Curriculum, Teaching & Learning

Our curriculum policy can be viewed here.

Vision


At Greensward Academy we believe that providing a broad, rich and deep range of learning experiences is essential for the development of the young people who study with us. A well-planned, personalised curriculum delivered through excellent teaching is integral in inspiring each and every child to choose a remarkable life.


Scope


We define the curriculum as:

  • the intent behind the plans for teaching and learning;

  • the body of knowledge and understanding which we wish for students to develop;

  • the learning skills and approaches which we wish for students to develop;

  • the wider curriculum, including enrichment and extra-curricular activities facilitated by school.


Teaching and learning is understood as:

  • the implementation of the aforementioned curriculum;

  • the pedagogical approach to delivery employed by teachers;

  • students knowing more and remembering more.


Beliefs and Ethos


Overall, we believe that a well-designed curriculum is essential in tackling educational disadvantage. Our rationale is founded on the following ten principles:

  1. the curriculum must assist all students in securing high quality qualifications in order to provide them the best opportunities for success;

  2. all students must study a curriculum which is wide-ranging, balanced, rigorous and personalised;

  3. the curriculum must be designed around effective understanding of the transition from primary to secondary education and the subsequent transition into further and higher education;

  4. the curriculum must be engaging: learning is fun and it must be rewarding for all;

  5. the foundation of all learning is knowledge so we must sequence and deliver an appropriately knowledge-rich curriculum, facilitating recall for deep memorisation;

  6. learning is ‘sticky’ and generative: the more students learn, the more they can learn in the future;

  7. skills, far from being a binary to knowledge, represent its application: therefore, the curriculum must set out the sequence for mastery of skills;

  8. enrichment, both within the curriculum and beyond, is essential in bringing learning to life, and so must be explicitly planned;

  9. employability and preparedness for work and further study must be incorporated into curriculum planning;

  10. the curriculum must help students to develop their character, spiritually, morally, culturally and socially.


Approach


Our curriculum reflects the requirements of the secondary national curriculum. We expect that students will learn the curriculum:

  • no matter their background;

  • respectfully and safely;

  • increasingly independently;

  • communicating effectively in writing and through oracy;

  • whilst enjoying themselves on their journey.


Curriculum Development


Development of the curriculum is strategically led by the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Vice-Principal with the support of the Teaching and Learning team. Regular training is provided for a range of staff in order to specify intent, improve implementation and maximise impact.


The Vice-Principal ensures that in every subject area and for every year group, Directors and Teaching and Learning Leaders develop Curriculum Overviews which detail a summary of the intended learning. These working documents are available as part of a directory on the academy website.


The Vice-Principal also quality assures the Schemes of Learning which detail:

  • core knowledge: the information, content and understanding which students develop in their study;

  • hinterland knowledge;

  • misconceptions;

  • assessment: the methods by which the impact of students’ learning is measured;

  • vocabulary.


Every Scheme of Learning sets out a model for progression, detailing the endpoints which must be mastered by all students and outlining the methods by which impact will be measured.


A considerable amount of staff directed time is led by Middle Leaders and attended by staff with the sole purpose of exploring the intent, implementation and impact of the curriculum on learners. Guiding the focus of these meetings are three main questions:

  • What are we teaching?

  • How are we teaching it?

  • How will we know the students know more and remember more of what we’ve taught?



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