Our world is ever changing, the pressures on our environment are evidently multiplying and technology is constantly evolving. Our children are used to hearing about how we are living in unprecedented times. Now more than ever, our children need to know that their primary education is equipping them with the essential knowledge (know of) and the ‘know how’ to thrive in the next stages of their education and beyond. We want our children to be aspirational, creative, kind and responsible lifelong learners.
Our curriculum is designed to allow our children to be independent in their approach as they actively ‘look into’ rather than simply ‘learn about’ an area. Our children become historians rather than simply learning about history.
Our aim is for children to know more, be able to do more and be able to make more plausible conceptual connections across the different states of being. Our intention is for our enquiry curriculum and pedagogy to be rooted in an evidence-based approach to cognitive development, language development and emotional literacy.
Our school is in the early stages of implementing a local, bespoke enquiry curriculum. “Curious City” provides us with a carefully constructed and progressive framework, established upon cognitive development theory. The framework guides our teachers to create contextually meaningful enquiry-led experiences. This enquiry-led approach is enabling our school to create a bespoke, locally focused curriculum that goes beyond the National Curriculum 2014.
These carefully planned enquiries, matched to cognitive development, expose learners to the wider world in carefully planned stages. We endeavour to draw upon local people, places and stories to ensure meaningful connections can be made. This ensures our pupils are truly inspired by the knowledge gained and approach used.
Our enquiries are driven by an essential question/challenge. The purpose is to guide learners through a scaffolded process. They can be shaped over time, remaining true to the essential substantive knowledge within each enquiry while being responsive to the children’s needs and curiosity. Our curriculum map, over the course of a year, allows each enquiry to be approached through a different lens. By doing this, the curriculum ensures a balance of perspectives are provided and the purpose of each enquiry is clear.
The seven themes
enable learners to become...
Geographers • Scientists • Musicians • Authors • Philosophers • Mathematicians • Artists • Engineers • Historians • Linguists • Athletes
We are part of a family of curious, enquiry-led settings within Pickwick Academy Trust and aim to collaborate regularly at teacher and leader level to develop our curriculum.
National Curriculum subject objectives from Science, History, Geography, Art & Design, Design and Technology, Music are woven throughout enquiries as seen on the Whole School Enquiry Overview. Some subjects (renamed using the States of Being) are taught discreetly, such as Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Religious Education (Discovery RE) PSHE and SMSC (Jigsaw). Where possible links are made, but more often than not, they are stand-alone experiences.
States of Being
States of Being enable learners to focus on and/or combine powerful knowledge in different enquiries. Each knowledge-engaged state symbolises an aspect of the curriculum, helping learners to master both the ‘know of’ and ‘know how’ of a subject, not just remember it. For instance, we want our learners to be engineers, not just learn about design.
The process of enquiry, as well as final outcomes, is represented within class floor books; the journey of learning. In classrooms and in corridors enquiry working walls demonstrate the learning journey; States of Being characters feature in classroom displays, books and visual timetables as well as our website and newsletters. Our learners will be able to talk about the enquiry approach earnestly. We know that in time, our enquiry approach will affect our reading and writing outcomes as the contexts and purpose for being an Author, for instance, become stronger and stronger.