The Curriculum

The Curriculum

E21C Curriculum Principles

We are pleased to share with you all the E21C Curriculum Principles. This important work has distilled what was a large number of stated aims into just four words that summarise concisely exactly what we are trying to achieve at E21C for all our pupils at Primary and Secondary levels. These principles are securely grounded in research.

Inclusive : 

  • Inclusion and Equity are guiding principles for all policies and practices
  • Curriculum and assessment systems are designed to be effective for all learners
  • High-quality support in place for all learners to access a full, broad and balanced curriculum
  • Diversity is celebrated and all non-inclusive, discriminatory and inequitable practices are challenged


  • Some knowledge is of greater importance and use
  • The most important knowledge for each unit has been carefully considered
  • This most important content is intentionally shared repeatedly with pupils
  • Assessments are created to track students’ progress through this powerful knowledge
  • Responsive teaching results in teachers identifying and repairing gaps in this powerful knowledge


  • Curriculum content is mapped to ensure that pupils meet new content when they are ready for it
  • Curriculum plans ensure that linked content is revisited at regular intervals
  • This provides opportunities to check prior learning
  • Students remember more content because of this spaced practice


  • Big Ideas are used to create threads throughout the curriculum (schema)
  • Big Ideas organise knowledge in the minds of students
  • New information is connected to prior learning more easily
  • Pupils can better understand why they are learning new content




Our Big Ideas fit into our curriculum principle coherent, ensuring our curriculums are built on coherent schema running across the 5 years.  Schemas (sometimes referred to as mental models, scripts, or frames) are structures that organise knowledge in the mind. When learning, the mind connects new information with pre-existing knowledge, skills, and concepts thereby developing existing schemas.  

Our curriculums, develop and refine learners’ prior conceptions as opposed to teaching something entirely new. Approaches that compare, organise, and map concepts try to make schemas clear and visible and are thought to support learners to organise and extend their ideas. The flexible nature of schemas does mean that specific teaching and learning strategies foster a more desirable order to a learner’s pre-existing and developing knowledge.

Our approach to working with schemas focuses on pupils organising and elaborating on their ideas to develop more complex mental structures.  We do this through the development of our subject specific Big Ideas that run through the 5 year curriculum.  The relevant Big Idea is referenced at the start of each lesson through the curriculum slide, to orientate the learners within the curriculum.

In all of our 5 year curriculum plans you can see the Big Ideas outlined, mapped and developed over time.