Our current curriculum model uses the latest theories from cognitive psychology to inform our pedagogy, as well as creating a cohesive and exciting curriculum map; carefully chosen to provide our children with a learning experience which takes all of them onto their future stages of education with excellent knowledge, skills and understanding.
We use core books as the foundation of our EYFS curriculum. This stems from our belief that our children will thrive from exposure to, and engagement with, a range of quality books. Grounding our planning around these texts is influenced by several important principles:
We expect our children to be very familiar with narrative structure. As they progress through our school they will be engaging with increasingly complex narrative texts and structures
The core books allow us to plan for and emphasise key vocabulary and knowledge, whilst ensuring it is placed within a meaningful context for the children
By planning for a range of ‘core book’ activities, across the full range of the EYFS curriculum, children encounter key vocabulary frequently and often, allowing words and concepts to be remembered
Our quality core books are carefully chosen in order to give the children a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. The acquisition of the key vocabulary and knowledge taught best prepares our children for the next stage of learning and beyond.
A wide variety of engaging activities are carefully planned for, across the full range of the EYFS curriculum, which fall outside of the context of the core books. Whenever possible these activities are designed to link to the Key stage 1 and Key stage 2 curriculum, within a variety of discrete subjects. Children have a strong foundation which prepares then for the rigour of our key stages 1 & 2 curriculum; encountering concepts in an age appropriate way, such as, scientific, historical, geographical and artistic concepts. Using concrete materials and real word examples, allows the children time to explore at their own pace, through structured play.
In our school, children are taught using strong pedagogical techniques that are used consistently in all classes from EYFS up to year 6, allowing all learners to make outstanding progress from their starting points. We ensure our EYFS children are engaging with these techniques, in an age appropriate way, so that the move into some of the more formal approaches to teaching and learning in Key stage 1 are more familiar to them.
These pedagogical techniques include the use of IT – not as an end in itself, but as a carefully selected aid for learning.
Our school has been working with the Haringey Education Partnership (HEP) on an exciting new humanities curriculum called the ‘Opening Worlds Curriculum’. The creation of this curriculum is being led by renowned academic Christine Counsell who has been providing our staff with high quality training to develop a whole school approach to teaching and learning which embraces the latest research on effective learning.
The authors of the Opening Worlds Curriculum curriculum provide their own extensive rationale:
Why are scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing the drivers of the Opening Worlds humanities curriculum?
Each subject curriculum and its associated teaching approaches needs to secure the highest possible quality of education for pupils. Four closely related curricular attributes – scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing – are our measures of quality. These four curriculum attributes are the means and measure of strong curricula because they ensure that the subject properly reflects the academic practices, outside of school, to which the subject refers and they ensure that this is organised in the best way to allow pupils to make progress and to thrive in their study of the subject.
For these reasons, scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing are now explicit expectations of Ofsted. In their pursuit of the ‘quality of education’, these four ideas will drive their questioning about content in these subjects, as in all subjects.
Our school has not been a passive recipient of this curriculum; rather we are active participants. We have several members of our teaching staff who have been selected to support the roll out of the curriculum into other schools.
The Opening Worlds Curriculum has also now extended beyond the humanities and into science and RE; replicating the same rationale. We are embedding this approach into our science teaching and RE teaching.
The rationale, and approach, of the Opening Worlds curriculum has had an impact on the rest of our curriculum as well. Across each subject, you will find the Opening Worlds blueprint of scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing embedding itself into our children’s learning and outcomes.
For an overview of our curriculum across the three terms you can see the documents below: