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Curriculum

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 most 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.  

In every subject where lenses have been developed, one of learning lenses is key vocabulary, which is taught explicitly and then embedded across the learning sequence and referred to frequently.  This Key Vocabulary is will be mapped out for all subjects within our Vocabulary Spine (currently being developed). 

 

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 most of 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 Thurs

The Write Stuff

45 mins Mon to Thurs

The Write Stuff

Reading

Guided Reading 4 x week

Remaining sessions Buddy Readers and Individual Reading

Guided Reading 4 x week

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

 

Reading and Phonics
 
 In Early Years and Key Stage 1, pupils take part in daily phonics and reading lessons. In Reception, our phonics planning currently follows 'Phonic Shed'. As we are in a period of transition between schemes, at the moment in KS1, we follow ‘Letters and Sounds’ program (see our attached overview) and is based upon the Twinkl Phonics Scheme. In September both Reception and KS1 will be following ‘Phonic Shed’.
 

This is then followed by Spelling Shed in Year 2, which continues to look at spelling patterns and grammar.

 

Individual Reading

Children following the 'Phonic Shed' program, will bring home books from our decodable reading scheme. These will be either a paperback or assigned digitally as an ebook (accessible with your child's personal login). It will have been carefully selected by your child’s teacher to go alongside the GPCs your child has been taught in school. These books are for your child to read to you. It has been carefully chosen so that they can use the skills they have learnt in phonics to read all the words. Some books will have words for you to read with your child, these are known as ‘share with me’ books. Other books will have no words for the children to read but contain detailed pictures to discuss and create their own story. Most books will have key words to practise before and suggested questions for you to ask about the story after they have read it – you can ask other questions too as those provided are just a guide!

 

During KS1, you child will be progressing through our colour banded system and will match the letter sounds they are experiencing within their phonic sessions. 

 

In KS2 the children will continue to move through our book banded system.  

 

Writing

At Sytchampton Primary School, children learn how to write effectively through 'The Write Stuff' philosophy and lesson plans. From the start of a unit, children are guided through a range of writing experiences and key focuses which enables them to be exposed to a wide range of vocabulary and supported by guided writing chunks. This support provides all the support they need before independent writing.

 

During each lesson, children have to achieve three different outcomes (learning lenses) which have been selected from 'The Writing Rainbow'. 

 

 

 

The Writing Rainbow is divided into three main areas for writing.  

There are three zones of writing which are taught during the lessons:

  • Vocabulary (ideas)
  • Grammar (tools)
  • Literary Devices (techniques)

 These are taught through the ‘FANTASTICs’, ‘GRAMMARISTICs’ and ‘BOOMTASTICs’. 

Handwriting, Grammar and Spelling
 During the Early Years (Reception), we start and secure the basics of letter formation through our program ‘Phonic Shed’. On a daily basis children are exposed to new graphemes hearing the correct name and sounds (from the beginning), this is done through different characters. With each character there is a formation rhymes (see GPC and character overview) to help our children remember where to start and where to end. This is further support by a visual of how to write the grapheme. Once the new grapheme and phoneme is introduced, opportunities to practise and apply writing skills is provided during their structured phonic session and within child imitated play. 
 
 
 
We use Letterjoin to teach handwriting systematically from Year 1 all the way through to Year 6.  Letter join provides a clear progression from basic letter formation to fully cursive script.  For more information 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. 
Reading 
Writing
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
https://www.phonicsshed.com/en-gb/