THE INTENTIONS OF OUR CURRICULUM:
At Blackrod Church School, we have developed a curriculum with TWO key outcomes in mind;
1. To give all our learners the thirst, interest, knowledge, skills, understanding, opportunity, support and encouragement to achieve individually to the very best of their abilities.
2.. For our learners to have the passion, tools, belief and opportunity to change our world – whether locally, nationally or globally.
Our Curriculum design has also taken very careful account to deliver the key aspects of the Church of England's vision for education;
Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills: enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life.
Educating for hope and aspiration: enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them.
Educating for community and living well together: a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.
Educating for dignity and respect: the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth.
We intend that through their learning journey with us, as result of the carefully sequenced knowledge, skills and understanding, our children will have developed an appetite, a thirst for and a love of learning, and a belief that each individual has the right and potential to achieve anything. We aim to promote excellence and the highest possible standards for all our pupils. The curriculum of our school is organised so that children are stimulated, encouraged and challenged to develop their individual potential and personality to the full. It is our intention that children leave Blackrod Church School having experienced a broad and exciting curriculum, and that their experiences when learning are positive and memorable. Some children will need additional support in order to access learning whilst others will need extra challenge to enable them to work at greater depth in a subject. We aim to ensure that all children become masters of their year group curriculum so they can confidently tackle the subjects presented. In school we have a mantra of ‘keep up not catch up’ and continually strive to ensure that all children can access the main teaching of a lesson rather than having it made easier for them and therefore putting a cap on their learning. We deliver intervention programmes when necessary to boost individuals or small groups as well as pre-teaching skills so that children have a better chance of ‘keeping up’ with a lesson rather than falling behind.
Following a substantial review, discussion and debate about what school leaders (including Governors) want our Blackrod Church School children to be offered, what we understood to be their contextual localised learning profile, and our unrestricted ambition for the very best future possible for all children, we have built and resourced our curriculum (making adaptations along the way) upon 10 key themes, which are articulated as end points of learning and development by the time children leave our school (yearly end point milestones are also in place for teachers and parents to check on progress and understanding;
- Transport – We want our children to have a good understanding of the ways in which transport has broken through barriers in time and how its development has changed the way we live and work, making discovery not only possible but essential for future prosperity.
- ICT – We want our children to be safe and confident in their use of ICT to communicate, share and learn.
- Communities – Our children will understand from studies of the past how communities are built and most importantly how to lead and participate in a peaceful, harmonious, tolerant society
- Structures and Materials – Our children will have a good knowledge of how and why structures are built for their intended function and will be able to confident to approach finding solutions to problems.
- Conflict – Through their studies, discussion and the emotional environment presented at school, our children will understand the impact of conflict and be confident and driven seekers of peaceful resolutions.
- Diversity and Individuality – We want all our children to leave us being self-assured and confident and know they are treasured and precious for who they are. They will learn about accepting tolerating and celebrating differences and the importance of respect for everyone.
- The Environment - We want our children to be passionate advocates for the protection of our world for their future.
- Health and Happiness – Our children will learn about how to take responsibility for their own physical and mental happiness and the part they can play in that of others.
- Living and Growing – Our children will learn that all life is precious and fascinating and to be fully respected. They will be able to explore what amazing things their bodies can do.
- Creativity and Spirituality – We want our children to be able to experience the awe and wonder of learning and explore their sense of personal self. We want our children to feel confident to express their skills, beliefs, talents and values.
Our curriculum has been planned and sequenced so that new knowledge is built on previous learning and that connections to developing understanding are regularly made for and by the learners. The aims and delivery of our curriculum have been planned and linked to result in every child meeting our objectives in the 10 themes and therefore offer every child the very best all round education we can, addressing the context of the learner as a whole being in the current ‘moment’ of their primary years and to offer them the best possible chances for the future.
We have worked hard to ensure that the learning journey our children embark upon is rooted in the richness and beauty of our local area in Blackrod and beyond, and that children are inspired by it to achieve as well as they can. We also include in our taught curriculum learning about key figures in history from a a variety of diverse backgrounds and locations (including those very local to us here) who have changed our world for the better. There are many opportunities to learn about, experience and connect with the local area throughout the primary journey. Blackrod Church School is proud to be an active participant in our local Horwich and Blackrod learning community (a thriving partnership of 7 primary schools, 2 high schools and 2 special schools) – leading in some key areas of development, for example with the Blackrod Charter and the establishment of the Town Youth Council.
Pupils in each academic year are presented with a wide range of learning opportunities in all subjects of the national curriculum. Children with SEND may have their learning programme adapted and developed to meet their needs, and where appropriate it is enhanced with different and additional opportunities. Our ambition for all pupils, their potential and our quest to unlock each individual’s gifts and talents is equal to every child.
Because of the constraints we have recently faced, we have been able to develop our own Year 6 ‘secondary ready’ transition programme in conjunction with local High School partners. This forms a very key part of the learning programme in the last term of our children’s’ primary phase.
HOW WE IMPLEMENT OUR CURRICULUM;
With the foundations and building blocks of our curriculum carefully and meticulously lined up, we intend that the experience every child has each day in each class makes that learning come alive for them and more importantly ensures it is irresistible. Teachers are very well researched experts in each of the subject matters they teach and are well supported when necessary through monitoring activities in the classroom and by staff development activities by confident, enthusiastic and knowledgeable subject leaders, passionate about ‘their’ subject and the very best way to teach it.
Teachers plan, prepare and deliver learning precisely to ensure children make the best progress they can at a good rate. Teachers are careful to identify and correct any misunderstandings. They use a range of strategies and techniques to align with the range of learning styles in their class.
Ensuring that children are enabled to embed key learning concepts and curriculum themes into their long term memory (knowing more / remembering more) is achieved by two key strategies we have developed uniquely at Blackrod Church School;
- The Golden Triangle (an engagement concept linking the processes of wanting, knowing, believing and achieving) for every child in every lesson.
- The BCS 4 part lesson structure – with every lesson (regardless of subject matter) following the same pattern
- Review and Connect (carefully planned and linked by reference to themes to stimulate memory and make connections across subject boundaries)
- New Learning (objective led / precise)
- Application (with feedback)
- Recap (begin to commit)
Feedback on learning is provided to children in a number of ways on the basis of two key principles.
- Immediacy (feedback works most effectively in the moment with correction possible at the same time). This could be (and often is) directed oral or peer feedback as well as or instead of written feedback
- Purpose (feedback is only used for helping a child to improve or extend their learning / understanding). Feedback directly to learners is a key part of the ‘believe it’ and ‘want it’ strands of the Golden Triangle.
All adults in school – whether in the office or working on the playground at lunchtime, are encouraged to meaningfully engage with children about their learning as regularly as possible.
Teachers use formative and summative assessments to help keep track of pupil progress and this information is discussed half termly with leaders and shared regularly (at least termly) with parents or more frequently if appropriate to do so.
At Blackrod Church School, we recognise the critical importance of the partnership between home and school on the progress that every child makes. Whether this means working together to ensure the best possible attendance in school, listening to reading, completing online tasks or activities at home to supplement in-school learning or raising questions or concerns we actively, and respectfully seek to make this relationship as strong as possible.
There are many ways children can continue their learning journeys at home in the evenings, at the weekends and during the school holidays. Our hybrid approach to learning offers supplementary online learning communicated through each class’s half termly newsletters. We are also able and very keen to lend out devices from school for families who find they need additional technology at home. A key feature of this connection are our Headteachers’ Holiday Challenge which are designed as easy to support, project based learning to compliment work in school.
HOW WE EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF OUR CURRICULM.
Teachers (and as subject leaders), senior leaders, Governors, pupils and parents all have a focussed and directed role to play in helping us to measure the impact of our work on the lives of the children we are privileged to serve.
Teachers and subject leaders regularly monitor the progress of pupils in their subjects and plan and deliver ways of improving outcomes.
Senior Leaders and Governors discuss and evaluate regularly aspects of the curriculum through committee meetings, visits and observations and analysis of outcomes.
Children are encouraged to share their views through the work of the Junior Leadership Team
Parents are given a voice through both regular surveying and the Parents’ Forum (which meets termly), and by keeping us in touch with past pupils and their onward successes.