At Grace Academy Coventry we place powerful knowledge at the core of our intent, our goal being to deliver a knowledge-based curriculum across all subjects. This powerful knowledge is purposefully sequenced with opportunities to revisit misconceptions and address them through explicit curriculum time and through marking and feedback.
Our key curriculum aims/intentions are to:
- Place significant emphasis upon the “powerful (substantive) knowledge” required to fully understand each subject or curriculum area. It is then sequenced in a logical, coherent fashion which builds upon prior learning. The interconnected nature of this carefully sequenced powerful knowledge will then develop the disciplinary skills required to apply this knowledge effectively. This then allows students to make sense of the unknown/unfamiliar, using sound reasoning from this vast bank of powerful knowledge they have acquired.
- Provide frequent opportunities for students to recall and retrieve this knowledge, ensuring it is retained in the long-term memory.
- Develop students’ general, and also subject-based, literacy and numeracy. Specifically, students use ambitious subject-specific terminology and phraseology when speaking and writing, leading to better outcomes. Doing this through our four pillars of literacy: oracy, reading, writing and interventions. In addition to this, Numeracy strategies fill any knowledge gaps and develop student proficiency across all subjects.
This can be distilled into the following five elements, which are referred to as “The Grace Way (Curriculum)”:
- Powerful knowledge. This means structuring a curriculum so that lessons focus upon ensuring that key substantive knowledge, vital to fully understanding the topic (and possibly other related topics) is delivered and then assessed effectively.
- Sequencing. Both shorter and longer-term planning considers sequencing at all times, with regular review periods in which the sequence of curriculum content is re-evaluated and resequenced wherever necessary.
- Retrieval practice. Regular assessment incorporates approaches which build long-term retention of knowledge and supports cumulative assessment of curricula over time.
- Literacy and Numeracy opportunities. Curricula will include relevant and meaningful approaches to developing literacy and/or numeracy, which could be more generic as well as subject-specific.
- Application of knowledge. Students have regular opportunities to apply all knowledge gained through curriculum delivery, with links to other topics or subjects wherever relevant.
In addition, we also:
- Ensure equal access to learning for all pupils, with high expectations for every pupil and appropriate levels of challenge and support.
- Champion not just inclusion, but “anti-racism” wherever possible, through content, references and ideology featuring within our curricula.
- Promote a positive attitude towards learning.
- Equip pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
- Develop pupils’ independent learning skills and resilience, to equip them for further/higher education and employment.
Most recently, we have been using the evidence-based research by Ofsted relating to Maths, History, Geography, RE, Music, Science, Computing, PE, English and Languages in order to develop and assess the ambition of our curricula.
For more information regarding our approach to curriculum, including Teaching and Learning, Assessment, Reporting and Quality Assurance, please see our Curriculum Policy.