Our Curriculum Story

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. 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.

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.

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 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 (January 2023) achieved over 4000 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.). 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 – 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.

MathsEnglishScience
ArtComputingDesign & Technology
GeographyHistoryLanguages
MusicPERE
PSHE  

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.

CPD

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.

DateFocus
11th September 2019Discovering Our New Curriculum – Introduction
13th November 2019Aims, Purposes & Principles
19th December 2019Mapping units from Knowledge & Skills Progression
28th January 2020How to incorporate Community, Aspiration, Resilience & Emotional Wellbeing
18th March 2020Guidance on developing Medium Term Plans
11th November 2020‘Plan B’ & Trialling Expectations
24th March 2021How to implement the CARES elements successfully
12th May 2021‘Making Knowledge Stick’
18th May 2021Focused planning time
9th June 2021Revisiting Subject Visions
6th July 2021Planning preparation for launch
2nd September 2021Curriculum Launch, including Reviews
2nd March 2022Self Evaluation Session
7th March 2022Self Evaluation Session & Review
19th May 2022Assessment
28th June 2022An Introduction to Deeper Thinking Tasks

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.