At Blacklow Brow we have the highest academic ambitions and our curriculum is designed to give all children the knowledge, self-belief and cultural capital they need to succeed in life and become educated, global citizens. This is reflected in our trust vision: “Believe, Achieve, Succeed”. Our aim is to provide an educational journey that enables children to develop powerful knowledge and become healthy in body, mind and soul. We strive to inspire our pupils to be aspirational and ambitious so that they have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
The curriculum is planned sequentially and taught in progressive steps. This is to ensure that the children build on prior learning and work towards clearly defined end points. This helps pupils to develop and embed key knowledge, skills and understanding for future learning.
The school has high academic ambitions for all children regardless of their starting points. This is particularly the case for children with identified needs such as those who are disadvantaged or SEND pupils. For these children, the curriculum is successfully adapted to meet their individual needs and will enable them to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence.
Our curriculum is designed to provide rich experiences and develop the skills children need to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in later life. We have clear provision for developing spiritual, moral, social and cultural appreciation. This includes engagement with the fundamental British values and the development of skills and attitudes to enable pupils to contribute positively to life in modern Britain. Please see our Twitter page here for lots of examples.
Our curriculum was born over 3 years ago with the expectations of the National Curriculum (NC) at the very core. Using the programmes of study we have given each year group clear and defined end points. As a Trust made up of 4 primary schools, we have worked collaboratively to create clear, progressive objectives to achieve these end points year on year. Objectives have been split into autumn, spring and summer so they are sequenced correctly and progression is clear.
We teach each and every subject with each subject given appropriate weighing (see below). Individual teachers have their own dedicated timetable for the class. These can be found on classroom doors. We are happy that we provide a broad and balanced curriculum and our offer is never narrowed even in the build up to key assessment points.
In school we have dedicated ‘Curriculum leaders’ who lead their curriculum areas. These professionals are responsible for all things relating to their subject or subjects. For example; ensure quality curriculum coverage, organise continuous professional development, organise educational visits to name but a few. To support with this staff have dedicated non-contact time each week to allow them to fulfill their role (2 sessions for core, 1 for foundation). Reading is at the core of our curriculum. Please click here to learn more about reading in our school.
Over time our curriculum has been refined and adapted to allow for better sequencing, progression and challenge. This has been done through our Subject Network Partnerships (SNPs) now know as Trust Improvement Partners (TIPs). These partnerships are representatives from each of our primary schools responsible for particular curriculum area meeting regularly to discuss their areas. They have been responsible for refining and adapting their curriculum areas. Time for this has been provided through whole Trust inset days. As a further development, at the end of last year we met and year group teachers met to move particular curriculum objectives to allow better cross curricular links.
During lessons staff continually formative assess children’s progress by ‘live marking’ work, asking questions and listen to discussions children have with each other. Work is marked regularly and misconceptions dealt with swiftly. Each day a planned basic skills lesson allows staff to address any gaps in learning. Pupils get a change to use their ‘purple pen for progress’ to make any corrects or answer any developmental prompts from the member of staff. Staff also use O Track to assess the daily objectives and colour them depending on the learning of each individual child. This is for both foundation and core subjects.
Our assessment is designed to be purposeful and meaningful allowing staff to plan reactively to the needs of each pupil in the class.
Furthermore, we summatively assess 3 times a year (autumn, spring and summer) across all 4 primary schools. At each point, assessments are marked and question level analysis recorded. This then gives staff the opportunity to revisit topics or objectives where necessary. In addition, it allows us to see areas of expertise across our schools and therefore share good practice.
As leaders we recognise that our curriculum continuously needs to grow and develop depending on the needs of our learners. As a next step we will be looking more at our foundation subjects and how we creatively use curriculum time to teach our objectives but in a more topic/thematic style approach.
Our curriculum does follow the National Curriculum. For more information, please click here.
For an overview of what children are taught please navigate via each year group by clicking here.
All staff at school are willing to talk to you about any area of the curriculum – so please speak to your class teacher.