The Croft Curriculum in Action
Our Curriculum journey started in November 2019 when we took the decision to create a bespoke curriculum that we felt would best meet the needs of the pupils at our school. At the centre of our curriculum design was our desire to create pupils who are resilient, compassionate and responsible citizens. With this in mind, we drew upon the expertise of an external consultant and together, began the exciting task of building our Croft Curriculum.
We wanted our pupils to not only experience the breadth and depth of the National Curriculum, but to also learn about global issues and know how they can become more effective communicators to make changes in the world, even if those changes are small. With this in mind we designed our Croft Curriculum around three main drivers: Head, knowledge as defined in the National Curriculum. Heart, Compassion and responsibility to our school, locality, out nation and our world. Hand, skills that help us to share our acquired knowledge and skills through a product.
We make the planning of our enquiries a priority for staff and ensure that we carefully plan and sequence the learning for the children. CPD for staff has been high on the agenda and we have enjoyed learning how to become better teachers through the use of techniques that promote high quality teaching and learning.
We cover three global themes a year and ensure that our learning, where applicable, links to this so that the children can develop the key skills of empathy and understanding. The global theme is the starting point for our big questions that are central to our enquires.
The choice of a core text to support our learning for each term is a crucial part of our enquiry planning and ensures that English really is the golden thread that weaves throughout our curriculum offer.
Enhancing our pupil's vocabulary is a key element in our learning and we introduced our sticky vocabulary words to help achieve this. Sticky vocabulary words are the ones we know they will need to use throughout their Enquiry, English and Science learning. These are shared with the parents and the children and it's always exciting to see children referring back to 'sticky vocabulary' that they have learnt during previous terms. During the Summer term of 2022, we also introduced our 'Key skills and Vocabulary for experts' documents that further enhance the children's repertoire of subject specific vocabulary.
Our children enjoy exploring the knowledge organiser for their Enquiry lessons and use them regularly to support their learning in lessons. During informal assessments, the children are able to answer quiz style questions about their knowledge organisers and the children also enjoy sharing what they have learnt through double page spreads at the end of their enquiries.
We create enquiry learning walls in our classrooms and use these as regular reminders of the learning that has taken place and as a springboard for our new learning. The enquiry learning walls show the journey each class has taken to be able to answer their big questions.
Every fortnight we share highlights of our learning with our parents so they can continue the learning conversations at home. These are emailed to parents and shared on our class pages.
At the end of our enquiries, each class creates a new display in a central area of the school so that we can share and celebrate the learning that has taken place throughout the term.
We regularly monitor our learning in enquiry lessons and find that the children are keen to show us their enquiry books, lead us to their enquiry walls and talk animatedly about their learning. As a school, we were keen to find out what our parents thought and even sought the opinions of an external reviewer.
Our next steps in the development of our Croft Curriculum are to help our children become better learners. We are doing this through a variety of methods such as using the research and findings of Di Pardoe and drawing upon the expertise of our external consultant. During our most recent inset training in May, we began exploring the use of an instructional model for the planning of our enquiry lessons and also looked at the strategies suggested by Voice21 to continue to develop oracy within our curriculum.
We are enjoying the journey that we have undertaken to ensure that our pupils really do become resilient, compassionate, responsible citizens who embrace challenge and communicate effectively.