“School is one of the most vital experiences
a child will ever have in their lives and
it is our duty that it is the best one.”
What is it we want for the children in our school?
Here at Servite, we are passionate about opening doors for all of our pupils, so that the possibilities they can imagine for themselves are limitless, regardless of their starting points. As such, we strive to provide a curriculum which:
- is bespoke to the community in which our pupils live, making the most of the resources and opportunities for learning and also addressing specific areas of need.
- provides equity for all learners, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have Special Educational Needs. The central message is simple: every learner matters and matters equally (UNESCO, 2017).
- will enable our pupils to engage with culture, in its many forms, throughout their time at the school, equipping them with the cultural capital necessary to be better able to articulate themselves, access opportunities and navigate choices as they get older. (Davies, 2014)
- is broad and balanced, offering learners in all year groups a deep and rich education in the full range of subjects in the Primary National Curriculum and beyond.
- strives to develop and protect the well-being of our pupils, during their primary years and to lay the foundations for every child to go on to realise their potential and make a positive contribution to their community (WHO, 2014). These are the roots we speak of in our vision statement- essential if we are to give our children wings, so that they may soar into happy and successful futures.
What are we going to do to achieve it?
Our curriculum is designed in such a way as to be ‘Knowledge-Engaged’ (Ofsted 2019). We recognise that knowledge and skills are intrinsically linked - knowledge provides the capacity to apply skills and deepen understanding - they are both essential ingredients of a successful curriculum (Spielman 2018) . We also know from research that knowledge builds on knowledge: the more pupils know, the more they are able to learn (Hirsch 1988).
Our curriculum is our progression model - it is our intent. We have carefully selected and sequenced content, paying close attention to prior learning . Planning ensures opportunities for knowledge and skills to be revisited, with a ‘not a tick, but a tally’ approach.
Within each subject, specific, carefully and deliberately chosen core knowledge is detailed for each topic in a knowledge organiser. This is expected to be the minimum content which pupils master in their long-term memory for each unit, and will be revisited within and across phases. In this way, we will ensure that at the end of their time at our school, pupils leave with the confidence that comes from possessing a store of essential knowledge and the skills to use it (Jones 2017).
Teachers will use mastery learning techniques and teaching strategies in their classroom practice (Bloom, 1968). In short, pupils will be taught, then retrieve and rehearse learning in such a way that it is stored in their long-term memory. Over time they will develop sustained mastery of the curriculum (Willingham, 2010).
We continually develop our teachers’ subject knowledge, equipping them to effectively deliver the rich and broad curriculum of our intent, with a solid knowledge and understanding of the subjects they teach. This will be delivered by middle leaders with subject responsibilities and by gaining access to specialist help and advice (Alexander 2010b).
Alexander, R.J. (Ed) (2010b) Children, Their World, Their Education: final report and recommendations of the Cambridge Primary Review. Abingdon: Routledge.
Bloom, B. S. (1968). Learning for Mastery. Instruction and Curriculum. Regional Education Laboratory for the Carolinas and Virginia, Topical Papers and Reprints, Number 1.
Davies, S (2014) Cultural Capital: An overview of A New Direction’s Cultural
Capital research within the context of
wider research into the impact of wealth inequality on young people’s participation in arts, cultural and extra-curricular activities. A.N.D A New Direction for Arts, Culture and Young London
Hattie, J. (2012) Instructional Leadership. Leaders in Educational Thought: Dr John Hattie, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2012. Presented by The Student Achievement Division.
Hirsch, E.D. (1988) Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. New York: Vintage Books.
Jones, H (2017) in ‘The Question of Knowledge- practicalities of a knowledge-based curriculum’ p21-22. ASCL and Parents and Teachers for Excellence.
Ofsted (2019) Education inspection framework: overview of research
Spielman, A (2018) HMCI commentary: curriculum and the new education inspection framework, Ofsted
Thijs, A. & van den Akker, J. (Eds.) (2009). Curriculum in Development (Entschede Netherlands, SLO).
UNESCO (2017) A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
WHO (2014) Mental health: a state of well-being
Willingham, D (2010) Why Don’t Students LIke School?: Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom. Jossey Bass