Curriculum Intent and Vision
Through a stimulating and challenging curriculum, built upon the needs of our students and the local community, we aim to foster a life-long love of learning. Through a diverse portfolio of experiences we will engender the intellectual, social, creative, physical, moral and spiritual development of all our students. Our curriculum will build character and make a positive difference to every young persons’ life chances, opening doors to a brighter future.
We believe that our curriculum drives the success of all our students regardless of their starting points or backgrounds. At its core our curriculum is about students learning facts (knowledge); having the ability to argue (exploration), and being able to communicate effectively (communication) – the Trivium.
- Memorising facts and direct instruction of knowledge.
- Student retaining and recalling knowledge, learning by heart, low-stakes testing and deliberate practice.
- Students learning core skills and techniques.
- Explicit teaching to build cultural capital alongside subject specific terminology and the skill of reading different (and challenging) texts.
- Students having the opportunity to debate, question and challenge.
- Students experimenting and learning through authentic, hands-on experience.
- Students practising and developing their skills.
- Opportunities to analyse, evaluate and problem solve.
- Gaining understanding through experimenting, debating, questioning and challenging.
- How the knowledge fits together; asking the “what if..” and “why” questions.
- To be able to communicate with confidence and clarity in a variety of formal and informal situations; through the spoken and written word including; speeches and essay writing.
- Opportunities to perform, to make things and to showcase the products of learning.
- Application of learning to a variety of contexts.
At The Colne we believe our students learn best through emotional engagement using stories, dilemmas, provocative art and controversies to ignite their curiosity. Humans are a challenge seeking species, and being challenged is an entitlement for every child. Humans are curious, but thinking is hard and it should be.
Students need to know why their learning is important which is illustrated well using the tale of the three stonemasons. A traveller who was curious about their work approached the first stonemason and asked what he was doing the mason replied “shaping my stone” gruffly, he asked the second stonemason who replied “I am making a wall”, when the third mason was asked the same question he proclaimed “I am building a cathedral!”. Like the third stonemason students at The Colne will know why their work is important and the knowledge they are gaining is powerful.
Our lessons will be challenging and provide students with an opportunity to explore humanity and make links to people. For example, students may learn about the process of coastal erosion, but will also be asked big questions such as ‘whose responsibility is it to pay for the safeguarding of peoples homes?’ The narratives explored across the curriculum will help students to learn about big concepts as well as make an intellectual and emotional connection.
Each subject at The Colne will outline the important KNOWLEDGE that the young people should learn during each scheme of learning and this will be taught as established fact. For example, students will learn about percentages, the Treaty of Versailles or photosynthesis. Students will also learn about how that knowledge was formed, the legitimacy of the knowledge and how it continues to be revised.
The sequencing of lessons has been considered carefully to ensure the right thing is taught at the right time. Moreover, teachers endeavor to reference learning from other curriculum areas in order to help students join up their learning. This will help students to recall knowledge, to cement that knowledge and have an understanding of how it knits together in other curriculum areas.
What will this look like in a classroom? Some examples below:
- Building from small pieces of knowledge.
- Teachers will be agile: being able to consider introducing subject specific vocabulary or historical context before introducing new units. For example, an English teacher about to study An Inspector Calls will want to first look at what was happening in Britain politically at the end of the Second World War.
- Students will be taught how to analyse and explore; to make connections and give reasons for their ideas.
- Use logical thinking.
- Acknowledge and understand ethical concerns.
- Understanding the importance of audience, communication and citizenship.
As a school we are mindful of the demands of the new, revised GCSE and the demands our young people face in the ever changing global economy. We need our young people to have a deep knowledge, which allows them to be responsive and informed as they navigate their place in the world. At The Colne our Tutor Programme provides students with the opportunity to investigate current affairs, learn new vocabulary and discuss and debate socio-economic issues and how it affects them.
All students the The Colne will model and live our values of Aspiration, Resilience and Kindness. Through our well taught and delivered curriculum our students will grow and develop culturally, socially and academically. Students leave The Colne prepared and ready to take their next steps to a brighter, better future.