Curriculum Intent Statement
Why is our curriculum important?
We believe that curriculum and culture are the keys to a successful and thriving school. The aim of the Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College curriculum is to support, guide and inspire our students to find their vocation. Our vision is that all students should have the opportunity to fulfil their vocation and we believe the best way to do this is to offer a curriculum that:
- enables students to develop a greater knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Faith and other world Faiths
- is academically challenging and ambitious for all students
- is broad and balanced offering both breadth and depth, hence our ongoing commitment to a three year Keystage 3
- enables our students to develop as people of good character through promoting students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development and a knowledge and understanding of British Values
- offers high quality enrichment activities which will broaden students’ horizons.
Who is our curriculum for and what is unique about it?
Nationally the gap between disadvantaged student and non-disadvantaged student attainment is widening, the gender gap is widening and the impact of new more rigorous GCSE examinations is still under scrutiny. It is essential that we consider how a student experiences our curriculum. Over the last two years we have asked the question “Is our curriculum narrow for some students?” Students, who we class as middle and low starters have traditionally had very little choice apart from GCSE subjects. With them in mind we have widened our vocational offer. These are a suite of subjects in which the outcomes are not solely based on terminal examinations after two years of study. We have considered the “currency” of the subjects which students study. For this reason we have devised a pathway approach to subjects which we believe will maximise a student’s chances of success. This personalised pathway approach will also impact on a student’s well-being, motivation and engagement. At Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College we recognise that the curriculum is deeper than the subjects offered. Alongside the taught curriculum we aim to develop our unique college virtues in our students so that they become people of good character able to contribute to helping society flourish.
How will we deliver our curriculum?
At Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College we believe that the taught curriculum is content structured over time. We have deliberately kept Key Stage 3 as a three year programme of study as we believe that shortening Key Stage 3 has the biggest negative impact on disadvantaged students. We use our curriculum as the progression model against which we have clear assessment points which will provide feedback on the taught curriculum. Teachers also use assessment strategies every lesson as well as providing feedback every three weeks through dedicated “Feedback Lessons”. This enables our teachers to quickly respond to any student who may be experiencing difficulty.
Teachers will be aware of and explicitly teach the big ideas in their subject in an appropriate sequence. This is the conceptual knowledge which students must grasp in order to succeed in the subject. At Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College we recognise that each subject discipline has distinct practices and signature pedagogies. Teachers will teach students how to be and think like a scientist, a historian, a mathematician etc. Embedded in this taught curriculum will be subject specific skills such as graph plotting, analysing source material and use of tone and shading. Also embedded in the taught curriculum will be our belief that education can do something for long term memory through the use of low stakes testing, spacing and interleaving. The Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College curriculum will in effect be delivered by teachers who know; the most important ideas in their subject, the most effective ways to teach these ideas and the most effective order in which to teach these ideas. Our college curriculum sits alongside the value we place on teachers continually needing to develop their own practice.