At Clifford Holroyde, we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the idea that both adults and children learn new things every day. We maintain that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; it should be fun. (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi former Professor at Chicago university dedicated his career to the study of what makes people happy. He identified the key feature to happiness as the need to control the events which shape our lives, when we suffer from poor mental health, we can often report a feeling of helplessness and a loss of control. The task for professionals is to identify how a particular pattern of behaviour might be working for the individual concerned and try to help the person to find alternative ways of having those needs met. To re-channel the energy that is negatively presented towards a more positive, socially acceptable and constructive outcomes.) Research suggests that six basic elements—anticipation, surprise, pleasure, understanding, strength, and poise—are present each time someone plays fully. Not to mention that play increases BDNF brain derived neurotropic factor. Therefore, if we make learning fun, pupils learn faster and have more neurons that fire and wire together.
Through our teaching we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy / rewarding and fulfilling lives.
We believe that people learn best in different ways. At our school we provide a rich and varied learning environment that allows children to develop their skills and abilities to their full potential.
Through our teaching we aim to:
- enable children to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;
- foster children’s self-esteem and help them build positive relationships with other people;
- develop children’s self-respect and encourage children to respect the ideas, attitudes, values and feelings of others;
- show respect for all cultures and, in so doing, promote positive attitudes towards other people;
- enable children to understand their community and help them feel valued as part of this community;
- help children grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens.
The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential.
Our curriculum is underpinned by the values that we aim to engender in school. The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.
Aims and objectives
- to enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability;
- to promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to the school and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
- to teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT);
- to enable children to be creative and to develop their own thinking;
- to teach children about their developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time;
- to help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage;
- to enable children to be positive citizens in society;
- to fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Locally Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, modified to meet the specific needs of the pupils;
- to teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to understand right from wrong;
- to help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all;
- to enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to be able to live and work co-operatively with others;
- to ensure vulnerable pupils within our school community maintain pace with their peers.
Organisation and planning
- We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree a long-term plan for each key stage, mapping each subject for each year group to support the knowledge at each stage, the sequencing and structuring of each topic and assessment to demonstrate what they know and do that they could not before. This highlights what topics are to be taught in each term, and to which groups of children. We review our long-term plan on an annual basis.
- With our medium-term plans, we give clear guidance on the objectives and teaching strategies that we use when teaching each topic. We use the national schemes of work for much of our medium term planning in the foundation subjects.
- Our short-term plans are those that our teachers produce on a weekly or daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each session, and to identify what resources and activities we are going to use in the lesson.
- At Key Stage 3 the curriculum at the College places a great emphasis on the core and foundation subjects and we teach these subjects separately. This means that, for example, a child may concentrate in one term on a history topic, then switch to a greater emphasis on geography in the next term. Over the three terms of the academic year, each child has the opportunity to experience the full range of National Curriculum subjects.
Children with special needs
- All pupils attending the College have special educational needs and, therefore, the curriculum is designed to provide access and opportunity for all children who attend. If we think it necessary to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of individual children, then we do so only after the parents of the child have been consulted.
- Each pupil has an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This sets out specific curriculum and behavioural targets for the pupil. The pupil has ownership of the IEP which is monitored and reviewed with parents on parental afternoons at regular intervals and can be used to support the annual reviews of pupils.