We aim to provide a dynamic, personalised and innovative curriculum for all students designed to meet all individual needs and to maximise academic progress. Furthermore, the curriculum is constructed to ensure all students are equipped with both the skills, knowledge and learning dispositions required to be successful learners both during their school career and in their future lives. Our aims are to ensure;
- all students are given the best opportunity to make excellent academic progress.
- all students have the access to the highest quality teaching and learning and have the opportunity to be successful and happy learners.
- that our curriculum provides appropriate progression pathways for all our students across all key stages and raises aspirations for all learners.
- that we promote the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of all students across our school
- that a diverse variety of rich extra-curricular opportunities are firmly embedded into the wider curriculum provision across the our school
The National Context
As of September 2014, a revised National Curriculum for England and Wales came into being, which also included the withdrawal of National Curriculum levels. This meant that schools had the autonomy and responsibility to develop and devise an assessment and reporting system which best fits the needs of their students. Chantry Middle along with Newminster Middle, Dr Thomlinson Middle and The King Edward VI High School worked closely together to plan, write and deliver a new creative and innovative curriculum for our students. In addition to this, we liaised closely with our feeder first schools
Considerable research went into the design of the new curriculum. We have drawn on expert educational advice and practice to ensure that the curriculum we have developed has the breadth and depth required to enable students to make the best progress that they can, whilst being fully engaged with the learning opportunities provided.
An underpinning principle of the new curriculum has been the recognition that depth of understanding is as crucial as breadth in supporting a child’s learning. It is vital that the foundations are there in order for subsequent learning to be made sense of.
A summary overview of the content of the new curriculum can be found on our website under ‘students’ and ‘curriculum’.
In devising the new curriculum for each subject, a complete set of curriculum objectives, against which each child’s progress will be assessed, have been devised. A common approach to this process has been used across all subjects, with age expected (referred to as learning thresholds) objectives being written for different learning strands within each subject. These objectives now form the basis of our internal assessment system.
In each year group students will follow the following curriculum;
|Humanities (History & Geography)||2||3|
Please note that each lesson is 60 minutes long on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and a Friday. Each lesson is 55 minutes long on a Thursday.
Each subject area now has a personalised assessment framework, detailing the key learning objectives for that subject. A sample extract of the Geography assessment framework can be accessed by clicking here.
Each curriculum area has then organised the delivery of the key learning objectives through planned units of work which allow students to develop a depth of understanding in relation to these.
Learning Threshold: This refers to the age expected learning objectives for a child by the end of that academic year. e.g. typically we would expect a child in Year 8 to be working at the ‘higher’ learning threshold. However, in some subjects or in some strands of a subject, it is possible that a child might be working at the threshold above or below this.
Learning Strand: This refers to the different elements of learning that thread through the entire curriculum for that subject. The number of strands will vary for each subject, but will be between 3 and 8 strands of learning.
Depth of Learning: For any assessment focus (learning strand) within any given learning threshold, children will be demonstrating different depths of understanding. The assessment framework allows for this. As a child progresses through the curriculum, they will be assessed (in a range of formats) as to the depth of understanding that they are demonstrating. The varying depths of understanding will be identified as follows:
The assessment framework allows the different strengths and areas for development to be more easily identified for each child.
Assessment Methodology: Assessment of each child’s progress against the curriculum objectives set out in the assessment framework will take place in a variety of ways, including;
- baseline assessment – this can be at the beginning of the year or the start of a topic and will support staff in being able to accurately know what a child can currently do, based on prior learning, and where the gaps might exist that need to be further developed.
- teacher assessment – through observation of what a child can and can’t do in each lesson, supported by classwork, homework and discussion. This allows for the teacher’s ongoing professional assessment of each child’s learning.
- focused assessment tasks – these assessments typically take the form of short tasks that are embedded within the curriculum planning for each subject.
- summative assessments – in most cases these will take the form of end of topic / unit ‘tests’ which will demonstrate what students have learnt across a longer period of time. These tests will also help to develop the skills of revision and independence required in preparation for external assessments at the end of each year.
Students will be given regular feedback from any assessments completed, as well as on their classwork and homework.
Reporting to Parents / Carers
As we have done previously, we will continue to formally report to parents / carers three times each year. These reporting points will be in November, March and June. After the reports in November & March there will the opportunity to attend a parents evening to discuss the report and any aspect of your child’s progress further.
We have developed the reporting process to allow you, as parents / carers, to have a greater understanding of the different elements of each subject that your child can do well, or would benefit from being supported to develop further. Each subject will report on each learning strand by the end of the year, in line with the curriculum plan for that subject. For example, science may report on the biology strand in November, but not have completed sufficient content or have sufficient evidence of a child’s progress to report on the working scientifically, physics or chemistry strands until later in the year. The report is therefore designed to give a cumulative picture of a child’s progression through the curriculum across the year.
Format of the report: The report will provide a summary of the progress being made in each subject in each strand of learning at the reporting points identified above. An extract example for reading is given here. Please click here.
The example above shows that, for this child, they are demonstrating the expected depth of understanding for the ‘knowledge and context’ strand for reading at the breakthrough threshold (the threshold typical for a child in Year 5). It also shows that the child is working at the developing level for the ‘analysis and comparison’ strand for reading, but that (at the point of this report being issued) there was not yet enough evidence for the child to be assessed against the interpretation strand. In subsequent reports, the grid would be added to, indicating further progress being made in each of these strands. As learning is a cumulative process, we would fully expect a report to have more ‘developing’ (red) cells in the first report of the year. This does not represent a concern, purely the fact that there will have been less opportunity to securely demonstrate the depth of learning required to be deemed ‘expected’ or ‘mastering’ in that particular strand. Equally, there will be a higher proportion of blank (white) cells on the first report of the year, for content not yet covered.
We would typically expect a child to be working at the expected depth of learning within the learning threshold indicated for their age, by the end of the academic year that they are in. Variation will exist and end of year expectations will be altered on the basis of the progress a child is making through the year. For example, if a child has reached the expected depth of learning in all strands of a subject by March, they will be stretched to achieve the mastering level by the end of the year or even, if appropriate, to be moving on to elements of the next threshold up.
Attitude to Learning
These are both important measures of a child’s approach to their own learning. In the student planners and on the walls around school, we constantly reinforce the characteristics required to be a successful learner. These characteristics form the basis of our assessment of a child’s attitude to learning, as set out in the table. Please click here to access it.
Our expectation is that all students are typically demonstrating an attitude to their own learning which is at least good.