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.