We deliver a curriculum which equips children with powerful knowledge, maximises their cognitive development and nourishes the whole person and the talents of the individual. The curriculum therefore liberates and empowers, providing pupils with the confidence to understand and shape the world around them, to be active and economically self-sufficient citizens, and to ‘enter into the conversation of mankind’ (Michael Oakeshott, English philosopher and political theorist).
Hundreds of United Learning teachers and leaders have been involved in developing our Common Curriculum as a core academic curriculum, which we provide. Our curriculum is based on these key principles:
All pupils have the right to learn what is in the United Learning curriculum, and schools have a duty to ensure that all pupils are taught the whole of it.
Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within subjects and between subjects.
We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills, and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupils revisit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts.
The core content – the ‘what’ – of the curriculum is stable, but schools will bring it to life in their own local context, and teachers will adapt lessons – the ‘how’ – to meet the needs of their own classes.
All pupils see themselves in our curriculum, and our curriculum takes all pupils beyond their immediate experience.
Our curriculum - which includes the taught subject timetable as well as spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development, our co-curricular provision, and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – is intended to spark curiosity and to nourish both the head and the heart.
Leading curriculum developer, Christine Counsell describes curriculum as ‘content structured as narrative over time’.
As part of a group of schools, we can ensure that all our pupils experience a broad and ambitious curriculum that builds over time – week by week, term by term and year by year. In doing so, children bring their own experience into a shared story that enables them to leave our care with confidence and curiosity.
The Curriculum is intended as a concise specification of knowledge and content to be taught and learned; it is for schools and teachers to decide how to teach and bring it to life.
As with all United Learning Schools, our curriculum is characterised by defining the essential teaching and learning that each subject should cover in a given year group and expressing the outcomes of that learning through assessment measures known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). However, it's important to be clear that KPIs are not the things that are to be taught. It's the curriculum content that is taught and the KPIs are the means by which we measure achievement of the content.
Periodic assessment of the KPIs means our focus is on what has and hasn't been learnt in each subject and, from this evidence, we shape our teaching and delivery more precisely to reteach, extend or move on appropriately. KPIs are assigned to a subject and a year group and make it possible to define age related subject expectations.
Click on each of the subjects below for an overview of what we cover in each one.