Our Curriculum Vision & Intent

Improve student outcomes & life chances through an ambitious curriculum that ensures all of our students are equipped, with the knowledge, skills and understanding to build relationships and to connect and engage with society beyond their school and community.  All students have access to a powerful and knowledge rich curriculum, that empowers them to be successful and grow and flourish as unique individuals, whilst equipping them with real life skills and experiences.  Students are thus able to develop a sense of self and take control of their own destiny.  

Our Values 

Our curriculum is underpinned by the school values of ‘Work Hard, Be Kind and Take Responsibility’ that encourage our students to display and develop learning behaviours that have a positive impact on their academic outcomes alongside their personal growth, well-being and development. 

Implementing a high quality curriculum

1. Teaching the Right Knowledge

We recognise that curriculum expertise lies within the classrooms and plan to offer students at The Coleshill School: 

  • The very best that subjects have to offer.  
  • The skills and/or knowledge that students need to know (remember), show and be able to do at key points? (what are you building towards). 
  • Social mobility and reduce social disadvantage by addressing & bridging gaps in knowledge and skills. 
  • A curriculum that is designed to embed and master literacy, promote challenge and encourage retrieval practice, developing key learning habits and the attributes of the Coleshill learner (through SPIRIT) 

2. Development of schemata 

Constant and regular review, that suits and supports our learners needs through a carefully designed and sequenced curriculum, with a logical progression of content.  This thoughtful design enables students to build and revisit learning, making and reinforcing explicit links between content. 

3. Spaced Practice 

The curriculum is designed so that knowledge is rehearsed for short periods, but over a longer period of time. Making explicit reference to prior content that links with new learning leads to better long-term retention of knowledge.  There are planned opportunities to assess, identify misconceptions and reteach activities to address gaps in learning, securing understanding, before moving on to new content. 


4. Retrieval Practice 

Recall is proven to impact positively on student progress and learning.  In our curriculum this is developed through low stake testing and is part of the ‘Do It Now’ activities which will start every lesson or lesson cycle. These activities challenge students to recall content taught ‘last week’, ‘last month’ and ‘way back’, which supports knowledge in becoming sticky and being held in the long-term memory. 

5. Application of Knowledge 

Regular planned opportunities for deliberate practice ensure that students are able to apply and demonstrate their knowledge with teacher support (when appropriate) through for example: scaffolding, modelling and I do, we do, you do.  Students are encouraged to develop their writing stamina, resilience and independence. 

Pedagogical Approaches to support progress & learning 

Cognitive Load Theory 

An understanding of Cognitive Load Theory is central to the development of an effective knowledge engaged curriculum: 


Teacher development will continue to focus on the principles of cognitive load theory with an appreciation that new information must be processed in the short-term working memory before being stored in the long-term memory. The capacity and duration of the working memory is limited and can become overloaded, limiting the ability of the brain to process new information.  

Planning needs to consider that: 

  • The novice learner requires additional support to ensure they do not experience overload of their working memory (cognitive overload), which inhibits their ability to process and learn new information & cultural capital. 
  • Understanding that overly supporting the learning /learner can limit the depth of understanding for those with greater expertise in a subject.  

New knowledge is stored in the long-term memory in schemata (complex structures that link related topics together). The schemata create meaning and can be built on over time (using dual coding)  

The practical application of cognitive load theory and relevant teaching strategies are key in lesson planning and will be developed through all teaching staff engaging in continual professional development and coaching opportunities. 


Learning Principles and A Pedagogical Approach  

Start of lesson 1. Knowledge retrieval & application (Do it Now) 
Retrieval  2. Addressing misconceptions (Intentional monitoring) 
Direct instruction 3. Comprehension/new learning (literacy strategy) 
Skills Modelling 4.  Modelling & scaffolding (I do, you do, we do & turn & talk) 
Deliberate Practice  5. Adaptive teaching/ questioning challenge & engagement 
    Independent construction/application 
Assessment & evaluation  6. Deliberate practice- fluency & precision 
7. Feedback (assessment policy– live marking) 
8. Re–teach (assessment policy) 
9. DIRT (assessment policy) 
End of lesson 10. Independent learning (assessing understanding)