Northwood's Curriculum statement 2020-21:
Northwood’s Curriculum – ‘Engage, Enlighten, Embed’
Northwood School aims to equip pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Our understanding of ‘knowledge and cultural capital’ is derived from the following wording in the national curriculum:
‘It is the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’
Northwood’s curriculum sets out the aims of our ‘Programme of Education’ and is designed to be of similar breadth and ambition to the ‘Primary National Curriculum’ (2014). It sets out the structure for those aims to be implemented, including the knowledge and skills to be gained at each stage - we call this ‘intent’. It is taught and assessed in order to support pupils to build their knowledge and to apply that knowledge and skills - we call this ‘implementation’. Finally, it leads to the outcomes that pupils achieve as a result of the education they have received - we call this the ‘impact’.
Northwood’s curriculum is successfully adapted, where needed, to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs, developing their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence, and ensuring that they make progress.
We aim to address social disadvantage and, as a result, our curriculum reflects the school’s local context by addressing typical gaps in our pupils’ knowledge and skills. Children in our local area are not typically exposed to a wide vocabulary or have a rich exposure to quality reading materials. This can lead to difficulties when comprehending and inferring from texts, and when writing with understanding and creativity. It is therefore crucial that as well as being taught essential knowledge and skills, pupils are taught explicit and engaging vocabulary across the curriculum. Words have the power to ignite imaginations, and unlock the doors to a world of understanding in all subjects.
Many of our pupils are not able to be taken on holidays, trips or to clubs that will expose them to finding out about local, national or international environments, art, history, science, sport, technology or music. We must, therefore, introduce our pupils to a range of visitors and experiences in school, and take them on trips that enrich their subject knowledge and curiosity about the world around them.
Northwood’s curriculum outlines the knowledge and skills that pupils need that will in turn enable them to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. There is a difference between knowledge which will be retained close to the point of teaching it, and that which will be retained forever. Our curriculum contains essential 'sticky knowledge' (embedded) that will be needed in order to access the next years objectives i.e. the end points in each each subject that pupils need to know and be able to do, in a logical progression. Hence Northwood's curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. At Northwood, pupils will learn the curriculum and make progress by knowing more, remembering more, and being able to do more. Pupils need to transfer and embed key concepts in their long-term memory and apply them fluently. Learning can be defined as:
‘An alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.’
However, transfer to long-term memory depends on rich processes. In order to develop understanding, our pupils need to connect new knowledge with existing knowledge, and then develop fluency and unconsciously apply their knowledge and skills.
In short, Northwood’s Curriculum aims to: ‘Engage, Enlighten, and Embed’