What our skills-based and knowledge-rich curriculum offers is cultural literacy; a concept at the heart of the Hirsch inspired, new National Curriculum.
Learning and practising the sequence of knowledge woven through our curriculum is essential not only because the development of higher order communication and thinking skills depends upon it, but because it provides a range of shared intellectual reference points for children coming from a variety of backgrounds. In this way it contributes to the integration of the members of our diverse community into wider British society. It is no exaggeration to say that, without this cultural literacy, the children in our community risk being marginalised from mainstream society.
Importantly, the ‘Guerrilla’ model of curriculum planning, while providing a strong core offer through its adherence to the new National Curriculum, is adaptive to the school’s context and reflexive to the changing group dynamic and individual circumstance that constitutes that context; that is, teachers can tailor their teaching to respond to the breadth of cultures represented in our school and their class.
Our intention in this is twofold: to ensure every child has a corpus of shared knowledge and values that will enable them to achieve their potential in British society; and, to give every child the opportunity to expand their knowledge about their fellow pupils and the countries, traditions and cultures from which they come. By teaching a clearly defined sequence of knowledge and skills, and character virtue we will build understanding, develop a spirit of inquiry and tolerance, and help forge a set of values that will underpin all pupils’ flourishing. In this way we can help create common identity and understanding between our pupils, which is essential to their success and that of the highly diverse community to which they belong.