The Harris Academy Greenwich Curriculum
We deliver a knowledge-rich curriculum which teaches a depth and breadth of ambitious, broad and diverse knowledge. It is every child’s right, regardless of their academic ability or prior attainment, to access this powerful knowledge: it ensures they are not only able to perform well in public examinations but develop the disciplinary knowledge and social capital necessary to successfully navigate and interrogate the future world they will encounter. For staff at Harris Greenwich, this is a matter of social justice. Every year our results at both GCSE and A level are second to none in the local area but our school is more than just an exam factory. Put simply; Harris Academy Greenwich is a place where all children will Step into their Greatness.
Curriculum leaders constantly review and improve curricular choices by engaging in regular debate on ‘what’ to teach before considering ‘how ‘to teach it. We acknowledge that the curriculum is alive and needs nurturing, it is not a list of content but a canon that must be considered and amended constantly to ensure we teach the best that has been thought, said or written. Leaders set an ambitious intent for curriculum as we know that ‘powerful’ knowledge’, which is specialised and takes its authority from leading academic institutions, gives students power in life.
- In English, we want students to experience the majesty of Shakespeare, and to create deep, cognitive connections in their knowledge by exploring the origins of Greek tragedies and epic poems and its impact on drama across societies, cultures and time periods.
- In Geography, students will develop an appreciation of our dynamic planet, initially identifying how long-standing landscapes like the glaciers of Antarctica have been transformed by modern processes, but also how contemporary lifestyles are transforming landscapes in otherwise barren locations.
- In music, students experiment, rehearse and develop performance skills across a wide range of instruments including piano, keyboard, guitar and vocals, alongside being exposed to and analysing music from all over the world including South American and Eastern Europe. This musical journey allows students to experience, interpret, comment on and perform music of diverse origins and cultural heritage which they otherwise might not have been exposed to
Our subject team leaders have designed and planned their curriculum according to the following 6 principles:
- Our curriculum is ambitious, offering an immersion in the most powerful knowledge of each subject.
- Our curriculum is sequenced so that new knowledge builds upon old and students become increasingly fluent over time.
- Our curriculum is specified in detail so that teachers and students are clear what needs to be learned.
- Our curriculum is taught to be remembered not merely encountered
- Our curriculum is supported with a literacy strategy that supports increased vocabulary acquisition and reading fluency.
- Senior and Middle Leaders have the skills and knowledge to design, implement and review the live the 7-year curriculum.
Curriculum Review Cycle
In service of ensuring our ambitious curriculum is enacted as intended, the senior leadership team work throughout the year with subject team leaders to review and evaluate the design, sequencing and common approaches to implementation. We believe in ‘curricular thinking’ and know that this work of reviewing happens constantly. We review curriculum in numerous ways:
- Through regular debate and discussion in Monday CIGs (Curriculum Implementation Groups). This is where subject content is discussed, and instruction rehearsed.
- Curriculum Snapshots: In regular line management meetings, leaders get curious about the intent of curriculum and go and see how the curriculum is enacted
- Curriculum Deep Dives: Throughout the three improvement cycles of the year, different departments will collaborate on a review of how curriculum is enacted and use this information to inform curricular thinking and changes.