Curriculum at Leigh Academy Rainham is defined as the blueprint for all that will be taught, learnt and experienced by students within and beyond the classroom environment. Our vision that pupils will ‘Dream, Believe and Achieve’ is underpinned by the high quality curriculum on offer that is not only broad and innovative but designed to improve the life chances of our young people. Students will not only become masters in each of the disciplines but understand holistic overarching concepts that link academic and vocational subjects, PSHRE and the fundamental british values; this will be achieved through an ongoing cycle of inquiry, application, assessment and improvement. Thoughtful cross-curricular planning ensures that topics between different subjects are well sequenced and aligned with a cohesive, coherent and chronological approach to the holistic delivery of concepts and content. This exposes pupils to limitless cross-curricular connections provoking pupils to make fascinating links and cumulatively gain knowledge which is embedded in their long term memory. It is our duty to ensure that students leave the academy with the necessary personal, academic and social skills and cultural capital needed to thrive and succeed in their chosen careers.
Our intent is that the Curriculum:
- Provides a broad, innovative and balanced curriculum that is challenging, comprehensive, underpinned by the principles of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program and is accessible to all pupils, regardless of academic ability or need.
- Delivers opportunities for students to become accomplished and reflective lifelong learners, with useful, transferable skills, enhanced digital literacy and well embedded schemas of knowledge and understanding across a range of disciplines, including numeracy, and literacy.
- Fosters a culture in which students are independent, highly ambitious and achieve to the best of their ability, opening doors to a variety of future opportunities and enabling them to access further education and careers of their choice.
Expands students’ perspectives through a range of spiritual, moral, social and cultural opportunities, creating globally aware young citizens with a sense of moral and social responsibility who also have the necessary IB Learner qualities to overcome the challenges they are likely to encounter in life.
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The implementation of the curriculum is the way in which the intended curriculum content and skills are delivered, taught and learned. In order for implementation of our innovative and broad curriculum to be highly effective teachers must demonstrate expert knowledge of both their subject and pedagogy. Equally, teachers plan high quality sequences of learning, with interdisciplinary links that support students to be suitably challenged, think, articulate, apply and problem solve fluently. In addition students are provided with opportunities to nurture and develop inquiring minds and master lifelong approaches to learning skills.
Highly effective curriculum implementation will:
- Embed accumulated knowledge in students’ long term memory through well considered, systematic retrieval practice tasks, enabling them to form rich schemata (knowledge and understanding) over time.
- Utilise direct instruction, modelling and dual coding to reduce cognitive load, effectively share expert knowledge, introduce novel content and demonstrate approaches to learning skills.
- Enhance students’ depth of understanding, promote new learning and develop their curiosity for life long learning through the use of astute and adaptive questioning that is both probing and thought provoking.
- Ensure students are able to independently problem solve, fluently apply their knowledge to questions which have interleaved concepts and master approaches to learning through guided and independent deliberate practice.
- Provide regular high quality feedback that astutely addresses misconceptions, plugs gaps in knowledge and prompts students to be highly reflective learners who engage with success criteria to make significant improvements and progress.
- Enhance students’ literacy, numeracy and digital skill sets by embedding opportunities to develop students’ reading and extended writing, solve mathematical challenges and use digital technology appropriately to enhance the learning experience.
‘Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.’ – Maya Angelou
At Leigh Academy Rainham, we recognise that the assessment process can help us to learn, by strengthening retrieval pathways, interrupting the forgetting process and allowing us to develop strong schemas linked to the content and skills being taught across all aspects of the curriculum.
The role of assessment at LAR is to evaluate whether pupils have successfully acquired the knowledge, understanding and skills that we wish them to, and to facilitate responsive teaching to address misconceptions. Formative and summative assessment enable classroom practitioners to frequently and robustly evaluate the gap between the intended curriculum and its implementation.
Assessment at Leigh Academy Rainham will:
- Robustly and accurately test the knowledge and understanding of students against the success criteria in our curriculum maps at pertinent points in the sequence of learning.
- Use valid and fair assessment methods that are representative of the content and skills taught in addition to being accessible to all students.
- Be of high quality and challenging enough to enable students to not only demonstrate recall of knowledge but extended application of this in an appropriate manner for each individual subject discipline.
- Promotes targeted, responsive teaching and intervention, in both the short and long term through feedback and feedforward lesson planning.
Further evidence of the impact of our curriculum will be apparent in the outcomes of bi-annual LAT assessments and the comparison of LAR results against other trust academies and educational institutions delivering the IB MYP globally. Minimal difference between the achievement and progress levels of vulnerable groups with other students will also provide powerful evidence of a strong taught curriculum.
In addition to the above, analysis of the number of students participating in co-curricular activities and community projects, combined with the levels of attendance, punctuality and positive reward points, will indicate the level of student engagement with learning and the total curriculum. At Leigh Academy Rainham we believe that positive attitudes to learning and respect for the academy and the wider community constitute a key indicator of the success of our curriculum, as it is implemented.