Brockmoor Primary School


Sticky Knowledge

What do we mean by a ‘knowledge-rich’ curriculum?

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’. At Brockmoor, below are the key features to our curriculum:

  • The curriculum is a mastery of a body of subject-specific knowledge
  • Skills are the by-product of the knowledge, not its purpose
  • We have decided on the ‘invaluable knowledge’ that we want our pupils to know as the content of the curriculum
  • Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned
  • Progress means knowing more and remembering more
  • Knowledge is generative or ‘sticky’
  • Vocabulary size is related to academic success, and schooling is crucial for increasing the breadth of pupils’ vocabulary



What is ‘Sticky Knowledge’?

Sticky knowledge is effectively knowledge that will stay with us forever. In other words, an alteration has happened to our long-term memory. In some respects, we could divide sticky knowledge into two main parts. Firstly, interesting facts that will remain with us forever and secondly, knowledge that individuals need to learn as part of the national curriculum.