How do we teach at Aureus Primary?
Our pedagogical approach is predominantly based on the Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) which in turn focuses on the complexities of human memory function (Sweller, 1988). Our curriculum is specifically designed to reduce cognitive load which lays the foundation for a truly inclusive learning environment where all children are supported to transfer learning from short-term to long-term memory. Our curriculum also follows the strategies for knowledge acquisition based on the Strategies of Knowledge Acquisition (Kuhn, 2010) through implementing Rosenshine’s 10 Principles of Instruction.
Our universal education offer is structured into 3 domains:
Intent – what are we aiming to achieve for our children?
Implementation – how are we going to achieve this? What strategies will we use to achieve our intent and how will we implement those?
Impact – how will we know that we have been successful? What impact will our education offer have on the ‘whole’ child?
The ‘Intent’ of our offer has been derived from integral elements of the National Curriculum. We have 4 main intentions which we believe not only deliver the aims of the National Curriculum, but also, address a child’s full development in a holistic way. Success in academia is of course important, but it is not everything. Being a successful citizen of the world means you are confident, articulate, and able to follow a desired career path.
“As a school we believe that all pupils have an entitlement to achieve their maximum potential regardless of their circumstances. We will provide opportunities to break through barriers, increase resilience and ensure that every child in our care is inspired to have aspirations not bound by their societal background.
We are keenly aware that as a school our provision for disadvantage children must be of the highest quality; at the forefront of that effort must be outstanding classroom teaching and learning, without which few disadvantage children would succeed. We therefore firmly believe, as a necessity, that our provision to our disadvantaged children must be first and foremost a whole school approach and provision. Our high-quality teaching offer is dedicated to ensuring every child in the class has not only the opportunity, but the expectation to achieve highly and experience success. Furthermore, this investment in high-quality teaching is manifest in an investment in a senior leadership structure which is designed to ensure a coherent vision and vehicle for the provision of disadvantaged children, through a vast and specialised range of expertise. This expertise can be drawn on and unquestionably compliments the provision of teachers in the whole class learning environment.”
(Pupil Premium Vision Statement)
Our STEAM curriculum has been specifically written and deliberately designed to best serve children living in Oxfordshire. We follow The National Curriculum and deliver it through a Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics lens. The STEAM curriculum is a vehicle to encourage children to aspire to work in the high technology industries within Oxfordshire and to develop a love of learning.
Each term a different element of STEAM is launched to the entire school and classes are set a challenge. Purpose is created through celebration events where STEAM work is showcased to parents and the local community at the end of term ‘STEAM Showcase Event.’ Children are taught directly and specifically how to narrate their project journey and then present this to their classmates every term. Vocabulary, speech techniques and confidence are all developed as a result.
High quality planning ensures that National Curriculum objectives are taught and that children are exposed to and inspired through hands on experiments and enrichment opportunities. Trips to local schools to explore art facilities, local secondary schools to visit Space Labs and visits from students in the local art schools form core entitlements to our education offer. Children in KS1 and KS2 are encouraged to develop independence in research. This is a deliberate strategy to encourage autonomy and self-efficacy whilst at the same time leading children towards a way of working that is crucial for the world of work.
The purpose of the curriculum is to actualise the school’s vision: to empower all children, without exception, to become a successful citizen. Children need to be able to identify what is means to excel and become knowledgeable in a discipline i.e., ‘an expert.’ Our ambition is for children to understand what it means to think, read, write, and speak like an historian, a geographer, an artist, a scientist etc.
Our SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural) education offer underpins our commitment to ensuring that when they leave our school, our children are true Global Citizens regardless of their background or any protected characteristics. We teach and expect every child to demonstrate high levels of personal integrity, confidence, and articulacy that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
We believe children’s progress in SMSC is as dependent on the acquisition of knowledge and skills as academic subjects. Our SMSC curriculum is designed to ensure that all statutory content is delivered in a way that ensures success for all children and removes barriers to learning. SMSC is delivered through a combination of whole-school assemblies, class-based discussions led by the class teacher, and classroom activities. Children are both directly and indirectly involved in delivering the SMSC curriculum; assemblies based on our Global Values are led by children under the guidance of their teachers, and parts of Health and Relationships Education and Global Citizenship are planned responsively according to the needs and context of each teacher’s own class. We are committed to the reduction of cognitive load (Sweller); as such, elements of SMSC are closely linked with our Inclusion offer and Behaviour Policy to ensure use of a shared language to deliver emotional education.