We believe our schools will nurture all individuals in their journey to achieve their full and unique potential. We are committed to developing a welcoming, safe and stimulating learning environment that will enable our pupils to become responsible citizens and lifelong learners.
|Respect||Engage perceptively with the world around us, showing understanding, treating people with dignity and celebrating diversity|
|Responsibility||Gain an appreciation and understanding of their role in our school, providing leadership opportunities, a sense of belonging and achievement|
|Honesty||Earn the trust, loyalty and confidence of others in our community and be true to our own feelings to strengthen our relationships with others|
|Resilience||Show very positive attitudes to our learning, recognising ‘failure’ as an opportunity to learn, always seeking to do our best and never giving up|
|Aspirations||Aiming high and challenging others and ourselves to be the best that we can be.|
Vision provides the avenue to take our lives wherever we want them to go. Vision reminds us that we are always capable of learning and growing into who we want to be. Live your Values!!
Our vision is to create excellence in education, which values and promotes the pursuit of lifelong learning. Children will be inspired, challenged and encouraged, through a stimulating, supporting and caring environment where all achievement is celebrated.
WNAT Curriculum Statement
The Vision behind the Knowledge Curriculum
The Knowledge Curriculum was introduced in September 2019 and is a bespoke innovative knowledge rich curriculum that encompasses the following subjects: Science, Geography, History, Art and Design and Technology.
It is a carefully sequenced knowledge rich curriculum which aims to promote excellent outcomes alongside developing pupils; resilience and confidence and overcome inequality of opportunity by inspiring pupils from Reception to Year 6.
Knowledge Curriculum is inspired from the work by E.D. Hirsch and is produced by a curriculum team consisting of West Norfolk Academies Trust leaders and teachers who hold subject specialism qualifications, including degrees in the subject areas.
The Knowledge Curriculum is produced by teachers for teachers.
An experienced Director of Primary Standards, who has revolutionised whole school curriculum, leads the Knowledge Curriculum team. To support the development of the curriculum the Knowledge team have worked in collaboration with other larger MATs. In addition to this, a Civitas Curriculum Advisor provides external quality assurance of the Knowledge Curriculum.
The Pedagogy that informed the vision
The National Curriculum 2014 encouraged schools to place more emphasis on teaching knowledge. Researchers such as E.D Hirsch and Bernstein have influenced how knowledge is considered in the curriculum.
As a Trust, we have asked the questions about what content should be taught, in what order, and also reflecting upon what children remember and how they remember it. Importantly, findings from cognitive science are beginning to influence practice in the classroom. The Knowledge Curriculum is the ‘perfect interruption’ (Bernstein,2000) between what is concrete in a child life and what is abstract. ‘This has to occur if pupils are to enter into the world of powerful knowledge’ (Young 2010) where they can ‘think the not yet thought’ (Bernstein 2000).
What is the Intent?
At The West Norfolk Academy Trust we offer an aspirational Curriculum which is built upon powerful knowledge. The intention of our Knowledge Curriculum is for pupils to have the requisite knowledge, skills and wider understanding to be successful, independent and motivated learners, in readiness for their next stage of education.
This enables pupils to retain high quality knowledge in their long term memory, knowledge that can be applied across the curriculum and from year to year. As a result, the working memory is able to deepen their critical thinking skills whilst learning new knowledge.
Our curriculum, which meets the National Curriculum, is tailored to meet individual needs and aspirations, ensuring all children are interested and motivated to learn. This methodology is underpinned by the Bloom’s Taxonomy theory which uses questioning to develop, secure and deepen understanding.
How is the Knowledge Curriculum implemented?
The Knowledge Curriculum is implemented by the class teachers following high quality short-term lesson plans that follow the knowledge outcomes set in the year overview. These short-term lesson plans are supported by knowledge organisers, which are multi-purpose. They are shared with the pupils at the beginning of each unit, sent home and used as a constant resource throughout. The teachers use them as a reference tool as to the essential knowledge the pupils must learn.
Lessons ensure that teachers present the subject matter clearly, develop a broad and rich vocabulary and promote appropriate discussion about the subject matter being taught. The vocabulary content of Knowledge Curriculum is taught with the purpose of addressing the ‘word gap’.
Pupils’ books will demonstrate pupils of all ages study a range of subjects in depth, enabling them to make progress and build up their knowledge and understanding of key concepts.
Pupils are assessed in a multi-faceted manner:
- Application of vocabulary, both within lessons and through written work.
- Skilful questions during all lessons are a vital aspect of assessment for learning. This ensures knowledge has been retained lesson by lesson in order to impact the long term memory.
- Presentations of work links learning to prior learning.
- Key pieces of work are assessed to show retained knowledge
What is the intended impact?
Children’s attainment in core and foundation subjects will be in line with, or exceeding National expectations, due to;
- Improvement in pupils’ long-term memory through high quality knowledge across a wide range of subjects.
- Enhanced pupils’ writing outcomes in all areas of the curriculum.
- Significantly reduced the word deficit in the most disadvantaged communities.
- Providing the foundation and direction of a coherent, cumulative and content-rich curriculum.
- A broad and deep comprehensive curriculum helps pupils to achieve high literacy and academic success.
- Providing teachers with the relevant subject knowledge, enabling them to think more creatively about teaching.
- Creating a common ground for communication, in the classroom and beyond.
The 3 year vision plan:
Our School's Knowledge Based Curriculum
Our Curriculum Intent
A knowledge based curriculum provision at West Lynn reflects our local community but also expands upon and broadens our rural horizons. It is meaningful and diverse, promoting high aspirations, alongside a culture of high expectations. Learning opportunities promote a love of learning, curiosity and language development.
This ensures that throughout the school, skills and knowledge are taught and remembered, so that they can make links and connections between learning. Our curriculum gives all children the opportunity to become confident and successful citizens, as well as lifelong learners. The West Lynn Curriculum Tree illustrates the purpose and intent of our curriculum. The tree displays how the school’s values are at the root of all learning, ensuring that our children have a strong moral purpose and believe in themselves, regardless of their starting points. This is followed by the trunk of the tree, which embeds the basic skills.
From the root, our curriculum tree provides diversity via the many branches of opportunity: developing knowledge and understanding in different subject areas. This part of our curriculum has been created and developed by our teachers and other colleagues influenced through pilot work with West London Free School. As a result, teachers are empowered and the curriculum feels personal and authentic.
The Curriculum illustrates clear progression and building on prior skills and knowledge. Finally, to truly survive and flourish in modern day Britain, in particular our local community, our curriculum requires a regular supply of innovative experiences, to promote social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning (See our Enrichment Map- Our Cultural Capital). These projects are planned at appropriate times throughout the school year and designed with flexibility to increase independence, resilience and creativity as required.
We know that that with the right support, learning can be embedded at home, as well as from wider community experiences, so we ensure that parents and carers have opportunities to be fully involved in their child’s learning. Parents and other stakeholders are kept fully informed about the curriculum using newsletters, knowledge organisers, the website, parent workshops.
Monitoring and evaluation is an integral part of our process to ensure children learn and remember more over time. Staff are supported with high quality training and they show commitment to the ongoing development of their own knowledge and skills. This builds a culture of lifelong learning.
We are starting our journey to embed the new curriculum. We are reviewing our sequential long term and mid-term plans to ensure content is progressive. In addition, there are detailed lesson plans which specify what we must know and the vocabulary we are using. These plans are delivered through structured and pacey lessons which adhere to our Teaching and Learning Policy, EYFS Policy and Live Marking Policy to increase progress and teacher access for all. Here are some examples of the Year One Geography content we have designed and are delivering from Autumn 2019. Knowledge organisers detail essential facts and vocabulary definitions for every half term. These will be shared with families to share and embed the learning. Knowing things becomes exciting! Debating the knowledge leads to additional skills for later success in life.
Every Child A Reader
In addition, we already know that strong engagement and instruction in reading is important to unlock children's potential. We want every child to feel successful - to be a reader. So we use systematic phonic instruction from day one alongside developing reading for pleasure. Our phonics teaching follows the Read,Write Inc programme of synthetic phonics teaching. We have a book banded system for supporting the teaching of reading, which includes a range of published schemed books ( Read,Write Inc, Phonics Bug, Collins Big Cat, and Oxford Reading Tree). Children have daily reading sessions in their class to build on early reading comprehension and phonics skills. We also use Talk For Writing and Reading to increase vocabulary and memory skills that influence speaking, confidence, reading and writing. A Poetry spine compliments our English Curriculum.
In addition are building an enrichment map to structure exceptional opportunities for all children in our Trust and Schools. We passionately want every child to gain experiences to help them achieve and grow. Attitudes and confidence make a real difference to our lives and we believe that the stepping stones of early education and family life are vital in promoting well being. Here are some examples of the design of our enrichment program.
Our school community, particularly our children are getting excited about the Knowledge Curriculum. Children want to know more, speak confidently and be able to apply what they know to the life they lead in order to make positive contributions to society. In all subjects we use ongoing assessment to recognise gaps in subject knowledge, so we can adjust our teaching and address misconceptions. Live marking is used in every lesson. This has an immediate impact on progress. We are developing our own assessment and exemplification materials for foundation subjects to make sure we have high and appropriate expectations for all subjects. We are looking at key skills for the subject such as drawing, map mapping or investigations and making progression folders with samples of work from each year group. We agree our standards with other schools in our Trust and Cluster at foundation moderation meetings.
The National Curriculum
Curriculum requirements for all subjects are delivered through the Primary National Curriculum (2014).
We value the important role The Early Years Foundation Stage plays in securing foundations for the future learning and development. Working alongside parents, carers and the community, setting out to promote and nurture moral values within a happy, secure and stimulating environment where everyone is, and feels, valued. Working within the 4 principles -
- A Unique Child.
- Positive Relationships.
- Enabling Environments.
- Learning and Development.
Maths is taught on a daily basis. We aim to ensure that all our pupils are confident with all aspects of maths. Significant importance is placed on developing the ability to use maths in everyday situations. Children are taught to use and apply mental and practical strategies to solve problems that they may face in day-to-day life. We aim to make maths as practical and fun as possible, using it in other areas of the curriculum as appropriate, especially in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
In daily lessons children are taught skills in reading and writing through a range of planned activities. We scaffold activities for the less able and use Step for Depth to extend the more able pupils. Skills and techniques are demonstrated and shared by the teacher through role modelling, shared class work, group and individual activities. Regular guided group work in reading and writing is led by the teacher or another adult in the classroom, including the use of the Read Write Inc programme in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Speaking and listening skills are taught through circle time activities and developed across the curriculum. The school teaches phonics through the RWI.
Essentially science is about exploring, investigating and discovering things to gain knowledge and understanding about the world we live in. We aim to provide children with the skills needed to investigate and explore ideas independently. As science is such a practical subject it is taught using a hands-on approach wherever possible. Consequently we have built up a full range of equipment and resources for children to use. Science is taught through as a discrete subject every week and activities make the subject more meaningful.
Please click here to view our subject overviews
Extra Curricular Opportunities
A number of clubs are held each week to allow children to follow particular interests and develop skills, including Football, Music and Art. Voluntary activities are an important part of school life and encourage involvement and commitment on the part of children, staff and parents. All classes take part in regular curriculum linked school trips. Full risk assessments are carried out for all school trips and visits – and only take place when approved by the Headteacher and the Local Authority. Trained first aiders are always in attendance on all school trips and visits.
How do I find out more information about what my child will be learning?
Every term, teachers send out curriculum letters and knowledge organisers, explaining what children will be learning about during this period. If you require more detail, please make an appointment to speak to your child's class teacher who will be happy to supply you with further information.
You can also find out more information by clicking on the individual class tabs opposite.