Creating Opportunity. Inspiring excellence. Shaping tomorrow.
A Knowledge-rich curriculum
Our curriculum intent is driven by of our values ambition, respect, and collaboration. We have the drive to provide each and every young person with the best chance to succeed in life, no matter who they are or where they come from.
Through a child-centred approach and exceptional educational experiences we will inspire excellence from all, develop independence, build confidence, and ensure readiness for tomorrow.
We offer a broad, balanced, and rich curriculum from EYFS through to Key Stage 4 which teaches the essential concepts and knowledge as outlined in the Early Years Framework and the National Curriculum 2014. We have designed our curriculum in a way that provides a foundation for achieving success, reaching deep understanding and being creative. The more children know, the more they can learn. We aim to ensure our pupils enjoy learning and feel prepared for a life that is empowering and positively encourages self-determination, reflecting our value of Ambition.
Our intent is to ensure foundational concepts are mastered and the metacognitive skills for learning are in place before linking new subject content. We seek to support critical thinking with secure understanding of subject knowledge, and we plan for our curriculum to explicitly make connections. This enables pupils draw out the relevance of key concepts to develop understanding and support the transfer of learning.
We recognise that a curriculum must have depth and breadth to offer opportunities for pupils to broaden their horizons; enabling them to flourish within the community and make positive choices which will impact on future generations.
Our ambition extends to providing all pupils with a core academic curriculum. This includes specialist modern foreign language provision by specialist staff from an early age and ensuring entitlement to the EBacc subjects is strong across all key stages, with strong encouragement to pupils to complete the EBacc at Key Stage 4.
The careful sequencing of content both within each year group and progressively across key stages is the essence of our cohesive curriculum. This approach aims to ensure that knowledge acquisition is built upon secure foundations resulting in deep conceptual understanding and knowledge that is remembered.
Key elements of the curriculum are regularly revisited through interleaving and includes a specific focus on explicit instruction and retrieval strategies. Subjects are taught discretely, and authentic connections are planned to ensure pupils connect schema.
School Improvement and Support
As a Trust with both Secondary and Primary Schools, our mechanism for school support is underpinned by our value of Collaboration. For the subjects of Mathematics, English, Science, DT, Humanities, MFL and Personal Development we implement cross phase planning and professional development to ensure a smooth transition from Early Years to Post 16. Our reflective approach to curriculum design is integral to our professional development and promotion life-long learning.
To ensure we continuously develop our curriculum offer and its effectiveness, we have mapped out a programme of collaborative professional development underpinned by the core principles of direct instructional teaching which encompass; building on prior knowledge; the explicit break down of complex material into small steps to avoid overloading working memory; the encouragement of the retention of learning through repetition, practice and retrieval; an explicit awareness of misconceptions; planned lessons which make good use of modelling, scaffolds and carefully paced explanations.; teaching which is adapted in a responsive way to support all learners and maintaining high expectations.
Personal development is an integral part of the curriculum in all Key Stages and is underpinned by our third value of Respect whereby we recognise the importance of a positive and respectful school culture. We believe that a whole trust holistic approach to personal development is the best way to remove barriers to learning, prepare pupils for their adult lives and to teach them to understand how to engage within an ever-changing global society. Cultural development is embedded in all our schools since our pupils are encouraged to understand and appreciate the cultural influences and values that have shaped their world locally, nationally, and globally. Personal development lessons are fully integrated and sequenced within our curriculum model but in addition we seek to offer our pupils rich experiential learning opportunities which include national and international trips for primary and secondary pupils; the Pennine Champions Award) for primary pupils; trust wide sports events, debating, mathematical challenges and musical events and mandarin teaching throughout Key Stage 2 and 3.
Ambition for all
Our curriculum is fully inclusive, and we recognise the pupils with SEND have the greatest need for excellent teaching and are entitled to a provision that supports achievement for all. We create a positive environment in all our schools for all pupils without exception. Using the graduated approach, we employ high quality formative, summative and diagnostic assessments to develop a holistic understanding of pupil needs; our intervention programmes are bespoke, and evidence-informed and our support staff are highly skilled and expertly deployed.
Assessment and Quality Assurance
Fundamental to the effectiveness of our curriculum is our approach to assessment. We utilise a responsive approach to assessment strategies which focus on moving the learning forward and the activation of learners as owners of their own learning; We recognise that effective feedback should be specific, accurate and timely and provide clear guidance on how to improve. Pupils are explicitly taught metacognitive strategies through dialogic talk as well as how to monitor, plan and evaluate their learning. The information provided by assessments is essential for planning and adaptive teaching.
We have developed a collaborative approach to quality assurance which supports teachers to reflect and refine the sequencing of the core knowledge and foundational concepts for their subjects, evaluate the effectiveness of the principles of direct instructional teaching whilst securing the skills to know when knowledge is secure before pupils move on.