Curriculum Vision

Be Kind, Work Hard and Make a Difference

Our curriculum is knowledge-rich.
Our curriculum has social justice and community at its heart.
Our children have the space to think critically and form an opinion.
Our children are confident and articulate and leave us ready to become valued members of society.
Our reading-centred curriculum exposes our children to diverse and relevant books and authors. 

 

Background

In January 2020, Moss Hall Infant and Junior school became a federation whose express vision was to provide a coherent learning journey for children as they moved between the two schools.  We took this opportunity for staff, children and parents to work together to agree on the “why” or intention underpinning our revised sequenced curriculum.  We worked together to agree on the values and principles that would be woven through our curriculum, that children would revisit throughout their Moss Hall journey, building on knowledge and skills so that we were delivering a curriculum for long term learning.  Working from the National Curriculum, our understanding of cognitive science and the science of learning, we have designed a curriculum that enables children to engage with concepts across subjects, across and between years and throughout their school career - building and deepening schema.

Barnet and Moss Hall are diverse. Families have moved in and out of the area for social and economic reasons throughout history. Our curriculum aims to reflect and respond to the full diversity within our locality. We aim to help children feel connected to the local, national and global community through this approach.

What We Teach and Why

Our school values reflect and build upon the already established ethos of social justice and altruism within the community and underpin all aspects of our curriculum:

Be Kind, Work Hard and Make a Difference

Using the National Curriculum and Programmes of Study as our starting point, we have interwoven these values through our knowledge-rich curriculum across both the Infant and Junior schools. Consulting with all staff, from Reception to Year 6, we decided upon our core lenses: 

 Trade & Resources, Migration & Diversity, Civilisation, Democracy, Settlement, Society, Climate & Biomes, Landscape, Rights, Empire & Invasion, Sustainability and Power & Monarchy

The content of these lenses is carefully sequenced, challenging, inclusive and diverse. It has meaningful experiences and knowledge that develop cultural capital for all of our children. 

Our big questions link explicitly to the lenses and enable our children to have the space to think critically and form an opinion. They are encouraged to express this both verbally and in written essay form providing teachers with a variety of assessment opportunities.

We have a 3D approach to building knowledge and skills, across a unit, across a year and across subjects and key stages. This enables our children to know more and remember more, deepen understanding and carefully build mental models (schemas) over time.

Our ambitious and inclusive curriculum is rich in vocabulary with reading threaded throughout. Our diverse and carefully selected book spine reflects the diversity of our community and broadens our pupils’ worldview. Each text has been carefully selected to challenge our children, introduce them to a wide range of high-quality authors and complement the knowledge being taught.  

Our research-led approach offers our staff high quality, professional development, building expertise in teaching and learning, and specific subject areas. We offer a broad range of opportunities to our children that encourage resilience, creativity and empathy, equipping them with the skills needed for the next stage of their lives. Nurturing the ‘character’ of our children alongside building their knowledge and skills is fundamental to the Moss Hall Way. We aspire for our children to be articulate and confident to express themselves, make their voices heard, embrace British values, and become valuable members of our society. They will be kind, work hard and make a difference!

How We Teach 
Sequencing

Our 3D curriculum facilitates sequencing across the school, a unit and within a lesson allowing for connection with our lenses and big questions. 

 At Moss Hall we...

  • structure and sequence unit plans (component parts lead to a composite whole)
  • build knowledge on knowledge in small steps
  • react to childrens’ needs
  • work towards a clearly defined end-point
Instructional Teaching

Our knowledge-led curriculum ensures children acquire appropriate subject-specific knowledge through direct and instructional teaching. Skills are demonstrated as an application of knowledge. ‘Skill is a performance built on what a person knows’ - Spielman 2018.

At Moss Hall we...

  • deliver explicit knowledge
  • break concepts down into small steps
  • address gaps in knowledge
  • teach both declarative knowledge (knowing that) and procedural knowledge (knowing how or skills)

Recall and Retrieval

Our research-led approach means that we focus on moving information from short term to long term memory, building mental models.

At Moss Hall we...

  • use knowledge organisers
  • begin lessons with a ‘Flashback’ - revisiting prior knowledge
  • regularly implement low-stakes quizzing
  • reinforce learning with appropriate home-learning tasks

 

Vocabulary 

Our diverse and carefully selected book spine provides our children with a wealth of high-quality reading material and discrete, subject-specific vocabulary. 

At Moss Hall we...

  • use reading to learn
  • sequence, plan and teach subject-specific vocabulary 
  • encourage deliberate, regular vocabulary exploration, practice and application

 

Questioning

Our lessons always include a range of questioning strategies that deepen understanding and ensure engagement. Questioning for understanding facilitates an immediate feedback loop between teachers and pupils.

At Moss Hall we...

  • use cold calling 
  • use ‘no opt out’
  • use targeted questioning
  • challenge all children
  • promote discussion and articulation of thought
Modelling

Our teachers limit strain on cognitive load by providing a walkthrough of the learning process. We provide high-quality examples to scaffold learning and develop metacognition. 

At Moss Hall we...

  • use worked examples
  • carefully scaffold to support and extend all learners 
  • think aloud to make the implicit explicit
  • encourage children to review their own work

 

Practice

Our teachers embed learning by building fluency and moving acquired knowledge from the short term to long term memory. 

At Moss Hall we...

  • provide opportunities for skill application
  • present small amounts of material before guiding student practice
  • build fluency by following this process:

I do (modelled work) - We do (guided practice) - You do (independent practice)

Assessment 

Our assessment is ongoing and varied throughout individual lessons and a sequence of lessons. It consists of formative and summative assessments which allow us to intervene at the point of delivery and inform next steps.

At Moss Hall we...

  • ask questions to check for understanding
  • give and receive immediate feedback
  • use flashbacks, quizzes and exit-ticket tasks 
  • give essay-style big questions connected to our lenses.
  • reteach and extend