What makes our curriculum at St Stephen's
Rationale and intent
In broad terms, we define our curriculum as the lived experience of a child whilst in our school. It is our view that every encounter, interaction and activity (planned, spontaneous or incidental) are components of our curriculum and each has great worth in helping children learn.
Our taught curriculum is the planned element and, as such, we use the national curriculum as the main driver. Subjects are taught discretely rather than within a ‘topic’ based approach, which enables us to ensure appropriate coverage in a meaningful and authentic manner. This is achieved through delivering units of study by aligning them to specific themes or disciplines within that subject. The planning process enables teachers to draw on meaningful links with prior learning so that pupils can build and add to their knowledge base each time they meet a particular theme. Additionally, teachers ensure that prior, or associated knowledge from other subject areas is drawn on as a way of helping pupils build solid links and connections as a means of reinforcing learning and understanding as well as applying it in different contexts.
Within each unit of study, key knowledge and skills to be acquired by pupils are identified and broken down into smaller chunks so pupils have sufficient time to explore, absorb and understand material presented. This is because the acquisition of knowledge and skills are interrelated and effective pupil learning and retention requires both elements to be present. For example, if pupils are to research a particular aspect of history regarding Roman times to broaden their knowledge, they need to have the necessary skills to carry out and conduct that research.
Our curriculum is constructed so that progression in skills and knowledge are clearly mapped out from Nursery through to Year 6. As part of our planning, we have consulted with colleagues in key stage 3 so that our curriculum helps prepare pupils for transition to high school.