DEVELOPING INTENT (2019/20)
Sheringham Community Primary School & Nursery began their curriculum remodelling project in the latter half of the 2018/19 academic year, with the intention of implementing a new curriculum in September 2020.
The aim was to develop a bespoke, broad and balanced curriculum for the children of Sheringham. Subject leaders were tasked with developing a compelling vision for their subject for the new curriculum (these have been reviewed several times throughout the process and can be read at the top of each subject knowledge & skills progression grids).
During the second half of the Summer Term of 2018/19 and the early parts of 2019/20, extensive consultation was carried out. From our consultation with parents, the following themes emerged strongly (the full results of the consultation with parents and governors are available):
Following the process of consultation, stakeholders arrived at five key elements, which would eventually be developed into our curriculum aims: Community, Aspiration, Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing, Skills & Knowledge (CARES).
In September 2019, the school began developing a firm intent for the rest of the subjects. At the heart of the intent, was the development of knowledge & skills progression grids for each subject, including Community, Aspiration, Resilience & Emotional Wellbeing.
We wanted to give real responsibility to our subject leaders. Each subject leader developed their initial vision and progression grid during the second half of the Autumn Term. The curriculum lead attended all of the development sessions to maintain oversight and provide support. Subject leaders from Sheringham High School were invited to attend, which allowed some of our progression grids to be developed alongside subject experts from the school that most of our children move onto. For other subjects, subject leaders from the high school provided a brief summary of the learning that they felt our children needed most and, perhaps, lacked when moving on to their secondary education: the most appropriate content of their response were built into our intent documents.
Once all progression grids had been developed, year groups organised their contents into units of work, spread across the six half terms, resulting in an initial curriculum map; these have been reviewed and updated throughout the process, into the embedding and sustaining phases.
In early 2020, year groups started to organise their units into long term plans. It was intended that, after this stage, year groups would run some trial units for the rest of the academic year, however, this intention was cut short by the onset of the Covid pandemic and school closures in March 2020.
In the final week of schools being open, we managed an INSET session that guided Medium Term Planning, which allowed teachers to head into uncertain times with some knowledge of how to plan for new units of work. During closures, staff were able to take advantage of unusual circumstances and were able to commit more time than intended to Medium Term Planning.
During the first round of school closures, the school still planned to launch its remodelled curriculum in September 2020, however, eventually, with the realisation that the academic year 2020/21 was likely to entail further disruption to normal schooling, and home learning that would need to be available online, it was decided that it would be more realistic to postpone and review a start date regularly.
Throughout this academic year, a curriculum policy and a curriculum statement were developed, which endeavour to synthesise the curriculum as a whole. September 2019 also saw the implementation of The Literacy Tree as the cornerstone of the school’s English provision.
INTERIM CURRICULUM (2020/21)
During the 2020/21 academic year, school ran an ‘interim curriculum’ that leant heavily on Oak Academy, whilst also using the time to trial and develop elements of the new curriculum.
In late 2020/21, after trialling some new units of work, year groups presented examples of how they had implemented the CARES elements into their trial units at a ‘Show & Tell’ staff meeting.
Knowing that we would be able to launch the CARES Curriculum in September 2020 enabled us some clear purpose in reviewing each subjects vision; these were first reviewed at INSET towards the end of this academic year.
IMPLEMENTATION – EMBEDDING STAGE (2021/22)
The CARES Curriculum was launched in September 2021 and entered its first stage of implementation, which school terms its embedding stage. The CARES Curriculum Blog (to fully access, follow the link, go to labels on the right hand side, then ‘show more’) was part of the curriculum launch and has to date (November 2023) achieved over 11,000 hits.
In order to achieve a high profile, the curriculum was promoted extensively within school, with the children, and in communication with parents (newsletters etc.). At that early stage, when surveyed, 89% of parents (81 responses) said that they had visited the curriculum blog. 68% said that they knew what CARES stood for and 75% said that their children had mentioned CARES at home.
Alongside its general launch, the Daily, Weekly & Half Termly review system was implemented. This system, derived from the research of Rosenshine, is specifically designed to revisit key pieces of learning so that there is greater likelihood that it will be remembered – it is our approach to retrieval practice.
As part of our drive for developing knowledge, school ran CPD on ‘Making Knowledge Stick’ which leant on the research around generative learning by Fiorella & Mayer.
The review system has gained favourable feedback among the children. When surveyed, 79% of children who attract the Pupil Premium (29 children) said that they liked doing the Daily, Weekly & Half Termly Review, while 90% of those asked said that they helped them to remember more of their learning.
The implementation of learning related to Community, Aspiration, Resilience & Emotional Wellbeing also proved significant with the children: 90% of 145 responses indicated that their learning had helped them to understand that being a positive member of different communities can help you develop a sense of belonging; 92% said that their learning helped them to aim higher/have high aspirations; 93% said that they had learnt to be more resilient; 82% said that they had learnt to look after their feelings.
Throughout the first stage of implementation, year groups had dedicated time to reflect on particular units of work, completing self-evaluations. Staff meetings that followed were focused on ensuring those self-evaluations were acted upon, unit design was improved and there was a tangible impact for the children.
One of the main SIDP priorities for the school, this year, was to develop a robust system of assessment, particularly for the foundation subjects.
IMPLEMENTATION/IMPACT – SUSTAINING STAGE (2022/23)
With early success that we were proud of, in September 2022, the second phase of implementation, the sustaining phase, commenced.
During this stage, the school looked to tweak units of work, following the initial cycle during the previous year and the self-evaluations that were completed.
During the first half term, subject leaders were tasked with reflecting on their subject through its first cycle. They then revisited and reviewed their subject visions again to determine whether they were still pertinent and still what they wanted them to be.
Time was given to subject to leaders to revisit and refine their vision for their subject, ensuring that these visions demonstrated how CARES is exemplified and how their subject is designed for all children, specifically those who find learning more tricky.
On the back of this, they developed case studies to exemplify their vision in action.
As part of the SIDP, key pedagogical strategies saw a refresh. The rigor of collaborative learning and live feedback was prioritised after it endured a hiatus during the pandemic.
In order to ensure that the children who find learning easier get regular challenge, Deeper Thinking Tasks (DTTs) were also introduced to our pedagogical approach and, during this academic year, are in their first stage of implementation with further enhancements planned.
A big focus for the sustaining stage was also to ensure that there was solid sequencing in learning. We returned to the lesson planning stage to ensure that links to prior knowledge were made explicit so that our children are able to become more adept at linking learning. Staff took part in CPD on this in March/May 2023 and learning walks and pupil voice sessions helped to monitor the impact of this and provide next steps.
As a staff we also spent CPD time considering how we can ensure that we are ambitious for all children, including disadvantaged children, and those with special educational needs. We used the NASEN Toolkit to audit good practice that already existed in school. The adaptations that are made to learning that help all children to reach the same outcomes can be found on the ‘Ambition for all’ page on our website. Here, the most frequent adaptations that we use for each subject are outlined.
At this stage, our most recent Half Termly Review data shows some encouraging results for all pupils, including those pupils in receipt of the pupil premium and those with special educational needs, for example, in Year 3 – Spring 2, all children scored an average of more than 7 out of 10 on their review.
IMPLEMENTATION – ENHANCING STAGE (2023/24)
In the academic year 2023/24, the curriculum has entered what the school considers its enhancing stage – a stage in which we look to capitalise on a strong base:
Whilst, as at time of writing in November 2023, we have made some strong moves in improving all subjects (most notably RE and Computing), Science was identified as a key focus for enhancement. After thorough research and trialling, we chose to adopt Plymouth Science as a commercial scheme that would underpin our Science provision. We have already seen the impact of these enhancements.
Results from our Half Termly Reviews show many strengths, including strengths for Pupil Premium children and SEN children. Teachers have spent time reflecting on this data and planning for future improvements:
Throughout the remodelling of the curriculum, staff have received regular CPD. This CPD has usually been in the shape of staff meetings, which are detailed below. The resources and further details of these sessions are available.
|11th September 2019||Discovering Our New Curriculum – Introduction|
|13th November 2019||Aims, Purposes & Principles|
|19th December 2019||Mapping units from Knowledge & Skills Progression|
|28th January 2020||How to incorporate Community, Aspiration, Resilience & Emotional Wellbeing|
|18th March 2020||Guidance on developing Medium Term Plans|
|11th November 2020||‘Plan B’ & Trialling Expectations|
|24th March 2021||How to implement the CARES elements successfully|
|12th May 2021||‘Making Knowledge Stick’|
|18th May 2021||Focused planning time|
|9th June 2021||Revisiting Subject Visions|
|6th July 2021||Planning preparation for launch|
|2nd September 2021||Curriculum Launch, including Reviews|
|2nd March 2022||Self Evaluation Session|
|7th March 2022||Self Evaluation Session & Review|
|19th May 2022||Assessment|
|28th June 2022||An Introduction to Deeper Thinking Tasks|
|14th September 2023||Subject Action Plans|
|21st September 2023||Deeper Thinking Tasks|
|22nd November 2022||Revisiting Subject Visions & Updating Curriculum Maps|
|3rd January 2023||Revisiting Subject Visions & Updating Curriculum Maps|
|13th March 2023||Being explicit about prior learning so that the children can articulate it better|
|17th May 2023||Being explicit about prior learning so that the children can articulate it better|
|13th September 2023||Subject Action Planning|
|20th September 2023||Science|
|27th September 2023||Religious Education/Norfolk Agreed Syllabus|
|1st November 2023||Analysis & Action Planning for Half Termly Reviews|
|8th November 2023||Now Press Play Relaunch & Wish List Revisit|
All teachers have also taken part in externally sourced, subject-specific, CPD during this academic year.
Community Consultation Group
Throughout the process, consulting a wide variety of stakeholders, during the whole process, was high on the school’s agenda. A Community Consultation Group was set up in October 2019 to gauge opinion on the changes: this included the vicar of St. Peter’s Church Sheringham, our local police beat manager, a local historian, school governors and parents.