Overview of the Primary Curriculum

Our bespoke curriculum, unique to The Woodland Federation, is carefully interwoven and underpinned by seven concepts that children begin to learn from the very beginning of their time with us in Preschool. Children are taught to contextualise the concepts and revisit them throughout their journey of primary education - up until the end of Year 6.   

Civilization
Conflict
Evolution
Construction
Innovation
Environment
Legacy

 Our children benefit from the ongoing work of the Woodland Federation’s inspirational teaching and learning team and the curriculum we continue to develop together.  We simply never stop talking about it.  Each class teacher knows the journey the children have made and carefully plans to ensure children are well-equipped to navigate the journey ahead. Children’s prior knowledge is key to them making good progress.  Subject leaders work creatively as part of a team across our federation to support colleagues in ensuring all subjects are planned for and taught with equity.

 The process has been an exciting endeavour.  Our team understands the value of using hooks from children’s long term memory; giving true context in order to build knowledge. Gaining knowledge only happens when children actually think – this may sound obvious - but it means that thinking is an active, cognitive process whereby we search through our memory files to help us make sense of something new and therefore we have more chance of remembering it.  Simply put, our seven concepts give children the hooks.  One concept underpins each lesson taught and teachers make explicit links to it.  They are colour specific to help children identify the current concept and tasks reference the concept being used.  Therefore, for example, in maths children may have been learning about the concept of ‘Construction’ in relation to our number system in the sense that they can construct, reconstruct and deconstruct numbers.  In English, reference could be made to the maths contextual concept of ‘Construction’ and links made to constructing or reconstruction of letters, words, sentences and paragraphs.

 At the start of Key Stage 2, our Year 3 children are given a folder in each of the foundation subjects that maps their journey as a Geographer, an Historian, a Scientist etc… all the way through to Year 6. 

 This folder becomes a tool for the children and explicit references are made to prior learning and links across the curriculum become apparent through our detailed concept maps. Much time is given to the teaching of three tiered vocabulary: tier 1 includes every day words the children know, tier 2 are words that children aspire to know – higher level vocabulary, and tier 3 are words that have a specific, technical function in the learning of a new subject.  Our team has worked hard to identify gaps in good word knowledge and each tier needs careful attention in helping children avoid misconceptions in their learning, giving them instead accuracy and fluency in the subject.

 Linked very closely with this is the teaching of Oracy across the school.  Children learn, at a very early stage, how to vocalise their understanding and how to probe concepts verbally in order to formulate a deeper understanding.  They need to be able to use language with fluency to achieve this and so we have taken a whole school approach in teaching children how to: ask, agree, disagree, change opinion, anticipate, summarise and so on. 

 Curriculum in action!