Welcome to our curriculum page. Here you will find information on the curriculum at Nechells Primary.
For more information on the aims and principles of our curriculum please visit our approach to learning page by clicking on this link: click here
Curriculum Long-Term Plans:
‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’ Benjamin Franklin
What is a Knowledge Organiser?
A knowledge organiser is a document, no more than one side of A4, that contains key facts, essential knowledge and vocabulary that children need to know about a unit of work within a subject.
Knowledge organisers at Nechells are laid out in easy-to-digest chunks and include key vocabulary, technical terms and their meanings with images, maps, timelines etc if relevant, a format deliberately chosen to help pupils learn and remember the content.
Knowledge organsiers do not include the whole content of the curriculum, only key information that children will be expected to learn and remember. The intent of them is to help pupils’ carefully build increasingly sophisticated schemas in their minds, allowing them to think more coherently, critically and creatively.
The purpose of a knowledge organiser is to make the expectation for what should be learnt transparent to pupils, teachers, leaders and parents, making the schema as explicit and as visible as possible.
‘As pupils learn more about a particular subject they have a larger and tighter web with which to catch new pieces of information. In this way, then, knowledge begets knowledge. That is to say: the more you know, the easier it is to learn’. Jon Hutchinson, 2019
Knowledge organisers firstly act as a planning tool, setting out all of the core, foundational facts that must be learnt to understand and master a particular topic. Secondly, they are useful as an assessment tool, allowing teachers throughout a unit of work to quickly check that pupils are learning. Lastly, and perhaps most powerfully, is the knowledge organiser’s function as a quizzing tool, helping pupils to recall with lightning speed the key information needed to make sense of the topic.
How are Knowledge Organisers used at Nechells?
Staff at Nechells ensure that knowledge organisers are implemented with care in order to supercharge the curriculum.
Every child in years 1 – 6 is given a knowledge organiser in advance of the up and coming unit of work in all subjects. They are sent home as part of regular homework activities with tasks set related to learning the content. They are also stuck into pupils’ books at the start of each unit, children refer to them, when appropriate, as a tool to help them to learn and remember key knowledge and vocabulary. Staff also use them as a tool to plan any pre-teaching sessions, sessions which aim to ensure all pupils are able to access learning at the point of learning.
Throughout a unit, pupils refer back to the knowledge organiser and ‘check off’ what has been taught in depth during lessons. Pupils may spend a few moments taking it in turns to explain one particular section with their partner, or use it as a self-quizzing tool, or even try and write out the descriptions they have written based on the names.
This process of self-quizzing is low-stakes, hugely motivational and has massive learning benefits. It increases what cognitive psychologists Robert and Elizebeth Bjork refer to as retrieval and storage strength of key knowledge.
Knowledge organisers also have a hidden value. With the exact content in any given unit set out so transparently, links can be made between different topics. When our pupils study Roman Britain in Y4, they learn about the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century. However, their teacher knows that in Y3 they will all have learnt about the collapse of the Shang Dynasty in Ancient China in 1046 BCE. Thus, explicit links can be drawn, giving pupils multiple concrete examples of building and maintaining an empire. They will encounter this theme again when studying the Benin Kingdom of west Africa in Y5.
These conceptual links can only be established with clarity around exactly what is being learnt in each unit.
At the end of each unit of work pupils complete a knowledge assessment to show how well they have learnt and remembered the key knowledge and vocabulary.
Subject specific information:
Please click on the following links for each curricular area:
If you require more information regarding the Curriculum at Nechells then please contact Mrs Mahony (Headteacher) through the academy office.