SONAR CURRICULUM MATERIALS
The Subject Overviews provide the starting point for teachers by encompassing all of the National Curriculum objectives and restructuring them in a clear, cohesive and user-friendly way.
For Foundation Subjects and Science, all objectives for a curriculum area (e.g. The Sonar Historian) can be found on one page. For ease of reference, each subject is divided into its key strands; for example, History compromises four sections, Historical Concepts, Stories & Sources, Historical Vocabulary and Historical Questions. The top half of each strand contains KS1 objectives and the lower half contains KS2 objectives. This equips leaders and staff to see, at a glance and on one page, all statutory expectations across KS1 and KS2 in all foundation subjects. Teacher Guidance around delivery is also provided.
The Core Subjects are also divided into key strands to ensure that children are exposed to a broad range of knowledge, skills and understanding. For example, The Sonar Writer is divided into five strands: Transcription, Grammar & Punctuation, Text Structure & Features, Language & Vocabulary and Plan, Draft & Edit. All objectives in each strand are then plotted, on one page, across KS1 and KS2. This design aspect allows for cohesion and clarity around pitch and expectation.
The Key Stage Overviews allow teachers and leaders to easily locate all Foundation Subject (and Science) objectives within a key stage.
Each document presents the end-of-key-stage objectives for the following areas:
This provides clarity around expectations by the end of each key stage in the aforementioned areas and ensures that all staff have a clear understanding of benchmark expectations across the wider curriculum.
The Year Group Objectives are key to the Sonar Curriculum model as it is here that teachers and leaders can find the standardised objectives for the Foundation Subjects and Science.
For ease of use and clarity, the layout is the same as the Key Stage Overviews; however, the content of each document comprises standardised objectives per year group. For example, every objective of every strand within the original Subject Overviews (eg The Sonar Historian) has been standardised from Y1 up to Y6.
This model ensures that learning is correctly sequenced, pitch is appropriate and objectives are revisited and embedded a number of times both within and across key stages.
The Whole School Curriculum Maps provide a whole-school view of the following areas: Maths, Reading, Writing, Science and Foundation Subjects.
This approach means that all leaders and teachers have access to expectations across the whole primary phase to ensure clarity around sequence and progression. By bridging the gap between EYFS and KS1/2, the model ensures fluent transition between key stages.
To ensure that leaders and teachers fully understand the expectations of each strand of a subject and the progression within it, these documents plot a clear sequence of progression. Each model identifies the objectives of each subject from Y1 to Y6 on one page.
Not only is this an invaluable resource for deep-dive methodology, it also allows staff to deliver learning sequentially. This sequential approach is crucial if children are to build on previous knowledge, understanding and skills, linking existing learning to new learning.
As a core subject, it is imperative that Maths is mapped clearly and cohesively to ensure the best outcomes for children.
The Maths Curriculum Map provides clarity around coverage in each year group. To ensure depth of understanding, each of the eight strands (eg Addition and Subtraction, Number Sense etc) is addressed over a number of weeks (typically four) and where appropriate, is revisited at least one more time during the academic year. By the end of a year, children have covered all strands in the Maths Programme of Study on more than one occasion.
The Maths Synopses per year group support the delivery of the Maths curriculum by detailing the specific objectives covered along with prior knowledge and future learning opportunities. This fully comprehensive overview of the Maths curriculum ensures cumulative fluency, in which children are always building on previous learning. The Maths Synopses also provide leaders and teachers with age-appropriate mathematical vocabulary, which children use and apply to support their mathematical understanding.
The Yearly Overviews detail both models for every year group, clarifying the subjects covered and suggesting appropriate writing opportunities. Every foundation subject is revisited at least 2-3 times over the course of a year to ensure both depth of understanding and a broad and balanced approach.
Although the approach is through a ‘topic’ or ‘theme’, careful consideration has been given to the foundation subjects so that these are not diluted; by following these overviews, staff are given explicit guidance around the discreet subjects and can be confident of developing historians, geographers, artists and so on through each unit.
The Synopses provide an overview of either model and are pre-populated with all the relevant objectives which save staff hours of time and makes the planning process much more manageable. All objectives are revisited multiple times within and across year groups and key stages, ensuring that the learning sequence is correct and that children are always building on previous knowledge and understanding.
Using the Synopses, Learning Sequences and Vocabulary Progression, teachers are equipped with everything they need to plan exciting, purposeful learning opportunities for their pupils.
What is the correct sequence of teaching and learning in History within any given year group? Identifying appropriate starting points in every subject is crucial to cumulative fluency and ensures that no learning time is lost.
Each document takes the objectives to be covered within a particular theme or unit of learning and plots not only the sequence of delivery towards an identified ‘end in mind’, but also suggests activities and tasks for implementation. Each document offers clarity for short-term planning which saves teachers hours of time.
Vocabulary is at the heart of any ‘gold-standard’ curriculum.
The Vocabulary Mats have been created to complement each theme/unit of learning, equipping teachers to deliver appropriate language for each area. The progression of this vocabulary has been carefully mapped in a sequential way to ensure that children can use age-appropriate language to communicate their ideas and are able to apply the correct subject-specific vocabulary.
Children learn best when they are engaged and inspired and what better way to do this than through purposeful, colourful, high-quality resources. But who has the time to make them?
The Resource Packs help reduce teacher workload by providing a wide selection of high-quality resources that complement Sonar Curriculum, from key questions and book covers to activity sheets, writing exemplars and much more!
It is fundamentally important that children are always building on and embedding previous knowledge. Only by building on previous learning can children assimilate new knowledge and make meaningful connections both within and across subjects.
The Prior Knowledge documents track the coverage of curriculum areas across the whole primary phase and evidence the deliberate decision making when mapping skills, knowledge and content. By applying the schema theory, the teaching experience is always built upon prior knowledge.
Assessment is the bridge between teaching and learning and effective assessment ensures that children are appropriately supported and challenged.
The Wider Curriculum Assessment document measures the impact of curriculum implementation. By inputting children’s names, having assessed their ability both formatively and summatively against the relevant objectives, accurate assessment information can be collated quickly. This in turn, informs planning, CPD and leadership priorities by analysing attainment and progress for all pupils and key groups.
To complement this, the External Moderation Readiness Guide allows leaders to continually assess and moderate the effectiveness of their curriculum intent, implementation and impact and where necessary, prepare for inspection.
To ensure a fully comprehensive and cohesive curriculum approach, it is imperative to consider the EYFS Framework and associated objectives (as detailed in the Early Learning Goals). The transition between EYFS and KS1/KS2 is detailed in the Whole School Curriculum Maps.
The EYFS Thematic Curriculum Maps provide a structure of six themes through which the seven EYFS areas of learning can be delivered in an inter-connected and meaningful way. Children will have the opportunity the develop a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
Every objective within the Early Learning Goals is revisited over the course of the year to ensure that Early Years practitioners provide sufficient opportunities to reach the standards set out in the EYFS Framework and that children are encouraged to become “school-ready”.
It is imperative that school leaders and teachers have a shared view of the rationale behind their curriculum design – rationale that they can articulate easily to all other stakeholders and discuss the ‘intent’ behind it.
The Statements of Intent provide leaders with clarity around each curriculum area and are divided into three distinct sections: Purpose of Study, Who is the Sonar Historian/Geographer etc. and curriculum rationale.
School Leaders and Subject Leaders need to have a strong grasp of the expectations in their curriculum area. The Subject Leader Overviews ensure that curriculum leaders have an in-depth understanding of both the content to be covered across the primary experience and the sequence of delivery in every year group. By using these documents to support any leadership activity, subject leaders can easily support, hold others to account and ensure that standards are high across the primary phase.
All too often, the process of planning and feedback/marking becomes overwhelming and lacks purpose or impact. The Sonar Curriculum offers a number of solutions to help streamline this process.
The Planning Template offers a less fragmented approach to planning and has been carefully designed to minimise workload. The structure of the document encourages staff to consider the sequence of teaching and learning to ensure fluency across an area.
The Feedback Stickers are a useful tool for minimising marking and come in a range of formats, depending on the feedback given e.g. Consolidation, Next Step etc. The titles at the top of each sticker match each colour and strand of the curriculum area which helps to focus feedback against the appropriate learning. In a similar way to the planning templates, the stickers are provided in an editable form so they can be tweaked or pre-populated with comments.
The Curriculum Coverage Grids provide an audit-based approach so that leaders can ensure, when mapping their curriculum, that all objectives in all subjects are covered and revisited over the course of an academic year. These documents underpin long- and medium-term planning.
For ease of use, each Curriculum Coverage Grid is arranged by year group and is divided into Autumn 1 & 2, Spring 1 & 2 and Summer 1 & 2. Staff complete these when they have covered any given objective so, at a glance, they can see where there are gaps to fill.