At the heart of our curriculum lie three core values: excellence for all; the explicit teaching of learning to learn, including metacognition; and crucially, the development of character education.
Excellence for All
Excellence for All is fundamental within our curriculum model. The children’s acquisition of a deep body of knowledge within subject disciplines will enable them to express their learning to the highest standard. When children achieve excellence, this gives them the confidence to challenge themselves further. Through this process of experiencing success, they will develop character, for example resilience, determination and self-confidence.
We will achieve academic excellence through ensuring we cover the breadth and scope of National Curriculum subjects. We have ensured coherence and progression through the identification of core concepts in each subject that we will emphasise, repeat and revise. We have sequenced learning experiences to enable children to make links and build upon previous learning. Opportunities are planned for practice, building in rigour, so that children achieve automaticity and build long-term memory.
We ensure that we offer a wide range of curriculum experiences that go beyond subject disciplines. Each of our experiences are underpinned by Ferndown Middle School’s principles which include, learning at all times being real, relevant, engaging, progressive and at the same time, allow children to think and act like scientists, historians, artists, writers, mathematicians etc.
Whilst academic success remains a core priority, developing character is also an essential element of our curriculum model. Our curriculum gives children opportunities to make a positive impact on society. We want them to grasp the possibilities and opportunities of life beyond the classroom, to enable them to thrive at every challenge they face in life and make a difference to themselves and those around them. To do this the development of character is essential. Supporting the engendering of positive character traits not only prepares our children to meet the challenges of later life but also supports academic excellence. Our intent is that the development of character will have a positive impact on academic standards and help ensure our defined curriculum success criteria are realised.
Our intention is to build children’s character through our character gateways. Through fulfilling our mission of helping children achieve a lifetime of fulfilment, the development of character education will catapult our children to success, ensuring that they are ready for the next stage of learning and prepared for continued success in higher education and life.
Learning to Learn
Our curriculum not only focuses on achieving character whilst pursuing excellence for all, but also emphasises deep knowledge through developing the skills of learning. We use an enquiry approach to drive our learning experiences, making the reflective learning process explicit. In addition to this, tools for thinking will be taught to support children’s higher order thinking, synthesis of knowledge and the creation of new thinking. At Ferndown Middle School, metacognition revolves around each child understanding the learning process, where their ability to think for themselves, reflect and evaluate their learning is fundamental in preparing them for their current and future success.
Opportunities for English
Our reading strategy is central to our curriculum. Our intent is that our curriculum promotes reading accuracy, fluency and enjoyment. We build on prior reading knowledge in a sequenced and coherent way. Each experience offers our learners the opportunities for reading a variety of rich, engaging and challenging texts.
Reading is prioritised in our curriculum – both in terms of financial investment and in terms of the provision of time. All our children have daily opportunities to read with the aim of promoting a love of reading, supported by access to our well-stocked library. High-quality texts are carefully matched to children’s reading ability, at all stages in school. Assessments are used for the early identification of children who need additional support, and this is provided speedily so that all children are able to succeed.
Opportunities to incorporate reading and writing within learning experiences will be taken. Children will have access to rich texts to deepen knowledge of the subject they are studying, as well as being immersed in high quality vocabulary and language. They will not only read to deepen comprehension, but they will also read to help inform writing to achieve high quality outcomes. Curriculum rigour including, handwriting, grammar and spelling are essential skills which the children will demonstrate with great flair in the many opportunities we give them to write.
Our approach to the teaching of mathematics is founded on the principles of mastery mathematics and the aims of the National Curriculum. We will ensure that our children acquire deep understanding of mathematical concepts using metacognition to reflect upon the connective model (concrete, pictorial and abstract) and to achieve academic excellence. Through the study of mathematics, they will also develop their character through the way that they approach problems, working in teams, seeking challenge, and presenting their thinking.
Children will achieve academic excellence through becoming fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including arithmetic. We will achieve this through building in deliberate, frequent practice and revision with increasingly complex problems over time so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
We will develop the children’s ability to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language. The children will learn to solve increasingly sophisticated problems, using metacognition to break down problems into a series of simpler steps, and developing character while persevering in seeking solutions.
To deepen learning, every opportunity will be taken to enrich the curriculum by providing memorable experiences through access to experts and visits. Our children will be immersed in the experience of being a historian, scientist or writer through first hand, active learning.
Our intent is to offer a curriculum that gives new experiences to all learners, beyond those contained within the National Curriculum. We want our children to build on their own identified talents and have the opportunity to discover new interests and perhaps develop a passion for these that may shape their future lives.
In a world where communication is crucial, we prioritise supporting our young people to become confident and articulate speakers having had the opportunity to work with experts and refine these skills through public speaking and presentation.
Through the core values of Excellence for All, Character Development and Learning to Learn, our children will flourish.
Pupils will receive home learning, the amount varying to suit the needs of the individual. Year 5 and 6 pupils will receive homework for the core subjects of English and Mathematics. Pupils in Year 7 & 8 will have a planned homework timetable covering a range of subjects. Homework is recorded on ‘Class Charts.’