Teaching Core Knowledge in the classroom

The Core Knowledge Sequence UK gives guidance on what to teach but is non-prescriptive in implementation. Teachers have the freedom to use their professional judgment to decide how to make the curriculum come alive in their individual classrooms while using a variety of instructional methods. Core Knowledge can be used alongside the National Curriculum or as the main backbone of a school's curriculum. It is not meant to outline the whole of the school curriculum; rather, it offers specific guidelines to teach knowledge that can reasonably be expected to make up about half of any school's curriculum, leaving ample room for local requirements and emphases.

The Core Knowledge curriculum facilitates pupils' sequenced learning from year to year so that teachers know what knowledge and skills their pupils bring to the class at the beginning of the year. Core Knowledge teachers have clear expectations of what to cover with their class, and they understand its significance for following years. For example, a topic on the geography of the Mediterranean in Year 2 is taught alongside a literature topic on the mythology of Ancient Greece. Cumulatively these form a foundation for another topic on Athens and the beginnings of democracy.

The sequence is effective in offering pupils a solid foundation of learning that encourages steady academic growth as they construct their knowledge, develop their cultural literacy and deepen their critical thinking skills year after year. Core Knowledge helps educators to engage students, build their language competency, scaffold instruction to meet individual needs, and provide targeted feedback to students to further shape their learning.

If you have any questions or inquiries, please get in touch with Curriculum Project Director Emma Lennard on 020 7799 6677 or