Our Inspire Curriculum

We have made careful choices about the construction of our Inspire Curriculum and related pedagogy to ensure it is conducive to the learning process.

Our Inspire Curriculum:

As a staff team, we have spoken a great deal about the pedagogy choices that can be made by schools and teachers. Together, we have realised that there is benefit both in traditional and progressive teaching approaches. For this reason, our Inspire Curriculum is a framework for the skilled professional to work within. We have aligned evidence-based approaches to promote effective ways of working. However, every teacher retains the ability to think about and act on what is best for their class and individual pupils to maximise successful teaching and learning that achieves great outcomes for all.

Knowledge is vast. Despite our school motto being ‘make the impossible possible’ it is disappointingly just not possible to teach every piece of knowledge in the whole wide world throughout the primary phase. For this reason, we have made very careful choices around what knowledge must sit within our core curriculum and how we can signpost to even more beyond.

Big picture planning for knowledge

Our long-term plans for every national curriculum subject depict the substantive and disciplinary knowledge required to be taught in each subject throughout each phase of the curriculum. These forms of knowledge have been interwoven and are represented in our Inspire Curriculum as concepts. These concepts spiral vertically over time so that our pupils have the opportunity to revisit them at incremental levels of difficulty so that they can build their schema, make conceptual links and integrate prior knowledge with new learning each time the concept comes around again.

Crucially, our combined focus on substantive and disciplinary knowledge ensures that children not only gain deep knowledge but also become critical thinkers as the distinctive processes specific to a subject often create the conditions for investigation, practice and questioning of knowledge.

Substantive knowledge is the core factual knowledge that makes up a subject: the things that our pupils should know and be able to explain; the key ideas, concepts and facts. For example in music, this includes music notation, common chord structures and key genres, composers and compositions.

Disciplinary knowledge is the distinctive processes, sometimes referred to as skills, that are inherent in how a subject is studied, discussed and judged. For example in science, this includes undertaking experiments and making predictions that can be tested.

Detailed planning for knowledge

Our medium and short-term planning is precise and breaks down the substantive and disciplinary knowledge into the key facts all children should know, the skills that all children should be able to do and the experiences that are required for knowledge that can only be gained first hand. To achieve this, our teachers approach unit or topic planning by asking the following knowledge questions:

Declarative knowledge - what are the key facts that all children should know?

Procedural knowledge - what are the skills that all children should be able to do?

Experiential knowledge - what is the knowledge that can only be gained first hand by experiencing or doing certain activities?

Building rich schemas with a 3D topic approach

Through our discussions around the curriculum, we have identified that our team is skilled at enabling children to strengthen their knowledge and understanding by promoting opportunities for children to apply what they know in different contexts and make connections. For this reason, we proudly make links where appropriate between subjects through a topic-based approach. Topics pose big questions that invite the children to draw on knowledge across subject disciplines and concepts to provide comprehensive answers. This means children not only make vertical connections through their incremental learning in a subject but they also begin to draw connections horizontally across subjects and diagonally across subjects and year groups. This further adds to the rich web of their schema and promotes greater opportunities for children to know more and remember more!

Into the hinterland

From our big picture planning and detailed planning, we are conscious of the alternative choices around literary texts, case-studies, places, artists, historical figures and events, areas of science or musical genres that may have been chosen as part of the core content without our curriculum. Whilst they do not feature, they remain highly significant to the subjects and topics we teach. For this reason, we provide pupils with structured research tasks that require them to find out about areas of the related curriculum beyond the core.

Our teachers know that new learning is only successful when remembered. For this reason, they often provide opportunities for deliberate practice and retrieval by choosing to:

With learning set as our core business at Kelvedon St Mary’s, we go over and above to enable children to celebrate each stage of the learning process and showcase their knowledge. Whether through the spoken word, performance on the sports field or school stage, solving a maths problem, communicating results of an experiment or through a carefully crafted written piece our pupils build the confidence to communicate what they know and think. This approach builds tenacious learners, who are prepared for secondary school and beyond.

Year 1 handbook 2023/24

Year R handbook 2023/24