St Alban's Milestones
Curriculum breadth at St Alban's is shaped by our curriculum drivers, cultural capital, subject topics and our ambition for students to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars. our academic curriculum sets out;
a) A clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered.
b) The “threshold” concepts pupils should understand
c) Criteria for progression within the threshold concepts.
d) Criteria for depth of understanding
The diagram below shows the model of the curriculum structure at St Alban’s Primary school.
a) The Curriculum Breadth for each year group ensures each teacher has clarity as to what to cover. As well as providing the key knowledge within subjects it also provides for pupils growing cultural capital. Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and ‘threshold concepts’. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied.
b) Threshold concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated many times in each topic. Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, students return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build understanding of them.
c) Milestones define the standards for the threshold concepts. For each of the threshold concepts three Milestones, each of which includes the procedural and semantic knowledge students need to understand the threshold concepts, provides a progression model.
d) Knowledge categories in each subject give students a way of expressing their understanding of the threshold concepts
Although not published in full on the website the knowledge webs that are used for subjects like Design Technology, Geography, History and PE help to ensure that we have a curriculum built on powerful schema.
e) Knowledge webs help students to relate each topic to previously studied topics and to form
strong, meaningful schema.
f) Cognitive science tell us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if students are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory. Cognitive science also tells us that in order for students to become creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding they must first master the basics, which takes time.
Year 1 and Year 2
By the end of Year 1 pupils should have a basic grasp of all of this content. By the end of Year 2 pupils should have an advancing understanding of this content, whilst some will have a deep understanding
Year 3 and Year 4
By the end of Year 3 pupils should have a basic grasp of all of this content. By the end of Year 4 pupils should have an advancing understanding of this content, whilst some will have a deep understanding
Year 5 and Year 6
By the end of Year 5 pupils should have a basic grasp of all of this content. By the end of Year 6 pupils should have an advancing understanding of this content, whilst some will have a deep understanding