shed in KS1, which continues to look at spelling patterns and grammar. 
 
Our Curriculum Design
 

Basic Principles – What is Learning?   

Learning is a process. 

We understand that learning is a change to long-term memory. 

We accept that learning cannot be observed in the here and now. The only way to see if something has been retained over time and transferred to a new context is to look at what students can do elsewhere and later. Cognitive development happens gradually and by increments. 

Our aims are to ensure that our students experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of knowledge. 

 

Our Curriculum Intent Model

Identifying our Curriculum Drivers

Curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth. They are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our students, our beliefs about high quality education and our values. They are used to ensure we give our students appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities.  The Curriculum Drivers which underpin and shape our Curriculum at Sytchampton are Resilience, Risk Taking and Independence.

 

Cultural Capital

Cultural capital gives our students the vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British values.  Our community lacks diversity and it is important that our Curriculum at Sytchampton allows our pupils to explore the diverse world around them, considering a range of different cultures, beliefs, disabilities and relationships.  Our pupils also need to develop resilience and have the courage to take measured risks.

 

Curriculum Breadth

Curriculum breadth is shaped by our curriculum drivers, cultural capital, subject topics and our ambition for students to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars.  We ensure that all of our pupils have equal access to all subject areas throughout their time at Sytchampton.

 

 Our Curriculum Design

 

Rationale

We have considered a range of Cognitive Learning research before considering how to design our curriculum.   Consequently, we decided that our curriculum should be designed to help our pupils form a schema within their long-term memories. 

Schema theory states that all knowledge is organised into units and is a conceptual system for understanding and organising knowledge in a meaningful way.

A schema is distinct from information, which is just isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links.  We have developed a curriculum which:

  • Uses Threshold Concepts as the basis for the schema
  • Strengthens the schema with knowledge
  • Deepens connections 

 

Threshold Concepts

Threshold concepts are the ‘Big Ideas’ that underpin a subject. 

Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema, thereby enabling pupils to retain knowledge in the long term.  The same concepts are then explored in a wide breadth of topics.  Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, students return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build understanding of them over time.

 

Progression of Threshold Concepts

For all subject areas, we have mapped out the progression of skills and knowledge for each Threshold Concept.

 

Learning Lenses

We have developed Learning Lenses for all of our foundation subjects.  These are effectively the knowledge categories in each subject.  These are referred to explicitly within our lessons.

Our Learning Lenses are the facets of each Threshold Concept and these lenses help to strengthen the schema.  For example in Geography we have identified the following learning lenses:

For every Foundation Subject, one learning lens is a focus on key vocabulary, which is taught explicitly and then embedded across the learning sequence and referred to frequently.  This Key Vocabulary is mapped out for all subjects within our Vocabulary Spine (see separate document). 

 

The Spiral Curriculum

The Spiral Curriuclum is a method of designing a course of work around basic yet fundamentally important and recurring themes (Threshold Concepts) in a discipline.

We have developed Learning Pathways for our Foundation Subjects to ensure that our pupils’ learning revisits Threshold Concepts repeatedly throughout their time in our school.   By doing this, pupils will be able to strengthen their schema, adding new knowledge to previously taught concepts.

 

Mixed Year Groups

Due to the size of our school, we have mixed year groups in Years 1 and 2, 3 and 4 and 5 and 6.  We group these as follows:

 

Key Stage 1 (KS1)                             Years 1 and 2

Lower Key Stage 2 (LKS2)              Years 3 and 4

Upper Key Stage 2 (UKS2)             Years 5 and 6

 

Designing a spiral curriculum which is sequential and builds on prior knowledge is challenging in a Mixed Year Group school.  Therefore, we have carefully designed Learning Pathways for all of our Foundation Subjects, in all year groups alternating between Year A and Year B. 

 

Academic Year

Teaching Year (A or B)

2021 – 2022

Year A

2022 – 2023

Year B

2023 – 2024

Year A

2024 – 2025

Year B

 

 

We have endeavoured to map our Curriculum so that there is a clear progression within each Key Stage, but also within and across each Teaching Year.

 

Learning Pathways

Our Learning Pathways show how we have mapped our Threshold Topics and/or our Key Topic Areas across the whole school for each subject area. 

 

Timetabling

We have decided, that in order to ensure our pupils are regularly revisiting Threshold Concepts and subject specific vocabulary, that a number of subjects will be taught on a weekly basis:

 

English

KS1

KS2

Writing sessions

45 mins Mon to Fri

Alternating technical skills with application on a two week basis

45 mins Mon to Fri

Reading

Hooked on Books – 5 sessions over a two week  period

Remaining sessions Buddy Readers and Individual Reading

Hooked on Books – 5 sessions over a two week period

Phonics

4 x 30 minutes per week, then applying in technical sessions fortnightly

 

Spelling and Grammar

Spelling Test 30 mins Fridays

 

Spelling Test 30 mins Fridays

 

Handwriting

08.50 – 09.00 as pupils come into school/registration

1 taught session every fortnight

08.50 – 09.00 as pupils come into school/registration

1 taught sessions per week (20 mins)

Class Read

Books in Assembly

Buddy Reading

Books in Assembly

Buddy Reading

 

Subject

KS1

KS2

Schemes Used

Maths

5 hours per week (combination of 45 minute sessions, 15 minute fluency sessions and timestables tests)

5 hours per week (combination of 45 minute sessions, 15 minute fluency sessions and timestables tests)

White Rose

NCETM

Science

45 minutes weekly

45 minutes weekly

Essentials Curriculum (Chris Quigley)

Computing

45 minutes weekly

45 minutes weekly

Teach Computing

Physical Education

90 minutes weekly

90 minutes weekly

The Power of PE

External Specialists

Religious Education

60 minutes weekly

60 minutes weekly

Worcestershire Agreed Syllabus

PSHE/RSE

45 minutes weekly

45 minutes weekly

KAPOW

Music

45 minutes weekly (Specialist Teacher)

45 minutes weekly (Specialist Teacher)

 

French

 

30 minutes weekly

PlanIt

History/Geography

90 minutes per week on a half termly rotation (A and B half terms)

90 minutes per week on a half termly rotation (A and B half terms)

Essentials Curriculum (Chris Quigley)

Art/DT

90 minutes per week on a half termly rotation (A and B weeks)

90 minutes per week on a half termly rotation (A and B weeks)

KAPOW

 

 

History/Geography/Art/DT rotation:

 

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Geography

 

 

 

History

 

 

 

DT

 

 

 

Art

 

 

 

 

 

Curriculum Recording

We have discussed, as a staff, how to best record evidence of learning and progression, without creating unnecessary workload.   Work is recorded as follows:

 

EYFS

Supported Writing

Yellow Books

Handwriting

Red (half blank, half lined)

Number

Blue (Blank for maths jottings)

EYFS Curriculum

Evidence Me and Seesaw (photographic evidence)

Floorbooks

 

 

KS1

KS2

Literacy

Yellow book

Yellow book

Maths

Blue book (squared)

Blue book (squared)

Handwriting

Red (normal lines)

Green (Handwriting lines)

Humanities (History/Geography)

 

Green books

 

Green books

Science

Purple books

Purple books

Art

Sketch books

Sketch books

PSHE/RE

Red book

Red books

French

 

                           (Whole of KS2)

Computing

Digital records (pupil share)

Floor books

Digital records (pupil share)

Floor books

Design and Technology

Floor books

Floor books

 

Handwriting, Grammar and Spelling
 
At Sytchampton we use Letterjoing to teach handwriting systematically from Early Years all the way through to Year 6.  Letter join provides a clear progression from basic letter formation, to fully cursive script.  For more informatoin see the link below:
 
 
We also follow the Spelling Shed programme throughout the school to ensure consistency and progression in Spelling and Grammar.
 
For more information or to discuss our Curriculum, please make an appointment to speak to Mrs Amanda Richards (Headteacher) by telephoning the school on 01905 620418 or emailing the school office on office@sytchampton.worcs.sch.uk.
Curriculum Overview Documents
 
These documents explain how we have worked on our Curriculum and how we are developing it. 
Literacy
Mathematics
Science
History
Geography
Art and Design
Design and Technology
Computing
PSHE and RSE (Relationships Sex Education)
Religious Education
Modern Foreign Langauges
Music
Physical Education