Our Curriculum

Our shared values and motto


In January 2023, we revisited our values and motto as a community and relaunched them together. Pupils felt that the values from Coram Life Education: Coram Life Education: Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship were really important to them and they wanted to embed them throughout school life - so they did!

We created questions linked to our shared values so we could talk about them daily as part of our approach to behaviour. 

Safety: Are you being safe?

Caring: Are you caring towards others?

Achievement: Are you working hard to achieve your goals?

Resilience: Are you being resilient?

Friendship: Are you a good friend?

Pupils also decided they wanted a motto to sum up their values, the team met together but we couldn’t decide so the pupils then voted in assembly and TEAM won!

TEAM: Together, Everyone, Achieves, More - TEAM Shanklea! 


How do we structure our curriculum and why?

“Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has been altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.” 

(Kirschner, Sweller and Clarke, 2006)

Shanklea’s curriculum begins in our two year old provision and is carefully planned and sequenced all the way through to Y6. We have progressive knowledge and skills plans and when working with pupils you will hear us referring to the knowledge as ‘sticky knowledge’ . Sticky knowledge is the core knowledge we want our pupils to know and remember.  We have knowledge and skills plans for all subject areas throughout school. Our plans also include ‘sticky vocabulary’ this is the vocabulary we have identified is vital for pupils to know and use. 

In our team training we talk about the importance of revisiting sticky knowledge and vocabulary regularly because knowledge acquisition is crucial for all pupils as it builds their understanding of the world around them. 

‘Knowledge is sticky, the more you know the more you embed new knowledge (Ofsted 2022). 

Taking this into account, all lessons at Shanklea involve lots of opportunities to revisit sticky knowledge, this could be knowledge from last year, last month, last week or even last lesson!

At Shanklea we also talk about disciplinary knowledge. This is best described as the action taken within a subject to gain knowledge so you will hear the team talking about becoming scientists, mathematicians and artists to name a few. We feel it’s really important that we focus on the knowledge and skills of each subject. 

What will you see in lessons and around school? 

At Shanklea we’ve done a lot of research into cognitive load, this is the ‘amount of information your working memory can hold before it is lost or forgotten.’


Information Processing Model

Looking at this model helps us to understand why we’ve identified ‘sticky knowledge’ throughout school so everyone is aware of the core knowledge pupils need. The diagram above also shows you why revisiting sticky knowledge ‘rehearsal’ is so important because otherwise knowledge isn’t transferred to the long term memory and is forgotten.  

In the classroom and in lessons you will see our team use a variety of strategies to support the reduction of cognitive load, including: 

  • Working walls for maths and English

  • Knowledge mats that identify sticky knowledge and vocabulary 

  • Classrooms which are clutter free 

  • Displays are minimal and classrooms are not overly decorated

  • Revisiting sticky knowledge and vocabulary at the beginning and throughout lessons

  • Assessments across all subjects assess whether pupils know more and remember more. 

To find out more about each subject area, please visit the relevant page.