We began our work on the curriculum with our colleagues from other Learn-At schools with a strong conviction that we wanted to develop a curriculum for our pupils which was rich, rounded and rigorous – like a rich minestrone soup, full of food for the intellect and food for the soul. Reading, writing and maths as the essential ‘cutlery’ needed by pupils to access the curriculum completed the metaphor. As the work of CPG has progressed, the soup has transformed from unstructured pottage into a dish that more resembles a lasagne – more carefully planned, with a coherent structure, layers and carefully-planned cross curricular links, vertical – through subject and years, horizontal between subjects within years and diagonal, between subjects in one year and different subjects in another. This focus can been seen permeating into all subject areas as we review each subject in turn and make sure it fits our ethos and vision.
Due to the mixed year groups in classes 2,3 and 4 we work on a two-year rolling cycle. We plan each topic with a historical, geographical or scientific focus in mind and where appropriate use this stimulus as a key to other subject areas. Within these topic and subject areas the teachers plan for a series of core knowledge to be covered as well as linking these topics to the whole school concepts such as ‘all matter in the universe is made up of very small particles’. We see these topics as opportunities to advance the children’s wider understanding of the specific subject areas through the concepts we have identified.