We have developed our new curriculum at Choppington Primary School so learning is fun, exciting, engaging and purposeful. As a school we aim to challenge the children so they reach their full potential in all areas.
Here at Choppington, we strive to provide the best learning opportunities for our students, and one way we can do this is through a spiral curriculum with retrieval practice and interleaving. These approaches, influenced by Rosenshine's principles of instruction, have proven to be highly effective in helping children build a deep understanding of concepts and develop essential skills.
At Choppington Primary School, we are committed to providing a high-quality education that meets the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum in England. Our teaching approach incorporates the principles of a spiral curriculum with retrieval practice and interleaving, which have been shown to enhance learning outcomes. In this guide, we will explain these concepts and demonstrate the benefits they offer to both students and parents.
A Spiral Curriculum
The spiral curriculum is a teaching method where concepts are introduced gradually and revisited at regular intervals. This approach ensures that students build upon their prior knowledge and deepen their understanding over time. For example, in English, children learn to read and write simple words and sentences in their early years, and as they progress, they encounter more complex texts and develop advanced writing skills. By revisiting and expanding on these concepts throughout their education, students consolidate their learning and become confident in their abilities. Each of our topics begin with lessons which focus on 4 elements of Geography: Physical, Human, Locational knowledge and place knowledge. Each lesson will consolidate previous learning before extending skills and understanding.
Retrieval practice is the act of recalling information from memory, rather than simply reviewing it. Encouraging students to retrieve previously learned material actively reinforces their understanding and makes it more likely to be retained in the long term. In lessons, this means engaging in conversation about what they've learned, asking questions about their previous learning through low stakes quizzes, verbal feedback or short written tasks.
Interleaving involves mixing different topics or skills together during study or practice. Instead of focusing on one area exclusively, this approach encourages students to switch between related subjects. In mathematics, for example, students may be asked to solve a combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems in the same session. This technique promotes deeper understanding by encouraging students to compare and contrast different concepts.
Importance of Sequencing Lessons
The sequencing of lessons plays a crucial role in building understanding and developing skills. The 2014 National Curriculum in England emphasizes the importance of logical progression and careful sequencing of content. By carefully structuring lessons and units in a logical and coherent manner, we ensure that students have a solid foundation of knowledge before moving on to more complex concepts. This gradual progression allows students to develop their skills incrementally and ensures that they are well-prepared for the challenges ahead.