Our aim is for every child to "Shine among them like stars in the sky" and we value kindness and doing the right thing. Our classrooms may be the only source of knowledge for our most vulnerable children and so we must ensure we provoke curiosity and knowledge through our curriculum.
Our curriculum is designed to challenge and inspire our children at every level. Recognising the individuality of our children is paramount to us. To this end we offer a curriculum that matches the needs of our community, and remains ambitious for children with SEND in order to close the attainment gap.
Realising the ambition:
We are committed to high quality professional learning that focuses on what makes great teaching, subject knowledge development and sound formative assessment practices. Subjects are taught discretely but links are made where there is natural alignment to ensure that children develop an interconnected web of general knowledge.
We are also guided by a teaching and learning strategy. This teaching and learning strategy is based around a set of core pedagogies. These pedagogies, based on the work of Allison and Tharby and their text, ‘Every Lesson Counts’, outline the key elements that we would expect to see in high quality lessons. Expert teaching requires teachers to provide a high level of challenge for all children, and appropriate scaffolding to support this. From this starting point, detailed explanations and models should be used to demonstrate the learning that is expected. Once the knowledge and/or skill has been taught, children should be provided with opportunities to engage in deliberate practice to reinforce and establish the learning as well as apply their learning in a variety of situations. At all stages, questioning and feedback are utilised to check the level of understanding and support individual and groups of children in their learning.
Our curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of our programme of education, including:
- The knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage (intent)
- Translating that framework over time into a structure, narrative and with subject specific pedagogy (implementation)
- Evaluating what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations (impact)
We follow the National Curriculum, and use Cornerstones Curriculum to support this. We believe that children deserve a balanced curriculum that enables them to develop a deep understanding of all subjects and the interconnections between them.
The rationale for the Cornerstones Curriculum takes the form of 10 big ideas that provide a purpose for the aspects, skills, knowledge and contexts chosen to form the substance of the curriculum. These big ideas form a series of multi-dimensional interconnected threads across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and revisit their learning through a variety of subject lenses. Over time, these encounters help children to build conceptual frameworks that will enable a better understanding of increasingly sophisticated information and ideas.
Our curriculum is also shaped by our trust-wide key drivers of Work, World and Wellness:
Work: As children develop they become aware of the links between education, work and the role of lifelong learning, and understand that people's skills are built up over time because of learning and experience.
World: Education must fully assume its central role in helping its children to forge more, compassionate, forgiving and inclusive societies. It must give people the understanding, skills and values they need to lead with courageous advocacy. At Woodford we want our children to be pro-active, positive members of their local, regional and global communities to enable them to have the capacity to make a difference.
Wellness: Our curriculum teaches the importance of a healthy active lifestyle as well as providing significant opportunities to participate and develop excellence in physical activity both within and beyond the curriculum. We also talk openly and freely about wellbeing in order to ensure we are providing the best possible proactive and positive provision to protect the mental health of our staff and children.
The curriculum enables children to deepen their understanding of the big ideas within each curriculum area through carefully thought out units of work. As children move through school and study the curriculum, they develop a deepened understanding of the key concepts in each subject area and how they are interlinked. We believe that our curriculum enriches through engagement, but it is also enriched through carefully chosen trips and workshops, which give children the experiences that bring knowledge to life.
How we know if the curriculum is being learned:
The curriculum is the progress model – if children are keeping up with the curriculum then they are making good progress. Progress means knowing more and remembering more.