We are ambitious for all our students. We maintain the view that everyone has equal access to the knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to make an exceptional contribution to the world we share. The local context will inform, but not determine, what is taught or when it is taught. We deliver a knowledge-rich curriculum which is of high-value to the individual and the communities we serve.
- The curriculum offered to all students matches and exceeds the expectations laid out in the National Curriculum. Our curriculum is broad and balanced, with EBacc subjects at the heart of it, and where the intrinsic value of all subjects is recognised. See our school curriculum plan below for details of subjects studied and specialist options available at KS4 and 5.
- Our curriculum aims to furnish students with the specialist knowledge needed to be successful in examinations and the depth of knowledge to allow them to have a full and deep understanding of the subjects studied. The balance of substantive, disciplinary and procedural knowledge is subject-specific. At KS3 subject teams identify a body of knowledge to be taught, using the National Curriculum for their subject as the starting point, and then develop this into carefully sequenced long-term plans for each Year group. At Key Stage 4 and 5, long term plans are created to meet the requirements of the exam specifications.
- Medium term plans provide guidance for teachers on the sequencing of content across the unit of work (‘learning cycles’ at KS3) and the sequencing of activities within each lesson. Curriculum planning also includes opportunities for retrieval practice and the revisiting of topics and themes.
- Assessment of students’ understanding is an ongoing process, taking place every lesson through activities such as retrieval starters, the use of show-me boards, questioning, check or change, dot around, and show call. Medium term plans at KS3 provide specific guidance for teachers on when to use specific formative assessment strategies. Low-stakes assessments (‘checkpoints’ at key stage 3) take place towards the end of each learning cycle or at least once every 6 weeks at KS4 and 5 (see assessment policy for further details). Our analysis of student performance in these assessments is used to inform next steps, with ‘gap weeks’ at KS3 set aside specifically for the re-teaching of topics that students have not fully grasped.
- Information about students with additional needs is shared with staff so that those students benefit from quality-first teaching, tailored interventions when necessary, and use of technology where available.
- As students progress through our school, the curriculum supports their wider development, and builds their cultural capital through extra curricular opportunities and events, which enhance students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. See below for details of extra curricular opportunities currently offered.
- Literacy is a key part of our curriculum offer. There are set times for reading across the school and we aim for all students to have a reading book with them at all times. The FASE reading approach is used in tutor time reading sessions at KS3 and across the curriculum at all key stages. DEAL days at KS3 take place each half term. A range of strategies is used across the curriculum to support students to write at length, as well as a range of strategies for the development of students’ vocabulary. We provide intensive catch-up in reading for KS3 students who require it, as identified through our analysis of NGRT scores.
- We ensure that all our students are equipped to make informed choices about their current and future lives and are provided with opportunities to safely explore and develop their own ideas and attitudes, through explicit PSHE provision. Our preventative curriculum is continuously under review, responding to local and national safeguarding trends. Lessons are expertly planned by our PSHE/RE lead and are delivered by form tutors in a 40 minute lesson each week.
- Our curriculum provides students with a vision for achievements further into the future, beyond school, through a comprehensive and cohesive high-quality careers education programme. This includes specific careers-based lessons in PSHE, half-termly virtual careers talks in extended tutor time sessions, half-termly careers starters in every lesson on an allocated day, careers fairs, and Year 10 and 12 work experience programmes.
- High-quality professional development ensures staff have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to deliver the curriculum.
- We review and evaluate the curriculum annually to ensure it is, where needed, modified in response to the needs of different cohorts and the changing educational and employment landscape.