Over the last three years, the Warriner Multi Academy Trust has been developing a carefully sequenced, knowledge-led curriculum, informed by the best research evidence available.
Subject knowledge is at the forefront of our teaching and learning and demands us to plan a challenging, engaging and knowledge led curriculum.
All of our subject unit plans identify the specific knowledge to be taught and the order it should be taught in. Knowledge and concepts are mapped both vertically and horizontally across year groups and across the school.
Underpinning research evidence: Curriculum Research
The development of our curriculum was also underpinned by many of the ideas from cognitive science about memory, forgetting and the power of retrieval practice. Our curriculum is designed to be remembered in detail – to be stored in our students’ long-term memories so that they can later build on it, forming ever wider and deeper schemas.
We also recognise the importance of retrieval practice as a strategy for supporting the retention of knowledge in the long-term memory. Retrieval practice strengthens memory and makes it easier to retrieve the information later. To this end we have built in opportunities for this form of knowledge testing throughout our curriculum be it in the form of quizzes, concept maps or flash cards.
Cognitive load theory also underpins the structure of our curriculum. We have ensured through careful and deliberate sequencing and progression that knowledge and concepts have been broken down carefully, appropriately linked and mapped progressively in order that our children are able to acquire knowledge, create meaning and readily make connections with different schema without risking ‘Cognitive overload.’