‘Think like a…’ (Read/Write/Talk like a…)
At Eskdale Junior School we believe that our pupils have access to a rich, exciting, engaging, and challenging curriculum that is tailored to pupil needs, allowing for the best possible outcomes for all. It is underpinned by our five core values (known to the children as ‘The Big Five’ or S.T.A.R.S.)
Through our curriculum we emphasise in equal measure, the importance of both pupils' academic and personal development, preparing them to be successful learners and shaping their character to become fully-fledged Eskdalers.
We believe that it is essential also to nurture our pupil’s ability to ‘Take Care’, ‘Aim High’, ‘Respond to Challenge’ and develop ‘Self-Discipline’, as detailed in our ‘Vision and Values’ statement. Wherever possible, we identify opportunities to promote and integrate these values within our curriculum, as a constant thread running through all aspects of school life.
We achieve this by introducing pupils to the idea of our ‘Think like a…’ (Read/Write/Talk like a…) approach to their learning. For every subject taught, pupils will be encouraged to Think like whichever expert is linked to that particular subject, e.g.: for Art, ‘Think like an Artist’, for Geography, ‘Think like a Geographer’. This approach involves leading pupils through the thought processes of each subject so becoming a ‘little more expert’. By delivering our curriculum in this way, pupils can begin to realise their future aspirations and ambitions to become their own ‘expert’ in the given subject areas.
Using the national curriculum as the minimum expectation, pupils are taught to retain both substantive and disciplinary knowledge for each subject through units of work, enabling pupils to develop an understanding of established substantive concepts.
The school's ‘Think like a…’ curriculum is taught using a specific model of pedagogy (how children learn) that is focussed on pupils knowing more and remembering more as they learn. Our (meta-cognitive) teaching model focusses on the following structure for each subject:
- Activating prior knowledge
- Small step teaching delivery
- Independent practice
Rooted in reading, writing, oracy and a rich vocabulary, our curriculum is designed to help pupils make meaningful links between subjects taught. Learning is layered to aid memory retention and the development overtime of ‘schemas’ in long-term memory. This is placed alongside a wealth of experiences, to develop our pupil’s cultural capital, enabling them to articulate their understanding of what they see and learn and connect classroom learning to the world.
The development of pupil’s cultural capital is enabled through additional opportunities that enrich both skills and knowledge, helping our pupils to understand the world around them. These are made memorable by approaches such as: assembly, visits from high quality external providers, thematic days hosted in school, residentials and by visiting places of educational interest.
At Eskdale, our pupils are encouraged to believe in themselves and their own abilities, to work hard and strive for their own personal aspirations and to use every day to achieve and build upon their day-to-day achievements, preparing them for both now and equipping them well for their future.
Click below to see each year groups curriculum overview and current termly overviews