How to Assess a Knowledge-Rich Curriculum


There is an expectation that the curriculum is knowledge-rich. Amanda Spielman (2018) explains that ‘The accumulated wealth of human knowledge, and what we choose to pass on to the next generation through teaching in our schools (the curriculum), must be at the heart of education’

To this end, this publication focuses on how our assessment of geography, history and science will need to change to meet this new expectation. The publication considers what we mean by knowledge-rich, sticky knowledge and looks at how this works for geography, history and science. However, it also includes annual sticky knowledge required for art, DT, music, computing and PE.

The assessment objectives are key pieces of information that pupils will need to have embedded in their long-term memory. In other words, ‘learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory – if nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.’

Effectively, the assessment objective takes account of the importance of sticky knowledge that each pupil needs at the end of each year so as to access next year’s objectives in that subject.

The publication breaks down these objectives Years 1 to 6 for:

  • Geography
  • History
  • Science
  • Art
  • DT
  • Music
  • Computing
  • PE
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