The Curriculum

Curriculum Statement

Intent

The breadth of our curriculum at Stocksbridge is designed with two goals in mind:

1) To give pupils appropriate experiences to develop as confident, responsible citizens who forge strong links with the community and their wider environment;

2) To provide a coherent, structured academic curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.

1. Appropriate experiences

We believe that through our immersive curriculum, evident in all our classrooms and by the out of school experiences our children are able to fully embrace all our learning areas with sustained enthusiasm and confidence. 

We also operate a badge system where our children can peruse their interests in the Great Outdoors and be assessed against criteria to earn a specific badge. Outdoor Chef and SJS Ready are just two of these such badges. 

2. A coherently planned academic curriculum 

Our curriculum is forged around the Curriculum Drivers of Community, Possibilities and The Environment. 

Community: Links between our community are vital and we pride ourselves in being a leading hub for the community in terms of events and visits. 

Possibilities: Possibilities are what we explain that each of our children has, a range of possibilities to achieve whatever they wish in the future, supported by a nurturing approach to help our students reach their aspirations. 

Environment: our unique but spacious outdoor area plus our close proximity to the Peak District offers us a great opportunity to promote environmental protection and conservation.  

Our academic curriculum uses the National Curriculum as the basis for content and expectations. In humanities, we have developed the Essentials Curriculum to guarantee depth and breadth of understanding, particularly in History and Geography.  Each year group has:

a) a clear list of what must be covered. (curriculum map)

b) the ‘threshold concepts’ pupils should understand. (Essentials Curriculum key objectives)

c) criteria for progression within the threshold concepts (Essentials Curriculum Milestones)

d) criteria for depth of understanding. (Basic, Advancing and Deep)

Working through threshold concepts, which are assessable via progress through two Milestones (Milestone 2 for Year Three and Four and Milestone 3 for years Five and Six), the content constantly builds upon and develops prior learning.  We expect pupils in year 1 of the milestone to develop a Basic (B) understanding of the concepts and an Advancing (A) or Deep (D) understanding in Year 2 of the milestone.

Implementation

Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:

1) learning is most effective when spaced rather than blocked.

2) Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention.

3) Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.

In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time. Some of our content is subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross-curricular approach. Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practise for previously learned content.

Impact

The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each Milestone, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it; some pupils have a greater depth of understanding. We assess carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum.


Supporting the Curriculum

Parents often ask how they can help their child at home.  To keep you up to date with your child's learning each term, we send home the ‘Curriculum News’ for each year group, which details the objectives that will be covered throughout each block of work.

Other ways of helping your child include:
  • Ensure that attendance at school is regular. 
  • Be aware of what he/she is learning. 
  • Take an interest in your son/daughter’s work and results. 
  • Stress the benefit of doing well at school. 
  • Try to give a feeling of ‘can do’ confidence. 
  • Help him/her to hold lengthy conversations to reflect on experience. 
  • Let your child see, if possible, you reading and writing. 
  • Try to have books around. 
  • … but most of all, talk to your child about school life! 
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