The whole school curriculum operates at three levels and addresses pupils’ academic, personal and social development. The three individual elements of learning provide a different component to the education of every pupil. Intellectual, personal and social maturity will be the goal of these structured layers of learning at the school. There are three guiding elements to all aspects of our curriculum:
- Educational excellence: subject teaching which has depth and breadth and helps ensure pupils have the opportunity to access the highest levels of attainment.
- Character development: through the subject teaching pupils’ broader personal development is enhanced as part of a whole school approach.
- Service to communities: structured development of citizenship, social enterprise and service back into communities with ‘hands-on’ and participative learning.
The following principles underpin our Secondary curriculum:
- essential subject knowledge and terminology is carefully sequenced year-on-year.
- key subject skills and subject concepts are introduced sequentially and logically.
- content and coverage is planned to enable progress to be demonstrated and measured.
- age related expectations can be defined (i.e. what subject learning should be mastered in each year).
- ‘catch-up and keep up’ is a driving principle of the curriculum design.
As a minimum, the requirements of the National Curriculum are covered in the long term and medium term planning. The order of the units in the medium term plans is intentionally designed to ensure that prior knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding is revisited, recapped and reinforced so that over the full extent of the subject curriculum pupils know more and can do more in an intentionally planned way and, as a result, achieve higher outcomes.
The teaching of the curriculum based on the long term and medium term plans is based on four key elements that look to ensure that pupils’ learning is secure but where there are gaps, misconceptions or errors these are quickly addressed. To that end, the four elements of our teaching cycle are as follows:
- Plan: each lesson is planned around learning outcomes linked to the scheme of work and activities are planned to deliver those outcomes for all pupils.
- Teach: a range of teaching strategies and resources are used to ensure all pupils are actively engaged in achieving the planned learning outcomes.
- Assess: pupils understanding is checked through informal ‘in lesson’ opportunities as well as formal tasks and/or tests in line with the school’s policy.
- Intervene: where pupils do not grasp key knowledge or are falling behind, follow up is swift in or beyond the lesson to ensure pupils catch up and keep up.
A key element of our curriculum is the focus beyond skills and knowledge development in the subject to the embedding of our STAR values (service, teamwork, ambition and respect) and the whole school focus on embedding leadership as our specialism as opportunities within and beyond the taught curriculum. There are planned opportunities for pupils to demonstrate civic, moral and performance leadership attributes built into the curriculum.
Our Secondary Currriclumn lead is Paul Walker, who is contactable through the main office for more about the curriculum Starbank School is following.