Curriculum & Ethos
We aim to provide ambitious learning opportunities, promoting achievement in every area and nurturing social, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Our curriculum equips our children with the knowledge, skills and cultural capital that they need to succeed in life. Starting with the Early Years, we provide children with the seven areas of learning and development implemented through adult led and child initiated learning. Towards the end of the EYFS, the children are prepared for the more formal learning which takes place in Year 1. They then enter Year 1, and we see the Year 1 to Year 6 curriculum as a body of subject-specific knowledge defined by us and the National Curriculum and so we take a knowledge-led approach. Skills are an outcome of the curriculum, not its purpose. When children are ‘fluent’ in knowledge, such as number bonds and times tables, they can then apply them as skills. We make our curriculum accessible for those with disabilities or special educational needs by complying with our duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.
We provide a broad and balanced curriculum with a clear focus on subjects as discrete units to deliver the curriculum. Our curriculum map, and units of work in every subject, contain the knowledge that we have identified as essential in our school, taking cultural capital into account. These have been carefully crafted for each subject, identifying composite knowledge and skills and breaking them down in to component parts to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition. The curriculum is sequenced and progressive so that children can systematically accumulate knowledge which becomes embedded in their long-term memory. This approach enables pupils to make meaningful connections in their learning.
These units of work also support our pedagogical approach (direct instruction) to teaching and help with the speedy and effective induction of new staff.
The promotion of strong oracy skills is a priority for our children, as many enter school with limited vocabulary and practice in speaking. This focus runs throughout our curriculum, because children must be able to talk about what they have learned in a knowledgeable and articulate way.
Reading, which we link closely to our focus on oracy skill development, is the gateway to pupils learning. To ensure all our pupils are able to access the full curriculum, we therefore place a strong focus on oracy, early reading and vocabulary development right from the start.
To ensure the most disadvantaged pupils in our school have the best opportunity to thrive academically, our Pupil Premium Strategy focuses on reading, vocabulary acquisition and speaking and listening so that all pupils can access the curriculum. Similarly, we closely map out our provision for our SEN pupils, so that they gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life.
Conscious of the need to broaden our pupils’ life experiences and to raise their aspirations, we introduce them to a wealth of local and national cultural experiences. This introduction to the best that has been thought and said, helps our pupils to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement; widening their horizons and building the confidence they need for the next phase in their education.
SMSC is taught in a cross curricular way throughout the year groups (see our curriculum map) and is not limited to specific Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) or Religious Education (RE) lessons. We focus on helping our children to grow and develop character, resilience and inner discipline through making choices, taking responsibility and being honest with themselves and others. In order to achieve this, we have incorporated opportunities for building character into our curriculum, including: sport, creativity, performing, the world of work and membership. This provides pupils with the inner resources and confidence to tackle the frustrations and setbacks that are part and parcel of life.
As our children gain confidence, knowledge and skills we hope that they will go on to become compassionate, well-balanced life-long learners. We support them in taking their place in society as active citizens, economically independent, exemplifying the British Values of equality, tolerance, democracy, individual liberty and rule of law.
As we are situated in central London, we use London as our classroom, providing pupils with a very wide range of off site visits and visitors to enhance their learning.
Look at the Curriculum Information section of our website for more information about individual subjects in our curriculum.
Look at the Curriculum Map for an overview of subjects, year by year.
Look at the Class Curriculum Information for Parents/Carers to see termly information about our curriculum and how parents/carers might support children with their learning at home.
The implementation of our curriculum is greatly supported by carefully structured unit plans, leading pupils through component knowledge and skills to composite knowledge and skills in all subjects.
Our pedagogical approach is based on Rosenshine’s Principles of Direct Instruction. The brilliant clarity and simplicity of this approach supports teachers to engage with cognitive science and the wider world of educational research.
The Principles of Direct Instruction
- Daily Review
- Present new material using small steps
- Ask questions
- Provide models
- Guide student practice
- Check for student understanding
- Obtain a high success rate
- Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks
- Independent practice
- Weekly and monthly review
Impact of the curriculum
We constantly review our curriculum through regular subject based monitoring activity across the school to ensure sequential, layered knowledge acquisition and check that pupil outcomes are of a very high quality.
We retain banks of high quality pupil work in order to induct new staff to our schools as effectively as possible, sharing our very high expectations.
Children love to show what they know and what they can do. They make very good progress using this approach as evidenced by our pupil achievement data year-on-year, the work in their books and their attitude to learning.
Look at ‘School Performance’ for more information.