A curriculum is never finished and that there will always be improvements to make to content choice, the sequencing of lessons and fidelity to the discipline of each subject. We are a reading school. Our core belief is that reading is the key to the door for a child in later life. Above all else, We want to ensure children are skilled readers with excellent background knowledge when they leave DCPS.
We teach most subjects as discreet subjects with an aim of preserving the unique nature of each subject and allowing children to see that nature clearly, giving them a better understanding of each. The risk, however, is children seeing subjects as disconnected silos. We therefore aim to adopt a measured approach that retains subject disciplines but makes connections where they are appropriate. These can be at the same time of year (for example studying Egyptian history and Egyptian art at the same time of year.
Substantive or Disciplinary knowledge?
We also give a great deal of thought to the difference between substantive and disciplinary knowledge. There is more to a subject than the information, facts and concepts that are taught and learned. These things are substantive knowledge. Disciplinary knowledge focuses on what it is that historians / scientists / geographers / French speakers / programmers actually do in order to preserve the discipline in each subject and make it about more than substantive knowledge . By following the national curriculum this helps us clarify the disciplinary aspect of each curriculum subject.
When making any decisions about how we implement our medium term curriculum plans we are heavily influenced by the work of Dylan Williams:
We advocate an approach that champions simplicity, regularity and quality
How does it look overall?
Principles of Practice
Within each subject area we also identify 'Principles of Practice'. This enables us to ensure our approach in each subject area is consistent.
Our curriculum road maps give an overview of learning across school. The next step is to dig down into each area of learning and get to grips with the knowledge and skills that children need to achieve their goals and move forward on their learning journey. Our knowledge organisers display the detail that will be covered throughout a learning sequence. These knowledge organisers show children what they will learn, and continue to be a document they use to consolidate their knowledge throughout a sequence of lessons.