Our curriculum at Brabourne has been carefully designed over time. An annual vision day, representing all staff, children, parents and Governors, feed into our curriculum design.
Our curriculum is represented by a tree, based on the Bible story of the mustard seed. As a tree grows from a seed, so too do we grow as individuals, to reach our full potential.
Brabourne’s spiralling curriculum design is grounded in cognitive science and brain-based learning. It is based on an approach to teaching, widely attributed to the American Psychologist and Cognitive Theorist Jerome Bruner, whose learning theory refers to fundamental ideas which are repeatedly presented throughout the curriculum, but with deepening levels of difficulty / increasing complexity in lessons, whilst reinforcing previous learning.
Our spiral curriculum is a form of learning that encourages the revisiting of topics and key concepts, building on prior conceptual and disciplinary knowledge and skills in a cyclical and spiralling manner.
This approach to teaching enables pupils to gain a deeper understanding of fundamental knowledge, whilst also ensuring that pupils are regularly exposed to subject matter at different levels of complexity. This approach allows staff to better support learning outcomes by enabling pupils to gradually build on their knowledge and understanding over time, rather than just focusing on the memorisation of isolated facts.
A spiral approach to curriculum design has 3 main principles, which are:
- Cyclical: Learners must return to the same concept many times all through their school learning journey;
- Increasing Depth: Every time a pupil returns to the concept it must explore more complexity and be learned at a deeper level;
- Prior Knowledge: A pupil’s previous knowledge must be used when the learner comes back to the same concept, so that they build from the foundation instead of starting from the beginning.
To maximise the benefits of this approach, we utilise a range of teaching methods, including group work, problem-solving activities, and visual aids, to ensure that all learners are fully engaged with the curriculum. A spiral curriculum is an effective way of achieving better learning outcomes by encouraging a deep understanding of key concepts, and ensuring that learners feel confident in applying their knowledge in real-world situations.
A curriculum which inspires
At Brabourne Primary School, our ambition is to engage our pupils through a creative and challenging curriculum; allowing them to acquire and embed the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to become fully informed citizens and resilient life-long learners. Our curriculum is the launch pad to reach this goal; creating a festival of cultures and experiences, within a meaningful context, for pupils during their time at the school.
Our curriculum aims to:
- Ensure that all pupils have access to a broad, balanced curriculum for excellence based on, and beyond, the National Curriculum.
- Ensure quality curriculum content and sequential learning, which builds on prior learning.
- Promote British and Christian values
- Be inspiring, challenging and accessible to every child in the school.
- Foster a love of life-long learning and pupils who can excel in all spheres of their lives.
We have placed Reading at the very core of our curriculum. Reading is fundamental to pupils understanding and engaging with the world around them and their place within it. All subjects are just as important in enriching and furthering the achievement of every child. Our curriculum is designed to be exciting, inspiring and ambitious; providing a wealth of cultural capital opportunities for pupils throughout their time at our school.
We recognise that every person is unique and equal and diversity is celebrated, allowing pupils to grow in to compassionate, confident and informed citizens.
Throughout their time at Brabourne, pupils will experience well-planned, enriching opportunities, which develop, enhance and embed their skills and knowledge. A variety of learning styles are utilised to ensure that all children are engaging and achieving in learning.
Through the use key concept threads, forming a spiral curriculum, pupils revisit and build on prior learning and retain information over time. Vertical and horizontal planning documents ensure cohesion in progression, coverage and prior learning and cultural capital.
Curriculum Key Concept Questions (KCQs) form the end-points for each topic unit of study. Lessons build up cumulatively to these ‘Big Questions’, through the use of Key Questions (KQs), as stepping stones in learning. KCQs become progressively more complex as children move up through the school.
Memory recall is planned carefully into all lessons, building on learning from previous years, previous terms, previous weeks and previous days. Through the use of individual Subject Key Concepts, and the use of Mind-maps and Learning Journeys, pupils are encouraged to build upon their prior learning in the form of a Spiral Curriculum.
Subjects are assessed through formative and summative assessment opportunities, to allow teachers to identify pupils’ next steps for learning.
We are part of the CARE Foundation Trust; a group of 10 schools which form a strong, supportive collaboration. School regularly training and network meetings, which impact positively on school development.
Our engaging curriculum is evident around the school and in everything the children do. It is evident in the high standards and results that our children achieve in the core subjects of English and Maths and in the wide variety of quality learning opportunities across the curriculum. There are many varied opportunities for our children to represent the school, as an individual or part of a team, through sport, music, cultural and spiritual events. Our pupils seize these opportunities with enthusiasm and confidence and are excellent ambassadors for our school.
The impact of our curriculum is evident in assessment of learning, yet most importantly, in the engagement and high standards of behaviour of pupils in lessons and around the school. In our books, you will see children expressing their learning articulately; observational drawings or 3-D sculptures, writing based on notable locations or events from History, scientific understanding highlighted through multiple mediums.
As a staff, and governing body, we regularly assess the impact of our curriculum against strands of the Ofsted framework (Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development and Leadership and Management) as well as the SIAMS Framework (Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills, Hope and Aspiration, Community and Living Well Together, Dignity and Respect).
Our pupils are confident, successful and have high levels of behaviour for learning. They are proud of their work and knowledge, and of their school, and love to take on responsibility. Whether showing visitors around the school, caring for younger children or organising charity events, visitors to the school comment on how well behaved, responsible and welcoming the children are and what good Citizenship they display. Their efforts are recognised and celebrated which, in turn, encourages our pupils to want to achieve even more.
To find out more about our curriculum areas, please see the sub-sections of the Curriculum drop down menu.