Through our Christian Faith, we acknowledge our responsibility to all, to enrich lives and show love and respect within our school family. We believe in lifelong learning aiming to equip our children to live life today and for tomorrow rooted in Christian love.
For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37)
In our school we follow the National Curriculum.
Link to the National Curriculum Web-Site: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum
The wider curriculum: an overview of our offer.
When we talk about the wider curriculum, we are thinking about subjects such as:
History Geography Design and Technology Art Modern Foreign Languages Music
PHSE (personal, health, social and emotional) Religious Education (RE) Computing
How do we structure the wider curriculum at our school?
The National Curriculum:
We follow the National Curriculum to structure our curriculum offer, as we know that this means our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils. You can find a link to the National Curriculum here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum
Structuring our curriculum offer:
We teach each of the wider curriculum subjects discretely at our school.
For each subject, we have thought carefully about how we sequence learning over time and have broken down learning into small steps or building blocks, starting from when children enter primary school until they leave. At each step, we consider what specific knowledge and understanding we want our pupils to know and remember at each stage of their learning and in each subject. The end of the Foundation Stage, KS1, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2 are key end points for each of these building blocks of our curriculum. We know what we want our pupils to know and remember at each of these end points, focusing on what will be most useful to them, and have sequenced lessons over time to reach those end points.
The technical term we use for these small steps is components.
When we talk about how we have structured our curriculum offer, we call this curriculum intent. Curriculum intent includes the specific details of what we intend our pupils to learn at each stage in their school journey. What pupils know, remember and can do indicates how well they can achieve (progress).
Our curriculum has been carefully designed so that pupils gain more knowledge over time. Some knowledge is very important, and we return to this regularly to help it ‘stick’ in children’s memory. For example, it is crucial that children automatically know the number facts that combine to make 10 (2+8, 3+7 etc). Knowing these number facts allow pupils to make links with many areas of number throughout their school life, so we revisit this learning regularly in the first few years of school to make sure this knowledge is ‘sticky’.
Knowledge is divided into two types:
Substantive Knowledge: This refers to specific facts to be learned, such as, for example, the names of the countries in the United Kingdom (geography), or in history key facts about an historic event such as World War 1. In our curriculum pages, we have given you examples of the substantive knowledge that pupils need to know and remember at each stage in their learning and in each subject. Substantive knowledge refers to knowing ‘what’ specific facts need to be remembered.
Disciplinary Knowledge: Whereas substantive knowledge is about ‘what’ facts, disciplinary knowledge is about knowing ‘how’. For example, in music I can know that a minim is the equivalent of 2 beats, a quaver a half beat and a semi-breve four beats (substantive facts), but disciplinary knowledge helps me use this information to clap a rhythm accurately having read it on a musical stave. Sometimes people refer to disciplinary knowledge as skills.
Knowledge and links with reading and vocabulary acquisition:
We believe that knowledge gained also plays an important part in pupils gaining reading comprehension, and therefore, as we know that reading is so important, we place great emphasis on ensuring knowledge of the wider curriculum is sticky. We know that when pupils read and engage in reading comprehension activities, reading comprehension is dependent on knowledge of the subject being read. What we know allows us to read and understand what we have read. Knowledge learned across the wider curriculum facilitates comprehension. It also helps our pupils gain a broader vocabulary. We know that children are exposed to a richer vocabulary base when they access a broad curriculum, and this is very important to their future success. In our curriculum intent (plans), we have outlined the specific vocabulary children need to know, use and remember at each stage in their learning (see our curriculum pages).
Starting the knowledge journey:
Our curriculum planning starts in Early Years. In Reception, we begin to lay the foundations of the wider curriculum through our Early Years curriculum offer. In Knowledge of the World, for example, children learn about the layout of school and their immediate environment when they start to understand early map work (the foundations of the geography curriculum). On our curriculum pages and Early Years pages we have provided more examples and information about our curriculum intent for early years. We start this journey in early years for two main reasons:
Making sure knowledge is sticky:
When we have designed our curriculum, we have made sure the following applies to enable pupils to retain the important substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge:
At each stage in the school journey, teachers make sure that they understand what prior learning has taken place and how well children have remembered it. They revisit prior learning, particularly at the start of a unit of work but also at other stages in the learning process, to make sure that they are building new learning on secure foundations.
We know that knowledge ‘sticks’ when links are made between subjects. Webs of knowledge are created in our memories (schema) when we create meaningful links between learning. The more we introduce pupils to related content, the deeper knowledge will be. Key concepts in each subject are revisited over time and can be seen in our curriculum plans, which have the effect of making these links and building webs of knowledge. You will see some of these key concepts in our curriculum planning on curriculum pages.
We understand that learning is defined as an alteration in long term memory. If nothing is altered in long term memory, then nothing has been learned. Therefore, we train our teachers to use teaching strategies informed by the most up to date research into memory. We have a clearly defined DSAT teaching strategy which deploys these strategies: we called it our DSAT Teach Simply Model.
When we implement our curriculum plans, we know that knowledge is more likely to be remembered over time when we use strategies from our Teach Simply model. Examples include retrieval practice, generative learning strategies and paying attention to not overloading the working memory.
Progress of pupils:
How do we consider progress when we are thinking about the wider curriculum?
We focus on two aspects:
When we assess pupils’ progress, then, we talk to them about what they know and we look in books to see what they can do and remember, and we check to make sure this matches the curriculum we have implemented.
We assess at all stages of the learning process:
We hope that this overview has provided insight into how we structure our wider curriculum offer (intent), how we implement it (implementation) and how we measure impact (assessment).
Read Write Inc Phonics at St Oswald's
At St Oswald's Church of England Academy we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
When using RWI to read the children will:
When using RWI to write the children will:
So that you are able to support your child's learning at home, please take some time to explore the links below to see videos and examples of how RWI is taught.
The Phonics Manager is Mrs Hermiston. If you have any queries or would like to discuss our phonics programme further, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Religious Education (R.E.) Curriculum
Bug Club is a reading program to help develop confident and motivated readers. Books are interactive, have audio and feature comprehension activities.
You can access Bug Club here: ActiveLearn: Login (activelearnprimary.co.uk)
If you have misplaced your log in details or are having trouble accessing the website, please email us to let us know.