Implementation

2021-2022

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is based on evidence from cognitive science: three main principles underpin it.

Principles

  1. Learning is most effective with spaced repetition

  2. Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention

  3. Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent & regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength

It Takes Time!

  • In addition to these principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.

Content

  • Our content is subject specific.

  • We make intra-curricular links to strengthen schema.

  • Continuous provision in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practice for previously learnt content.

Curriculum Topics

  • Subject topics are the specific aspects of the subjects studied that contextualise learning (make it make sense to young minds).

  • They respect individual subject disciplines and defined knowledge but support pupils to make links between subjects that can sometimes appear abstract.

Threshold Concepts

Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards and backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, children return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build understanding of through them.

Our Teaching Style

  • As part of our progression model we use a different pedagogical style at different stages of the teaching sequence.

  • This is based on the research of Sweller, Kirschner and Rosenshine who argue to direst instruction in the early stages of learning and discovery based approaches later.

Working Memory

  • Cognitive science tells us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if children are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory.

  • Cognitive science also tells us that in order for children to become creative thinkers, or have greater depth of understanding they must first master the basics, which takes time.