London Fields Primary School

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Our Curriculum



We are very proud of our curriculum at London Fields Primary School.

Please select each subject for more details on each subject and click here for a curriculum overview.

We want the pupils at London Fields to learn to be able to think well and feel well so that they can contribute and belong to a better world. We want them to not only leave with the academic knowledge and skills they will need to succeed at secondary school, but also to have a love of learning and a sense of their own agency and importance in the world. We want them to feel they have a voice and a stake in the future. 

We have constructed a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all pupils the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. 


 How is our curriculum designed?

- Subject Schemas

Our curriculum is designed to help pupils form subject-specific schema within their long-term memories.  Schema theory states that all knowledge is organised into units. A schema is, therefore, a conceptual system for understanding knowledge.  Each schema is a way of organising a subject's semantic and procedural knowledge in a meaningful way; it is an appreciation of how facts are connected and the ways in which they are connected.  It is distinct from information, which is just isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links. Big Ideas help form the basis of the schema. Big Ideas are key concepts that underpin the subject. 

Each Big Idea has facets of knowledge (known to our pupils as knowledge categories) which help to strengthen the schema. Learning knowledge in each of the categories allows pupils to express and demonstrate their understanding of the Big Idea. These Big Ideas are returned to over and over again in different contexts so the pupils gradually build an understanding of them. 

Subject Leads have created each subject schema (known to our pupils as knowledge organisers). 

- Curriculum Knowledge Maps

Subject leads have created Knowledge Maps outlining the procedural and semantic knowledge pupils will be taught in each knowledge category and when this knowledge will be taught. Knowledge Maps support teachers to maximise opportunities to make links across topics and subjects, helping to deepen an understanding of the Big Ideas.

- Curriculum Milestones

For each of the Big Ideas in each subject, four milestones have been outlined. These are the key goals pupils are aiming for by the end of R/Y2/Y4/Y6.

It takes time for pupils to demonstrate mastery or greater depth of the milestones. They need to gradually progress in their semantic strength and procedural fluency through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep.

As part of the progression model a different pedagogical style is used in each of the cognitive domains of basic, advancing and deep. This is based on the research of Sweller, Kirschner and Rosenshine who argue for direct instruction in the basic domain and problem-based discovery in the deep domain.

Each subject’s curriculum planning documents help pupils meet the milestones by providing:

  • clearly defined topics to study which ensure curriculum breadth
  • the knowledge needed to build a schema
  • the vocabulary needed to articulate an understanding of the subject
  • an outline of appropriately pitched (cognitive domain) tasks to carry out to show proof of progress


How do we ensure that the knowledge taught 'sticks'?

Learning is at least in part defined as a change in long-term memory. Therefore, it is important we use approaches that help pupils to integrate new knowledge into the long-term memory and make connections that foster understanding. At London Fields, we have drawn on a growing evidence base from the 'learning sciences' which have developed by applying understanding generated by cognitive science to classroom practice. Here are several of the approaches we use:

  • Spaced practice: Knowledge is rehearsed for short periods over longer periods of time, is more effective than massed-practice. 
  • Retrieval practice: Recalling something you have learned in the past and bringing it back to mind. (Show planning documents where the green asterisk marks retrieval practice within and across subjects).  
  • Oracy: We recognise that oracy is a powerful tool for learning and make time in our curriculum to actively teach the skills needed to be an effective speaker. This time given to 'learning to talk' allows our pupils to use talk as a vehicle for learning. Maximising meaningful talk opportunities (both exploratory and presentational) throughout the curriculum, helps deepen and embed learning.
  • Dual coding: Using both verbal and non-verbal information (such as words and pictures) to teach concepts.
  • Meaningful curriculum topics: Topics chosen promote cultural self-esteem, reflect the diversity and interests of the school community.
  • Awareness of cognitive load: Focusing pupils on key information without overloading them, for example, by breaking down or ‘chunking’ subject content, or using worked examples, exemplars, or scaffolds. 
  • Elaboration: Providing opportunities to describing and explaining something learned to others in some detail.
  • Contextualising knowledge: Providing meaningful opportunities through trips, visitors, workshops and wider curriculum experiences helps to consolidate learning
  • Universal Systems: At London Fields we have universal systems in place to create a safe learning environment. 


How is our curriculum delivered?

We know that learning is most effective with spaced repetition, which is why throughout the year, children study numerous topics for each subject, allowing the Big Ideas to be revisited over and over again. We ensure previously taught knowledge is retrieved regularly, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.  Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practice for previously taught learning content. 


How do we support teaching staff to deliver the curriculum?

Each Subject Lead is an experienced practitioner and with the support of the Curriculum Lead, is responsible for devising Subject Schemas, Subject Knowledge Maps, Subject Milestones and Subject Planning Documents. CPD is provided to ensure teaching staff have secure content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. Content knowledge can be defined as teaching staff's knowledge of the subject they are teaching, pedagogical knowledge as teaching staff's knowledge of effective teaching methods, and pedagogical content knowledge as teaching staff's knowledge of how to teach the particular subject or topic.  As a result, the curriculum can be successfully modified, designed or developed to be ambitious and meet the needs of all pupils. The teaching of subjects is monitored and feedback from lesson observations, learning walks and work scrutinies etc. as well as pupil voice feedback informs future planning refinements and developments – under the guidance of the Curriculum Lead. This ensures coherence and cohesion.


Does the curriculum remain as broad as possible for as long as possible?

The full curriculum is taught throughout the school. Subjects have been carefully timetabled to ensure coverage and progression. Each year group has a simple, standardised class timetable to maximise the use of learning time so that:

  • Big Ideas are revisited over and over again, in a range of different contexts
  • All subjects have quality space in the timetable
  • Opportunities for deep learning are maximised
  • Teachers and pupils can become immersed in specific topics and the learning journey does not become disjointed and fragmented
  • Workload is manageable and teachers have the time and space to focus on the topic 
  • Subject leads can support with planning and teaching and monitor the impact of the curriculum more effectively
  • Cognitive load on pupils is balanced and opportunities for transference of learning into long term memory are increased


How do we use research to support teaching?

We are an outward looking school that is keen to be innovative and purposeful. We have completed a two-year Visible Learning programme based on the research findings of John Hattie. We have referred to key messages from EEF toolkit in devising our curriculum. We work collaboratively with other schools to help clarify and develop our approach and also to learn from others' experiences and approaches. Whole school CPD is closely aligned to SDP priorities and impact in practice is then carefully monitored. Planning, pedagogy and practice are adapted to incorporate findings from research, e.g. concepts from cognitive load theory or central role of timely feedback. Monitoring feedback informs further support and CPD. Bespoke and individualised CPD is provided through planning meetings and mentoring.


How do our leaders know if pupils ‘learn the curriculum’ and how do they track achievements?

A range of assessment measures are used as outlined in the Teaching and Learning Policy and Assessment Policy. Opportunities to capture pupil voice are built into the planning. The school works alongside other schools in the local authority to share good practice and to develop effective assessment and feedback.


How does our curriculum reflect the culture and climate of our school?

The school offers a bespoke curriculum, designed carefully with our children in mind and also with our vision of what education should be. In creating and developing our offer, we considered:

  • Cultural bias- maximising opportunities for raising cultural self-esteem both in the subject planning and also in the wider environment, e.g, class names, images, assemblies, Planning actively promotes BAME role models and challenges European bias where possible. British values are woven through pastoral care and SMSC as well as the academic curriculum
  • Social and moral rights and responsibilities are taught in context through the academic curriculum as well as through assemblies, Philosophy for Children and the pastoral offer
  • Rich experiences – trips, forest school, visitors, work week to not only support particular curriculum topics but also to provide wide life experiences to all and to support social mobility
  • Strong SEND provision – bespoke curriculum within curriculum for pupils with complex additional needs
  • Strong well-being offer to support children to ‘feel well’ and to develop their social and emotional literacy using a simple whole school approach - Zones of Regulation


How does our curriculum provide for physical and mental wellbeing?

Our school vision is built on the two clear concepts of ‘Can my mind think well?' and 'Can my mind feel well?’ We believe that well-being needs to be taught and explored explicitly through lessons in the curriculum such as Healthy Living in Science, Design and Technology and PE and implicitly through the way all members of the school respect each other, listen to each other and care for each other. Our approach to establishing positive relationships encourages pupils to develop their emotional literacy and to discuss and acknowledge their feelings and emotions. Bespoke packages of support are developed for vulnerable pupils.


What is it like to be a pupil at this school?

Here’s what the pupils say…

One of the best things about our school is the poetry. Lots of children like listening to poems and reading poems and the teachers inspire you to create your own poems.

Teachers in our school help you discover your talents - the school gives you a lot of chances to find out what you're good at.

Science is really fun. It is so logical but fascinating. You can say, 'oh this happens and so that happens and then you can say but what would happen if I do this?'. The more science you learn, the more you understand it.

I really like Literacy in our school. I really love the books we get to read, and they're all so different and it always surprises me when I like a book that I might not have picked for myself.

We're doing Music at the moment and it's so nice for people who thought they didn't like it to find out that they're really good at it, and the teachers make sure everyone is good at it.

I also really love D&T - it's so cool.  We do things I would never have even thought of, like, a few years ago we made night lights and I remember the Year Sixes made cable cars - I hope we get to do that. We do such cool projects - things I would never even think of making.

I love creative writing because it isn't very restrictive, we can put our own twists on it and there aren't really any limits on what you can write. I can be really creative.

I like the way we block our subjects. We get to spend time thinking about one subject and we can link back to our other lessons and you can remember everything you've learned.

I like the way the subjects sometimes mix up. For example, in Science, we drew scientific drawings of skulls so we were doing Art and Science at the same time.