THE CLAVERING CURRICULUM
'A CURRICULUM OF BIG IDEAS'
At Clavering Primary School, we want our children to get off to an excellent start on their educational journey, safe in the knowledge that our they will leave Clavering with a sense of belonging to a tight knit community – the Clavering Family – where they have acquired the knowledge, skills and personal qualities to be successful lifelong learners and citizens of the world.
At Clavering we believe in a curriculum of ‘Big Ideas’. It is vital that the knowledge and skills our children learn are co-ordinated and coherent. In order to achieve this in our curriculum, teachers have identified the key concepts or overarching ideas within each subject. In order that children can access them, we call these the ‘Big Ideas’. Pupils’ intellectual development and knowledge-retention is supported by structuring learning according to these few carefully selected ‘Big Ideas’ and returning to them frequently, giving context and familiar language on which to build new learning. It is essential that these ‘Big Ideas’ are continually returned to and reinforced in order to create an organised, easily-understood and progressive structure of learning. This principle is about making connections and constant reference to a bigger picture. Future learning, authentic cross-curricular understanding and the detail of deeper learning take place within this coherent structure.
Alongside these big ideas, the knowledge and concepts children acquire through our curriculum must be powerful and planned in a systematic way. Teachers must constantly question the purpose and value of what they are teaching and how learning is structured and reinforced through the accumulation of related concepts. The more children know, the more they can build on this foundation with future learning. The acquisition of skills is also crucial in this as any body of knowledge is only useful if it can be applied effectively in different situations. Our curriculum aims to provide both knowledge and key skills and our teachers plan consciously how these aspects work together to aid children’s learning. These are also clearly exemplified in our curriculum resources.
In order for pupils to access learning in any subject, they must be taught the correct technical vocabulary, allowing them to understand, analyse and communicate. At Clavering teachers plan when language and key terms will be introduced, explained and taught explicitly. Curriculum maps show how this technical language is then revisited and reinforced regularly. Similarly, the ability to read fluently and understand a range of texts is essential for all future learning. Therefore, an emphasis on reading for both pleasure and information underpins the whole curriculum.
‘Pupils’ outcomes overall are good, and the proportion of pupils achieving at the expected standard is consistently above the national average.’ (Ofsted)