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The Northwood Curriculum

Northwood's Curriculum Statement: 


Northwood’s Curriculum – ‘Know More, Remember More, Do More’


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 documents set out the aims of our ‘Programme of Education’ for each subject and are designed to be of similar breadth and ambition to the ‘Primary National Curriculum’ (2014).  Our curriculum documents set 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 on their knowledge in each subject 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’.


Our curriculum is underpinned by our core set of the values set out in our 'Northwood Way' tree, based on the overarching value of  'Respect'. Northwood’s curriculum is appropriately 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 subjects outline 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' (to be embedded) that will be needed in order to access the next years objectives  i.e. the main knowledge and skills 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 - each subject has a set of 'Knowledge Mats'  setting out the key vocabulary and sticky knowledge required from Reception through to Year 6.


Pupils will need to transfer and embed key knowledge, skills and concepts into their long-term memory and apply them fluently. 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. 


Learning can be defined as:


‘An alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.’


To help pupils embed skills, concepts, and knowledge teachers at Northwood use the pedagogy set out in Barak Rosenshine's '10 Principles of Instruction'.  Rosenshine (1930-2017) was a professor and expert of Educational Psychology who identified the effectiveness of methods and approaches that were practised by the most successful teachers alongside the study of cognitive science into how the human brain acquires and utilizes new knowledge. He then turned his research into a set of principles that teachers could use in the classroom to help them embed students knowledge into their long-term memory - to 'Know More, Remember More and be able to Do More.  Please use the link below to access this document: