AIM: To provide a World Class Education at N.C.J.S.
Identified areas of need:
Our curriculum addresses two areas of need for our Newhall children (closing the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged in mind).
According to The Matthew Effect (Robert K Merton 1968)- the more you know the more you can learn. Through increased real-life experiences, strategically planned into the curriculum, children will be exposed to new concepts, scenarios, environments, people, ideas and artefacts. Children will then be able to make cognitive links to prior knowledge and build upon this to move from novice to expert learners.
According to Cognitive Load Theory (EEF Meta-cognition and Self-Regulation Learning Guidance Report) activating prior knowledge creates a platform to build upon. It enables children to transfer information from working memory to long term memory. ‘If nothing in the long term memory has been altered, nothing has been learned’. Sweller et al (2011).
Typical 5 year old disadvantaged children have acquired 2/3 less vocabulary than peers; 500 v 1500 (Wyndham Research School- Leading Learning programme 2019). Statistically, this gap continues to widen. A large proportion of our school are within this category. Language is key to all learning and is planned for in advance and progressive over time; incorporating tiered vocabulary (Isabel Beck 2002). This is built on by real-life experiences and our learning culture of managing intrinsic (essential) and maximising germaine (relevant) load. ‘Classroom strategies shown to be effective for one ethnic or socio-economic group tend also to be effective for others.’ Sharples, J. Slavin, R. Chamber ,B & Sharp, C (2011). To access the curriculum and not be disadvantaged for life (Ofsted 2019): exposure, discussion and mastery of reading is essential.
In order for our children to learn best progressing from novice to expert our curriculum is designed around Metacognition and Self-regulated Learning following the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) summary of recommendations. Skills acquired, best prepare them for life-long learning.
*a, b and c all interact with each other.
At Newhall Community Junior School the curriculum is implemented using the diagram above:
A: Adults must be clear about the content and the prior knowledge that a child should have to access this new learning.
B: Adults must model their own thinking to help pupils develop their meta-cognitive and cognitive skills.
1: By activating prior knowledge through real-life experience, language and reading, children will be able to make cognitive links. Activities should ‘drip feed’ intrinsic load to maximise germane load.
2: This is what the children will learn. This is direct teaching.
3: Modelling strategy and questioning from teacher to children, children to teacher, children to children (peer collaboration).
4: Memorisation is designed to embed learning from working memory to long term. For example: chunking, repetition, chanting, LCWC, make a link to prior knowledge.
5: Practice. It is essential that content vs purpose is equally balanced with an appropriate level of challenge, avoiding cognitive overload. When learning new content ensure that children have mastery of the recording style.
6: Apply on own. Children need to rehearse the skill to learn the content.
7: Reflect. Children have the time to monitor their learning and assess if it was a successful strategy. Elaboration opportunities present themselves throughout the learning journey; children are able to explain something learned to others (Bisra et al 2018).
To inform future planning a ‘gap analysis’ is populated from core formative data. This is collected 3 times a year. This can be ‘drip fed’ into the wider curriculum.
The wider curriculum is assessed at the end of each Learning Journey using Target Tracker as an assessment tool. This is to review the child’s mastery of content and our fantastic finales encourage elaboration.
In all lessons, and whenever possible, teacher feedback is to be given to children during the lesson to have an immediate impact on learning- instant feedback. This is in the form of verbal and written communication.
When a Newhall Junior child moves onto Key Stage 3 they will be: