Curriculum including Assessment
Whole school curriculum
Crossways Curriculum Intent
At The Crossways Schools, we have designed a curriculum to provide our children with the best educational start in life. Our curriculum considers the needs of a 21st Century child and is ambitious in providing our children with the knowledge, skills and learning behaviours required to become successful life-long learners. Our vision is to inspire a love of learning, nurture positive emotional and social wellbeing and empower all to be their personal best and thrive within our community.
The National Curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject. This is a statutory document that all schools must follow. Schools have the autonomy to decide on how this content is delivered and what approach we would take to ensure that our curriculum is bespoke to the needs of our children and community.
At the heart of our school are a set of core values:
- Contribute – collaboration, independence, engage, impactful
- Aspire – self-belief, resilience, courage, challenge
- Respect – kindness, trust, compassion, friendship
- Equality – inclusion, diversity, individuality, acceptance.
These underpin our curriculum and the ethos of the school. At Crossways, we place great importance on a curriculum which develops the whole child. Through our core values, we foster an environment where the emotional, physical, academic, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of each child is considered. We firmly believe that everyone is entitled to an ambitious curriculum and our curriculum design is accessible for all, including children with SEND and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Implementation describes the way in which we deliver our intent consistently each day. To do this we have carefully designed our knowledge engaged curriculum. This is designed to enable learners to acquire relevant subject knowledge which underpins the application of skills. Skills are carefully and progressively mapped across each key stage and subject area.
Knowledge is consolidated and built upon to support retention and recall and is clearly outlined on Teacher Knowledge Organisers. This ensures that by the time children leave our school they have learned, and are able to recall and apply the key information that we feel is important in order for them to be successful in the future.
Enquiry Drivers in the foundation subjects
Knowledge is taught through enquiry drivers. These drivers consist of main questions that the children are unable to answer at the beginning of a block of work. Teaching provides the children with the knowledge and skills to provide or demonstrate a response to this enquiry driver and we call this the final outcome. Our curriculum is blocked to provide for deeper understanding and prepares our children for subject specific learning in Secondary School.
How do we plan for the Knowledge Engaged Curriculum?
Planning takes on the form of blocks, which are delivered over a period of time. Planning is led by the enquiry drivers, which staff use to plan a series of lessons, which aim to answer the enquiry driver questions. Subject leaders are integral to the planning process and understand the pathway that their subjects take. Progression of knowledge and skills is carefully mapped across Key Stages.
How do we plan for Cultural Capital?
The government have placed great emphasis on schools developing Cultural capital. Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success. It is about giving children the best possible start to their early education.
At Crossways, we see Cultural capital as the accumulation of knowledge, attitudes, habits, language and possessions that enables individuals to demonstrate their cultural competence and social status. Our school plays a crucial role in developing this through immersing children in dance and music, visiting theatres, galleries and historic sites and by introducing them to literature and art.
Embedding cultural capital into our curriculum is a way of closing the gap between children from differing socio-economic backgrounds by ensuring that children from all backgrounds have the same opportunities in society to achieve their full potential.
Our enhanced curriculum aims to run alongside and compliments the National Curriculum, but aims to broaden the horizons of our children and links to our school’s value. The opportunities offered aims to provide our children with unique experiences outside of the National Curriculum.
We broaden horizons by developing global learners, which underpins all of our values, by planning for opportunities to be aware of the wider world and its current issues and to understand and respect cultural diversity and differences with an understanding of how the world works and encourage participation in the community at a range of levels, from the local to the global. We teach our children to make the world a more sustainable place and to take responsibility for their actions. We do this by providing learning linked to:
-Respect for others and our differences
-Community participation (local and global)
-Sustainability and environmental issues
Pupils leave The Crossways Schools with a secure understanding of the academic content; with the understanding of how to be socially, morally, spiritually and culturally responsible and aware; how to make positive contributions to the local community and how to endeavour to be the best that they can be. We aim for all of our children to leave Crossways as respectful, skillful, ambitious learners with a thirst for life and all it has to offer.
The School Curriculum
On a typical day most children will be taught a full session of English and Mathematics (usually in the morning). They will then spend the remainder of the day learning other subjects.
For a full overview of the units that the children will cover through their time at Crossways please see below:
Teachers create opportunities for children to apply the skills and knowledge they have been taught, for example, having been taught about the features and form of a non-chronological report, children may be asked to write such a report about a historical figure they have been learning about.
Assessment of the Curriculum
Assessment of the curriculum is key in order to ensure that we constantly review and reflect on the offer that we are providing and to support the learning of our children. The ongoing assessment of knowledge and understanding underpins this.
Teachers provide different opportunities for assessment, both formal and informal, that help to understand the needs of each learner, the progress they are making and to shape the direction that the learning needs to take.
To do this, the assessment tools include:
- Children mind mapping what they know before starting learning in a particular unit and identifying what they want to find out.
- Marking and feedback. We understand that marking is an important to aid progress but the process must be interactive for the learner to engage with the marking and feedback in order to understand how to improve. This can be through both written and verbal interactions or through learners expressing their thoughts, understanding and confidence in what they have completed.
- Pupil voice.This is through peer/self marking and talking to the children about their learning to understand their perspective and knowledge.
- Test/data outcomes.
- Annotating and updating planning.
- Monitoring of books.
- Use of displays.
- Lesson learning walks.
- Discussions with teaching staff, pupils and parents.
By drawing on all of these sources of information, we aim to ensure that the impact of the curriculum offer we provide is maximised and can be developed to continually improve over time.
How this is achieved:
Each Curriculum area has a Subject Leader who is responsible for monitoring the way the subject is taught across the schools, for tracking the coverage and skills/knowledge progression for the Crossways’ curriculum and providing subsequent support for teachers with planning and delivery of the subject area. They examine long-term and medium-term planning and ensure that appropriate teaching strategies are used, leading individuals and staff meetings where appropriate. Regular monitoring ensures subject leaders know how their subject is being taught and the impact on children’s understanding and achievements. Monitoring includes lesson visits, pupil conferencing, book looks, reviewing resources and planning.
Our subject leaders are champions for their subjects, taking responsibility for ensuring their knowledge is up-to-date and disseminated to other staff and that their subject area is well resourced to deliver the subject.
Ultimately, the desired outcomes for our curriculum (and the assessment of this) will ensure that pupils are well rounded and ready to embark on the next stages of their life and with lifelong learner skills that will help them to achieve success. We want our children to understand their strengths and embrace their areas for development in order to support their ongoing learning.