Curriculum and Assessment
Our curriculum is formed from the National Curriculum 2014. This document explains what the curriculum contains for both key stages.
At our school we have developed a curriculum which enables children to develop a love of learning, to make excellent progress and to build firm foundations for their future lives.
We achieve this through careful planning. We take each area of knowledge within the national curriculum and link it with children’s questions and interests. We plan with the children and then make links between subject areas developing a web of learning which is shared with parents. Parents support this learning through regular ‘brain building’ projects and through practice in reading, spelling and maths at home.
Children are given time and structure to learn. This learning encompasses widening vocabulary in all subject areas, developing reasoning, revisiting of concepts.
We consider how well our curriculum is making a difference to children’s learning through assessing what children know before, during and after a project. We find out whether children are developing a love of learning and how well they are progressing and act on what we find out. Learning is truly for life.
If you would like to know more about the curriculum we are developing then please get in touch via the contact details on the 'Contact Us' tab or look at our Twitter feed.
Work that matters
We believe fundamentally that children should have the opportunity to produce “work that matters”.
We believe that young people can produce meaningful work of real value to the world today.
The philosophy of meaningful learning, is at the heart of our curriculum.
The importance of meaningful outcomes
The final outcome of a Learning Journey, which might be a product (such as a machine or an artwork), a performance (such as a theatre piece or a debate), or a service (such as giving a lesson to younger students), creates a focus for the project that gives it a feeling of purpose from day one. We believe that it is important that the outcome of a Learning Journey be something that students (as well as other people) value. A good test for this is whether students’ work is being kept at the end of a Learning Journey, being used for a purpose or thrown away.
Three big questions we ask ourselves when planning a meaningful Learning Journey
Will this Learning Journey engage my students?
- Is the Learning Journey important to our pupils?
- Does the Learning Journey foster pupil ownership?
- Is the Learning Journey purposeful and will it result in a product, service or body of knowledge that they and others will make use of? Will the process seem authentic to students?
- Is the Learning Journey pervasive and will it sufficiently engage children so that they’ll want to voluntarily take the learning outside school and school hours?
- Does the Learning Journey tap into student passions?
Will this Learning Journey engage me?
- Are we personally curious about the Learning Journey and will we learn new things from it?
- We will we learn alongside our pupils? Will our pupils be able to teach us something new?
- Do we ask our pupils about their prior knowledge, experiences and skills before beginning to plan the Learning Journey?
- What is going to drive us, and our pupils, to produce high-quality work?
Will our pupils learn something meaningful from this Learning Journey?
- Just because a Learning Journey is enjoyable, does it add much to our pupils’ learning?
- What do we expect our pupils to have learned? What subject content and skills, as well as attributes, will be acquired or enhanced through the Learning Journey?
- Have we made contact with experts outside our school, rooting our Learning Journey in ‘real life’?
When considering such meaningful Learning Journeys, we keep in mind these wise words from Professor Tim Brighouse,
“There are always those adventurers in education who are wanting to push the frontiers of what is possible and are driven by a passionate belief in what schooling should and could be like. It is such people who have always found ways to unlock the future for many youngsters who would otherwise spend their lives realising only a fraction of their potential.”
‘Assessment for learning’ is at the heart of our practice. Leadership, teaching and assessment are inextricably linked. In essence this means quality first teaching where staff know exactly what each child do and where to take their learning next. Children having a sound understanding of their own learning, knowing how well they are doing and how to improve is in integral part of this.
This is achieved through giving children ongoing feedback and developing peer learning which enables each child to make good progress. This happens in our school through listening carefully to children, through effective questioning, through giving children time to improve and through a continuous focus on quality first teaching.
As a result of this approach children talk with confidence about their learning, about having a growth mind set and about the steps they need to take in order to make progress.
All staff, together with governors, evaluate summative assessment of children’s learning as individuals, groups and cohorts. This includes analysis of data, book trawls, taking to children and learning walks. Moderation across our federation is key as it is more widely with our Wye Valley Learning Network partners. Information is shared with parents via homework tasks, parent meetings and ongoing access to our school’s tracking system.
In summary, assessment at our school is used to enable every child to ‘Be the best they can be.’