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Our Avenue Curriculum

At The Avenue Infant our ethos is Developing deep roots to grow the strongest trees. The values we instill in our pupils are:

Our school curriculum is shaped by these values and our curriculum drivers of Possibilities, Growth and Communication.  Our drivers are designed to ensure our pupils recognise their strengths, are motivated by their aspirations and realise that their possibilities are endless.

Our curriculum drivers are defined as:

Possibilities - To have high aspirations and know all of the opportunities available to them.

Growth - To recognise and celebrate their own individual journey,  understanding their own uniqueness and strengths and those of others.

Communication - To have high levels of oracy; having a rich and wide vocabulary to be able to explain their own ideas and thinking and be able to collaborate and respond to others.

The breadth of our curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:

1.      To give children appropriate experiences to ignite a passion for learning and develop as confident, responsible learners

2.      To develop and nurture every child to become effective, tolerant and thoughtful communicators

3.      To provide experiences to embed knowledge, make connections and instil the confidence to apply their knowledge creatively.

Thus providing children with the Cultural Capital required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British values.

Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and ‘threshold concepts’.  Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied.

Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful schema.  The same concepts are explored in a wide breath of topics.  Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, the children return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build an understanding of them.

How our curriculum is structured:

A coherently planned academic curriculum underpinned by the three drivers, our academic curriculum sets out:

1.  a clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered;

2.  the ‘threshold concepts’ pupils should understand;

3.  criteria for progression within the threshold concepts;

4.  criteria for depth of understanding.

1.      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.

2.      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. We share these with pupils as “learning hooks” which underpin learning in each milestone. This enables pupils to reinforce and build upon prior learning, make connections and develop subject specific language. This provides the vertical accumulation of knowledge and skills

3.      Milestones define the standards for the threshold concepts.  As an infant school we work towards a milestone at the end of Year 2.

4.      Depth: we expect pupils in year 1 of the milestone to develop a Basic (B) understanding of the concepts and an Advancing (A) or Deep (D) understanding in Year 2 of the milestone. Phase one of the milestone (Year 1) is the knowledge building phase that provides the fundamental foundations for later application. LEARNING AT THIS STAGE MUST NOT BE RUSHED and will involve a high degree of repetition so that knowledge enters pupils’ long-term memory. If all of the core knowledge is acquired quickly, teachers create extended knowledge. The repetition of threshold concepts enables vertical accumulation as pupils move through their school journey.  Prior to these steps children in Reception build the Foundations to Basic understanding through their learning experiences in the EYFS curriculum.