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Exmouth Community College

Exmouth Community CollegeAcademy Trust

Parent & Carer Update - Curriculum

Dear Parents and Carers,

I am writing to provide you with information about our curriculum. Since the May half term, subject leaders and teachers have carried out a wide-ranging review and this letter summarises some of the key points.


What and why?

In education there has been a move to having a much greater focus on knowledge – what is actually being taught. As a College we want to be very clear about what knowledge students should know, how it follows on from what they have already learnt and how it prepares them for future learning.

Students should be able to talk confidently about what they are learning and why.

How can you help your child?

You will find each subject’s curriculum plans on the website (Curriculum – Subjects). These provide you with a term by term guide as to what content will be covered.


In addition to the curriculum plans, teachers will be structuring their teaching to ensure that students are secure in the core knowledge.

Neuroscience shows us the importance of helping students commit this knowledge to their long term memory. If they can recall this knowledge easily, it frees up more brain capacity to develop more advanced knowledge and procedures. For example if students can easily recall key figures and dates in History, they can devote more time and energy to discussing sources and interpreting evidence.


In the diagram below, students receive an ‘input’ in lessons. They are then given time to ‘rehearse’ or ‘practise’ this new knowledge. At this stage it is still in their short term memory and could easily be forgotten. As time progresses, students will develop strategies for storing this knowledge in their long term memory. One way this happens is through regular ‘retrieval practice’. This is when a student or teacher revisits knowledge from previous lessons (a week ago / two weeks ago / a month ago) to check they still know it. Many lessons in College will now begin with a period of ‘retrieval practice’

Another way we are supporting your child is by the introduction of ‘Cold Call’.  This is a questioning technique where the teacher asks the class a question, gives the class some thinking time and then selects students to give their answers.  When using Cold Call, students do not put their hands up but wait to be asked.  There are many different ways this can be adapted to ensure students feel at ease and confident to answer – it is not a way of catching students out!


How can you help your child?

You will find copies of the Knowledge Organisers (KOs) for each subject on the website.  This gives you a very visual map of what is being learnt.  Teachers will set homework based on the KOs and students will have a green exercise book in which to practise. Further advice on how to use the KOs is on the website. Ask your child to talk you through what they have been learning.  Quiz them on something they did earlier in the term.

If you have difficulty accessing the KOs please contact your child’s tutor who will order a hard copy.


In order to make the task of committing knowledge to long term memory it is important that students are not distracted. In College, this means creating an environment where every minute of every lesson counts. This is why students need to follow the ECC Way.  By being prepared, engaged, respectful and kind they create an atmosphere conducive to effective learning. Teachers should produce materials that are clear and that avoid any extraneous (or distracting material).

How can you help your child?

Encourage your child to be prepared each day with the correct uniform and equipment.

As far as possible, provide a quiet space to work at home.

Establish regular routines of homework with a minimum of distraction. If your child has a genuine reason for non-completion of homework, please write a note in the Homework Diary.

I will write again later in the half term to describe more about our curriculum and how we will be reporting your child’s progress.  Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or subject leader if you have any queries about a particular subject or to contact me if you have any questions about the curriculum in general.


Yours sincerely

Mr Allen

Deputy Principal

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