Over the last few years, we have invested a significant amount of time in developing a knowledge-rich curriculum to give our pupils access to the very best curriculum content. This ensures that pupils secure a solid base to build on as they move through school and prepare them for future life.
Our Castle Hill curriculum is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base and an extensive understanding of the world. The curriculum promotes long-term learning and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more. As pupils learn the content of the curriculum they are making progress. We have developed a curriculum built on current research regarding how memory works to ensure that children not only have access to 'the best that has been thought and said' but are taught this in a way that ensures children can remember the curriculum content in future years.
At Castle Hill Primary we believe in giving our children broad, balanced and meaningful learning experiences to build essential foundations and prepare them for future life. We strive to make our curriculum creative, engaging and fun for all, to build on the variable starting points that our children have when they enter school.
We use a topic-based approach, with topics designed to incorporate specific National Curriculum subjects and make strong links between them for the benefit of our learners. Learning takes place beyond the classroom through visits to places of interest to enrich our curriculum.
We make use of knowledge organisers to ensure children know exactly which information is expected to be learned over the course of their topic in a particular subject. These knowledge organisers are sent home each half term to indicate to parents and pupils which parts must be committed to memory. One of the central aims of the curriculum is to ensure that our pupils are both "interesting and interested". We want them to be 'interesting' to talk to, because they know a great deal about the world and 'interested' in finding out more. We believe that knowledge breeds curiosity - as pupils learn more about the world they become more curious. It is very difficult to be curious about something that you don't know anything about. We understand that knowledge is 'sticky', in other words, the more pupils know, the easier it is for them to know more. As a result, we carefully check and activate prior knowledge to ensure our pupils are able to understand and remember new things they are learning. This is why we place particular emphasis on children knowing by heart and building webs of knowledge as they progress through the curriculum.
Our knowledge -rich curriculum is built on the following five principles -
1. 'Key knowledge' is at the heart of the curriculum
This means that pupils learn knowledge which empowers them to not only understand the world around them but to understand how each subject discipline works in order to extend this knowledge of the world.
2. Knowledge is specified in fine detail
This means that we set out very precisely what pupils will know and be able to do in each subject. This means that we don't leave anything to chance. If we want pupils to know a specific piece of knowledge we specify when and how this is learned over time.
3. Knowledge is acquired in long-term memory
This means that we expect all pupils to remember their learning into the future. We have planned the curriculum so that there are chances for pupils to review what they have already learned and secure it in their memories.
4. Knowledge is carefully sequenced over time
This means that we have thought carefully about the order to learn new curriculum content in. We have planned the curriculum so that each unit of work in a subject build directly on what has been learned before. This helps pupils understand and remember their learning more effectively.
5. Knowledge is organised into subject disciplines and is derived from discourse within subject communities
This means that from KS1 we teach individual subjects such as History, Geography, Science, Design and Technology, Art and Language etc. We treat each subject separately so that pupils have a clear understanding of what is important about each subject and that their knowledge and skills progress systematically over time in each area of the curriculum. We work closely with subject experts and subject associations to ensure that what we choose to include in our curriculum is the very best that it can be.
Early Years Foundation Stage- Intent
At Castle Hill Primary School we believe that children in the EYFS need to experience a wide variety of first hand, practical learning opportunities to enable them to develop to their full potential. We aim to provide a secure, enjoyable and caring educational environment where each child feels valued. We work hard to create continuity between Nursery and our Reception class so that children can build on skills already developed and follow routines that flow with their needs and with which they feel safe and confident throughout their Early Years, in preparation for their future years in school.
There is a significant emphasis on developing children's ability to express themselves, communicate clearly and develop strong relationships. Coupled with focussed phonics teaching this allows children at the end of Reception to be ready to face the increased challenges of Year 1.
Our curriculum is planned following the guidance from the Department for Education "Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage", taking into account the children's needs and interests. Opportunities are provided for all children to meet the expectations laid out in the document "Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage". This non-statutory guidance material supports practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements for EYFS.
Teaching of Phonics
Throughout Reception and Key Stage One your child will be taught phonics, reading and writing through the highly successful Read Write Inc programme. Further details can be found by clicking the link below.
Our Curriculum Overviews
Year 1 Knowledge Organisers
Year 2 Knowledge Organisers
Year 3 Knowledge Organisers
Year 4 Knowledge Organisers
Year 5 Knowledge Organisers
Year 6 Knowledge Organisers
If you would like any further information about our curriculum offer, please do not hesitate to contact school.