Park View is an international school at the heart of our local community where all are expected to aspire to academic excellence whilst behaving with empathy and respect to others.
RATIONALE FOR THE CURRICULUM
To deliver our vision, we have created a curriculum which is intellectual and rigorous, which embodies aspiration, equality, enjoyment and a genuine chance of success, thus challenging students to be the best that they can be, regardless of their starting point: it is our stated belief that no child’s history should be his or her destiny.
AIMS OF THE CURRICULUM
The curriculum at Park View has four principles at its heart:
- The curriculum is designed to put students at the centre, focussing upon meeting their individual needs and aspirations rather than those of the school.
- It ensures that all students have equal access to all courses and facilities and to guidance and counselling, regardless of creed, gender, colour, national or ethnic origin, or disability
- It promotes differentiation of teaching and learning through ability setting in some areas and through differentiated resources in others, supporting the least able and stretching and challenging the most able
- It aims to develop the independent learning skills and resilience of each student in order to equip them for the next phase of their education
- It ensures that students have an equal right to fair and unbiased assessment.
2. Breadth and Balance
- The curriculum is broad and balanced, aiming to facilitate the development of the talents and interests of all, within the constraints imposed by staffing resources, the split-site and the timetable structure.
- Our curriculum has been developed to meet the needs of Park View students and has been designed with them specifically in mind. It is intended to represent the highest standards in educational practice nationally whilst meeting local need.
- It recognises that we are educating the whole person and so not only develops the key aspects of learning within each subject , in terms of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills, but also the broader concepts which underpin all of human existence, in terms of familiarity with aesthetic, creative, cultural, linguistic, mathematical, moral, physical, scientific, spiritual and technological principles.
- It supports students’ physical development, enabling them to make informed choices about their own lifestyles.
- Our curriculum is designed to provide all our students with the core knowledge that is the foundation of success in adult life. We aim to maximise their cognitive development so that they become active and economically self-sufficient citizens.
- At the heart of our curriculum lies a respect for the subjects we teach and for the insight that each provides into the world around us. We teach children how to think, how to criticise, how to be active, rather than passive recipients of information; but each of these skills are taught within the context of the rich knowledge each subject provides. By instilling our students with the best of what has been thought, said and done in each subject, we hope that our curriculum enables children to appreciate and participate in the full richness of the human experience.
- Our curriculum specifies the knowledge that should be taught in each subject and has been mapped in order to promote a horizontal integrity across all subjects as well as a vertical coherency within each subject as regards the development of knowledge and skills.
- We have worked hard to arrive at the curriculum which we have and will not constantly look to amend it significantly; while we will make adjustments in the light of monitoring and evaluation, we will aim for stability over many years, so that teachers can develop expertise and hone their delivery. We aim to constantly build teaching materials to support the curriculum, with our emergent use of Knowledge Organisers being an excellent example of the development of high quality resources to support learning.
- We aim to enshrine the principle of stability into our internal assessments in order that we will be able to gauge progress by comparing one year group with its predecessors. This is now possible because of stability within the national picture of external examinations.
LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE
- This policy reflects the requirements for academies to provide a broad and balanced curriculum as per the Academies Act 2010.
- It also reflects requirements for inclusion and equality as set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014 and Equality Act 2010, and refers to curriculum-related expectations of governing boards set out in the Department for Education’s Governance Handbook.
- It complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. The Governing Body
The governing body will monitor the effectiveness of this policy and hold the headteacher to account for its implementation.
The governing body will also ensure that:
- a robust framework is in place for setting curriculum priorities and aspirational targets
- the school is complying with its funding agreement and teaching a “broad and balanced curriculum” which includes English, Maths, and Science, and enough teaching time is provided for students to cover the requirements of the funding agreement
- proper provision is made for students with different abilities and needs, including children with special educational needs (SEN)
- all courses provided for students below the age of 19 that lead to qualifications, such as GCSEs and A-levels, are approved by the secretary of state
- the school implements the relevant statutory assessment arrangements
- it participates actively in decision-making about the breadth and balance of the curriculum
- students from year 8 onwards are provided with independent, impartial careers guidance, and that this is appropriately resourced
2. The Headteacher
The headteacher is responsible for ensuring that this policy is adhered to, and that:
- all required elements of the curriculum, and those subjects which the school chooses to offer, have aims and objectives which reflect the aims of the school and indicate how the needs of individual students will be met
- the amount of time provided for teaching the required elements of the curriculum is adequate and is reviewed by the governing body
- the school manages requests to withdraw children from curriculum subjects, where appropriate
- the school’s procedures for assessment meet all legal requirements
- 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 whole-school targets in order to make informed decisions
- proper provision is in place for students with different abilities and needs, including children with SEN
3. The Deputy Headteacher (Raising Standards Leader)
The Deputy Head with responsibility for standards will:
- have an oversight of the curriculum structure and delivery within each link department
- ensure that detailed and up-to-date schemes of learning are in place for the delivery of courses within each key stage.
4. Faculty/Subject and Key Stage Leads
Faculty/Subject Heads and Key Stage leads will ensure that:
- long term planning is in place for all courses. Such schemes of learning will be designed using the school pro-forma and will contain curriculum detail on: context, expectations, key skills, learning objectives, learning outcomes, learning activities, differentiation and resources.
- schemes of learning encourage progression at least in line with national standards.
- there is consistency in terms of curriculum delivery. Schemes of learning should be in place and be used by all staff delivering a particular course.
- appropriate awarding bodies and courses are selected so that they best meet the learning needs of our students.
- assessment is appropriate to the course and the students following particular courses. There should be consistency of approach towards assessment, with the school’s assessment principles implemented fully.
- they discuss with the Deputy Headteacher (Raising Standards Leader) any proposed changes to curriculum delivery.
- all relevant information/data is shared with the Exams Manager. This includes meeting deadlines related to exam entries etc.
5. Teaching staff and learning support staff
Teaching and support staff will:
- ensure that the school curriculum is implemented in accordance with this policy.
- keep up to date with developments in their subjects.
- have access to, and be able to interpret, data on each student to inform the design of the curriculum in order that it best meets the needs of each cohort of students.
- share and exchange information about best practice amongst their colleagues in different schools and through external networks, resulting in a dynamic and relevant curriculum.
- participate in high quality professional development, working with other teachers to develop their skills in understanding the learning needs of their students and how best to address those needs and engage them.
- work in partnership with other agencies to provide an appropriate range of curriculum opportunities.
MONITORING, REVIEW AND EVALUATION
1. The Governing Body
The governing body will receive and discuss an annual report from the Headteacher on:
- the standards reached in each subject compared with national and local benchmarks.
- the standards achieved at the end of Year 11 and 13 taking into account any important variations between groups of students, subjects, courses and trends over time, compared with national and local benchmarks.
- the number of students for whom the curriculum was disapplied and the arrangements which were made.
The governing body will review this policy at least once a year and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.
2. The Deputy Head (Raising Standards Leader)
The Deputy Head (Raising Standards Leader) will:
- ensure that schemes of learning are monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.
- ensure that curriculum delivery is monitored for consistency and quality on a regular basis and take action where there are concerns.
- ensure that levels of attainment and rates of progression are discussed with Faculty/Subject and Key Stage Leaders on a regular basis and that actions are taken where necessary to improve these.
3. Faculty/Subject and Key Stage Leads
Faculty/Subject Heads and Key Stage leads will ensure that:
- student and teacher performance is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that any necessary changes in terms of curriculum delivery are planned and carried out in a timely fashion.
Our curriculum is driven by our vision and values; our underlying motivation has always been linked to breadth , depth and balance, student wellbeing and a championing of both a knowledge-rich and skills-based curriculum to prepare students effectively for the future. We frequently review our provision with curriculum leaders in light of changing cohorts and factors influencing employability . We place great value on our school’s specialist language college and applied learning legacies, alongside a firm commitment to performing arts and sport. Despite funding for these specialisms disappearing in 2011, our numbers studying MFL subjects ( of which we offer three) have remained high and our EBacc entry rates and average point scores are above local and national averages.
The decision to adopt a three year Key Stage 4 model was made by the school leadership team and governors in November 2016 after extensive work including a “mini-options” approach the previous year. As a result, our students study the full range of national curriculum subjects at our Lower School and are engaged and making progress from day one. Our intention is that there is no transition dip or drop in challenge. We have carefully mapped students’ learning within and across subjects. Our Key Stage 4 curriculum begins at our Upper School and includes all statutory areas, including our highly rated Personal Development Curriculum (PSHE/Careers/SRE/Character education). Our students opt for four other subjects to study to GCSE level or equivalent. The offer is broad and, importantly, enables progression through to Key Stage 5 in all areas. In allowing students to choose four subjects we are protecting participation in creative subjects ,performing arts, sport and aforementioned applied learning subjects which may otherwise fall away, given the national emphasis on the EBacc curriculum. We aim to ensure that we are providing the wide range of qualifications needed to meet the needs and interests of all our students. In doing so we are also allowing students a wider choice for continuing their studies beyond Year 11.
Our specialist subject leaders and teachers have true passion for their subjects and high aspirations for our students. They have carefully planned enriching learning experiences for students which go beyond the stated requirements of examination specifications. Mindful of guidance such as that from the CBI we spend time within each subject developing key employability skills such as Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication. Our commitment to all students completing a formal qualification in ICT allows them all to evidence a secure skill base in this field.
In addition, by structuring KS4 over an extra year, pressure on student mental health, an area of national concern, is reduced . The fact that applied subjects can be studied in a more modular form contributes to students’ ability to stay calm, healthy and increase their ability to balance academic pressure with wider interests, whilst maintaining a wide variety of options for KS5 study. Our students are generally happy, healthy individuals who, thanks to a rich wider curriculum, are equipped to take an informed interest in society and the world around them and become responsible future leaders.
In addition to the undoubted educational values underpinning our decision, we also feel that our context is unique and worthy of reflecting upon. We run a split site school with Year 7 and 8 being taught two miles away from Years 9-13 where teachers and leaders move between sites. By aligning our educational transitions with our geographical ones we aim to minimise disruption to learning.
In delivering the curriculum, our lessons will be characterised by:
- A burning desire for all children in our care to succeed and a belief that they can.
- Pride, participation and progress.
- Risk-taking and the acceptance that success may not come at the first attempt
- Teachers who clearly love their subject and create inspiring experiences in order to foster in others their sense of awe and wonder and to create a shared thirst for learning.
- A supportive climate in which everyone’s voice matters and all are challenged to think, reason, debate, discuss and collaborate in order to solve problems which have relevance.
- Opportunities for students to question and challenge, critically and evaluatively, in order to gain deep conceptual understanding of topics.
- Activities which demand that students formulate their own questions, develop their own solutions and critique their own performance
The Lower School Curriculum Summary can be found here.
The Upper School Curriculum Summary can be found here.
The Sixth Form Curriculum Summary can be found here.