at the Heart of the Curriculum
About the Primary Knowledge Curriculum
The Primary Knowledge Curriculum places ‘Powerful Knowledge’, knowledge that takes students beyond their own experiences, at the heart of the primary curriculum.
The knowledge in our curriculum is carefully chosen, sequenced in a meaningful way that enables children to progress incrementally and is highly specialised.
Our curriculum is divided into subjects, recognising the identity of the disciplines we study, fostering a love for subject content that will flourish as children move through the curriculum.
A knowledge-rich curriculum places powerful knowledge at the heart of the curriculum. The knowledge content is carefully chosen and organised in a coherent way, ensuring it builds from year to year. In this way, the knowledge in the curriculum is cumulative, constructing firm foundations from which children can build conceptual understanding and skills over time.
The National Curriculum 2014 encouraged schools to place more emphasis on teaching knowledge. Thinkers such as E.D Hirsch, Daniel Willingham and Dylan Wiliam have influenced how knowledge is considered in the curriculum. Schools are now asking questions about what content should be taught, in what order, and also reflecting upon what children remember and how they remember it. Importantly, findings from cognitive science are beginning to influence practice in the classroom. The Primary Knowledge Curriculum has been developed in line with current thinking on how children learn.
For us, a knowledge-rich curriculum is an entitlement for every child, regardless of background. Curriculum coherence ensures that teaching does not jump from topic to topic, from ‘Under the Sea’ to ‘Superheroes’, but enables children to develop knowledge, and love of subjects. Subject content is crucial to this approach- the content provides the engagement and plants the seeds for a lifetime of learning.
An essential element of a knowledge curriculum is the development of a broad and rich vocabulary, and the ambitious and explicit teaching of this. The vocabulary content of the Primary Knowledge Curriculum has been planned with the purpose of addressing the ‘word gap’ for children who enter school with a limited vocabulary.