Curriculum Intent at The Wings’ CE Trust
Why does our curriculum look like it does?
We embrace the December 2018 Ofsted guidance on effective curriculum design:
- the importance of subjects as individual disciplines
- using the curriculum to address disadvantage and provide equality of opportunity
- regular curriculum review
- using the curriculum as the progression model
- intelligent use of assessment to inform curriculum design
- retrieval of core knowledge baked into the curriculum
- distributed curriculum leadership
Our approach is like this:
- Because we know that many of the children in our schools have limited access to outdoor/natural spaces
- Because research says that children learn best when they are excited about what they are learning
- Because research tells us that children learn best when they make real life, relevant, contextual links
- Because research tells us that ‘deep/profound learning’ takes place when pupils are challenged through higher order thinking, problem solving, independent learning and by having ownership over their own learning
- Because research tells us that children learn best through practical experiences
- By taking K&U/breadth of study from the National Curriculum
- By developing exciting ‘contexts for learning’ that provide opportunities to link subject areas, whilst ensuring the ‘knowledge’ required of pupils for each subject is explicitly taught
- By planning lots of opportunities for a visit or visitor in order to make learning relevant and exciting
- By paying attention to not only WHAT KNOWLEDGE pupils are learning, but HOW they learn
- By ensuring Assessment for Learning principles are embedded throughout our curriculum and that learning begins with establishing what pupils already know
What does it look like?
The curriculum organisation:
- Is 3-dimensional; organised as both cross-curricular and through blocks of time. This is particularly useful where subjects do not naturally ‘link’ and so are delivered as a ‘stand-alone’ block to ensure the subject does not become tenuously linked. The timetable has daily English/maths and blocked ‘CFL’ (CONTEXT FOR LEARNING) sessions. The CFL may last anywhere between a day, up to a half term.
- Begins with learning objectives which are taken from the National Curriculum.
- Ensures learning opportunities are provided in all areas of the school-outdoors, allotment, ‘Learning Stations’, visits etc. We call this ‘stealth learning’; where pupils are immersed in learning wherever they may be in school.
- Provides opportunities for continuous provision in Lower Primary are present via a differentiated timetable dependent on pupil need
- Is taught via a two-yearly cycle for EYFS, Lower Primary, Middle Primary and Upper Primary and planned using a ‘phase approach’.
- Ensures each CFL begins with a ‘wow’ stimulus or problem etc, and utilises ‘Learning tools’ such as Thinking Hats, Thinkers Keys, Market Place etc wherever possible. It completes with an end product such as a presentation, artefact, display, written piece. The KWHL is re-visited at the end to add new learning as part of our approach to the gathering of assessment evidence
Long term planning is organised using each year group’s ‘Context for Learning Overview Document’ which details:
- the learning objectives for each subject covered in each context taken from the NC document
- the context for learning for each term
- the ‘outcome’ i.e. presentation, book, museum artefact etc.
This document is reviewed every two years.
NB: some areas of learning are taught discreetly as a ‘stand alone’ rather than tenuously linking in with the context. Literacy and Numeracy Long term plans follow NNS/NLS guidelines. RE planning follows the Blackburn Diocese Scheme of work.
Planning for medium term is two-fold:
a) Teacher led planning which lists the ‘I cans’/WALTS/Learning objectives
b) Child led planning via a KWHL diagram (where pupils identify what they already know, want to learn and how they will find out and what they have learned) produced by the pupils and teacher in each class as a whole class activity. These are then copied and stuck in pupil’s books. This complements our AFL strategies and helps teachers ascertain pupil’s existing learning in this area ensuring the context for learning is relevant and interesting to pupils whilst also giving pupils a sense of ownership of what they are learning.
ASSESSMENT: MEASURING IMPACT
Assessments for English/maths are held three times a year during. The results of these are discussed during Progress meetings where pupil tracking data, targets, ‘Barriers to Learning Analysis’ and ways forward are discussed.
Assessments for other subjects are ongoing, resulting in an end of year judgement for each area of the subject covered as per the assessment grid.
- Various AFL strategies
- Our feedback policy was developed as part of a DfE research project on reducing teacher workload. It involves staff identifying if pupils need either a ‘fix-it’ or ‘stretch-it’ (see policy for further details)
Maths: White Rose Assessments/past SATs tests
English: NFER tests are used for Reading (previous SATs in Y2 & Y6), Pupil’s workbooks are used to inform a teacher assessment of writing, speaking and listening is assessed using teacher assessment.
Other subjects: Assessment grids have been developed to support staff in assessing subjects other than maths/English. We have also developed our own tracker in partnership with the LA on SIMS so that we can perform data analysis of all subjects. This also helps identify gaps in learning for pupils in subjects other than English/maths.
Evidence of summative assessment in other subjects:
Staff make assessment judgements based on evidence from the following sources:
- Staff evaluations on planning completed after each lesson
- Lists on planning of children who are observed by staff to have exceeded/ not met the age related expectation
- At the end of the CFL, the pupils re-visit their KWHL to add their newly acquired learning
- At the end of each unit of work, a summative assessment is completed by the teacher. This can be presented in a variety of ways to pupils including:
-‘checklist’ eg can children switch on/off a computer
-quick quiz/assessment test (written or oral)
-activity planned to measure knowledge
-work in books/floor books
Staff from each school attend the following types of moderation activity for English and maths:
- Within own school moderation
- MAT wide moderation
- Consortia moderation
- LA moderation
For moderation of other subjects, we have an annual moderation event across all schools in our Trust for class teachers and subject leaders.
Each subject area has a working party led by a subject leader which meets half termly to drive forward school improvement priorities
Across the MAT curriculum leads meet half termly to share good practice, share research and drive forward whole MAT priorities
Self-evaluation: measuring curriculum impact
- Regular subject leader meetings are held across the trust where senior leaders work with subject leaders to monitor the impact of the curriculum.
- An annual ‘evaluative statement’ is written by subject leaders in each school on an annual basis which identifies WWW/EBI to inform the SEF/SIP
- Progress meetings are held termly to monitor pupil outcomes
Other relevant policies and documents:
- Assessment policy
- Feedback policy
- SEND policy
- Progress Meeting Toolkit
- School Improvement and Self-evaluation Toolkit
- Monitoring plan (termly planned and organic)
- Headteacher Impact statements
- CEO reports
At present our PSHE & C curriculum is taught via a cross curricular approach through all subject areas, however, we have a working group whose aim is to develop a curriculum which will be taught discreetly for an hour a week by September 2020. The schools' intent is to enable all pupils to acquire knowledge and be equipped with the skills to develop their own personal understanding, to manage their lives now and in the ever changing world we live in, through a developmental programme of learning for PSHE & C.