At Lily Lane, our intention is for all children to develop a love of learning, to have high aspirations, a sense of personal pride and achievement, and to have developed a sense of place and belonging.
The key principles behind the design of our curriculum are for our children to:
- become confident, independent and resilient learners.
- achieve academically across the whole curriculum, meeting at least the national expectation by the end of their primary education.
- be culturally knowledgeable about themselves and others, different countries, including Britain, and the world in which we live.
- have aspirations for the future and know that these can be reached through hard work and
- be kind, showing empathy and compassion whilst valuing diversity.
- be well prepared for the challenges of the secondary school curriculum.
Ultimately, we want all children to be the very best they can be and to thrive and make a positive contribution to the world they live in.
We aim to provide a language rich, experience rich, relevant, knowledge-engaged curriculum that builds on prior learning, creates aspirations and builds on cultural capital.
Our bespoke, ambitious curriculum is designed to take account of the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Primary National Curriculum. Children follow an exciting, sequential, creative curriculum which has progression built in. Themes are text and experience led and build knowledge, understanding and skills to prepare children for life beyond primary education. We embrace the diversity of our community and recognise the importance of promoting a love of learning and a sense of place and belonging.
We strive to raise pupils’ aspirations, create a sense of personal pride and achievement, provide a purpose and relevance for learning and help every individual find their strengths and interests. Our curriculum encompasses the social and emotional aspects of learning and the well-being of children is seen as the foundation of academic success.
Curriculum drivers shape our curriculum. Our main curriculum driver is ‘The Happy Curriculum’ which includes:
Being healthy and active
Being a life-long learner
Our curriculum allows children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience, become creative, critical thinkers and recognise the possibilities in future in life.
We achieve this by:
- A clear, knowledge-engaged curriculum map which ensures breadth and balance (curriculum
drivers, cultural capital, subject topics).
- Using high quality texts to develop language.
- Using first hand experiences and re-visiting these to deepen understanding.
- Working closely with families and the school community.
- Using Kagan structures to promote cooperative learning.
- Making effective use of assessment for learning.
- Enhancing the curriculum by providing extra-curricular opportunities.
- Fostering a growth-mindset approach to learning through developing the four keys to
successful learning which are: confidence, getting along, persistence and organistaion.
Lily Lane aims to provide a curriculum that is engaging, balanced and relevant. Whilst emphasis is placed on children learning core skills of English and Maths, we place great value on developing the ‘whole child’ and provide an engaging programme of study in all curriculum areas, deepening their knowledge, skills and understanding in all aspects of learning.
We recognise that the key skills of reading, writing, oracy and numeracy are crucial in equipping our pupils with the necessary skills to live in modern Britain, and given our diverse school context, we focus on providing a language rich curriculum. However, we believe that test outcomes are not our sole purpose. Therefore, we enhance our curriculum by providing our pupils with a wide range of new and exciting learning experiences such as learning to play a musical instrument, being creative and learning outdoors, participating in sports competitions, taking part in poetry events and engaging in a wealth of extra-curricular clubs as well as attending educational trips and inviting visitors into school. The creative and performing arts are pivotal to our curriculum delivery and ensure that our children are immersed in vibrant experiences, allowing each of them to express themselves as an individual.
We believe that our pupils should be given the opportunity to have a voice and to develop their leadership skills. Within school, pupils take on active leadership roles such as school council members, sports council representatives and playground activity leaders (PALs). These positions allow pupils to have a voice, a democratic vote and to contribute effectively to the leadership and development of the school.
We recognise the value and importance of our families and engage with the wider community by establishing positive relationships through our open door policy. We believe that parents and carers are fundamental in their child’s development and as a school we encourage this through Friends of Lily Lane (FOLL), parent workshops, curriculum events, parent evenings, sports days, school fairs and performances and events.
Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning and build upon it to increase cognitive complexity. We revisit concepts regularly to deepen children’s understanding. As part of our progression model we use a different pedagogical style in each of the cognitive domains of basic, advancing and deep. We use direct instruction in the early stages of learning and a discovery based approach comes later when the understanding is being reinforced and deepened. Where appropriate, we use Kagan structures to ensure that children have the opportunity to develop their understanding through active participation, peer coaching and opportunities to explain methods, solve problems and recall information. We plan flexible approaches to teaching to ensure that children experience a range of teaching strategies and activities. Children are given increasingly challenging activities at each stage of development which we call cognitive domains. The table below shows the cognitive domains, the type of teaching that they will receive in each domain and the typical nature of tasks.
|Cognitive domain||Predominant form of teaching||Type of thinking||Types of activities|
|Basic||Modelling, explaining||Low level cognitive demand. Involves following instructions.||Name, describe, follow instructions or methods, complete tasks, recall information, ask basic questions, use, match, report, measure, list, illustrate, label, recognise, tell repeat, arrange, define, memorise.|
|Advancing||Application activities with review||Higher level of cognitive demand. Involves mental processing beyond recall. Requires some degree of decision making.||Apply skills to solve problems, explain methods, classify, infer, categorise, identify patterns, organise, modify, predict, interpret, summarise, make observations, estimate, compare.|
|Deep||Coaching and mentoring||Cognitive demands are complex and abstract. Involves problems with multi steps or more than one possible answer. Requires justification of answers.||Solve non- routine problems, appraise, explain, concepts, hypothesise, investigate, cite evidence, design, create, prove|
Cognitive science tells us that in order for children to become creative thinkers, or have greater depth of understanding, they must first master the basics, which takes time. Children will gradually progress in their procedural fluency and semantic strength through the three cognitive domains of basic, advanced and deep. The aim is that children will display sustained mastery at the advancing stage of understanding by the end of each milestone and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the deep stage.
What is learning?
Learning is a change to long-term memory. It is the process of acquiring the essential knowledge, skills, understanding and behaviours required to deepen understanding.
Cultural capital gives our children the essential knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community and to prepare for their future success.
A knowledge-engaged curriculum believes that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill and has a stronger emphasis on cross-curricula teaching than in a knowledge led curriculum in order to make the curriculum relevant and meaningful to pupils, and for putting knowledge into context.
‘Knowledge and the capacity it provides to apply skills and deepen understanding are essential ingredients of successful curriculum design.’ Amanda Spielman.