Our Curriculum Intent
At Ebbsfleet Green, we believe that our children are entitled to an education that equips them with the knowledge, skills and values they need to embrace the opportunities and challenges they encounter in the wider world. Our intent is to prepare our children for lifelong learning, providing learning experiences which promote confident, self-motivated learners. Through our curriculum, we foster our children’s understanding of themselves and how they connect to the world, encouraging curiosity and a passion to learn; promote a ‘go-for-it’ attitude to learning so that our children enjoy embracing new challenges and possibilities, encouraging them to excel; enable our children to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills as independent thinkers and questioners, fostering the foundations for lifelong learning; and deepen our children’s values, ensuring they take responsibility for themselves and their actions, are respectful and develop resilience.
Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for coverage and we have extended our offer past this through our entrepreneurial curriculum and Big Outcomes which develop children’s 6Cs (collaboration, communication, citizenship, character, critical thinking and creativity) and cultural capital.
We have a seven-year progressive curriculum which is core concepts focused, spiralised and contextualised and embodies what we know about cognition and memory.
Our Curriculum at Ebbsfleet Green: Speaking and Listening
Our curriculum is underpinned by language. For our children’s development across the whole curriculum - cognitively, socially and linguistically, they must be confident communicators. Our children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the interactions they have with their adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial to their development, supporting them to become confident in using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Spoken language underpins the development of our children’s reading and writing. By learning to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication, our children become fluent speakers, readers and writers. Our children are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and to develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This enables them to clarify their thinking and organise their ideas.
Oracy is at the heart of our provision. Through talk, our children develop their thinking; their ideas become concrete. By giving opportunities to talk, we promote curiosity; they want to explore what might be happening, has happened or is going to happen and discuss what they think. By having their voices heard, our children become confident: they recognise that their individual ideas matter and that they can be respectfully challenged and affirmed.
High-quality listening is fundamental; our children are listeners and they are also listened to. By listening to others’ ideas, our children expand their own knowledge and understanding whilst recognising the importance of our school values. Professional listening is ingrained in our practice: when our children talk, they are listened to; their ideas are expanded on, probed and challenged as we engage in creating cognitively challenging dialogue. Our children hear high-quality texts being read aloud which exposes them to language and terminology that they are not likely to encounter in everyday life. Reading high-quality texts aloud opens up new knowledge and vocabulary for our children.
Our Curriculum at Ebbsfleet Green: Interconnected, Knowledge Focused, Spiralised and ContextualisedAt Ebbsfleet Green, we have a deliberately designed interconnected curriculum which is core concepts focused, spiralled and contextualised; it embodies what we know about cognition and memory. We have adopted this curriculum for the following reasons:
- Interconnection enables links between some subjects creating a web of knowledge so that children can make sense of their learning. This supports interweaving between subjects and elaboration. Elaboration aids memory and retrieval. Children may freely recall one aspect of knowledge that they can elaborate upon to trigger other aspects of learning. This is also known as chunking. One piece of knowledge which is recalled may lead to others.
- The curriculum is designed to deepen knowledge over the seven years they are at Ebbsfleet Green. Concept teaching begins in the Foundation Stage and is built upon each year. Knowledge and skills are deliberately taught and practised in younger year groups to support learning in later ones. All learning is progressive and knowledge recall is threaded through the curriculum.
- Core concepts, which transcend the National Curriculum, have been identified across the curriculum. These concepts, such as interconnection and diversity, are ideas which we, as a school, feel are relevant to us.
- Other concepts are subject specific and thread through year groups to ensure embedment. They enable deeper understanding and long-term recall.
- The interconnected approach supports ‘sticky’ knowledge. The half-termly study creates a layer of knowledge which engages the child through guided discovery – and will be remembered. The more knowledge we have, the more we can make sense of and are open to. This is due to a growing web of knowledge which helps us make sense of the world around us through making logical links and critical thinking.
- The interconnected approach allows for greater coverage. It gives a purpose to writing and allows the transference and elaboration of knowledge. Standards in writing are better because of this. It makes learning memorable.
- Interconnected learning lends itself to dual coding.
- Our interwoven knowledge teaching approach supports self-regulation and ownership of learning. It embraces the 6Cs, Deep Learning: Engage the World Change the World, (2018) Fullan, M., Quinn, J., McEachen J.)
- Knowledge is explicitly taught and embedded through retrieval and deliberate practice. We plan opportunities for children to recall.
- Knowledge can be recalled through the practise of other skills – including functional and life skills without diluting the core concept being taught.
- Knowledge can be unpicked by children through guided discovery and learned through interleaving and spaced practice ensuring they are understood and can be recalled.
- Knowledge is recalled within and across year groups.
- Core concepts are returned to within and across the years to build on prior learning, transfer skills and knowledge and apply them to deepen learning, support elaboration, free and cued recall.
- Spiralisation supports an extended web of learning ensuring children make greater sense of their learning – making links over longer periods of time. This is spaced learning.
- Spiralisation over time means learners go from the concrete, to the pictorial, to the abstract supporting deep learning.
- This helps learners relate their experiences and prior knowledge to make connections within their learning and develop a web of knowledge.
- It gives learners a sense of belonging, a greater sense of time and place and a sense of self in the bigger picture. This supports citizenship.
- It supports educational visits capitalising on cultural capital.