The aim of the Key Stage One theme curriculum is to develop and enhance children’s basic skills within Geography, History, Art and Design Technology. The theme curriculum will build on the children’s learning and experiences from early years and equip them with the essential knowledge and skills to thrive within Key Stage Two.
The theme curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure that the children receive several opportunities within Key Stage One to secure and embed the knowledge and skills which they are taught. Throughout their Key Stage One journey, the children will be provided with a sequence of work which gradually builds on their understanding and knowledge of the world they live in, while developing their creative and innovative thinking.
Within Year One, the children will build on their experiences from early years focusing on developing their knowledge of their own personal history, their local area, researching and asking questions and finally widening this experience to learning about people beyond living memory and significant British events. The children will be supported in learning about how art or products can be created for a purpose, continue to build on their gross and fine motor skills which they developed within early years and be encouraged to work independently.
Within Year Two, the children will be provided with a curriculum which allows them to revisit and consolidate their prior learning, while continuing to build on their knowledge and skills. The children will begin to develop a more rigorous understanding of their local area, wider surroundings and how this compares to other areas of the world. The children will continue to research people beyond living memory and significant events, while starting to consider how this impacts them today. These are important skills which will support the children in accessing their future learning in Key Stage Two where they will continue to build on their knowledge of history, how Britain has developed and changed over time and a deeper understanding about the structure of the world they live in.
A further key focus within the Key Stage One theme curriculum is vocabulary acquisition. The curriculum has been sequenced so that children are systematically introduced to new vocabulary, while having several opportunities throughout the year and key stage to revisit and use this vocabulary. It is important that the children become confident in understanding and using new theme vocabulary in order to comprehend and communicate the new learning which they experience.
Underpinning: Underpinning all of our decisions, subject-specific foci and overall balance are our aims for what we would like the children of Romero Academies to be and to have experienced. We have worked to ensure a complementary balance throughout each year and across years that ensures breadth, depth and the opportunity to spiral and progress learning.
For Key Stage 2 themes will run for a term in order to allow sufficient time for children to explore subjects in detail and to give the scope for our more able children to showcase their higher-order thinking skills. Explicit drivers have been established for each theme to ensure that the sense of purpose remains clear throughout. Each year group will follow the same central driver so that wider school opportunities can be taken to reinforce learning and for more effective subject leader monitoring. The main drivers are History and Geography -because of their importance in children understanding the world around them- and STEM -due to the ever-changing nature of the world we live. Other subjects will be mapped out to supplement these throughout. These core areas will also be revisited at outlined opportunities throughout the year as best practice of spiralling curricula.
Geography has been structured with a sense of proximity to Coventry. Key Stage 1 starts with the immediate area, before moving to city of Coventry and England’s coast. It finishes with an understanding of the British Isles. Our first geographical topic is Europe (building on the idea that countries can combine into larger bodies). Studies then move to two different continents before covering a larger global topic. Again, the platforms for social justice conversations have been considered with the sequencing of topics. Another key factor in geographical decisions has been the profile of our academies, with Europe and Africa providing opportunities for parental engagement.
The STEM topics have been considered with the rationale of things that impact us and things we can impact upon. The sequence of topics allows for children to understand the over-arching impact. Year 3 will have studied Egyptians and Europe and will therefore understand an empire and the geographical area being discussed. Year 4 will have studied the Rainforest and will therefore use the amazon river as a transition point. Year 5 will look at the historic and current developments in Africa and then compare and contrast with these developments in the UK. The idea of Enterprise in Year 6 is designed as an evaluation of the effectiveness of the whole curriculum. It is here evidence of all the hallmarks of a Romero child should be evident. This theme has a bigger rationale: just as we have considered key transition points between Key Stages, we are considering the transition into secondary school and understand the need for our children to face real-life challenges and overcome them independently.
In addition to the formal structure of termly topics, we have outlined additional enrichment opportunities. These will have a whole-school focus and present opportunities to supplement core learning, ensure breadth of coverage and to respond to current affairs and issues.