The curriculum is much more than just lessons. It includes the ethos, attitudes and relationships which create the high quality life in all of our schools. Our aim is to provide a broad, balanced and rigorous curriculum that meets the needs and aspirations of every young person and leaves them well prepared for their future.
Our curriculum has been carefully crafted so that there is sequential progression towards agreed ambitious end points. The curriculum is a product of the genuine collaboration between all teachers and leaders in our Trust.
The 10 guiding principles of our curriculum
- Our curriculum offers more breadth, challenge and ambition than the National Curriculum.
- Students experience a wide range of subject disciplines for as long as possible.
- The curriculum is knowledge rich.
- Students are given the opportunity to deepen their subject knowledge.
- The curriculum is expertly planned and thus is sequenced to enable students to build their knowledge and skills towards agreed end points.
- Our curriculum enables choice and success to all students in the school .
- Our curriculum promotes a love of reading and closes the vocabulary gap.
- Our curriculum closes the cultural capital gap.
- We give all students the opportunity to experience a world-class wider offer.
- Students' characters are developed by our rigorous character Education programme.
Each faculty area has developed a curriculum which is built around the "Big Ideas" within the subject. These are the core concepts that run through each subject area and the understanding of these are fundamental to becoming successful learners.
We place a high value on our teachers as experts in their subject areas. We want our students to have access to the best that has been thought and said, and with this in mind our teachers think carefully about what to teach and how best to teach it. We want students’ future options to be wide, so we do not narrow the curriculum. KS3 focuses on giving every child the widest experience possible across the arts, languages, humanities and technical subjects whilst maintaining a strong focus on the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, RE and PE. In addition to this, we have a timetabled choir as well as sport enrichment which gives students access to professional coaches, enabling them to develop their skills.
In Key Stage 4, the curriculum is a mixture of both core and optional subjects and is structured to allow for maximum flexibility of choice. There is a wide variety of courses which allow students to study the arts, humanities, languages, health and social care, sport, catering, engineering and much more.
We have an evidence informed approach to planning and teaching. No fads, no knee-jerk initiatives, just great pedagogy that we know works. We believe pupils are more likely to remember all they have learned if the delivery of that knowledge has been carefully sequenced and planned. We work hard to ensure our curriculum is coherent, with learning building over time, which enables pupils to attach new knowledge to old in a manner that is efficient and sustainable. This curriculum is then implemented skilfully by our staff who train relentlessly throughout the year to ensure they are the best that they can be.
Feedback is an active part of lessons and students will receive lots of verbal feedback. They will also complete tasks which require them to respond to feedback given by their teacher which allows them to plug gaps in their knowledge. These are designed to push students forward and really drive their understanding. At the end of each long term, students will be assessed on the learning that has taken place in previous weeks.
Frances Bywater, Deputy Headteacher