Curriculum Policy

Curriculum Policy
Approved by Governors:
Signed: ________________________
Date:
Review Date: Governing Body free to determine



Curriculum Policy
We believe that learning is an enjoyable, lifelong process through which everyone can achieve their potential and exceed their expectations. We will challenge and support our pupils to do their very best by providing an extensive range of learning experiences beyond the statutory requirement. In line with the School Aims, we concentrate through the curriculum on developing pupils’ individual abilities and confidence, encouraging each pupil to recognise that their voice is welcomed and valued. We aim to provide a curriculum that will enable each pupil to achieve their full potential, with enthusiasm and enjoyment whilst becoming an independent learner with a curiosity and ability which equips them for their future life.


Individual faculties (English, Mathematics, Vocational, Science and Technology, Humanities, Arts and P.E.) have their own, tailored Programmes of Study and Schemes of Work. Overall our students experience linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical and aesthetic and creative aspects through a range of subjects and extra-curricular enhancing activities. Throughout, pupils acquire skills in speaking and listening, literacy and numeracy. The curriculum gives all pupils the opportunity to learn and make progress and it appropriately prepares them for the opportunities and experiences of adult life. It includes not only the formal requirements of the curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the learning experience of our students. It also includes the “hidden curriculum”, or what children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing their own knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential. Due to the very nature of our student population all faculties are now developing and exploring a multi- themed approach to all Programmes of Study .The Faculties also configure adaptations to the Programmes of Study for specific complex and challenging groups and individuals. Within each Programme of Study and each Scheme of Work the needs of individual pupils are detailed and the Programmes of Study adapted to enable those students to achieve their potential. The seven main Faculties are supported in this by the CLDD Faculty which includes the Multi Disciplinary Team.


The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives. There is a strong emphasis on enrichment generally both through the curriculum and extra-curricular activities and the many educational visits both day and residential. This includes foreign and cultural visits and links with the community.


Educational Visits
Many subject areas organise educational visits as part of the programme of study. These form an essential element of many courses and inform students’ future work within the area of study. As such, all such trips and visits are a compulsory element of a students’ education and are not optional. All students are expected to participate in all such visits.

 

  • We value the way in which all children are unique, and our curriculum promotes respect for the views of each individual child, as well as for people of all cultures. We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
     
  • We value the importance of each person in our community. We organise our curriculum so that we promote co-operation and understanding between all members of our community.
     
  • We value the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We aim to enable each person to be successful and we provide equal opportunities for all the children in our school.
     
  • We value our environment and we aim, through out the curriculum, to teach respect for our world and how we should care for it for future generations, as well as our own.
     
  • Mixed ability tutor groups are established from the Base Line entry tests, feeder school recommendations and other important inclusion data. Most KS3 lessons take place in tutor groups. The exception is Mathematics where students are taught in ability groups based on their continuous assessment results and other information. The facility exists for movement between groups as necessary.
     
  • We undertake to cater for individual choice. At all levels the range of courses on offer allows the development of particular talents but avoids the danger of missing out on important areas of study. The curriculum caters for all pupils’ aptitudes, including those with complex and challenging needs or specific learning difficulties. There is a carefully structured PSHCE curriculum in Y7-Y14 and aspects of PSHCE are also delivered via other subjects. Through World of Work lessons and focused contact with the Careers Adviser (currently Sue Stock), often on a one-to-one basis, students receive appropriate Careers Guidance KS4 and KS5.
     
  • Students take part in two, week long, Work Experience Placements in Year 11 and in the 6th.Form. Students not ready for this experience will take part in an alternative week of Work Related Learning activities which supports their needs.
     
  • Pupils follow a broad, balanced curriculum at Key Stage 3. In Years 7 – 9 the following subjects are taught: English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign Languages (Signalong), History, Geography, Religious Education, Art, Music ,Dance ,Technology(Food Technology and Resistant Materials Technology,) computing, PSHCE and Physical Education. The Physical Education (PE) curriculum includes swimming for some year groups (usually Year 7 & 8) Citizenship is taught in PSHCE.
     
  • Pupils continue to follow a broad, balanced curriculum at Key Stage 4. In Year 10 and Year 11 continued flexibility is ensured by offering a core of English,


Mathematics and Science, R.E,, PSHCE, Computing, PE and Signalong as a Modern Foreign Language. We also have a choice of options in the Humanities, Technology and Arts subjects and extra P.E. GCSE, Entry Level Certificate and Unit Award schemes are taken as external accreditation The subjects provided reflects the following aspects: linguistic; mathematical; scientific ; technological; human and social; physical; aesthetic and creative.

  • Through our options programme our aim is to provide for individual choices and this drives our policy of providing a free choice of options for pupils. The school is committed to making every effort to accommodate each pupil’s preferred combination of subjects. The school may remove a subject from the list of option choices if the numbers opting for the subject are considered not viable or not sufficient to provide a suitable educational experience.
     
  • Options are significant at two key points in a pupil’s senior school education; in Year 9, when they choose Key Stage 4 options and at the end of Key Stage 4 when options are chosen for Key Stage 5.
     
  • In the Spring Term Year 9 are provided with an Information booklet detailing courses and options available. Work Related Learning lessons in Year 9 form an integral part of the PSHE and help inform the Year 9 students’ decisions.
     
  • In Year 11 when they choose their 6th Form options a similar process is carried out. At each of these key points, guidance is provided about the subjects available and associated value of each option for each pupil.
     
  • In the Summer Term, an Information Evening is held for Year 11 students and their parent/carers where 6th. Form options are explained. An information booklet is provided including details of the options schedule and key information needed to make an informed choice. Faculty Heads follow up the details of the courses they offer, reinforce these in subsequent lessons, and on a one-to-one basis if needed. At the transitional Annual Reviews students /parents will have the opportunity to discuss the options available to them with the additional support of their Form Tutor.
     
  • In the Sixth Form Year 12, Year 13 and Year 14 students work within an options based timetable with a core of English (Adult Literacy and Entry Level are offered) and Mathematics (Entry Level and GCSE),Work Related Learning, and PSHE. The emphasis is on Life Long Learning skills and vocational studies. Some students may choose to take part in AS and A level Art or some GCSE subjects (currently Maths, Science and P.E.) Students may also engage in a formal qualification which recognizes their ability to Sign or choose other vocational courses in Construction or Hairdressing. Emphasis is placed on individual guidance when students are making these decisions and Life and Living Skills enrichment activities are also a factor. The tutorial system in Year 12, Year 13 and Year 14 provides further enrichment opportunities for all of our students.


The aim of our school is that all children and young people at \meadow \high school are entitled to an appropriate education, one that meets their needs, promotes high standards and the fulfillment of potential.

We promise to:

  • have high aspirations and expectations for all our pupils
  • ensure that individuals achieve their personal best
  • encourage independence, life skills, self-confidence and positive self-esteem
  • help our pupils to become confident individuals living fulfilling lives
  • support our pupils to make a successful transition onto adulthood, be this in employment, further education or training
  • have an inclusive community, which values truth, diversity and mutual respect
  • have effective communication with all parents/carers and other partners
  • recognize, celebrate and record the achievements of all

Reading Intervention
The Read Write Inc programme [http://www.ruthmiskinliteracy.com/ ] was originally created for mainstream pupils in primary school and students in Year 7 & 8 of secondary school who needed extra support. At Meadow High School our pupil’s learning abilities range from P4-P8; NC Level 1-5+; GCSE & GCE A level, in some subjects. Therefore, whilst retaining the essence and pedagogy of reading Intervention. at Meadow High School, it has been necessary to modify our application of the programme to meet the needs of our students. The majority of our pupils will work within the reading intervention framework throughout their time at Meadow, in line with their level of progress. We aim to provide a broad range of extension activities at each reading level, in addition to the original programme. As reading underpins all areas of learning, our goal is for every student to reach their full potential toward independent reading, as a key life skill. We recognise this achievement as students begin to read for pleasure, choosing a broad range of text and literature at an appropriate and individual level. A major aspect in using reading intervention at Meadow High School has been our flexible approach and ability to adapt the programme to meet the broad range of needs within our school. At Meadow High School the student’s individual needs as well as their reading level, writing ability, learning pace and comprehension levels, are an essential component in placing the students in appropriate homogenous reading intervention groups; to maximise their enthusiasm, learning and full participation in lessons.


The Curriculum
We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage. This indicates what topics and areas of learning are to be taught in each term/year. This is completed through each Faculty .Each Faculty has an overall view of all of the work that our students are involved in. These are our Programmes of Study. We review these plans on an annual basis. These Programmes of Study are then developed by the teachers as Schemes Of Work which break the Programmes of Study down into manageable parts which can then be delivered specifically to our students.

It is our intention to take our good practice and explore the idea of finding a more targeted approach to these Programmes of Study. The Programmes of Study are now being developed for the four themes of student that we are generally working with.

Theme One. Students that are able to be involved in and achieve external accreditation. (Unit Award Scheme, Entry Level, GCSE, A/S and A level)

Theme Two. Students that are able to achieve some external accreditation but where the focus is vocational learning.(Entry Level, Unit Award and ASDAN )

Theme Three. Students that are able to achieve their potential through Independent Lifeskills Learning and the possibility of some external accreditation.

Thematic: Our new students whose needs are more complex than we have seen before. Many present with previously unknown disabling conditions or permutations of special educational needs unfamiliar to some teachers. They struggle to engage and learn in our traditional classrooms, and cannot respond to familiar approaches or strategies of support. Their difficulties demand that we
re-engineer our curricula so they can have the same opportunities as other children to make choices, lead a valued life and for their voice to be heard.

“Children and young people with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (CLDD) have conditions that co-exist. These conditions overlap and interlock creating a complex profile. The
co-occurring and compounding nature of complex learning difficulties requires a personalised learning pathway that recognises children and young people’s unique and changing learning patterns. Children and young people with CLDD present with a range of issues and combination of layered needs – e.g. mental health, relationships, behavioural, physical, medical, sensory, communication and cognitive”. Julie King,

 

  • Interlinking goals from different disciplines with a common aim and clear direction/strategies
  • Transdisciplinary working – therapists get regular information about the student’s progress even if they cannot physically be with/work with the student
  • The setting of SMART targets, which are individual to the pupil, with small steps, showing clear progress
  • A focus on functional skills, ‘real skills that matter’, that will make a real impact on the student’s life
  • Ability to show real achievement.
  • Personalising learning pathways
  • Development of ‘Engagement profiles’
  • Multidisciplinary target-setting with families and therapeutic professionals
  • Transdisciplinary practice
  • Promoting emotional well-being
  • Acknowledging, enabling and listening to the voice of the child.


Computing in the Curriculum.
At Meadow High School we will strive to:

  • identify aspects of our students learning where pupils' individual needs can be really met more effectively through the appropriate use of ICT;
  • use ICT selectively and appropriately to enhance the teaching process and motivate pupils towards positive attitudes to learning;
  • use ICT to provide pupils with appropriate opportunities to take more responsibility for their own learning both in small groups and individually;
  • ensure that all teachers are able to access and receive the complete and essential training that is required to make them leaders in the use of ICT with students who have SEN;
  • develop a range of ICT resources that offer diagnostic, interactive learning support, consolidation and extension of learning opportunities within all curriculum areas most importantly life skills.

Successful implementation of ICT at Meadow High School will give our pupils a sound level of ICT capability and the transferable skills to build upon in their learning and the skills to apply these abilities to all areas of their life in and away from school.

Assessment, Recording and Reporting
We aim to use assessment both formatively and summatively within the curriculum both to evaluate students’ progress and to inform the future planning of both teaching and learning as part of a process of continuous improvement.

Individual teachers use their own ongoing formative assessment (day to day marking, discussions and feedback to pupil etc) to affirm what students know and can do, thereby motivating and encouraging them and also to diagnose weaknesses and identify positive steps to remedy them, including setting targets if necessary. Assessment data is collated on a central database (B2). The Faculty Leaders oversee that individual faculties are involved in monitoring results, setting targets for pupils, putting intervention strategies in place if necessary and assessing progress of individual students. Analysis of this data, particularly student progress and comparative data (via CASPA), also enables performance to be reviewed at whole school and faculty level. We aim to use such information to focus our faculties and the whole School Development Planning each year. Records of student achievement are kept at individual tutor, subject tutor, faculty and at school levels. These are used to inform future planning. The results of assessments are reported regularly – within faculties and year groups, to students and parents. Parents receive one full written report each year and a Termly Review at the end of every other term. For each year group there are two Parents’ Evenings and an Annual Review each year.

Resources
Subject teaching is organised for the most part in departmental teaching rooms. There are display facilities in all classrooms, Art room, Technology rooms and laboratories, as well as in many corridors. Each faculty has a central storage point for resources as well as a faculty folder on the main computer system where digital resources are held. Each faculty aims to continue to build a wide range of teaching resources to meet the wide range of learning needs of our students. There is a “working” staffroom with individual working spaces for some staff, as well as a “rest" area in the same staffroom. Photocopying is available for all staff via printers situated at key points around the school. Most of the computer resources are housed in the ICT room 2, and in the classrooms. There is also access to the school Laptop trolleys of which there are 4(each containing 8 Laptops.) A number of departments have single stand-alone computers. Some have more. Departments hold their own budgets for the purchase of resources necessary for their teaching, while stationery for tutors / tutortime is ordered and distributed centrally.


MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF THE CURRICULUM

  • Monitoring and evaluation are essential aspects of the school’s aim to raise achievement.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the curriculum involves focusing on teaching and learning and assessment: the performance of pupils, the effectiveness of teachers and hence the standard of achievement across the whole school.
  • An effective system of monitoring and evaluation can:
  • Broaden our knowledge about what makes for effective teaching and learning.
  • Confirm we are doing what we say we would do, as stated in the school aims.
  • Establish whether curriculum documentation (policies, schemes of work, planning etc) is not only consistent with practice but also having a positive effect on standards and quality.
  • Identify good practice within the school – and enable us to share it.
  • Indicate where improvements in standards and quality can be made.
  •  Establish whether changes have been effective.
  • The process of monitoring and evaluation in the curriculum has much in common with the process of assessment for the students of the school:
  • The process should be open and shared.
  • The purpose of monitoring and evaluating should be clear to all involved and it should be seen as a supportive and developmental process, aimed at improving standards throughout the school.
  • All those involved should be aware of the criteria for judging success.
  • The process should be manageable, rigorous and systematic in planning and target-setting as appropriate.

Responsibilities for monitoring and evaluating the curriculum:

SMT

  • School aims, School Development Plan priorities and action plans.
  • Overall curriculum provision, breadth and balance.
  • Overall standards of achievement.
  • Overall quality of teaching and learning.
  • Personal, social, health and citizenship education.


Faculty Heads

  • Faculty aims, priorities and action plans.
  • Subject provision and quality, including planning, schemes of work, continuity and progression, breath and balance and quality of delivery.
  • Pupil standards of achievement within the subject.
  • Quality of teaching and learning within the subject.
  • Assessment and recording.


Subject Teachers

 

  • Planning and delivery, within faculty and school frameworks.
  • Assessment and recording of individual pupil progress as well as whole class.
  • Pupil standards of achievement within the class.


Key aspects of the monitoring and evaluating programme include:

  • The School Development Plan: review of the previous year’s SDP action plans(initially by the Executive) with the aim of identifying areas on which to focus in the next action plan.
  • Scrutiny and analysis of exam results. with the aim of identifying not only areas of particular strength but also areas to target for further improvement.
  • Whole school and Faculty action plans are monitored regularly throughout the year: Heads of Faculties meet once a month with the Head of Curriculum. The Head meets with the Head of Curriculum to discuss results.
  • The Staff Development Review cycle incorporates individual teacher objectives. The monitoring of this is not entirely open, being confidential between the teacher and the Head, but the outcomes will often be fed into the Departmental Development Plans and, in turn, the School Development Plan.

Lesson observation:

  • Headteacher and SMT monitor quality of overall teaching and learning through both formal and informal lesson observation.
  • Heads of Faculties monitor quality of subject teaching and learning through both formal and informal lesson observation.
  • Departments are encouraged to set up their own programme of lesson observation, perhaps with agreed developmental focus (e.g. sharing strategies for managing ICT in the classroom, or varied approaches to marking, integrating CLDD).
  • A rolling programme of faculty inspections by the Head of Faculty.
  • Performance Management Reviews include lesson observation.
  • A whole school drive on a particular area (e.g. teaching strategies for Life and Living Skills in the 6th. Form) which includes lesson observation.

Student Work and student workbook Scrutiny:

  • SMT monitors overall quality of pupil learning or teacher assessment.
     
  • Faculty Heads monitor e.g. overall quality of pupil learning or teacher assessment within the subject – or may set up teams within the department to do so.
     
  • The development of a whole school teaching strategy.

ASPECTS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING REFLECTING GOOD PRACTICE

Planning and Preparation

  • The teacher plans effectively to achieve progression in pupils’ learning, within the schemes of work of the department.
  • The teacher has high expectations of each pupil, regardless of individual differences including cultural or linguistic background.
  • The teacher sets appropriately challenging tasks for individuals and for groups, building on prior attainment.
  • The teacher is aware of all of the specific needs within the group and plans work accordingly.
  • Clear learning objectives are communicated at the start of the lesson and understood by the students.
  • Materials are well-produced and ready to be used.
  • There is a good lesson structure.
  • The lesson is reviewed at the end.


Subject knowledge, Understanding and Enthusiasm

  • The teacher shows good subject knowledge and understanding and has a thorough knowledge of the subject content.
  • The subject material is appropriate for the lesson.
  • Knowledge is made relevant and interesting for pupils, so that intellectual curiosity is stimulated and pupils’ enthusiasm fostered.
  • The teacher communicates enthusiasm for the subject.
  • The teacher provides opportunities over time to improve pupils’ speaking and listening/ language, numeracy and ICT skills and literacy as well as the independent and collaborative study skills needed for effective learning.
  • The teacher provides opportunities over time to contribute to the pupils’ wider educational development, including their personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Teaching Strategies

  • The teacher involves all pupils, listens to them, welcomes and values their voice and responds appropriately.
  • The teaching methods used enable all pupils to learn effectively.
  • The lesson is linked to previous and future teaching or learning.
  • The ideas and experiences of pupils are drawn upon.
  • A variety of activities and questioning techniques are used to ensure opportunities for a range of learning needs to be met.
  • Instructions and explanations are clear and specific at all stages, from e.g. the outline of the content and aims at the start to a summary of key points at the end.
  • High standards of effort, accuracy and presentation are encouraged.
  • Appropriate methods are used to match the approaches used to the pupils being taught.

Classroom and Behaviour Management

  • Pupils are well managed and high standards of behaviour are insisted upon. The school’s behaviour policy is followed.
  • Pupils are praised regularly for their effort and achievement and the Rewards and Sanctions Policy is applied consistently.
  • Prompt action is taken to address any poor behaviour.
  • All pupils are treated fairly.

Assessment and Recording

  • Pupils’ understanding is monitored and assessed throughout the lesson by the use of teacher questions and discussions.
  • Mistakes and misconceptions are recognised and used constructively to facilitate learning. (Link book Traffic Light System is used where appropriate.)
  • Pupils’ written work is assessed regularly and accurately and positive feedback is given, including guidance on how to improve.
  • The teacher makes effective use of assessment information on pupils’ attainment and progress in teaching and in planning future lessons.

Class Atmosphere and Pupil Outcomes

  • The teacher creates a positive, co-operative atmosphere where pupils feel safe, are able to attempt new ideas and are confident about taking risks in their learning.
  • Pupils understand what work is expected of them and why it is expected.
  • Pupils are fully engaged throughout the lesson and make progress.
  • Pupil outcomes are consistent with the objectives set at the beginning.
  • Use of Time and Resources
  • The teacher makes effective use of time and resources.
  • Time is well utilised and learning maintained for the full time available.
  • A good pace is maintained throughout the lesson, from a purposeful start to a structured end.
  • A range of learning resources is used in lessons during the year.
  • The learning environment is attractive and conducive to learning and the development of self-esteem.
  • The organisation of the room (including furniture) meets the needs of the group and the activity.


Homework

  • Homework is set if appropriate for the student, and sufficient time allowed to complete it.
  • The learning objectives for the homework task(s) are explicit and relevant.
  • Homework is used effectively to reinforce and extend learning, and takes a variety of forms over time.
  • Support will always be offered to students in school where it is required.
  • Homework is marked and followed up when necessary.

Relationship to other policies
The school policy on the curriculum embraces policies and procedures for admissions, careers education and guidance, charging, collective worship, drugs, equality, health & safety, homework, nutritional standards, performance management, school visits, SEN, sex education, staff discipline and teaching and learning.


Review of Documentation:
policy documents and handbooks need to be regularly reviewed and updated: the School Development Plan with its action plans, the SEF, Faculty Development Plans; Programmes of Study and Schemes of Work are all regarded as working documents.


Roles and responsibilities of Headteacher, other staff, governors

The Headteacher will ensure that:

  • all statutory elements of the curriculum, and those which the school chooses to offer, have aims and objectives which reflect the aims of the school and indicate how the needs of individual pupils will be met. This will include how the subject will be taught and assessed, the use of language (reading, writing, speaking & listening), and the use of information and communications technology;
  • the amount of time provided for teaching the curriculum is adequate and is review by the Curriculum Committee annually;
  • where appropriate the individual needs of some pupils are met by permanent or temporary disapplication from the National Curriculum;
  • the procedures of assessment meet all legal requirements and that pupils and their parents/carers receive information to show how much progress they are making, how they compare with school or national expectations, and what is required to help them improve;
  • the governing body is fully involved in decision making processes that relate to the breadth and balance of the curriculum;
  • the governing body is advised on statutory targets in order to make informed decisions.
  • It is the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure that reference is made to this policy; all other school policies and procedures are checked/amended.


Other staff will ensure that:

  • the school curriculum is implemented in accordance with this policy and monitored by continuous ,small step assessment (B2.); external accreditation(at various levels and with various exam boards) and through the suitability of differing relevant courses and teaching approaches.
  • The Governing Body will ensure that:
  • it considers the advice of the head teacher when approving this curriculum policy and when setting statutory and non-statutory targets;
  • progress towards annual targets is monitored;
  • National Curriculum test and teach assessment results are published in the school profile, and progress towards meeting agreed targets is described;
  • parents and carers receive timely reports on the progress of their child against clearly defined expectations, 1 per term (2 short and 1 longer coinciding with annual reviews);
  • it participates actively in decision making about the breadth and balance of the curriculum;
  • staff understand that political and other sensitive issues must be presented to pupils in a balanced way.
  • Arrangements for monitoring and evaluation (Governors)
  • The Governing Body will receive an annual report from the head teacher on:
  • standards reached in the core subjects;
  • standards achieved at the end of each key stage by gender and ethnicity, compared with previous years, and where appropriate, national and local benchmarks (value added scores);
  • number of pupils for whom the curriculum was disapplied, the arrangements which were made, how pupils and parents were informed, how progress was monitored, the progress made by those pupils;
  • the evidence of the impact of external intervention and support and national strategies on standards e.g. accreditation/examination results and comparisons between yearly cohorts;
  • the views of staff about the action required to improve standards;
  • the nature of any parental complaints.

Date established by Governing Body _______________________________
Date for full implementation - May 2012
Date for review – May 2013
Date of review – June 2016