Our curriculum is knowledge-rich and seeks to liberate and advance the minds of our students so that they can enjoy the space to reason and debate developing the qualities of scepticism, tolerance and critical thinking. Our curriculum seeks to bolster the school values of aspiration, endeavour, participation, creativity and respect.
Knowledge provides a driving, underpinning philosophy to our curriculum. The grammar (foundational knowledge) of all subjects is given a high status. While the traditions of subject areas are respected there is also an acceptance that requisite knowledge should also acknowledge the best of modern and current thought and understanding. Acquiring knowledge is seen as an end itself as well as creating the foundations for the development of generic and subject-specific skills and experiences. The acquisition of core knowledge or cultural capital is empowering as well as facilitating to the development of desirable skills, attributes and experiences.
Each subject provides statements at every stage to detail the knowledge that needs to be learned. This body of knowledge needs to go beyond vaguely remembered knowledge encounters and, as such, should be taught to be remembered. We therefore embrace learning from cognitive science about memory and retrieval and related assessment and feedback practice.
The roots of a successful curriculum lie in establishing the conditions for learning where we acknowledge the importance of attitudes and habits for excellence, relationships and behaviours and effective curriculum planning – ‘ignite a lifelong passion for learning’.
Building the knowledge structure utilises explanation, modelling, practice, questioning, feedback and assessment to ensure identified subject knowledge is taught and learned – ‘discover and develop potential’.
The foundations of a knowledge-rich curriculum then allow us to explore the possibilities which allow students to broaden their experiences and extend their capabilities through projects and hands-on learning including the opportunity to develop skills associated with the dialectic (debate, authentic experiences, experimentation, enquiry, analysis, problem-solving) and the rhetoric (communication skills, performance, show-casing) – ‘flourish in an ever-changing world’.
Oliver Price, Deputy Headteacher: Curriculum