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Ark Elvin Academy Curriculum Intent
Our curriculum intent sets out how our school's curriculum is designed to meet the needs of Elvin pupils in our context to ensure that no pupils' future is dictated by their past.
Mastery: Pupils build knowledge of the key learning in a particular subject in a coherent and carefully sequenced way to develop a mental model towards expertise. We have a three-year key stage three to allow pupils time to build knowledge in all subjects.
Planned backwards: We want our pupils to have a choice to attend the best universities in the country, so we plan back from this aim. Each subject discipline will aim for pupils to develop a mental model of carefully organised knowledge by the time they leave Elvin, to be developed in the next phase of study. This is planned by subject experts as a narrative structured over time.
Knowledge-rich: Subject experts chose the powerful knowledge for their disciplines to take pupils beyond their own experiences, giving them an education founded on academic excellence. The key learning is carefully codified and structured over time, allowing pupils to establish effective mental models that they can continue to develop beyond their time at Elvin. A curriculum full of powerful knowledge is a hugely powerful tool of social justice, aiming to create socially mobile young people by giving them the opportunities to pursue careers they are passionate about.
Assessment: Formatively assessing our pupils throughout the year allows for responsive teaching – using the mastery approach teachers are confident when re-teaching and revisiting knowledge to develop pupils’ mental models. Departments coordinate their formative assessment at the end of Autumn and Spring terms across year groups to infer where pupils are in relation to where they should be – and to be responsive with teaching as a consequence. Accurate summative assessment sampling the work completed over a year – with reference to work completed in previous years – allows inferences about attainment and progress to be made, which are shared with parents.
Revision built-in: Our mastery approach means that we regularly revisit knowledge before adding new knowledge to build up pupils’ mental models. Opportunities for revision are built into the curriculum. The mastery approach also benefits pupils joining the school as they need support to begin developing their mental models in different subject disciplines.
Reading: We recognise that the success of our mission rests on pupils’ ability to become proficient and fluent readers. Pupils’ capacity to build subject-specific mental models is bound inexorably to their capacity to read. Alongside our mastery approach to knowledge we use different techniques to support pupils in reading more challenging texts, including decoding strategies when necessary. We explicitly teach subject-specific vocabulary to enrich pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the world.
Wider curriculum: Our pupil’s entitlement to a rich and varied curriculum isn’t limited to subjects. We know our pupils’ context means they do not have access to the same wider development opportunities as their peers so our curriculum includes enrichment – academic, sporting, and personal development. They are also formally taught character and PSHE, as well as current affairs so that they are able to understand, and play an active role in, the world around them.
Details of our curriculum intent, implementation and impact can be found here: Ark Elvin Academy Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact - Summary.
The wider thinking and principles that inform our curriculum intent can be found here: Ark Elvin Academy Curriculum Intent - detailed thinking behind our principles.