Headteacher: Joy Farrell   |   Tel: 01793 727624   |   Fax: 01793 721964   |   Email: admin@stfrancis.swindon.sch.uk

Knowledge and Understanding

Knowledge and Understanding

Why do we teach these aspects?

In our learning environment we strive to provide a curriculum which covers our values as a key element which underpin everything that we do.

We are continually reviewing and improving the curriculum we offer to our children to ensure it is knowledge rich and provides the Cultural capital they need to succeed.

A rich variety of experiences are provided using: artefacts, resources, encounter days, forest area, key national and world events and technology, visitors and trips to broaden their horizons and understanding of the world. We encourage creativity which builds character in our children and develops their ability to work collaboratively. We ensure our outside area is involved in our learning in a practical and exploratory way ensuring children are physically active.

Activities and experiences are selected to build independence and resilience; to develop a thirst for knowledge and encourage an enquiring mind.

We aim to challenge children to become independent learners and find enjoyment in their own learning journey.

We develop children’s Characteristics of Effective Learning in the Early Years and promote their continual development throughout our school.

How do we teach these subjects?

At St. Francis many foundation subjects are block taught. This means that rather than the children participating in these lessons once a week, they are immersed in each subject for a number of consecutive sessions. This enables a deeper understanding of each subject, and allows children to build upon prior knowledge resulting in less time spent recapping previous learning.

Throughout topics children are given the opportunity to welcome visitors which enhances their learning within the school environment, and broadens their understanding of the wider world.

Trips are an important part of our broad and balanced curriculum where the children have opportunities to experience learning first hand that relates to their topic. Examples include taking part in workshops, role play, handling relevant artefacts and visiting different environments.

Upper Key Stage 2 are given the chance to take part in residential trips which encourages them to apply their learning and social skills in a range of contexts while building confidence, independence and resilience.

 How well do children learn these subjects?

Through block teaching children acquire knowledge more rapidly as they are using and remembering the knowledge to support the following days learning. The teachers spend less time recapping prior knowledge.

At the end of a block of work (particularly in Geography and History) children are expected to complete an extended piece of writing about the topic they have been learning. This enables them to demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired and use context specific vocabulary to secure retention. This supports the assessment of the subject area.

The written work the children produce may not always represent the attainment of individual children in a particular subject, where written English is a particular challenge for them. This is taken into account when judgements are formed. Children demonstrate independence and enjoyment of their learning during these blocks of work and this is valued equally with the child’s written work in the subject.

Teachers in individual year groups evaluate each topic to ensure that what is being taught is relevant and suitable for the cohort of children they are teaching.

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