Whole School Curriculum
Our whole school curriculum intent
At Great Arley School we have high aspirations for all our pupils. Our curriculum is designed to provide high-quality, tailored opportunities for each pupil to achieve their full potential, maximise their talents and to be happy, healthy and safe. We aim to support them to become confident, independent adults who can make a positive contribution to their communities and enjoy and achieve lifelong learning.
Our curriculum is underpinned by the 5 key life skills1:
Within our curriculum we teach and promote British Values and the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development of our pupils.
1“Life Lessons, Improving essential life skills for young people” (Carl Cullimane and Rebecca Montacute, October 2017, pub. The Sutton Trust)
Our curriculum is designed through Great Arley School’s 12 Principles of Curriculum Design, which are:
- Recognise the intrinsic link between knowledge and skills
- Develop the 5 Life Skills domains for all pupils (self-control, self-perceptions, social skills, motivation and resilience)
- Incorporate cross curricular themes and links
- Maintain the principle of “Mastery Learning” (Benjamin Bloom)
- Embed retrieval and intelligent practice through interleaving, practice and repetition
- Sequence (order) and layer (level) learning, clearly and in detail, to maximise pupil progress and attainment
- Focus progression through the national curriculum in all subjects to create a progression model
- Ensure appropriate breadth, balance, depth and pace of learning for all pupils
- Consider the local context and pupils’ own, personal contexts and needs
- Maximise opportunities for active learning and personal learning preferences
- Enrich the quality of education with well-planned regular trips to the local area and beyond, and visitors to school, that are tightly linked to the curriculum
- Reflect on and review the curriculum regularly for ongoing development and improvement
At Great Arley School, to ensure equal opportunities and to maximise the progress of all our learners by accessing the curriculum, our provision is as follows:
A whole school curriculum that is age appropriate and that is well matched to the cognitive ability of pupils and based on the statutory requirements of the national curriculum September 2014. This includes the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework for pupils in Primary 1 who are at Key Stage 1 (KS1) and lower Key Stage 2 (KS2); the Key Stage 1 curriculum for pupils in Primary 2 or upper Key Stage 2; a combination of Key Stage 2 and 3 curriculums for pupils in Key Stage 3 (KS3) which has been developed by subject specialists, identifies key learning opportunities by subject and maximises opportunities for pupils to make good progress. We provide an accredited curriculum for pupils at Key Stage 4 (KS4). This focuses upon preparation for college, further education and working life beyond school. KS4 pupils all study link courses at two colleges and undertake work experience placements.
In addition, our Personal, Health and Social Education (PSHE) curriculum, which includes Citizenship, has been developed by our PSHE subject leader and is specific to the range of needs of pupils at Great Arley School. PSHE is a core subject area across the whole curriculum and we have fostered extremely good links with our school nurse and other professionals in the community, who visit school regularly to support the teaching and learning of this vital subject.
We use digital technology and ICT to provide effective support and enable pupils to access the curriculum, enhancing learning and communication.
A curriculum that is broad, balanced and relevant in meeting individual learning needs whilst providing cross-curricular opportunities for transferring skills to new situations and is adapted to meet a range of needs through a creative curriculum or theme based approach.
A personalised curriculum based upon the needs of each pupil as detailed in the objectives of their Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and which is broken down into annual review targets and three sets of IEP targets. Interventions are implemented in relation to these.
A planned programme of intervention to support pupils in meeting their statement or EHCP objectives and in ensuring they meet their targets.
An individualised approach which focuses on developing communication and social skills, interaction, tolerance of others and self-help skills.
A curriculum which is resourced and funded through budget allocation to each form tutor and subject leader, with priorities for funding identified in a rigorous cycle of school improvement planning.
Access to a wide range of enhanced opportunities and approaches including educational visits, music, drama, outdoor learning and links with partner schools and colleges.
Specialist multi-agency support served by professionals from a wide range of services. These include Social Services and a visiting school nurse who plays a vital role in the health and welfare of learners, an Educational Psychologist and visiting specialist services: including Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists who support pupils that are identified from their statement or EHCP. Our Speech and Language Therapists are based at Great Arley School and work closely with our Speech, Language and Communication Assistant and teachers. All visiting professionals are considered part of our multi-disciplinary team, working together to improve the learning opportunities of all our pupils.
A curriculum that is delivered by a dedicated, experienced staff team who work hard to ensure the curriculum is aspirational and accessible and all individual needs of learners are met. Staff are the school’s main and most essential resource. The staff learner ratio is set at a high level to ensure full access to educational provision and care for all our learners.
Each tutor group has a teacher and a Level 3 Teaching Assistant and a Level 2 Teaching Assistant if required. A review of staffing and pupil groupings takes place each summer term or when required and this considers:-
• the effectiveness of the current organisation and allocation of resources
• the implications of the leavers and the new intake of learners
• the availability of resources including classrooms available.
At Great Arley we actively promote British values as part of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. British values include those of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Through the delivery of our PSHE and Citizenship scheme of work pupils:
- Develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Learn to distinguish right from wrong.
- Respect the civil and criminal law of England.
- Accept responsibility for their behaviour.
- Acquire knowledge and respect for public institutions and services.
- Acquire an appreciation of and respect for, their own, other cultures and those of other people.
- Respect democratic processes.
The school’s Citizenship scheme of work includes the teaching of:
- How citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process.
- An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens.
- An understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary.
- An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.
- An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself should be accepted and tolerated.
- An understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
We further promote British values by ensuring all pupils have a voice to be listened to; they have the opportunity to understand a range of faiths and we include, in suitable parts of the curriculum and assemblies, relevant and meaningful materials.