Curriculum intent, implementation and impact
What do we want for our pupils?
We are committed to delivering a curriculum that inspires and challenges all our children so that they will leave Queensgate as knowledgeable, lifelong learners. We know that in order to achieve this, our children need to be happy, safe and inspired to learn during their time at school with us.
- Cohesively covers all the statutory requirements of the EYFS and National Curriculum.
- Has been carefully designed to meet the learning needs of all our children, including those with SEND.
- Is carefully sequenced and builds upon the prior knowledge, understanding and skills of our children.This develops long term knowledge and skills that can be applied across the curriculum.
- Prioritises all subject areas, in order that children can make links between subjects and in different contexts.
- Embraces the cultural heritage of our local area and develops links with the wider, global community.
- Provides a variety of wide-ranging opportunities, visitors and experiences to develop transferable skills both within the curriculum and beyond.
How have we organised our curriculum?
- We have carefully designed our curriculum to meet the needs of all of our children. In order to do this, we have scrutinised the National Curriculum, in addition to identifying what else we want our children to know by the time they leave us aged eleven. These two elements have been woven together into a progression of knowledge-based learning for each year group. There are planned and explicit links between year groups and different subject areas. This ensures that our children develop well-organised and connected knowledge across a range of subjects. Our curriculum promotes long-term learning which we believe means knowing more, and remembering more; using this knowledge with increasing fluency and independence.
- The principals of cognitive science are incorporated into our Queensgate Teaching Cycle. All our lessons follow a “retrieve, model, practise, apply, deepen, reflect” (see the link at the bottom of this page). This structure allows the children to commit knowledge to their long-term memory. We are focussed on the absolute belief that in almost all circumstances, every child can achieve and we plan their learning accordingly. Therefore, our curriculum is systematic, content is introduced in a logical order, building on what our children already know.
- Our experienced and expert Subject Leaders have carefully identified the key knowledge for each subject in each year group to ensure that learning builds systematically upon identified prior knowledge. Key vocabulary and links to future learning have also been identified in each subject area in each year group.
- Our curriculum is inclusive. Our Resource pupils follow an adapted curriculum and targets. Depending on the needs of the children, learning might take place within the mainstream classroom alongside their peers, in our specialist resource base or mostly commonly a combination of the two.
- Reading is at the centre of our curriculum. Everything else depends on a child’s ability to read, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want all children to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
- Quality texts have been carefully selected to support EYFS topics as well as each topic in Year 1- 6. These quality texts support the English writing curriculum and wider curriculum, making learning meaningful and allow objectives in English and history/geography/science to be taught efficiently and in context. These are used to hook and engage learning across different subjects and allow our children to build up a wealth of knowledge and vocabulary relating to the topic. In addition to ensuring children experience vocabulary during reading quality texts, planning overviews in all subject areas identify the key vocabulary that will be taught.
- Children are given opportunities to learn in many different ways: with their weekly talk partner, in a group, independently or as a class. Learning is a collaborative experience in which everyone is supported. They engage very well with their peers and staff and this ensures that all children can access and make progress through our teaching.
- Whole class and teacher led learning is a regular feature of our lessons. Teachers’ explanations are clear and supported by their deep subject knowledge.
- There is a History or Geography focus for the term (Y1-Y6) and subject leaders have specified what we want our children to know in their subject area, within that topic. Subjects are taught discretely within the topic so that children can develop a high level of subject specific knowledge. As the learning is spaced over time, we provide regular opportunities/ tasks for the children to retrieve prior knowledge. If they have retained this knowledge, the knowledge has “stuck” and deep learning has taken place.
- During lessons, teachers assess whether pupils have grasped the key knowledge from the lesson and are quick to identify any misconceptions or gaps in the children’s knowledge. We provide purposeful, in the moment, feedback wherever possible and ensure that children have the time and support to act upon the feedback given.
- Visits and visitors enhance and bring to life the teaching of the Foundation Stage and National Curriculum through first-hand experiences which enrich the understanding of, empathy with and enjoyment of the curriculum. Visitors, such as: authors, poets, artists, musicians and historians frequently form part of our learning.
How do we know the impact of our curriculum?
- Through a planned programme of assessment, monitoring and evaluation; teachers, subject leaders and senior leadership are able to determine the impact of our curriculum and to adapt our planning and interventions to help provide the best possible support and outcomes for all our children.
- Having high aspirations for our learners has ensured that the school has a strong track record of ensuring that pupils make very good progress from their starting points, fulfil their potential and go on to secure outcomes that prepare them well to leave Queensgate as confident, independent and resilient life-long learners.
- Our curriculum equips our children effectively not only in the measured outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics but in broader outcomes that have a significant bearing on their future success in life. In our most recent Parent Survey (July 2022), over 94% agreed that their “child does well at this school” and “the school supports my child's wider development.”