The St. Mark’s curriculum has the aim of forging a deep love of learning within our children along with a love of deep learning. It is a curriculum that embraces the 2014 National Curriculum and one that is driven by our values of respect, perseverance, kindness, honesty and understanding and is underpinned by love.
We identify what we want pupils to know, remember and be able to do over time. It is an inclusive curriculum that celebrates life in all its diverse forms and one that develops our children to expect the best of themselves and others and to see the best in themselves and others. It demands that they see themselves as both agents of positive change in the world now and as custodians of our world in the future. It also demands that they develop an awareness of injustice and prejudice in the past and present and can develop their moral and spiritual character to challenge such wrongs.
Inspired by 'A Curriculum of Hope' by Debra Kidd, we plan each term's learning with a deeper focus. The overviews are not merely a breakdown of tasks we plan to share, but insights into the thinking behind our learning journeys.
Each class overview includes key outcomes, texts, and vocabulary for the main learning in each class. Endpoints are identified for each subject at each stage as 'children will know'. These are the composite knowledge that pupils are expected to know and remember which are built up over their time at school to help pupils make progress and deepen their knowledge over time. 'Curriculum intent' shares why we are learning what we are learning. 'Narrative hooks' are challenges and problems which we hope children will find engaging to explore. Our school values are embedded through the curriculum to keep our learning values-led.
Each class will focus on core concepts and inquiry questions to help us explore our understanding at a deeper level.
The five core elements of learning are then broken down to explore how this works with our children:
Credibility - what will we learn and how does it link to the statutory National Curriculum?
Creativity - how will we show our understanding in multiple ways?
Coherence - how does this connect to our past and future learning?
Compassion - embedding empathy and understanding into our learning
Community - what links can we make across our school, village, local area, the UK, Europe and the world?
We are working on new teaching and learning techniques across all subjects. These are derived from the research-based literature of expert practitioners in the fields of teaching and psychology: Daniel Willingham, Kate Jones, Mary Myatt, Jonathan Lear, Tom Sherrington and Dylan Wiliam. The fundamental aim is that children acquire what we call ‘sticky knowledge’ - they remember things and can retrieve and reference their learning in new situations and use this to develop subject-specific skills as they progress through their time as part of the St. Mark’s family. In each subject, knowledge and skill acquisition is guided by ‘ Golden Threads’ that weave throughout a child’s encounter with a subject starting, in Year R and flourishing throughout Key Stage 1 and 2. This helps us to ensure that children experience learning that builds on previous knowledge to reach key milestones by the end of each year. We use knowledge organisers for each subject in child friendly language which identifies the 'sticky knowledge' the children will learn over that unit of work broken into the component knowledge so children can track where they are and what they are learning next. They also include prior learning from previous years which are being built upon and specific language and technical vocabulary they will use.
The key impact of our curriculum should be experienced through the way our children think, speak and behave. It will shape them as morally robust young people, guided in their lives by a deep sense of empathy for others and a love of all creation. They will demonstrate their love of learning by seeking to produce high quality work that they are both proud of and enthusiastic to improve at. We will guide their progress and monitor it through a range of assessment techniques both formative (within and between lessons) and summative (quizzes and occasional tests).