Curriculum Core Purpose Statement
At Sudbourne Primary School, we teach a knowledge and vocabulary rich, unapologetically ambitious curriculum, that is underpinned by evidence, research and cognitive science.
Our curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their local community and the wider society.
We support and challenge our children to take risks in their learning to achieve their very best. We do this by building on prior knowledge and encourage them to take responsibility to actively participate in school and community life.
We follow a mastery approach, making a deliberate and conscious decision about our curriculum design: what we teach; when we teach; and how we teach. Through carefully chosen partnerships, with leading curriculum specialists including Unity Schools Partnership (CUSP), Read Write Inc, NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) and Jigsaw, we are able to draw on relevant, current educational research and ensure our curriculum meets the needs of our school community.
We use the CUSP curriculum as a basis to provide the components necessary to meet the National Curriculum aims from EYFS to the end of Phase 3 (Year 6) for EYFS, Reading, Writing, Spelling, Science, History, Geography, Art and Design, Design and Technology and French. CUSP fulfils and goes well beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum, as we believe there is no ceiling to what pupils can learn if the architecture and practice is founded in evidence-led principles.
Core Principles; The 4C’s
Our curriculum is an evidence-led curriculum, which is built on 4 Core Principles; the 4C’s: (see diagram below)
Coherence of concepts
1. Cumulative progression - building blocks to know more about each subject from EYFS to the end of phase 3.
2. Coherence of substantive concepts - golden threads that weave through learning, to connect prior learning with present learning and to support future learning.
3. Conscious connections - relevant, deliberate and precise curriculum connections to build long term memory.
4. Context - agile in our approach to reflect the needs of our pupils, local community and beyond. Allowing us to consider the opportunities, provision and experiences our pupils need.
Our CUSP curriculum structure is fundamentally built to support the retention of knowledge to long term memory and this is achieved through the principles of explicit vocabulary instruction, spaced retrieval practice and interleaving. However, our curriculum is about more than just the retention of knowledge to memory and seeks to holistically develop the whole child and instil a sense of character through our strong, shared school values. It ensures that academic development, creativity and problem-solving, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of our children and promote a positive attitude to learning.
Our curriculum promotes an understanding and respect for our local community of Brixton and the wider London community. We are proud to be part of this diverse locality and our curriculum seeks to utilise the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community, while supporting the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well-prepared for life in Modern Britain.
How learning is structured at Sudbourne Primary School
We follow the 'Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum' and provide a play-based and experiential learning environment, combined with focused teaching sessions and group tasks, to ensure our children make sustained progress before moving into Phase 1.
At Sudbourne Primary we focus on the seven areas of learning, set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework through a balance of adult lead teaching and independent child initiated play within both the indoor and outdoor provision.
The curriculum is planned and implemented using a thematic approach alongside the use of CUSP EYFS curriculum and Development Matters.
The core principle of CUSP EYFS align with our school approach to teaching and learning and enable us to create a carefully crafted progressive sequence of learning for all pupils that;
We have a pupil intake of 45 children per year and therefore use a 2 year rolling programme of topics to meet the requirements of our mixed-year group classes. This approach and structure ensures that all children meet the requirements of the National Curriculum at the end of each phase.
Our long-term planning sequences and Learning modules define the substantive knowledge (what pupils need to know), as well as the disciplinary knowledge (what pupils can do) and these can be seen in our curriculum maps under each subject.
Substantive knowledge concepts
Substantive knowledge concepts are revisited, as children travel through the curriculum from EYFS to the end of Phase 3. They revisit these concepts in a new study, allowing us to further develop pupils' understanding and develop dynamic schemata in pupils' long-term memory. These are the cumulative end goals of our curriculum, that we hope pupils will then continue to develop as they progress onto Key Stage 3 (Secondary school). Substantive knowledge is provided to pupils through knowledge organisers, which allow pupils to connect learning within a block together and see the big picture. Our knowledge organisers also detail the minimum expectation of knowledge children will be expected to know at the end of the block. Knowledge notes provide a learning question for each lesson. These set all pupils on a quest to answer at the end of the lesson.
Subject disciplines are identified to allow children to ‘do’ things with the substantive knowledge they have acquired. By processing and practising these subject disciplines, our pupils are able to develop coherent long term memory over time that can be reused and revisited. These subject specific skills are practised through carefully chosen tasks, which requires all pupils to think hard.
The golden thread of vocabulary is explicitly and systematically instructed across our offer; disciplinary literacy is carefully planned and observed; rich and demanding texts sit at the centre of instruction in all subject disciplines. There is an emphasis on oracy and vocabulary acquisition, retention and use to break down learning barriers and accelerate progress. A rich diet of language and vocabulary is deliberately planned to erode social disadvantage and embed learning.
Pedagogy of learning (how we teach)
Our teaching philosophy is based on Rosenhine’s principles of instruction. This demands all lessons to be interactive, responsive and engaging. An essential component to all of our lessons, is the systematic and coherent approach that we embed focusing on the six phases of every lesson (as shown in the diagram below). This ensures a consistent, familiar learning routine for the children. Having a whole school embedded routine allows for the learning content to dominate the task and not the process required of the children. This ensures that learning is embedded in both the long term and working memory.
‘Practice does not bring about perfection, practice is about permanence.’
Connect - prior knowledge to prime the memory and build secure schemas
Explain - the new knowledge, encouraging rehearsal
Example - model the new knowledge using the worked examples
Attempt - practise taught content
Apply - thinking hard tasks to apply disciplinary knowledge
Challenge - promote deeper thinking, elaboration and integration
How we know our curriculum is successful
We measure the impact of our curriculum in a range of ways. This is done consistently during lessons to highlight misconceptions and intervene. We assess children's learning in all subjects at the end of each block of work through the use of NTS (National Test Styled Standardised) assessments or low stake retrieval quizzes in foundation subjects and reflections on ‘learning questions.’ This gives our children the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a carefully planned open ended question to demonstrate whether they have retained the required knowledge or skills.
This use of a range of methods is important to our teachers as it is to assign our children an arbitrary grade or level but more so to simply identify what knowledge they have retained to memory and what they do not yet know. This is achieved through careful QLA (Question Level Analysis) to identify future teaching. This information, along with outcomes produced during lessons is used to evaluate children’s learning in the form of a summative teacher assessment.