KS1 & KS2 Knowledge Curriculum
The St Thomas' Curriculum
Through collaboration with our school community, we devised our curriculum intent statement. This statement underpins our curriculum and encompasses everything we aspire to achieve by the time our pupils leave us at St Thomas'.
Through our rich and balanced academic curriculum, we aim to broaden horizons and open doors to all that life has to offer, allowing our children to experience life in all its fullness.
With a rigorous and progressive knowledge-based curriculum, our pupils will leave St Thomas’ with the extensive knowledge and thinking skills needed to enable them to lead fulfilling lives with the highest of aspirations. Our ethos of excellence permeates our whole curriculum, inspiring our pupils to be the very best version of themselves.
Reading and vocabulary are at the heart of our curriculum, enabling our pupils with the keys needed to unlock their future successes.
We believe that a rich, academic curriculum and a wealth of life experiences go hand in hand. Therefore, through our curriculum, we will open our pupils’ eyes to the world around them by offering valuable and inspirational opportunities. We want our pupils to experience life outside of their own locality and to understand the diversity of the world in which we live: opening their eyes to the endless possibilities of the lives that lay ahead of them.
Our core Christian Values underpin our whole curriculum, allowing our children to develop the moral compass required to make positive choices in life.
A Knowledge Curriculum
At St Thomas, we are proud to teach a knowledge curriculum.
What Is a knowledge curriculum?
It is a carefully sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum which aims to inspire pupils and promote excellent outcomes for all.
The curriculum content has been carefully chosen by subject experts and is organised in a coherent way, ensuring children can build on their knowledge from year to year. In this way, the knowledge in the curriculum is cumulative, constructing firm foundations from which children can progress and develop deeper conceptual understanding and subject-specific skills over time.
Curriculum coherence ensures that teaching does not jump from topic to topic, but enables children to develop knowledge over time, as well as a love of subjects. Subject content is crucial to this approach- the rich content of the curriculum inspires children and plants the seeds for a lifetime of learning.
What does the knowledge curriculum look like at St Thomas?
Our children will be immersed in rich knowledge from the onset of their history, geography and art lessons, with a focus on vocabulary. Every lesson will begin with retrieval of previous knowledge to ensure that children remember what has been previously taught, as what has not been remembered, has not been learned. In every lesson, children will build upon their knowledge from previous lessons and even previous year groups! Children will gain rich and challenging knowledge throughout the lesson with opportunities to work independently and apply their understanding, often making their own links across the curriculum. Every history, geography and art lesson follows the same structure so our children are used to the routines and expectations of every lesson.
Our knowledge lesson structure:
Children will take part in a short, independent task where they will be required to retrieve previously gained knowledge. The children may have acquired this knowledge in a previous lesson, unit of work or even a previous year group. This task is designed to strengthen our pupils memories of key knowledge, enabling them to permanently remember and make progress across the curriculum.
Children will be introduced to key vocabulary (STAR words) at the beginning of the lesson. Children will be challenged to learn the meaning of these words and apply them correctly during the lesson. Teachers will provide children with actions to match each of these words, to support the children in remembering them.
The teacher will share the core knowledge for the lesson with the children. This is an opportunity for children to listen to and understand the new information.
Children will work with a partner to complete a short task or discuss new information. This could be anything from locating a country in an atlas to debating a point of view. Children will be expected to apply their understanding of the new information taught (they may even use the STAR words!).
The children will now work independently on a task. This is often a written task which will require the children to apply everything they have learned. The children may also demonstrate newly acquired skills in this part of the lesson.
In every lesson, our children will read. The reading can be incorporated into any aspect of the lesson. Children will read a range of texts, from online blogs to information texts! We believe reading is the key to all learning, so have therefore made reading a priority in every lesson.