KinGSTON'S TAKE ON THE WORLD AND DEBATING CURRICULUM
WHY? (This is our intent)
At Kingston our bespoke curriculum is strategically designed to ensure that our pupils are ready to take on the world when they leave our school. At the core of our curriculum we focus on behaviours that we encourage our children to learn about and practise repeatedly which we believe will put them in good stead to ‘take on the world’. These behaviours have been well thought through with all of our stakeholders and have been specifically chosen for our community of pupils.
It is our intention that every single child has access to a world-class curriculum that has been designed specifically for them. All children are different; they have different backgrounds and different experiences. It is our job to design a curriculum that not only teaches children what they need to know to be successful academically, but also develops them as a person. Our customised curriculum is designed to provide relevant and meaningful experiences to all pupils. We make a real impact on academic standards and pupils’ personal development. We do this through weaving our core behaviours into the fabric of everyday life at Kingston. We focus on behaviours rather than values or characteristics as we know that behaviours can be taught.
Our curriculum is a layered curriculum:
LAYER ONE -CORE
- Aim High
- Be courageous
- Consider and respect others
- Dare to be your best
- Eager to learn
The Kingston Way:
- Kind hands
- Kind feet
- Kind words (Is it kind? Is it true? And Is it necessary?)
- Include others
Raise Responsibility – what level are you at?
- Level D – Democracy
- Level C – Co-operation
- Level B – Bothering
- Level A – Anarchy
LAYER TWO – PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS OUR CHILDREN WILL NEED TO ‘TAKE ON THE WORLD’.
LAYER THREE – BIG QUESTIONS
LAYER FOUR – SUBJECT EXPERTS
LAYER FIVE – LEARNING FOUNDATIONS
Why knowledge based?
We place an emphasis on knowledge and vocabulary acquisition throughout our curriculum. We know that if nothing has changed in the long-term memory then nothing has been learnt at all. We have therefore designed our curriculum to take this into account. By focussing on key knowledge and vocabulary and returning back to them again and again through varied opportunities, we deepen children’s knowledge thereby altering their long-term memory. Exposure to high quality vocabulary is also intrinsic in our curriculum as it is proven that there is a strong correlation between vocabulary size and life chances. Our curriculum is a balance between making learning memorable and having the chance to practise. Knowledge in the long-term memory frees up the working memory, giving children the chance to think! Our curriculum expectations are high – learning is difficult. However, by reducing extraneous cognitive load and giving time to practise and return to prior learning (interleaved with new learning) we move this learning into the long-term memory. We know that knowledge precedes creativity and we know that our pupils learn new things by connecting them to old things.
We are very careful about our knowledge instruction – we understand that teaching knowledge well inspires the same excitement as ‘fun activities’ (which can sometimes distract from the core learning purpose) because children feel like they are learning and doing well. The great thing about knowledge is that with every new fact you learn the number of new ideas and connections open to you increases enormously.
A number of studies have shown that disadvantaged students benefit most from a knowledge-based curriculum because they have not been exposed to the range of vocabularies and ideas outside school as some of their peers. Research has also shown that knowledge and a good grasp of reading is so important for reading comprehension.
Please download the document 'KINGSTON'S TAKE ON THE WORLD AND DEBATING CURRICULUM' to find out more about our curriculum.