Ravenor’s Knowledge Based Curriculum
In September 2019, Ravenor Primary began a journey embedding a new purposeful, ambitious, and engaging knowledge based and vocabulary rich curriculum, which meets the needs of all our pupils. Ravenor’s values of being resilient, resourceful, respectful, reflective, and responsible are woven through the curriculum and we build in opportunities for pupils discuss these values in action as they arise. For example, we learn about Helen Keller’s remarkable resilience overcoming the adversity of being blind and deaf to become a leading humanitarian; we learn about the resourceful George de Mestral who mimicked natures burdock seeds to invent Velcro despite being told it would not work; throughout the curriculum the children learn about how we should respect our planet, humanity and all living things, learning about lives of significant people such as David Attenborough who spread this important message; we learn about the reflective Isaac Newton- a scientist, astronomer, mathematician, theologian and author who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time; and the knowledge in our curriculum enables children to grow into responsible global citizens, learning about important innovations and initiatives such as the Great Green Wall project in Africa which is seeking to pause and undo some of the effects of desertification.
Our curriculum has been purposefully designed and coherently sequenced to teach both powerful knowledge and subject specific skills, which are built on over time. Through revisiting core knowledge, concepts and skills, pupils are supported with knowing and remembering more each year, making meaningful connections both within subjects and across the wider curriculum.
By the time Ravenor pupils leave our school, we want them to be vocabulary rich and have developed their knowledge and love of learning. We are committed to treating every pupil as an individual enabling them to develop as citizens equipped with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that they will need for life in modern day Britain.
Our knowledge-rich curriculum belongs to and includes every child, representing our rich and diverse school community. Ensuring our curriculum is diverse and inclusive has been a priority for us.
We study art and artists from all over the world. Our units on art in the Islamic world, western Africa and China address the issue of accepted art history narratives, colonialization and empire and the influence of non-Western art on art of the Western world. Women artists are also included, and in key stage 2 there is provision for discussing why women are under-represented in traditional Western art history narratives. A study of modernism and art from the 20th century provides children with an opportunity to study art by women and artists from ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented.
Our history curriculum is balanced to ensure we include local, British and world history, and we ensure we study a wide range of contexts in each unit- including the social and cultural context of the time. We cover fascinating ancient civilisations, the expansion and dissolutions of empires, and the achievements and atrocities committed by humankind across the ages. Throughout our curriculum, we explore stories of people from the past, looking at adversity, and the adventures and achievements of humanity. Through history, we learn about the lives of diverse people; from the widely venerated, to the lives of the less well-known people who offer us an alternative viewpoint- from Aristotle to Equiano, from Emmeline Pankhurst to Alan Turning. We cover issues of inequality, religious persecution and racism in past societies; and in Year 6, the children are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge from across the curriculum to delve deeper into the history of human rights and equality.
In geography, the children will study local, British and world geography. We go beyond National Curriculum requirements and our geography curriculum equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people and environments. They will discover explorers such as Ibn Battuta, and look at the migration of both animals and people, studying the impact migration and colonialism had on places such as Australia and New Zealand. In the summer term of Year 6, children will study globalisation; a unit that requires children to apply knowledge from across the geography curriculum. They will use data from around the world to understand social, economic and political globalisation. Children will have many opportunities to reflect upon the advantages and challenges globalisation brings and will consider the importance of sustainability and equity in relation to human interactions with the physical world. We have seen that arming children with powerful knowledge about the world around them helps them to develop a love for the subject of geography, and also recognise their own role in becoming a responsible global citizen.
In addition, in science, the children are taught that scientific discoveries have been made since time began around the world. The children learn about the work of scientists such as Lewis Howard Latimer, who invented the carbon filament that allowed Edison’s lightbulb to light up the world. In Year 5 children learn about Jabir ibn Hayyan who is thought to have invented a crucial tool for the distillation process: the alembic. In Year 1 children learn about their senses and reflect upon the challenges faced by Helen Keller who achieved a university degree despite being blind and deaf from her early childhood. Importantly in Science, over time, children learn about scientists and their search for the truth. They learn that the people who have contributed to science, from Ancient Baghdad to Ancient Rome and beyond, are diverse and many voices make up the story of science.
Through our curriculum, we teach children the importance of resilience and resourceful, and aim to equip our pupils with the knowledge and understanding to be reflective and responsible citizens who respect all people and the world that we share together.