The department aim is to provide an excellent education for all our pupils; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life. Our curriculum is designed to provide children with the core knowledge they need for success in education and later life, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person and the talents of the individual and to allow all children to become active and economically self-sufficient citizens. By drawing on the best that’s been thought, said and done in each subject area, we hope that our curriculum enables children to appreciate and participate in the full richness of the human experience, beliefs and values.
The curriculum in each subject area can be accessed by via the links specific to the year group (AWLs). Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and you will see differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subject areas.
Key Stage 3 provides pupils with the time and space to gain this secure understanding. In our lessons you will typically see all pupils grappling with the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for pupils who need it. Rather than moving on to new content, our higher attainers are expected to produce work of greater depth and flair.
Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. The department has used Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2012) to develop teaching practice:
1. Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning
2. Present new material in small steps with student practice after each step
3. Ask a large number of questions and check the responses of all students
4. Provide models
5. Guide student practice
6. Check for student understanding
7. Obtain a high success rate
8. Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks
9. Require and monitor independent practice
10. Engage students in weekly and monthly review
Summative assessment allows pupils to demonstrate their growing understanding of each subject and teachers to assess the impact of their teaching. These summative assessments are typically taken once every six weeks, this enables the department to focus on formative assessment from lesson to lesson.
Our formative assessments are designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject area. This means that in lessons pupils are quizzed on prior knowledge in order to embed this knowledge in their long-term memory. This frees up their working memory to attend to current learning. We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing.