How is the curriculum organised at Kestrel Mead?
Our curriculum is taught in two parts: discrete and interleaved. The discreet element consists of French, religious education, PHSE and music being taught by expert cover teachers, who have a clear understanding of the progression of knowledge and skills across school.
The interleaved element of the curriculum combines the teaching of either history or geography with art and/or design and technology in each topic. Each topic has been assigned a ‘big question’ in order to maximise curiosity and exploration and sticky concepts have been linked to this question.
So what is interleaved learning? This is where concepts connected to the topic are revisited across each year group. By revisiting the concepts rather than the topics, we are able to embed knowledge and create connections with prior understanding, therefore making the learning sticky. In addition to this, the sticky words allow children to understand the importance of their learning in terms of their lives today and understand the moral aspects of this knowledge.
The concepts are organised within five key areas, which have been created in accordance to the values of our school. These are: British Values; Developing Character; Citizenship; Critical Thinking and Equality- UN Goals. Within each key area is a collection of specifically selected sticky words, which each topic is taught around, thus enabling the key area (or concept) to become sticky and memorable.
How was the sticky curriculum developed?
The development of the curriculum began with the creation of our Curriculum Ethos, which outlines our intentions for the overall curriculum. Our aim was to create an enriched and personalised curriculum, which combined enquiry-based learning with a knowledge-rich curriculum. Being part of the TMET Academy Trust, we also incorporated the TMET Primary Curriculum Intent into our Final Intent and Vision. From this we were able to create our intent followed how we planned to implement our vision.
The following Curriculum Presentation outlines how we gathered our thoughts and ideas whilst creating our intent and planning our implementation. As an outward looking school, we valued conversations with many schools outlined in the presentation and immersed ourselves with different theories and approaches. We finalised our approach in a personalised and informed manner.
What will my child learn in the sticky curriculum?
As mentioned previously, each topic across each year group has been assigned a ‘big question’ to match the content that is being taught. For an overview of the big questions, please see the link below.
Each big question is supported by five little questions which correspond to each key concept, allowing the main question to be critically analysed and answered. One little question is answered each week; by asking questions, it allows the children to apply their enquiry skills, whilst also enabling children to develop a deeper understanding about the topic they are learning and how it applies to life today.
At the beginning of each topic, children and parents will be given a knowledge organiser. This shows the big question, little questions and the sticky words for the topic. It also shows which history or geography objectives and which art and/or design objectives will be taught throughout the topic.
Each topic will begin with a small pre-learning task to assess the children’s prior knowledge about the big question they will be answering. This allows us to tailor the lessons to the needs of the children. At the end of each topic, children will answer the big question in a variety of ways throughout the year. These include: a debate; a campaign, practical activities, verbal performances and also written outcomes.
You can find the knowledge organizer that your child will be using for their current topic below:
Awe, Wonder and Reciprocity
Across the year, children will have the opportunity to experience a range of trips, visitors into school to enhance their learning and immersive learning lessons. We want to encourage the children to develop both their love of learning as well as their sense of curiosity. To help us to do that, we have invested in a subscription to Creative Learning Services, which means that we will have a selection of artefacts and books from time periods and countries, to help aid the children’s understanding. Each year group will also have a charity that they will either raise money for or work with in the community. This will be linked to their learning and will allow the children to also give back to the people in both our community and communities across the world. So far this year, Year 2 have worked with sheltered accommodation in the local area by delivering harvest parcels to the residents there and year 4 have completed a sponsored walk, with the proceeds going to Water Aid as part of their question ‘What’s happening to the world’s waters?’
This year, we have re-launched Golden Time as Friday Flair in KS2 in order to foster and develop the many talents of our children. The reason for this is to continue to develop the ‘whole child’. Autumn term focussed on improving confidence and voice. We had some wonderful clubs including: comedy club, singing club, dance club, poetry club, drama club, debate club, newsletter club, podcast club and campaign club, which led to our Friday Flair Showcase.
The spring term will focus on creativity, where children will be able to design and produce a piece of work over the course of the term. Teams will include: sewing, woodwork, paper craft, painting, drawing, cookery, animations and music. This will conclude in a Flair Fair, where children will be able to share their learning and creations through an exhibition. Summer term will be a ‘Get Active’ term, which will include a variety of sports such as rounders, yoga and football and we will celebrate the children’s successes with an amazing sports day at the end of the year.