Ofsted’s message to schools: Be ‘bold and courageous’ with your curriculum
In 2019, Ofsted introduced a new inspection framework, which has a real focus on the curriculum which is taught in schools. Data, results and performance are no longer the sole factor which highlights the effectiveness of a school, but what the children are taught will be a primary factor of that school’s performance.
At the recent National Ofsted Conference, delegates were told that schools will soon be questioned on how well their curriculum promotes a love of learning, on how it delivers a breadth and depth of learning, and on how engaging it is.
This focus on the quality of education delivered is something we pride ourselves in at Sacred Heart and 2017/18 brought with it a brand-new curriculum across all year groups, covering new, exciting topics, and making the most of our staff’s specialisms. We have had a new design for Literacy learning, which focuses around well-loved books, and we also stretch our learners in the wider curriculum, through a big focus on music, sport and more. Every area of learning has been reviewed. Every member of staff has developed their teaching skills. Every pupil is both nurtured and challenged. Our children have loved undertaking this learning journey, as have staff, and we feel this keeps our school a dynamic, fresh and stimulating place to learn. Ofsted requires learning to be a growing and participatory process; pupils are encouraged at every step to love the challenge of learning, and to become more resilient to failure. At Sacred Heart, teachers are determined that pupils achieve well. Our students try hard, our staff recognise their efforts and our high standards ensure that pupils take pride in all aspects of their work, while also being provided with every resources necessary to make exceptional individual progress. We are proud of our teaching and learning, and we hope that you are too.
At Sacred Heart, we teach and encourage the transferable skills for independent, life-long learning. We shape our curriculum to reflect the ethos, aims and values of our school. In every year group throughout the school, our teachers plan a series of topic-based approaches to learning, which are based on the 2014 National Curriculum and firmly rooted upon a set of skills which are progressive.
Creative Curriculum is the umbrella term used for the creative and humanities subjects. We teach Geography, History, Art, Design & Technology and Music, in order to provide a broad and well-rounded curriculum for the children. Each Creative Curriculum topic is centred around a ‘hook’, which we use to draw in our learners and pique their interest. This year, some of our topics have included ‘Around the World’, ‘World War One’, ‘Space’ and ‘The Romans’.
We also build in curriculum enrichment weeks, where we focus on one aspect of learning or subject area, for example ‘Festivals of Light’ week which focused on religious and cultural education. To add wow factor to these topics we have an entry point into each new topic, which is hands-on experience to engage learning or an exciting visit to bring our learning to life.
We place a strong emphasis on developing creativity in all areas of a broad and rich curriculum, and prioritise independence in learning to encourage the children to make their own choices, as well as supporting each other. Our children are excited by education and are able to develop a wide range of skills which they will be able to carry with them throughout life.
Our approach to learning and teaching Mathematics and Literacy is structured and well-planned. We teach an hour of Literacy and Maths every day in the morning, where we focus on core skills such as mental arithmetic and spelling in order to enable all children to develop fluency in these areas. Want to know more about our curriculum? Additional detail is contained on each curriculum subject page and also across our ‘Learning’ section. In our ‘Curriculum Overview’ section, you will find Termly Overviews and Creative Medium Term Plans to keep you up-to-date with what your child is learning, so that you can better support them at home.
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