Our Curriculum Principles
“A curriculum exists to change the pupil, to give the pupil new power. One acid test for a curriculum is whether it enables lower-attaining or disadvantaged pupils to clamber in to the discourse and practices of educated people, so that they gain the powers of the powerful.”
Christine Counsell (a leading curriculum expert)
The knowledge, concepts and overarching ideas of individual subjects are an entitlement for every child. We cover the principles and full scope of the National Curriculum, but our school curriculum will offer opportunities for learning beyond this, where we deem it relevant and interesting to our pupils. We teach all subjects across all year groups, as we see all subjects as having a justifiable place in their own right and as part of the cultural inheritance that education should bring.
Underpinning all this is our aim for our pupils to develop into individuals who are fluent and confident speakers, listeners, readers, writers and mathematicians. English and mathematics are the bedrock of our curriculum. As we have emphasised, the most important thing to us is that our pupils grow up to be happy, empathetic and kind people. Instilling our children with a love of and confidence with reading is central to this. It is one of the most important things we do at Woodlands. Reading with our children is woven into all aspects of our curriculum. We understand that, as Daniel Willingham states, ‘The human mind seems exquisitely tuned to understand and remember stories—so much so that psychologists sometimes refer to stories as “psychologically privileged,” meaning that they are treated differently in memory than other types of material.’ Telling stories throughout our curriculum and weaving in narrative is crucial.
Considering our unique context and our educational philosophy, we have set out six curriculum principles. These principles guide our thinking in the planning process. Our teachers know and understand that these principles are the starting point for all curriculum thinking. We ask ourselves if what we are teaching in the classroom meets these principles throughout our curriculum, across subjects and within every year group.
Read about Our Curriculum's Big Ideas here.