Core Principles

What are the core principles underpinning this?

As cognitive development, emotional literacy and language immersion underpin the Curious-city approach, as well as purposeful links to mastery-led learning principles and attachment theory, we recognise children’s awareness of the world develops as they mature and that this has a significant impact on their ability to learn. Our job is to help learners make sense of the world, not just expose them to it. This means that initially learning reinforces personal identity and the present day, which is essential in creating self-aware individuals. As they develop, we then connect them to the immediate environment/community/country until they are able conceptualise abstract themes such as tolerance or culture on a global scale: from ‘Me’ to ‘Everyone’

Picture 1 3 - Core Principles

Adapted Model of Bronfenbrenner (1989) Ecology of Human Development by Lighting up Learning (2021)

How does this affect lessons?

Lessons may also feel different in our setting from the norm. Think of a child’s time in school as a continuum of experiences rather than a set of lessons. Sometimes experiences are short, sharp and immersive, other times they are light-touch events over a longer period of time. This is exactly what a curious, knowledge-engaged curriculum should be. 

The usual Author (English) and Mathematicians (Maths) teaching sequences continue. National Curriculum subject objectives from Science, History, Geography, Art and Design, Design and Technology, Music are woven throughout enquiries as seen on the Whole School Enquiries Map. Some subjects (renamed using the States of Being) are taught discreetly, such as Foreign Languages (Curious Linguists), Computing (Curious Computing), Physical Education (Real PE), Religious Education (Discovery RE) and PSHE (Jigsaw). Where possible learning is still taught through an enquiry approach and links are made, but more often than not, they are stand-alone experiences.