BUCKHOLME TOWERS SCHOOL AND NURSERY CURRICULUM POLICY

General

The curriculum is the totality of each pupil’s learning experiences. At Buckholme Towers School we provide full-time, supervised education for pupils of compulsory school age, which gives pupils experience in linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical, personal, social and health education which reflects our aims and ethos, and aesthetic and creative education. Our pupils acquire skills in speaking and listening, literacy and numeracy. Our subject matter is appropriate for the ages and aptitudes of our pupils, including those pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. All pupils have the opportunity to earn and make progress and we provide good preparation of pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The taught curriculum is developed in relation to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and the National Curriculum. We ensure that the range of learning opportunities challenge, stimulate and promote thinking and learning.

The curriculum is planned effectively, promoting continuity and progression. It encourages an enjoyment of learning and a commitment to learning and achieving.

The teaching at the school:

  • Enables pupils to acquire new knowledge and make progress according to their ability so that they increase their understanding and develop their skills in the subjects taught.
  • Fosters in pupils the application of intellectual, physical or creative effort, interest in their work, and the ability to think and learn for themselves
  • Provides well-planned lessons, effective teaching methods, suitable activities and wise management of class time
  • Shows a good understanding of the aptitudes, needs and prior attainments of the pupils and ensure that these are taken into account in the planning of lessons;
  • Demonstrates appropriate knowledge and understanding of the subject matter being taught
  • Utilises effectively classroom resources of an adequate quality, quantity and range;
  • Demonstrates that a framework is in place to assess pupils’ work regularly and thoroughly and use information from that assessment to plan teaching so that pupils can progress;
  • Utilises effective strategies for managing behaviour and encouraging pupils to behave responsibly;
  • Buckholme Towers School has in place a framework for pupils’ performance to be evaluated, by reference to our own aims as provided to parents, subject specific criteria and to national norms. (See assessment policy and subject policies for details)

The Principles of Developing the Curriculum

Breadth: a range of experiences across all areas of study, extending more than the intellect alone
Balance: The nature of activities and curriculum content should be balanced over a period of time, not necessarily over a week or half a term. Concentration on thematic work, special events, visits or lengthy project work may change the balance temporarily but it will be redressed over the year as whole. Balance is also about the quality of teaching in each subject which should be of a consistently high standard regardless of the amount of time allocated to it.
Depth: There must be opportunities for independent, extended and sustained learning. Cross curricular links are established in some subject areas and are encouraged in all subject areas where possible.
Relevance: The curriculum should start with children’s experiences, building on previous knowledge and understanding.
Continuity: The curriculum must be planned within the context of previous experience and future expectations, paying due regard to the whole school context.
Progression: Each child should progress at an acceptable level and pace based upon their starting points and individual educational profiles.
Differentiation: within a teacher’s short term planning, work should be matched to the abilities of groups, and individual pupils’ needs.

The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school promotes principles which:

  • Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law;
  • Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life
  • Raise pupil awareness of good citizenship
  • Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England;
  • Assist pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions

Planning

At each step of planning the key considerations will include:

  • What do we want the children to learn?
  • What are the expected outcomes?
  • What experiences have the children had previously?
  • What experiences will they be offered?
  • How will they be offered?
  • Over what time scale?
  • What resources will be needed?
  • How will the learning be assessed?

There are three elements to our planning process:

Long Term Planning

These provide an overview of the proposed coverage within each subject over the course of an academic year. Each map makes reference to breadth and depth of study for each year group. This ensures continuity and progression. It provides a framework in which teachers can easily identify opportunities for cross-curricular work and make provision where appropriate.

Medium Term Planning (Units of Work, Forecasts and Schemes of Work)

These plans cover each term’s work in more detail within each subject for each year group. The Medium Term Plan details learning targets, activities, differentiation, resources and assessments.

Medium Term Plans are developed through the subject leader meetings to ensure consistency, and the process is overseen by the SLT. The subject leader ensures that the Schemes of Work are being followed correctly and checks continuity and progression. Subject Leaders will give constructive advice on teaching strategies, resources and equipment. They will consult with their colleagues regarding the effectiveness of each scheme of work within the subject and will adapt schemes where necessary.

Because each subject has different needs, it has been agreed that the formats for the presentation of this information may be individual to each of the curriculum stages and the subject taught. Teachers will develop a format that best suits their subject.

There are, however, common planning criteria for each subject

  • Learning Objectives
  • Activities
  • Differentiation
  • Resources
  • Organisation
  • Assessment

Over the course of an academic year children will experience a range of teaching and learning styles.

Short Term Planning (Lesson Plans)

Short Term Planning will detail day to day lessons and activities and will also include information on areas such as classroom organisation, management and strategies for teaching and learning. The main areas that teaching staff will consider at this stage of planning are:

  • Details of each activity
  • Classroom organisation and management
  • Groupings of the children
  • Resources
  • Role of the teacher and any other adults (TAs)
  • Assessment
  • Differentiation
  • Pace
  • Evaluation and feedback

The approach to short term planning at Buckholme Towers is flexible. Each teacher will approach it in their own individual way and will record it in writing in a format that suits them. It enables teachers to ensure that there is good classroom organisation, that they are giving adequate time to assess, that there is a range of learning materials that are appropriate to the children’s needs and that there is a balance of different types of activity through the week. It also encourages teachers to be reflective practitioners, evaluating the effectiveness of a particular task or activity, and adapting it for the future where appropriate.

Monitoring and Evaluating

The school will monitor and evaluate the curriculum through a variety of working groups which include teachers and parents. Appropriate recommendations for change will be made to the Head and SLT (Senior Leadership Team).

Evaluation will be measured against a range of indicators which include whole school and individual pupil indicators.

Whole School Indicators:

  • Examination results
  • Admissions information
  • Destinations of school leavers
  • Individual Meetings between SLT.
  • Effort Grades
  • Attainment Grades (Tracking)

Individual Pupil Indicators:

  • Developing positive self-image
  • Be effective users of the skills of numeracy, literacy and oracy and show a love of learning
  • Tolerance
  • Be healthy
  • Develop positive links with the community and an appreciation and understanding of other cultures
  • Have an appreciation of the natural and manmade world
  • Be increasingly independent, self-motivated and self-disciplined
  • Appreciate human aspirations and achievements
  • Work actively together in cooperative groups
  • Acquire the competences and attitudes needed for adult life

To be reviewed: September 2017