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Our Curriculum Development Journey

Our curriculum development journey began in the Summer term 2019 with the aim that we create a curriculum which provides our children with the very best experiences, knowledge, skills and personal development to allow them to thrive and achieve the very best they can.

This is our journey so far!


Summer Term 2019

  • A working party was set up which included teaching staff from across all phases of our school. The first step was to look at our school context and use this to make decisions about what the children at Bignold needed from their curriculum. We created a Bignold Curriculum Context document to record our decisions. 
  • The next step was to hear from staff about what they thought our curriculum needs to be. We used Slido to gather their thoughts and Wordle to show our collective beliefs for our curriculum.
  • The working party shared ideas they had gathered from professional reading around curriculum development and knowledge of approaches undertaken by other schools. We then discussed and decided on the overarching structure of our curriculum. To maximise meaningful links across and between year groups, we decided to organise our curriculum around four overarching areas:
    • Me and My Body
    • Our World
    • The Past
    • Norwich – A Fine City!

Within these areas, science, history and geography would create the structure of our curriculum. The working party took the 2014 National Curriculum programmes of study for these subjects as a starting point and mapped out the progression for these subjects.

  • Subject leads became part of one of three teams to allow more collaborative working and to strengthen links and connections between subjects. A designated time was set each week for them to meet and the teams’ task for next academic year would be to lead a whole school theme week. Our teams are:
    • STEM – Science, Maths, Design and Technology, Computing
    • Humanities – English, History, Geography, RE, Languages
    • Whole child – Art, PE, PSHE/RSHE, Music

Autumn Term 2019

  • The STEM team ran the first whole school theme week during World Space Week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The focus of this week was science.
  • We explored knowledge organisers and worked as a staff to decide on their purpose and devise Bignold’s format.
  • We discussed ideas to enrich our children’s experiences and sought input from parents and staff as to what they would like to see included in the ‘Bignold Experiences’ – the experiences and opportunities we want our children to have had by the time they leave our school. 
  • Work continued on the core areas of our curriculum – science, history and geography – to develop our offer.
  • Subject leads were given release time on a rota basis to carry out professional reading around their subject and to think about the vision for their subjects.

Spring and Summer Terms 2020

  • The Humanities team led our second whole school theme week which was focussed on religious education, exploring different religions, visiting places of worship and celebrating our diverse school community.
  • Membership to subject associations was purchased.
  • The curriculum development plan and timeline was then disrupted by Covid 19 and the school focus was on supporting our children in the best way we could whether they were at school, in bubbles in the summer term or learning at home.

Autumn Term 2020

  • Our curriculum development plan was back on track! The plan for the 2020/21 academic year was shared in September with the staff.
  • Due to restrictions around working in bubbles, subject leads could not meet in their teams so they used this weekly designated time to develop the fundamentals of their subject:
    • Big ideas
    • Vision
    • Skills Progression
    • Vocabulary Progression
  • Bignold’s science curriculum is agreed and ready to be implemented.
  • A new way of organising our curriculum teaching was trialled with the aim of developing children’s understanding of the different subject disciplines. We focussed one subject’s unit of work over a 1, 2 or 3 week block for our curriculum sessions and so became historians, or scientists, or artists for that time. Plans were created on a knowledge organiser format and shared with families and children. At the end of the block of work, outcomes form each year groups were added to a subject board celebrating their achievements and showing the progress through the school.

Spring Term 2021

  • Another disruption to our curriculum development plan due to Covid 19. Subjects continued to be blocked in 1 or 2 week units of work for both children learning at home and those in school.
  • Subject leaders continued to develop their curriculum documents.
  • A whole school approach to developing learning behaviours has been agreed with the policy forming part of our behaviour policy. Developing these strong learning behaviours will be a fundamental part of our curriculum.
  • Our Science curriculum started to be taught.
  • Our History and Geography curriculum documents are agreed and ready to be taught after Easter.
  • Work is well underway on all other curriculum documents which will be completed during the summer term 2021, agreed and ready for our new, Bignold curriculum to be in place for Autumn 2021.