Curriculum Overview

A knowledge based curriculum

We see knowledge as the facts, information and skills acquired through experience and education to be able to use in everyday life and to ensure we use these to develop future learning and understanding.

There is no one set teaching style and likewise there shouldn't be one set curriculum style. Facts and skills - the horse and cart or egg and chicken. In fact we believe that sometimes facts should be taught first in order to develop skills e.g. times tables facts then problem solving maths, sometimes skills first, e.g. research skills which can then be used to find and learn facts. Sometimes facts and skills can be taught side by side e.g. being able to use an atlas or globe to know, identify and find capital cities or human and physical features.

At Nicol Mere we pride ourselves on providing the right curriculum for our children, for all subjects.

We are determined that every child has the best positive start in life we therefore realise the importance of having a rich curriculum that allows our children to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to achieve this. 

            Learning is a passport to life…enjoy!

We pride ourselves on our academic achievements and the progress made by our children; however, we also realise the importance of having the right curriculum for our children.

Our curriculum is tailored around the children’s abilities and interests.  We encourage the children to be proud of their local environment and its history.  Because of this all our children have the opportunity to learn about this.

From our monitoring and evaluating the following points were identified.

  1. Creating a more skill progressive curriculum within the already broad and balanced curriculum, but with very clear information that needs to complement the skills.
  2. Personal well-being.

How did we design our curriculum?

  • reflecting on our school values, our social and geographical context, pedagogy, and our children’s needs
  • deciding on our children’s enrichment and enticement
  • focusing on skill progression and knowledge information
  • reflecting on our choices and checking coverage
  • monitoring
  • national institutions e.g. Ofsted guidance on the curriculum

The development of the curriculum has played a crucial part in developing the roles of middle leaders as subject champions.

  • developing subject leaders
  • making subjects more high profile
  • monitoring and evaluation of the subject
  • standards high levels – 3 Rs as a building block for core and all subjects
  • leading from the middle

A big feature of our curriculum is the progression of skills complemented by knowledge facts.   See skills progression documents.

All subjects are assessed based on the content taught and also the skills covered.  As the skills taught in each year are progressive and build upon each other, information is passed up to each teacher and used to inform planning and to support the next steps in each child’s learning journey.

SMSC is embedded in all aspects of our school life, from individual lessons to extra-curricular activities and assemblies.  We have been working hard to build on this to also further develop our curriculum around our children’s personal well-being. Understanding our ever fast changing world, we identified the need to build on the curriculum that supports the personal welfare and safety of our children.

We understand the importance of promoting British Values and we see the clear link between those and our own school values which we live every day in all we do:

  • making more high profile
  • modelling and interaction with others
  • direct and indirect teaching
  • assemblies

Throughout the year, we offer the chance for our parents to find out more about the curriculum. We offer:

  • At the beginning of every school year, each class holds a "meet the teacher" session, where information about the curriculum is discussed.
  • Every term, all parents receive a curriculum newsletter explaining what their child will be taught and information about visits / visitors.
  • We hold 2 parents evenings a year. During this time childrens' progress on the new curriculum is discussed.
  • We regularly hold parent workshops which are linked to our curriculum.
  • If any parents wish to find out any more information they are advised to speak to the class teacher.
  • Non-negotiable key learning facts (not pub-quiz)

Throughout the academic year 2018-19 we will be reviewing, amending and updating our vision for the curriculum and the impact it will have on our pupils. In September 2019, Ofsted will have a new inspection framework which will put even more emphasis on the need to have an outstanding school curriculum. During this school year, we will further clarify the Intent / Implementation / Impact of our curriculum. We will strive to maintain high academic standards in the 3 R's and this will be complemented with an enriched, broad, progressive and knowledge-based curriculum. Knowledge will make it easier for pupils to learn - "knowledge does not just fill buckets, it lights fires".