Grand Union Partnership Curriculum Principles
When we consider the planning, delivery and outcomes linked to the curriculum offered in each school in the Trust we have expectations of the answers that each school provides to the following key questions:
Is the curriculum ambitious?
We assess the ambition of the curriculum by reviewing the knowledge and skills that the curriculum seeks to develop and the wider experiences that children have the opportunity to access and learn from. Our baseline expectation is that the knowledge and skills targeted for development in each phase, for both core and foundation subjects, covers the national curriculum. Ambition, beyond the skills outlined within the national curriculum, will be shaped by the individual context of each school.
The wider experiences that enrich the curriculum such as trips, residentials, visits from external guests and clubs that children can take part in, all serve to promote the development of a wider cultural capital. Our commitment to knowledge acquisition, skills development and creating memorable wider learning experiences encourage high aspirations for children at each of our schools.
Is the curriculum broad based?
We assess the breadth of the curriculum by considering the knowledge content that our schools plan and deliver. We want each of our schools to enable children to engage with a rich knowledge base across core and foundation subjects. Any steps taken by a school to narrow the curriculum will be scrutinised and only supported in a context where the interests of the children are clearly being served by such a decision in the short term. We consider the degree to which the curriculum in each of our schools is sufficiently knowledge rich and sequenced in a way that helps children to retain their learning over time, enabling them to prosper in the ever changing world in which we live.
Is the curriculum progressive?
We review the sequencing of knowledge acquisition and skills development to check that there is a logical flow to the way in which it is delivered. We want all of our children to access cohesive learning journeys that build upon prior learning experiences and avoid the unproductive repetition of content. This sequencing, alongside regular opportunities for children to recall prior learning through a range of formative assessment activities, will enable children to retain learning in their long term memory.
Is the curriculum accessible for all?
We explore how teachers deliver the curriculum in ways that enable all children attending each of our schools to access it and make progress relative to their starting points. We consider the strategies that our schools use to enable the most disadvantaged children and those with SEND to engage with the curriculum. Where adaptations are made we seek to ensure that the thinking behind them is clearly reasoned.
Is the curriculum evolving?
We believe that a great curriculum is much more than a document to be read, it is about a culture that pervades a school. A great curriculum flows from teachers and wider staff considering how they design and deliver learning for children in a way that stimulates, challenges and promotes progress and a love of learning. This is a dynamic process that, at its best, provides a way of channelling the creativity of staff to deliver a coherent set of learning experiences for children. By reflecting on how children engage with the planned curriculum and the outcomes that children achieve teachers will continue to adapt it.
Does the curriculum support children to be secondary ready?
It is our responsibility to prepare each child in our schools to be emotionally, socially and academically ready for secondary school. Each year that a child experiences in our schools should help them to make progress towards this ultimate goal. Our ability to understand the progress that each child makes and work with them to effectively transition into each new year of their education and development is key. Whilst SATs can provide a means of judging academic progress and attainment in core subjects, we aspire for the children in our schools to develop as rounded individuals. As a Trust we are committed to articulating the progress that children across our schools make with respect to these wider themes.