TEACH NURTURE CELEBRATE
At St. James CE Primary School, our curriculum is the primary way that we seek to achieve our vision: Teach – spiritual and moral values, Nurture – a sense of love and hope in ourselves and others, Celebrate – achievements, creativity and enquiring minds. Our vision is driven by a desire for all pupils to live life in all its fullness and to ensure that every pupils leaves our school with the ability and desire to: learn more; unlock their potential and make their mark on the world.
The St. James curriculum has been adapted and developed to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to meet Key Stage requirements and allow for smooth transition to the next phase of education. It has been designed to meet the needs of our pupils and to develop learners that strive to learn knew information through exploring big questions and concepts.
At St. James we think about our curriculum at 4 levels:
- The intended curriculum: what we intend pupils to learn, including the explicit knowledge we expect them to remember, which we set out in detail.
- The implemented curriculum: the resources and structures teachers use to deliver the curriculum.
- The enacted curriculum: the approaches our teachers use to bring this knowledge to life for their pupils.
- The impact of the curriculum: the changes to pupils’ long term memory our curriculum leads to and how we check and evaluate how well our pupils understand what they are taught.
The Intended curriculum
At St. James our curriculum is:
- Rich in powerful knowledge, skills and vocabulary, which are specified, taught, assessed and remembered by pupils.
- Well-planned and sequenced so that key concepts are built on year by year in a clear and logical progression.
- Rooted in the strongest available evidence about how pupils learn and retain knowledge in the long term.
- A well designed, cumulative curriculum structure, starting with EYFS provision, ensuring prior knowledge is always a pre-cursor to study.
- Taught by expert teachers who make skilful connections to prior knowledge as they are aware of the previous units of study.
- Underpinned by a sharp use of assessment to support and progress learning.
- Supportive of teacher workload, wellbeing and professional development.
- Diverse and forward thinking, enabling children to make connections between their local area and the wider world.
- Reflective of core British values which are embedded within the curriculum ensuring children are taught tolerance, respect and individual liberties through the conscious curriculum choices made.
At St James CE Primary School we aim to stimulate children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past and ways in which it differs from the present. We believe that learning about the past helps children to make sense of the world in which they live and to develop analytical thinking.
At St James CE Primary School we believe that the study of history makes a valuable contribution to their understanding of all aspects of life giving a sense of identity and heritage.
- To develop an interest in the past and an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations;
- To understand the values of our society;
- To learn about the major issues and events in the history of our own country and of the world and how these events may have influenced one another;
- To develop knowledge of chronology within which the children can organise their understanding of the past;
- To enable children to know about significant events in British history and to appreciate how things have changed over time.
- Children develop a range of skills and abilities - particularly those related to finding out about the past, explaining what happened and what people then and now think about what happened.
At St James CE Primary School we enable children to find out about the past from a range of sources – using primary and secondary sources, handling artefacts, making use of local area and visits to museums and sites of historical significance.
At St James CE Primary School we develop children’s understanding and skills in looking at and interpreting evidence including recognising that the past can be represented in different ways.
At St James CE Primary School we teach children to identify why people did things, the main characteristics of different societies at different times including links between times studied.
Early Years Foundation Stage
At St James CE Primary School history makes a significant contribution to the development of each child’s understanding of the world. We provide activities such as examining photos of themselves at birth and looking for change over time, using stories that introduce a sense of time and people from the past, comparing artefacts from different times e.g. teddies, and making the most of opportunities to value children’s histories from their own and other cultures.
In reception, history is taught as an integral part of topic work covered during the year. In the EYFS history is about having the opportunities to find out and learn about the world they live in and discover the meaning of new and old in relation to their own lives. The history side of the children’s work is related to the Knowledge and Understanding of the World objectives set out in the EYFS Curriculum.
Key Stage 1
At St James CE Primary School during key stage 1 children learn about people’s lives and lifestyles from the more recent past. They listen and respond to stories and use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions. They learn how the past is different from the present. Children begin to learn about the more distant past through topics that have a direct connection to our local area. They use the primary resources available to help them understand a life very different from their own.
Key Stage 2
At St James CE Primary School during key stage 2 children learn about significant people, events and places from both recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at history in a variety of ways and use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
The Implemented curriculum
Curriculum timetabling and design
Our curriculum model has been designed in response to the challenges faced from the disruption of COVID. It is designed to be both responsive to the needs of our children given the challenges of the pandemic and proactive in our approach to providing St. James pupils with the opportunities and experiences they need.
The increased frequency model has:
- Given balance and proportionality to History.
- History is taught in a modular approach with each subject having 3 module sessions each week on a 3-week rotation meaning there is more frequent teaching of these subjects across a year. This gives us more time to focus on the content of the sessions and knowledge notes might be taken over one lesson into the other.
- This takes into account some key research and evidence including:
- ○ Forgetting curve - we want to make sure we ease the forgetting curve by coming back to those key learning points after a shorter period of time
- ○ Retrieval and spaced retrieval practice - powerful toolkit to strengthen learning and memory
Teaching of History
At St James CE Primary School, the teaching and learning of history focuses on enabling children to think as historians.
We have used the best research to create a well sequenced and progressive curriculum map containing the key concepts children need to be procedurally fluent in, to work and think like historians.
The key substantive knowledge big ideas we teach are:
The key disciplinary knowledge we teach are:
- Cause and consequence
- Change and continuity
- Similarity and difference
The enacted curriculum
To support excellent teaching we consider five points of effective provision:
Metacognition, retrieval and evaluation
Teachers use resources
These resources directly support the POINT OF EXPLANATION. Teachers understand the subject knowledge and are able to explain it in multiple ways, which leads to thinking carefully about task planning.
CUSP – CPD videos, progression documents, explicit links to prior learning, planning support
Explicit instruction techniques are used at the POINT OF DELIVERY, where teachers model and explain foundation concepts and knowledge.
e.g. Quality first teaching, modelled learning, worked examples etc.
Carefully designed learning tasks underpin the POINT OF PRACTICE. Pupils are expected to draw upon prior learning. Generative learning tasks support deliberate practice of taught content enabling pupils to become fluent and automaticity is increased.
CUSP – range of opportunities to support the teaching of substantive and disciplinary knowledge including thinking tasks
The POINT OF REFLECTION is carefully deployed through specific and deliberate techniques, such as self-questioning, retrieval practice like word paths and application tasks alongside low stakes quizzes and assessments. These directly support metacognitive development and enable pupils to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning with structure and depth.
At St James CE Primary School to enhance teaching and learning of all curriculum areas within the school, teachers employ a range of strategies, including:
- ask and answer questions;
- use new vocabulary in context
- memorise words;
- interpret meaning;
- understand new knowledge and apply in different ways;
- use ICT;
- work in pairs, and groups to communicate understanding and learning
Reference – Content
At St. James CE Primary our curriculum is supported by well researched schemes and scaffolds to ensure a clear progression and sequenced delivery of substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
Our curriculum meets the minimum standards as set out by the National Curriculum and looks to go beyond it to ensure that pupils leave St. James having a strong foundation for the next step in their education journey. CUSP is used to support the delivery of G teaching at St. James CE Primary School.
Our whole school approach to History teaching and learning is in line with the recommendations of the National Curriculum and the requirements outlined in the Department for Education History Programme of Study for Key Stage 1 and 2.
Explanation – Subject Knowledge
Teachers at St. James are supported to ensure that their subject knowledge allows them to deliver high quality lessons allowing all pupils to achieve. Subject leaders provide clear skills and knowledge progression documents and regular opportunities for CPD occur for teachers at all stages of their professional development.
- Lesson Plans
- Teacher support notes
- Knowledge organisers
- Progression maps
- Vocabulary development maps
- Knowledge notes
- Vocabulary units
Delivery – Explicit Instruction
Our curriculum delivery at St. James follows a carefully agreed structure and will look broadly similar in all subjects. In History you will see –
- Unit title page – with an overarching question for the unit
- Knowledge organiser – covering substantive knowledge for the unit
- Cumulative knowledge quiz
- Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary sheets
- Knowledge notes – key knowledge for each lesson
- Thinking tasks – disciplinary knowledge tasks using a range of key skills e.g. deducing, classifying etc.
- End of unit quiz completed a couple of weeks after the completion of the unit
The curriculum is recorded in individual pupil books with a range of written outcomes and verbal outcomes (recorded by QR codes or photographs).Big Books (floor books) are used to capture practical tasks and additional learning for the whole class.
Practice – Metacognition
To enable children to develop their learning, tasks are designed to support deliberate practice of taught content enabling pupils to become fluent at a task e.g. group work, paired work and individual work to learn new vocabulary and content.
Pupils are encouraged to tackle a learning objective in different ways to showcase their understanding of the key knowledge. The carefully planned for tasks allow for children to build on their understanding of the substantive knowledge and apply it to disciplinary tasks. This carefully sequenced progression through lessons, steps or learning intentions, allows for children to apply new learning in different ways therefore promoting transition of key knowledge into children’s long term memory.
Reflection – Metacognition, retrieval and evaluation
Teachers at St. James plan for a range of opportunities for pupils to develop retrieval skills, self-questioning and personal awareness of their own next steps.
This looks like –
- Cumulative quiz questions
- Give one, get one
- Remember two things
- Word paths
- Word connections
- Vocabulary instructions
- Image cues
- Low stakes quizzes
Across the implementation of language units Rosenshine’s 10 Principles are used:
Inclusion and Equal Opportunities
At St James, we believe that every individual within the school has the opportunity to achieve their full potential has the same chance and equal access to all areas of the curriculum.
In science this means that all children will have the opportunity;
- To develop the process of systematic enquiry
- To relate their understanding of science to everyday life and in environmental contexts
- To communicate using appropriate vocabulary and present scientific information in a number of ways
- To explore aspects of health and safety when working with living things and materials
- To carry out experimental and investigate science
- To develop and apply their knowledge and understanding of key vocabulary
At St James, we aim for all History lessons and learning questions to be accessible to all pupils. Pre-teaching of History vocabulary provides all children with the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of subject specific language. The use of dual coded Knowledge Notes and Organisers provide visuals to aid understanding and recall. In addition, knowledge notes are utilised in all lessons to minimise cognitive overload, so children can use and apply their knowledge more easily. Sentence stems can be used where necessary to aid with written evidence.
The impact of our curriculum
At St. James CE Primary School, we have a concise whole school shared definition of learning: ‘Learning is a change in long term memory.’ In order to identify the impact our curriculum is having on our pupils, teachers employ a range of assessment strategies both at the point of teaching and after.
Regular assessment of pupil needs and understanding plays a vital role here as does the provision of appropriate resources, the internet and our whiteboards offer a wealth of materials that can be matched to suit individual or group needs, enabling all pupils to develop their computing skills.
At St James CE Primary children should be assessed against their progress in understanding and applying computing against the curriculum map. This will be self-evident from the work produced in a situation where no teacher support is given once a task has been assigned.
Disability Equality Impact Assessment
This policy has been written with reference to and in consideration of the school’s Disability Equality Scheme. Assessment will include consideration of issues identified by the involvement of disabled children, staff and parents and any information the school holds on disabled children, staff and parents.
Formative assessment is the information teachers glean as teachers that closes the gap between where the pupil is and where they need to be. This is also known as 'responsive teaching’.
There is a very close link between curriculum design and assessment. Teachers at St. James understand the cumulative model of our curriculum. They know what has been taught before, position prior learning and build on it with clear and precise explanations. Teachers design tasks with clear purpose. They use quizzing cumulatively to support formative assessment. They plan for and explicitly address common misconceptions.
The high-quality use of a range of responsive teaching techniques is at the forefront of all aspects of teaching and learning at St. James so that teachers are able to evaluate and respond to the needs of pupils fluidly.
- Deliberate practice and rephrasing of taught content
- Cumulative quizzing within the learning sequence
- Retrieval practice, including just two things (self-testing)
- Vocabulary use and application
- Summarising and explaining the learning question from the sequence
Teachers assess pupils at the end of each lesson which then forms part of teacher assessment for a unit. This is recorded in the feedback book and is used to inform annual data for all subjects.
Our feedback policy details the approach we take to using feedback to move learners’ forward. Feedback is given regularly and children use this feedback to move their own learning on.
Trust, workload and professional development
The ability of teachers to adapt instruction to meet pupil needs increases pupil achievements. ‘There is literally nothing else that can increase student achievement by so much, for so little cost’ (Wiliam, 2018). Therefore, leaders ensure teachers have the opportunity to become skilled and confident at assessing pupils’ learning through high-quality school based and external training.
Teachers do not need to compile evidence to prove all the assessments they make. Leaders support teachers to make accurate and honest judgements and will always take teacher workload into account when developing new assessment initiatives.
At St. James CE Primary School the role of the history leader is to:
- Create a progressive history curriculum map, monitor its implementation and assess the impact in terms progress children make.
- Share good practice across the school
- Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the history curriculum map
- Monitoring planning and the delivery of the curriculum
- Working together with colleagues to raise standards
- Providing stimulus and inspiration
- Ensuring that the policy documents remain useful and current
- Yearly action plan
Assessment and Recording
At St James CE Primary School assessment is in line with the school’s assessment policy. Teachers are expected to assess at the end of each unit.
Monitoring of history takes place throughout the school by:
- Observations of individual lessons.
- Monitoring of children’s books.
- Discussions with both pupils.
- Monitoring of class mark books.
- Looking at classroom displays.
- Whole schoolbook scrutiny days.
At St James CE Primary School all children have access to history lessons and activities regardless of age, sex or ability. Teaching approaches provide equality of opportunity by making sure the work is suitable for all.
Disability Equality Impact Assessment
This policy has been written with reference to and in consideration of the school’s Disability Equality Scheme. Assessment will include consideration of issues identified by the involvement of disabled children, staff and parents and any information the school holds on disabled children, staff and parents