At Woodchurch CE Primary School it is our underlying belief that every child should feel uniquely valued and develop a passion for learning across a wide range of curriculum subjects. We believe that our curriculum enables every child to shine and have high aspirations for the future through being confident and ready to tackle any challenge they may face.
We have designed a coherent, sequenced curriculum to ensure every child receives a full, rich and balanced education with an appropriate mix of academic and personal development opportunities.
At Woodchurch we place high priority on ensuring children’s physical and mental wellbeing are met. We understand that children will not be successful learners unless they are emotionally secure, therefore every member of our school family works hard to support children in overcoming barriers to learning.
Our balanced approach to the curriculum is not at the expense of high standards in core subject areas. High standards and enabling children to reach their full potential is of vital importance if they are to succeed at the next stage of their education and go on to use their gifts make a difference.
Our full and rich curriculum, excites and allows children to gain and deepen both knowledge and skills so that every pupil progresses both academically and personally. Our unique curriculum ensures that everyone is given the opportunity to shine and flourish.
Our Christian values of compassion, hope, forgiveness, thankfulness and love are emphasised throughout the curriculum.
In the Autumn of 2019 we formally introduced the Cornerstones Curriculum for the teaching of History, Geography, Science, Computing, Art and DT. This is a creative approach to learning built on the criteria for an outstanding curriculum. It ensures that our children learn in the most creative way and are involved in what they are learning.
We use this as a basis for our structure and within this very much understand the importance of personalising the curriculum to our children, our setting and our community. Themes are chosen appropriately and with relevance. Through our curriculum at Woodchurch, we strongly believe in giving our pupils personal first hand experiences.
Cornerstones Curriculum is delivered through a range of inspirational yet rigorous learning projects. These are based on the National Curriculum, but bring learning together in new and exciting ways. Each project combines different strands of learning so that children learn more holistically and start to challenge themselves and learn problem solving skills as they create truly fantastic learning opportunities. Learning is a journey and we strive to provide opportunities which will enable our children to enter into society with the necessary skills, experiences and responsibilities for later life.
The Cornerstones Curriculum is based on inspirational learning activities which take place in a classroom environment that allows children to learn in a way that motivates and interests them. Cornerstones provides our children with a good level of challenge, giving them opportunities to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding across the curriculum.
Curriculum 22 is a fully sequenced and interconnected curriculum that develops across the Key Stages to Year 6. The curriculum is ambitious in content and expertly crafted, with stringent sequencing and a web of multidisciplinary and subject connections. The curriculum is specially designed to help children build and sequence knowledge, without cognitive overload.
Curriculum 22 is carefully designed to help children learn and retain the required subject knowledge and skills in the correct sequence. Built on the national curriculum programmes of study, the curriculum begins with Big Ideas or higher-level concepts that steer the whole curriculum. These Big Ideas are broken down into smaller component parts called aspects. Aspects are further broken down to form a robust knowledge and skills framework that underpins the whole curriculum. The framework has clear endpoints and curriculum-related expectations up to Year 6.
Curriculum sequencing is the most critically important part of our curriculum. Without the correct subject sequencing, children will not have the building blocks to create a robust subject or concept schema. An effective curriculum needs correct sequencing within and across the subjects. This is so that concepts that span multiple subjects are cohesively mapped for maximum cognitive impact.
Sequencing subject-specific vocabulary
Subject-specific vocabulary is a crucial part of a well sequenced curriculum. Vocabulary is carefully mapped out across our curriculum to clarify when technical vocabulary phrases are introduced and revisited. In our curriculum, vocabulary is clearly mapped to ensure that children learn the correct words and phrases in the right order. This enables children to articulate their learning with confidence.
Organisation of content
The content of our curriculum is broad, varied and engaging and covers all statutory content set out in the subject programmes of study. In EYFS to Y6, curriculum content is organised into a range of main and mini subject-driven projects. Main projects span a whole term and are focused on geography and history. Mini projects are taught over a term or half term and are subject-focused for science, art and design and design technology.
A knowledge-rich approach
The curriculum is ambitious, steeped in meaningful and interesting facts and information. These facts and information work together to create powerful subject knowledge. Engaging with knowledge-led learning can be challenging for some children, so to support this, children are provided with a wealth of child-friendly and engaging knowledge organisers (which are sent home termly) videos, presentations, exciting lessons and activity plans, plus low stakes quizzes and tests.
The Projects are used to deliver a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum. Each individual project is split into sections, which see children progress through four stages of learning: Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
At the ‘Engage’ stage, children:
- gain memorable first-hand experiences, such as going on a visit or inviting a special visitor into school
- enjoy ‘WOW’ experiences
- get an exciting introduction to a topic or theme
- begin researching and setting enquiry questions
- get lots of opportunities to make observations
- develop spoken language skills
- take part in sensory activities
- have lots of fun to fully 'engage' with their new topic.
At the ‘Develop’ stage, children:
- improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic
- develop and practise their new skills
- compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes and read across the curriculum
- research their own questions and those set by others
- follow new pathways of enquiry based on their interests
- complete homework activities that support their learning.
At the ‘Innovate’ stage, children:
- apply skills, knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts
- solve real or imagined problems using everything they’ve learnt
- get inspired by imaginative and creative opportunities
- revisit anything not fully grasped at the ‘Develop’ stage.
At the ‘Express’ stage, children:
- become the performers, experts and informers
- share their achievements with parents, classmates and the community
- evaluate finished products and processes
- link what they have learnt to where they started
- celebrate their achievements!
Understanding the structure
Curriculum 22 has four structural tiers. Each tier builds on the previous to create interconnected layers. These interconnected layers provide a robust framework that ensures connectivity across the curriculum. The tiers of the curriculum structure are set out in the diagram below, and explained in the following paragraphs.
Tier 1: Big Ideas (global aims) The curriculum is led by 10 central Big Ideas. These Big Ideas are the overarching aims of the curriculum. They were conceived by careful analysis of the national curriculum subjects, drawing out common themes, which then, through a period of refinement, became our Big Ideas. These Big Ideas and their intentions are set out below.