KS1 The Essentials Curriculum Overview
The Curriculum in Kingmoor Infant School has been created in partnership with Kingmoor Junior school.
Our curriculum is underpinned by the Essentials Curriculum by Chris Quigley. The Essentials Curriculum sets out the essential coverage, learning objectives and standards which are required for all subjects. Furthermore, it provides progress measures for all subjects including personal development.
One of the primary reasons we chose this curriculum is because it emphasises the importance of developing the depth of children’s learning. In essence, this means providing children with increased cognitive challenge, allowing them to apply the skills (Threshold Concepts) which they have learnt independently in a range of contexts rather than moving them onto the next skill needlessly when they have not truly mastered it.
We feel this curriculum provides us with a coherent, progressive and appropriately sequenced curricular structure to enable our pupils to develop subject specific knowledge and skills to prepare them well for the next stages of their education. The curriculum, builds progressively on from the learning in the Foundation Stage.
Breadth provides the contexts for exploring the threshold concepts. It has two roles:
1) Knowledge*. Concepts need knowledge to make sense. Contexts give students subject specific knowledge with which to think about the concepts. The more knowledge students have, the better their understanding of the concepts becomes. * by knowledge we mean procedures (skills) and meaningful facts. Knowledge does not mean simply remembering unconnected lists of facts.
2) Transference. Whilst it is only possible to explore a concept within a context, this also causes a problem for students: their understanding is context bound. They find it very difficult to transfer the concept to another situation. By providing a breadth of contexts, students begin to transfer the concepts. They do this by comparing the new context knowledge to previously learned knowledge, the bridge being the concept.
The milestones (1, and 2) that are built into our curriculum and follow through to Kingmoor Junior School. The curriculum is aligned to the National Curriculum and goes beyond National Curriculum requirements in each milestone to ensure repetition of skills and knowledge.
Each milestone is then broken down into Basic, Advanced and Deep to show how children's depth of understanding of the Threshold Concepts develops. This is then used to support progression and forms a learning graph which also supports assessment. Proof of Progress tasks are used to further support assessment in some subject areas.
Trees of Learning summarise how the Threshold Concepts, Knowledge and Contexts are used across Kingmoor Infants and then into Kingmoor Junior School to ensure progression across each child's learning journey.