Curriculum Intent Statement
Reviewed Autumn 2020
What is our WHY?
The curriculum allows us to push the boundaries of children's experiences and learning so that we may:
inspire children within a creative context
create well rounded individuals and who are enabled to excel in their lives
give children the knowledge and skills to become independent thinkers and learners
have freedom and autonomy to learn and teach in different ways
Mission Statement: To inspire the children to be lifelong learners
Curriculum Intent Overview:
The curriculum is designed to be sequential and build on prior learning. It should provide children with powerful subject specific knowledge alongside skills which enable them to critically interrogate knowledge, to work with experts, to assess relevance and reliability and to consider the context of knowledge and its wider implications. Children are taught to ask and answer ‘Big Questions’ and solve challenging problems through interdisciplinary projects and a challenging text based English curriculum and a mastery approach to mathematics.
A commitment to excellence and mastery underpins all areas of learning as does a belief in achievement for all our children. The curriculum is designed to be broad, rich and creative with many opportunities for children to develop language and effective communication skills through a pedagogy of dialogic teaching.
We aim to develop curious, passionate and resilient lifelong learners who have a deep understanding of ethics and values and see themselves as being able to make a positive difference to the world.
Principles that Underpin All aspects Of Curriculum Design
Design principles are the fundamental principles that sit underneath the curriculum, shape its construction and help to provide coherence across different subjects and key stages. These design principles act as the golden threads which reflect our Trust ethos and culture and help us to ensure that the curriculum “how” and “what” are linked meaningfully to the “why”.
Teacher as Designer
Challenge for All
Oracy is a fundamental part of the curriculum design and is woven throughout all elements of the school day. Oracy skills are directly taught and developed across the curriculum. Opportunities such as community circles, exhibitions, presentations and competitions provide meaningful ways for the children to talk for a range of purposes and to different audiences.
Reading, writing and communication knowledge and skills are taught daily through the Novel Study curriculum and further embedded and applied through PBL, and other curriculum areas
Reading skills are taught directly through phonics lessons, guided reading sessions, whole class reading and individual reading for targeted children. A comprehensive and balanced reading scheme allows children to read a wide range of fiction and non fiction texts in order to develop breadth and depth and ultimately to become fluent and skilled readers. The curriculum promotes a love of reading which is central to the whole school ethos.
Mathematical skills and subject knowledge are taught daily through a program of progressive mastery learning and mathematical fluency is promoted through daily maths skills and drills practice. Opportunities to further embed and apply mathematical skills are provided across the curriculum and through interdisciplinary projects.
Subject specific knowledge which may include (English, maths, science, geography, history, art, design), are taught through interdisciplinary projects (PBL and STEM) based on the curriculum design principles. Specific skills, subject knowledge and assessment points are identified and planned through project rubrics. Projects encompass the wider skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration.
RE is taught weekly based on the locally agreed RE Syllabus including subject knowledge, real life experiences, and developing tolerance and cultural awareness.
Wellbeing forms a strand of the curriculum that is both taught directly, e.g. through PSHE and mindfulness and woven throughout the school day through the model of positive relationships, positive self, positive physical health, achievement and meaning and purpose
MCT forms an integral part of the school's approach to learning and is used to enhance learning. Specific skills such as coding, the manipulation of technology and the creation of digital content are directly taught within a context and applied across the curriculum.
Project Based Learning:
Project Based Learning forms a core part of the innovative, creative, challenging and stimulating learning experiences offered to our pupils at Humberstone Infant and Junior Academy. Projects allow children to experience trips, visits and working alongside everyday real-life experts and pupils are offered a wealth of experiences in order to build cultural capital. This supports their learning while broadening their horizons, and building on their understanding of real-life roles and responsibilities.
The knowledge and skills for each project are connected by the driving questions that children engage with over time which reflect our curriculum “Why”. Projects support the belief that all children are capable of engaging in authentic and challenging questions about life, that light the fire of motivation and drive their acquisition of knowledge and their spirit of curiosity. Careful thought is given to subject knowledge and skills and how these should be sequenced so that children have a deeper understanding of subject knowledge and are able to make an increasingly independent analysis of their knowledge as part of the project outcomes.
Project outcomes include an end of project exhibition for parents, members of the school and wider community and provides children with meaningful opportunities to discuss their learning and develop confidence in speaking to a range of audiences. Projects are designed to be memorable and meaningful for children and result in children acquiring powerful subject knowledge that is remembered over time.
Project Based Learning Design Principles
Assessment of the Curriculum
Why/ what/ how
Learning is assessed regularly, through a range of summative and formative means. Assessment for learning is crucial to ensure that gaps in learning are addressed, allowing children to make the best possible progress. Teaching sequences are designed with assessment for learning at the forefront. Teachers assess what children can do within each individual lesson and over time and learning is then matched to their needs. Predetermined ability groupings are not a regular feature of the curriculum. Children are given opportunities to reach their full potential across the curriculum using assessment tools to shape their next steps. Flexible groupings allow for immediate intervention, support and challenge where it is needed.
Termly reviews and pupil progress meetings are used to ensure that no children are left behind with their learning. The school uses skills ladders for Reading, Writing and Maths alongside more formal testing methods to inform Teacher Assessments of children's progress and attainment. In Maths, White Rose assessment materials alongside skills ladders and pupil targets ensure that children are accurately assessed . To support English assessments, children complete the NGRT and Vernon test which provides them with a specific reading and spelling age. Phonics assessments are used for children in Key Stage 1 and for those who continue to need them in Key Stage 2. Writing is assessed through teacher judgement against writing skills ladders which inform pupil targets. The school takes part in moderation processes that are both internal and supported by the LA and work alongside other schools to moderate books and teacher judgements in EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Teachers use exemplification documents and guidance from the DfE to further support teacher judgements and assessments.
For project based learning, knowledge organisers and rubrics support both teachers and pupils in understanding the assessment points throughout the projects and the knowledge and skills that pupils need to demonstrate in order to meet the project outcomes. Whilst considering the academic success and progress each child makes, teachers also use the MALS (Myself as a learner) scale to explore children’s learning self esteem and to help them to build on and improve this over time.
A key part of formative assessment is the teacher's role and their responsive approach to teaching. This means their direct instruction and interactions with children adapt and respond depending on feedback from pupils on learning. Throughout the school children are actively involved in the assessment process, through conversations, questions and critique. Children may work independently or within a group to critique their own, their peers or a worked example. Children are comfortable working with multiple drafts and use critique to refine and improve their work. Children actively engage with rubrics and use these purposefully to reflect and evaluate their learning.