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Heacham Infant and Nursery School

Curriculum

OUR KNOWLEDGE RICH CURRICULUM

Please click on the tabs below to view information on our Knowledge Rich Curriculum. 

Our Curriculum Intent 

Our location is beautiful and offers fantastic opportunities to engage with the natural world, but because we are rural and quite isolated, this can also make it harder to experience a broad range of cultural, artistic and educational experiences. We know this because more children than average begin at school with lower language and experiential starting points. Our Knowledge Rich Curriculum is designed to build upon the strengths we have and to fill cultural gaps by providing access to a wide range of creative, cultural, scientific and educational experiences. It enables an ambitious drive to deliver high quality knowledge and vocabulary to all pupils, so that no one should be left behind. The knowledge within the curriculum reflects our local community but also expands upon and broadens our rural horizons - covering ambitious themes which are filled with new vocabulary and knowledge that is rich and deep. Concepts and knowledge connect over time due to the relevant, memorable and engaging content. Our teachers and other colleagues have worked hard in teams to design our curriculum alongside our West Norfolk Academies Trust colleagues, influenced through pilot work with West London Free School. As a result, teachers are empowered and the curriculum feels personal and authentic.

Part of our intent is to make parental engagement a vital part of learning, particularly as research demonstrates links between the quantity and quality of words used by children and interactions that take place before children come to school, and later life success. So we work hard to make connections where we can: workshops, signposting resources, early help support and meetings with SEND staff, enrichment opportunities. Though interrupted by the pandemic and access into school, we continue to make parental engagement a priority for Leadership and Management in our school improvement planning. Remote learning created a unique partnership with our families- sharing videos, lesson plans, live sessions, oak academy which has given our staff and families more understanding of each pupil’s context.

Our Curriculum Implementation 

Knowledge Rich Curriculum Map

We are on an exciting journey with our Knowledge Rich Curriculum. We have written sequential, long term plans to ensure content in our curriculum is cohesive and progressive. In addition, there are detailed lesson plans which specify what we must know and the vocabulary we are using. These plans are delivered  through structured and pacey lessons which adhere to our Teaching and Learning Policy, EYFS Policy and Live Marking Policy to increase progress and access for all.

We have robust plans for all year groups and subjects, including some linked learning for EYFS though most of their time is spent in quality continuous provision. In addition, Knowledge organisers detail essential facts and vocabulary definitions for every half term. These are shared with families to share and embed the learning. Knowing things becomes exciting! Debating the knowledge leads to additional skills for later success in life. 

Increasing the pace at which we teach with subject specific lessons in Geography, History, Science, Computing, Design and Technology, Physical Education, Religious Education, Music, Art and PSHE has made an impact on achievement in a short time. Pupils themselves wanted to know more about each subject when they were involved in our deep dives around their learning. They make links between subjects and are ready for the next stage in learning.

Every Child a Reader 

In addition, we already know that strong engagement and instruction in reading is important to unlock children's potential. We want every child to feel successful - to be a reader. So we use systematic phonic instruction from day one alongside developing reading for pleasure. Our phonics teaching  follows the Read,Write Inc programme of synthetic phonics teaching. We have a book banded system for supporting the teaching of reading, which includes a range of published schemed books ( Read,Write Inc, Phonics Bug, Collins Big Cat, and Oxford Reading Tree). Children have daily reading sessions in their class to build on early reading comprehension and phonics skills. Our Nursery children are involved in phonic instruction too. We also use Talk For Writing to increase vocabulary and memory skills that influence speaking, confidence, reading and writing. A Poetry spine compliments our English Curriculum; putting the beautiful flow of words at the heart of what we teach. 

Phonic Tracker Example 
Phonic Pack For Parents
Speed-sounds-sets-1-2-3   
YR English Plan Example    

Poetry Spine 

Ways to help your child with reading

* Read a story to your child for fun every day
* To find 5 minutes each day to help your child with sounds, words and their school reading book
* To help your child remember their book bag each day
* To praise every effort your child makes
* To ask questions to help with understanding
* To come in and see us if you are concerned.

Enrichment, Enjoyment and Characteristics Of Effective Well-being

In addition we are building an enrichment map to structure  exceptional opportunities for all children in our Trust and Schools. We passionately  want every child to gain experiences to help them achieve and grow.  Attitudes and confidence make a real difference to our lives and we believe that the stepping stones of early education and family life are vital in promoting well being. Here are some examples of the design of our enrichment program.

Our Curriculum Impact

In our EYFS classes we have continued to balance direct teaching with continuous provision. The impact of introducing knowledge units alongside core subject teaching is that pupils explore the EYFS areas deeply, using what they are taught in their continuous provision so that they meet the Early Learning Goals. The increased specified vocabulary, alongside phonics, reading and NELI groups has helped pupils continue to learn throughout the pandemic. The balance of direct teaching and quality interactions in our EYFS curriculum also help regulation and learning behaviours. This makes pupils ready for key stage one.    

In Key Stage One, parents remark that the content is ambitious, that they are learning new things, but that they are impressed with the detail knowledge their children come home with. Pupils also want to know more about the world they live in. They appreciate the specific content of lessons and speak confidently about their learning. They like using the knowledge organisers to check what they know and recall facts and vocabulary. The improved recall of the content of the curriculum is apparent in learning walks and subject deep dives where pupils of all ages and abilities can recall what they have been learning with pride as they look through their work collections.

One noticeable impact from our curriculum is the vocabulary that pupils use now when they talk about lessons. Each knowledge organiser specifies rich vocabulary and information, such as dates and names, so pupils can converse with confidence. This vocabulary and information builds through the time spent in school so that all pupils can retain and recall knowledge goals. Speaking with our pupils, any pupil, will demonstrate how much pupils are learning. The quantity and quality of learning has increased since we implemented our knowledge rich approach. Previously, with topic based learning, pupils struggled to retain content or recall the domain area of learning (eg- was is science?) Now, all pupils are able to work at greater pace, scaffolded for some using the working walls and visual content of the knowledge organiser. All pupils have developed greater resilience, effort and concentration as a result of revising our curriculum content. With this comes pride and achievement. We know this because all leaders, including middle leaders, talk to the children.

 In all subjects, we use feedback and assessment to recognise gaps, so we can adjust our teaching and address misconceptions. Live marking is used in every day lesson. This has an immediate impact on progress. We have developed our own assessment for foundation subjects to make sure we have high and appropriate expectations across the breadth of the curriculum. We agree our standards with other schools in our Trust and Cluster at foundation moderation meetings.