Curriculum Intent & Implementation
Rendlesham’s curriculum is designed to support all learners to become independent thinkers and reflective, respectful citizens. We have designed a curriculum that teaches children about their past, and encourages them to think about the future conditions of our planet. We teach them to respect all genders and ethnic groups and to be active citizens, engaging with and respecting their community. Our learning characteristics form the core of our teaching and all children are aware of the drivers and the skills that they will be developing to ensure personal improvement.
Key questions link the subjects each term, and where possible they are repeated across subjects to enable meaningful cross curricular learning.
Prior and future learning is made explicit and as time passes, children will be able to build on the foundations they have learnt from Early Years to year 6.
Our Early Years curriculum also incorporates the school’s three core drivers and children are encouraged to be independent, resilient and take risks from an early age. They also base their learning around the school’s six themes, teaching two a term. Children use the themes as a starting point for exploring their learning, providing a strong foundation for future knowledge and skills development.
Following considerable research by the Academy head and the school’s senior leadership team Rendlesham introduced a new vision and curriculum plan in January 2021. This vision was shared with the school community and staff quickly began to enjoy the opportunity to research the theory underpinning the new leadership vision.
As a result of their research and opportunity to collaborate staff were keen to be involved in creating the new curriculum from inception. They have a strong understanding of how the curriculum is developed, including how the concepts thread through each subject and how the questions support the core drivers. The three drivers, Personal development, Community engagement and creative development, sit at the heart of every subject and are incorporated into daily teaching.
Each subject has been carefully designed so that concepts are taught in each age range and built on, year on year, to develop a more sophisticated understanding.
1st and 2nd order concepts run through the entire curriculum. Our 1st order concepts of Equality, Legacy, Monarchy, Technology, Leadership and Climate reoccur throughout all curriculum subjects. These sit alongside the 2nd order concepts that form the fundamental teaching skills in each individual subject. These are all identified on the medium term plans.
Our long term plans show all the core questions which act as the hook for children to begin to engage in each curriculum area. Medium term plans show the progression of skills and knowledge across Key Stage 1 and 2.
Key vocabulary is set out for each subject area and is taught and explained so that children are able to develop a broad and sophisticated vocabulary as they progress through the phases.
Core subjects are assessed termly using either NTS tests or teacher assessment. Foundation subjects are assessed in a variety of ways including observations of performances or live debates, use of IT such as videos, mini quizzes and double page spreads. All methods assess the acquisition of knowledge set out on the medium term plans and record whether children have acquired the knowledge or not. This assessment is collated by subject lead and reviewed to monitor quality of teaching and learning.
Rendlesham has a reading spine which sets out the core reading offer for all of our children. This spine has been constructed to reflect a mixture of classic, contemporary, multicultural and increasingly challenging texts, written by both male and female authors and authors of a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Children will learn these texts through daily class teaching.
Maths teaching is predominantly linked to White Rose planning. However the maths leader has used gaps analysis to rewrite the school’s long term plan. In doing so we have made conscious decisions about which areas to revisit and which areas to teach at a later stage in the children’s development.
Rendlesham share a curriculum with other Consortium schools. As a result, phase teachers collaborate termly to review the effectiveness of their teaching, plan ahead for the next term and collaborate to organise how the children can share the outcomes of their learning with peers across the Trust. There are future plans to arrange residential and other educational visits across the 6 schools in the future.
Rendlesham’s curriculum has evolved over the last three years, keeping the six themes but refining the content, concepts and knowledge taught. As a result there has been much evolution. The curriculum in its current form was implemented in spring 2021 and a full two year cycle has now been taught. There is clear evidence of pupils building on prior knowledge. This can be seen in staff planning, pupils’ work and through regular conversations with pupils about their learning.
The implementation of the learning characteristics has had significant impact on pupils’ behaviour and personal development. The teaching of the characteristics is fully embedded across the school and all pupils are aware of the drivers and the intent associated with them.
Parents and the wider community are familiar with the school’s vision but the drivers are less well understood by parents. The Trust’s learning platform is in the early stages of development and once fully embedded will support understanding.