At Carleton Endowed CE (VA) Primary School, our curriculum is systemically structured to enable our children to know more and remember more. Concepts in each area of the curriculum are sequenced in small steps to avoid cognitive overload and to ensure children deepen their knowledge and are able to apply this knowledge in accurate and meaningful ways.
In all curriculum units, the learning process begins with teachers checking pupils’ understanding of prior learning. These connected knowledge checks help to ensure that children are building on secure prior knowledge and are able to make connections between existing knowledge and new knowledge.
To embed new knowledge into the long term memory, children at Carleton Endowed CE Primary School have regular, planned opportunities to actively practise their new knowledge. These retrieval tasks occur during the review stage of each lesson and a variety of activities are used in our classrooms to enable children to recall their knowledge in different ways. Examples of retrieval exercises used in our EYFS and Key Stage One classrooms are quick fire questioning, flashcards, multiple choice questions and picture quizzes. Whereas in our Key Stage Two classrooms, retrieval tasks may take the form of practising explanations, low-stakes written quizzes and mind mapping. In addition, Knowledge Checks are used throughout the school as our spaced and interleaved retrieval practice.
For curriculum subjects, Knowledge Checks are carried out every 2, 6 and 12 weeks after a unit has been taught. This repeated application of knowledge allows teachers to assess the essential knowledge which has been taught and check for understanding. Any forgotten knowledge or gaps in knowledge are identified and whole class or small group interventions are implemented until the knowledge is secure.
We have three summative assessment points each academic year (December, March and May) for assessing reading, writing, maths and SPAG. We use PIRA tests for reading, GAPS tests for grammar and spelling and for maths we use White Rose summative tests. Writng teacher assessments are moderated both internally and externally.