Rainbow Education Multi Academy Trust
At the Rainbow Education Multi Academy Trust, we promote a knowledge-rich curriculum that serves
key principles of cognitive science regarding the importance of knowledge within children’s education.
As has been shown by scientific research, factual knowledge is essential to the development of
reading comprehension, decision making, problem solving and subject-specific skills. A look at this
list makes us realise that it is not only at the heart of children’s general learning but central to their
creative thinking and development. Add to this the fact that those who are rich in knowledge will gain
new knowledge quicker, and we can see the importance of children acquiring factual knowledge.
As part of the development of a knowledge-rich curriculum, we use ‘knowledge organisers’ to help
children learn the essential knowledge they need for each topic they study. These documents set out
key terms, meanings and information that we expect the majority of children to be able to recall by the
end of the topic. To help them achieve this, the ‘knowledge organisers’ will be sent home for revision
as part of weekly homework and used as the basis for ‘retrieval quizzes’ within lessons.
It is also useful for children to revise previous ‘knowledge organisers’ so that the information from prior
topics is not forgotten.
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY: A KNOWLEDGE-RICH CURRICULUM
At the Rainbow Education Multi Academy Trust, we promote the use of a knowledge-rich curriculum to serve key principles of cognitive science. Scientific research has shown that knowledge is essential to the development of reading comprehension, writing, subject-specific skills and critical thinking. Research has also shown that those who are rich in knowledge gain new knowledge quicker. We therefore place the acquisition of knowledge at the heart of the learning process.
Our aim is for all children to access challenging curriculum content that covers a range of subject-specific concepts. We look to achieve this through the use of high-quality curriculum materials – mini-textbooks and knowledge organisers that lay out specific, detailed, coherent knowledge – and pedagogical practices that seek to ensure the knowledge is not merely encountered but fixed in the long-term memory.
The use of the pre-planned curriculum materials means that we quality assure the content taught. They also support teachers in their planning, so they can focus on their subject knowledge and pedagogical practice, with this also supported through CPD and professional dialogue. The development of children’s knowledge and understanding is further deepened through links made in reading and writing lessons, and assessed at the end of each unit of study through the completion of an essay.
We measure impact through learning walks, pupil/parent/teacher voice, work scrutiny, AfL opportunities and summative assessment.