Curriculum Policy

Curriculum Statement 

The Curriculum provides pupils with basic essential knowledge needed to become good citizens, providing the framework of core knowledge with opportunities for teachers to be flexible and creative while facilitating the social, emotional moral aspect of pupils.  

Introduction 

The curriculum policy serves as a guide for teaching and learning practices; to ensure that all pupils achieve their potential in a safe environment. Consequently the policy reflects the statuary requirements and is in relation with: 

  • Health and Safety Policy   
  • Behaviour and Discipline Policy 

The Objectives 

The objectives of the curriculum policy are:  

  • To promote Islamic values and preserve the ethos of the school 
  • To ensure that all learning reflects the school’s ethos 
  • To provide a broad balanced curriculum which is inclusive of all pupils 
  • To provide adequate assessments strategies that meet individual needs 
  • To promote literacy and numeracy across the Curriculum    
  • To ensure Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) learning in line with our SMSC Policy, including the teaching of Fundamental British Values and not to undermine it.  

Unity Girls High School (UGHS) is a learning environment at the heart of the community.  We promote care and respect and expect high standards in all aspect of school life. Our aim is to meet the needs of young people preparing them for adult and working life in the 21st century. 

 In an ever evolving domestic and international climate, our curriculum seeks to produce dynamic and open minded pupils who are firmly grounded in a strong awareness of their place and purpose in the world; inspiring them to a continued pursuit of excellence in learning to avail of opportunities and face challenges without causing harm to others, thereby making a positive and active contribution to the wider society. 

The educational vision and curriculum design for UGHS recognises that: 

  • The world of 2020 will be very different to the world of today 
  • The pace of change is increasing, hence the importance of flexibility. 
  • Young people have, and will have increasingly, greater access to information and learning materials independently of school. 
  • Adulthood entails economic participation and more. 
  • The current curriculum defined in subject terms is not always well suited to equipping every young person with the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need for fulfilling adult life. 
  • Curriculum delivery should involve greater use of adults, other than teachers. These could include support staff, graduates, artists, sports people and people from industry and business to support curriculum delivery. 

 

UGHS’s curriculum policy is based on the following aims: To:  

 

  • Have students at its heart, putting their interest above those of the institution. 
  • Have a curriculum that is fit for purpose, offering differentiation and personalisation. 
  • Be a centre of excellence in learning and teaching. 
  • Prepare all students for successful adult and working life in the 21st century global society. 
  • First achieve and then exceed national standards in achievement, attainment and progression. 
  • Be committed to excellence and continuing improvement. 
  • Nurture the talents of all and celebrate success. 
  • Involve the community. 
  • Work with primary schools to ease transition. 
  • Involve parents/carers. 
  • Be in a learning environment that is above all else inspiring. 

 

Overview and information 

As well as providing the required English, Science and Maths as core subjects we also have as our core subjects; Quran, Arabic and Islamic Studies. This policy provides a framework that translates the values and aims of the school into effective teaching and learning. Our broad based curriculum seeks to promote active thinkers and enthusiastic learners who are able to contribute to their own learning and development.  

The curriculum provides formal and informal opportunities for learning; these opportunities for learning mean that:  

  • The policy is guided by the National Curriculum and by the  legal requirements that learning takes place in a safe environment 
  • The policy supports and provides a range of extracurricular activities to stimulate learning. 
  • The policy promotes successful learning, ensuring that pupils make progress and achieve in order to be responsible participants in the society 
  • Pupils experience cultural diversity, healthy lifestyles, community participation, technology and creative thinking. 

Planning the Curriculum 

The curriculum aims to teach most national Curriculum subjects and to implement the seven cross-curricular dimensions, inclusive of all learners. The Religious Studies and Citizenship programme  of study will be the primary source for cultural and community participation. The Curriculum will be personalised not only to be relevant to the schools’ ethos but will also respond to the needs of pupils while developing their critical thinking skills. A broad based curriculum at Key Stage 3, and key Stage 4  

Planning for curriculum delivery will be based on a four-stage model; 

  • Curriculum overview across key stage 
  • Annual long term plan 
  • Medium  term plans 
  • Lesson Plan.     

Delivering the Curriculum  

Specialist subject teachers are employed to teach throughout from year 7 to year 11. Students are taught in mixed ability groups and with work being differentiated to cater for all abilities. More able pupils have the opportunity to follow an accelerated learning pathway.  

Smaller classes ensure better provision of personalised learning. Extra-curricular activities will be offered to allow students to gain additional skills. 

All common core subjects are taught as set out in the Programmes of Study using the National Curriculum and the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies in Key Stage 3. At Key Stage 4, all subjects are taught according to GCSE specifications from chosen examination boards. 

P.E.  

UGHS sis committed to promoting healthy lifestyles. P.E provision is an integral part of this commitment. All pupils undertake P.E. throughout their school life participating in a range of sports and activities. Pupils are expected to follow a minimum of  90 minutes per week. 

Promoting ICT, Literacy & Numeracy  

Literacy, Numeracy and ICT are not only taught as subjects, but also delivered across the wider school curriculum. 

Homelearning  

Homelearning may take many forms, including that of continuing class work or projects and assignments, will be set on a regular basis - and must be carefully and thoroughly done and handed in on time. Homework timetable requirements will be sent to parents during the start of the Academic year.  

Equally, students must be ready to undertake extra homework, which may not be timetabled, if it is appropriate to a particular stage of a subject. Parents must ensure that homework is conscientiously done in an appropriate surroundings. The ability to study independently is important as students progress through the school. Good habits established at an early age are a foundation for good self-discipline in later life. 

Equally, students must be ready to undertake extra homework, which may not be timetabled, if it is appropriate to a particular stage of a subject. Parents must ensure that homework is conscientiously done in an appropriate surroundings. The ability to study independently is important as students progress through the school. Good habits established at an early age are a foundation for good self-discipline in later life. 

School Reports and Assessments  

At the end of the autumn term, an Interim Report highlighting achievement, areas of progress and development are reported. During the summer term, a full academic report and assessment of each student will be given to parents. Parents will also be invited to a parents day/evening to discuss their child’s progress with subject teachers. Staff are also encouraged to assess students tasks using the AfL criteria. (See Marking Policy)  

Pupil’s attainment levels are updated regularly on the School’s MIS system in each subject area. 

PSHE (Personal Social Health Education) & Citizenship Education  

All students throughout their school life at UGHS School will be given the opportunity to develop further in all aspects of personal, social, health, economic and citizenship education. At least one lesson is allocated per week where issues related to PHSE are discussed.  

PSHE/Citizenship is taught as a subject and is also delivered across the curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate aspects of PSHE/Citizenship with their subjects with a cross-curricular approach. 

Sex Education  

With the highest level of modesty and morality in mind, Sex Education is taught as modules through the Islamic Tarbiyyah and Science programme of study. We have a proactive and comprehensive approach to sex education underpinned by Islamic values.  

Daily Collective Worship  

Three mornings a week there is an assembly, which provides the opportunity for all pupils to perform daily congregational (Jamaat) Salaat, (prayer). Prayer times are integrated within the school timetable. Daily assemblies including current and topical issues , Stories of the Prophets, Seerat of the Prophet and Stories of the Companions. 

The Curriculum will: 

  • Facilitate children's cognitive development and skills which will help them to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically, morally in order that they may become independent, responsible, confident  members of the community 
  • Recognise the crucial role which parents play in their children's education and make every effort to encourage parental involvement in the learning process 
  • Ensure that cross-curricular dimensions are represented in all aspect of teaching and learning. 
  • Develop differentiated strategies to meet individual learning needs. 
  • Fulfil statutory requirements 
  • Enable students to fulfil their potential 
  • Meet the needs of young people of all abilities at the school 
  • Provide equal access for all students to a full range of learning experiences beyond statutory guidelines. 
  • Prepare students to make informed and appropriate choices at the end of KS3&4. 
  • Help students to develop lively, enquiring minds, and the ability to question and argue rationally, and an ability to apply themselves to tasks and physical skills. 
  • Include the following characteristics: breadth, balance, relevance, differentiation, relevance, continuity and coherence.  
  • Ensure continuity within the school and between phases of education, increasing students’ choice during their school life. 
  • Foster teaching styles which will offer and encourage a variety of relevant learning opportunities. 
  • Help students to use language and number effectively 
  • Help students develop personal moral values, respect for religious values and tolerance of other races’ beliefs and ways of life 
  • Help students understand the world in which they live 
  • Ensure that the curriculum incorporates, and is improved and extended by, the schools’ specialist status – science and arts. 
  • Develop a specific curriculum for KS3 (years 7&8) which will focus on the core skills of numeracy and literacy and develop the personal, learning and thinking skills of all students 
  • Design and KS4 curriculum which meets the needs of students, parents and wider society. 
  • Benefit other secondary and primary schools in the area 

Curriculum Aims: 

The curriculum should inspire and challenge all learners and prepare them for the future. UGHS aims to develop a coherent curriculum that builds on young people’s experience in the secondary phase and that helps all young people to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. Through our curriculum subjects we expect that pupils will:   

  • Develop reading, speaking, listening and writing skills to communicate with a wide range of audience on various subjects. 
  • Learn to be adaptable; how to solve problems in a variety of situations including mathematics; how to work independently and as members of a team 
  • Develop the ability to make reasoned judgements and choices, based on interpretation and evaluation of relevant information from a variety of sources 
  • Have an in depth understanding of Islam, especially in relation to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah 
  • Develop tolerance and respect, understanding global perspectives. 
  • Develop good speaking and listening skills and be able to convey  meanings accurately and appropriately through speech for a variety of purposes 
  • To apply technological skills in all aspect of the Curriculum 
  • To have a global view and broad knowledge of the differences of other people, their culture and beliefs. 
  • Be capable of communicating their knowledge and feelings through various art forms including art/craft, and be acquiring appropriate techniques which will enable them to develop their inventiveness and creativity 
  • A better understanding of the world around them and how to take of themselves and the world. 
  • Achieve high standards and make good/excellent progress 
  • Enable those not achieving age-related expectations to narrow the gap and catch up with their peers. 
  • Move towards enabling students to more easily progress based on ability not age and to be able to enter students for public examinations when they are ready rather than dictated by age. 
  • Have and be able to use high quality personal, learning and thinking skills (plts) and become independent learners 
  • Have and be able to use high quality functional skills including key literacy, numeracy and ICT skills. 
  • Be challenged and stretched to achieve their potential 
  • Value their learning outside of the curriculum and relate to the taught curriculum 

Broad Guidelines for Implementation 

By carrying out a continuous review of the curriculum  

  1. By considering carefully, and acting upon when appropriate, the views of all persons and agencies having a legitimate interest in the work of the School 
  2. By employing Staff with the appropriate abilities to plan and deliver the curriculum 
  3. By providing, within the constraints to which the School is subjected, the appropriate resources to meet the curricular needs of the pupils 
  4. By involving the pupils in the learning process whenever possible 
  5. By presenting tasks specific to the pupil’s abilities and needs 
  6. By presenting tasks, which enable each pupil to succeed and progress to higher levels of achievement 
  7. By carrying out appropriate procedure for the assessment, monitoring, and recording of pupils’ achievements 
  8. By providing all staff with the opportunities to receive such training as may be necessary to implement changes in the curriculum 
  9. By providing all staff opportunities to participate in relevant INSETS and to empower them to deliver the curriculum according to the ethos of the School 
  10. By developing procedure to ensure that progression and transfer from one institution to another is smooth and trouble-free

Inclusion 

Setting suitable challenges 

Teachers should set high expectations for every pupil. They should plan stretching work   for pupils whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard. They have an even greater obligation to plan lessons for pupils who have low levels of prior attainment or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. 

Responding to pupils’ needs and overcoming potential barriers for individuals and groups of pupils 

Teachers must take into account of their duties under equal opportunities legislation that covers diversity  

Lessons will be planned to ensure that there are no barriers to every pupil achieving. In many cases, such planning will mean that these pupils will be able to study the full national curriculum.  

Teachers must plan lessons so that these pupils can study every national curriculum subject. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset of work. 

EAL  

Teachers must also take account of the needs of pupils whose first language is not English. Monitoring of progress should take account of the pupil’s age, length of time in this country, previous educational experience and ability in other languages. 

The ability of pupils for whom English is an additional language to take part in the national curriculum may be in advance of their communication skills in English. Teachers should plan teaching opportunities to help pupils develop their English and should aim to provide the support pupils need to take part in all subjects. 

All teachers will help pupils to develop their English language skills while engaging them in the demands of the curriculum; participating in curriculum content learning while they are simultaneously learning English. This requires the linking of academic content to language objectives and ensuring that language objectives are compatible with academic content.  

Teachers must give adequate support to pupils with English as a second language in order for them to access the curriculum. It is an obligation of the school to ensure that speakers of English as an additional language feel valued and are able to get the support they need.  

Key Principles 

  • Attention to words and meaning must apply in all curricular areas 
  • Allow use of own language in the school environment when possible 
  • Language demands of learning tasks need to be identified and included in planning 
  • Extra classroom support when possible 
  • Regular assessment and monitoring of English acquisition 
  • Target setting and review 

Numeracy And Literacy 

Teachers should use every relevant subject to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency. Confidence in numeracy and other mathematical skills is a precondition of success across the national curriculum. 

Teachers should develop pupils’ numeracy and mathematical reasoning in all subjects so that they understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics. Pupils should be taught to apply arithmetic fluently to problems, understand and use measures, make estimates and sense check their work. Pupils should apply their geometric and algebraic understanding, and relate their understanding of probability to the notions of risk and uncertainty. They should also understand the cycle of collecting, presenting and analysing data. They should be taught to apply their mathematics to both routine and non-routine problems, including breaking down more complex problems into a series of simpler steps. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

The head-teacher will ensure that: 

  • All statutory elements of the curriculum, and those subjects which the school chooses to offer, have aims and objectives which reflect the aims of the school and indicate how the needs of individual students will be met. This will include how the subject will be taught and assessed. 
  • The amount of time provided for teaching the curriculum is adequate and is reviewed by the Head teacher annually. 
  • Where appropriate, the individual needs of some students are met by permanent or temporary disapplication from the national curriculum. 
  • The procedures for assessment meet all legal requirements and students and their parents/carers receive information to show how much progress the students are making and what is required to help them improve. 
  •  The head Teacher will lead in the decision making processes that relates to the breadth and balance of the curriculum. 
  • The Head Teacher will be advised on statutory targets in order to make informed decisions. 

The head teacher will ensure that: 

  • It considers the advice of the head-teacher when approving this curriculum policy and when setting statutory and non-statutory targets 
  •  Progress towards annual statutory targets is monitored. 
  •  It contributes to decision making about the curriculum. 

Subject Teachers will ensure that: 

  • They have an oversight of curriculum structure and delivery within their key stage 
  • They have detailed and up-to-date schemes of learning are in place for the delivery of courses within their key stage 
  • Schemes of learning are monitored and reviewed on a regular basis. 
  • Levels of attainment and rates of progression are discussed with head of key stage 3 and 4 coordinators on a regular basis and that action are taken where necessary to improve these. 
  • Long term planning is in place for all courses. Such schemes of learning will be designed using the school pro-forma and will contain curriculum detail on: context, expectations, and key skills, learning objectives, learning outcomes, learning activities, differentiation and resources. 
  • Schemes of learning encourage progression at least in line with national standards. 
  • There is consistency in terms of curriculum delivery. Schemes of learning should be in place and be used by all staff delivering a particular course. 
  • Appropriate awarding bodies and courses are selected so that they best meet the learning needs of our students 
  • Assessment is appropriate to the course and the students following particular courses. 
  • There should be consistency of approach towards assessment; student performance data is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that any necessary changes in terms of curriculum delivery are planned and carried out in a timely fashion. 
  •  They share best practice with other colleagues in terms of curriculum design and delivery.   
  • Oversee continued professional development needs with regard to curriculum planning and delivery within their area of responsibility. 

Teaching staff and learning support staff will: 

  • Ensure that the school curriculum is implemented in accordance with this policy. 
  • Keep up to date with developments in their subjects. 
  • Have access to, and be able to interpret, data on each student to inform the design of the curriculum in order that it best meets the needs of each cohort of students. 
  • Share and exchange information about best practice amongst their colleagues in different schools and through external networks, resulting in a dynamic and relevant curriculum. 
  • Participate in high quality professional development, working with other teachers to develop their skills in understanding the learning needs of their students and how best to address those needs and engage them. 
  • Work in partnership with other agencies to provide an appropriate range of curriculum opportunities. 

Students will: 

  • Be treated as partners in their learning, contributing to the design of the curriculum. 
  • Have their individual needs addressed, both within the school and extending beyond the classroom into the family and community through a curriculum which offers breadth, support and challenge. 
  • Be given additional support if they start to fall behind in their learning, helping them get back on track quickly. 
  • Receive co-ordinated support to enable them to make the appropriate curriculum choices at key stage 4. 

Parents and carers will: 

  • Be consulted about their children’s learning and in planning their future education. 
  • Be confident that their child is receiving a high quality education that is designed to meet their learning needs and which will equip them with the skills they need to thrive throughout their lives. 
  • Be informed about the curriculum on offer and understand the rationale behind it. 

 Individual Educational Plans: 

The school recognises that some children might have difficulty with their learning. Where the teacher identifies that a pupil is experiencing difficulties beyond the general differentiation an IEP will be written. The SENCO will assess the pupil and identify specific needs and set out strategies and targets to meeting those needs.  The targets will be discussed and agreed upon by pupils and parents and the school will provide the necessary resources to reach such targets. 

Reviews for IEPs will be carried out each term although targets may be set at any given stage.  

ASSESSMENT:  

Assessment Statement:  

In keeping with the objectives of the curriculum, a policy on assessment policy is crucial to ensure that teaching and learning practices can be evaluated. We believe that in order for the Curriculum to be sustained. Assessment must incorporate, Assessment of Learning and Assessment for Learning, which should provide a range of evidences for learning and cognitive development. 

Key Principles 

Assessment is an integral and essential part of the process of teaching and learning which helps to plan for future learning needs and forms an important element in raising achievement.  

Assessment is an interactive process between pupil and teacher which should be fully integrated with teaching and learning. 

Assessment must ensure that every pupil, irrespective of their linguistic background, has their achievement recognised, valued and acknowledged.   

Assessment is based on enabling pupils to make progress and not solely on the acquisition of academic achievement. 

Objectives:  

  • To ensure that assessment strategies are used effectively to provide a comprehensive view of learning and development.  
  • To work alongside parents/guardians to help pupils to develop, this will include regular meetings and written reports on the development and achievement of their child. 
  • To ensure that teachers and pupils are aware of the assessment strategies 
  • To ensure that assessment is an intricate part of teaching and learning 
  • To have learners at the heart of the assessment 
  • To ensure that all teachers have assessment training as part of their professional development 
  • To ensure that pupils are active participants in their assessments by promoting self and peer assessments. 

Aims 

  • To have  summative assessments at the end of each term 
  • To have ongoing formative assessments; including self and peer assessments 
  • To have a system in place where pupils’ progress may be tracked in order to provide support or intervention  
  • To use feedback to inform pupils of the learning 
  • Set targets  at end of the first and second term  
  • To provide transitional assessments at the end of the academic year with appropriate   NC levels 
  • To help pupils understand their progress and identify future learning needs. 
  • To ensure that pupils with low ability have target setting every month 

Marking  

Marking is an important aspect of learning and assessing pupil’s progress. Marking helps pupils to monitor their own learning and progress. Pupils will also be given the chance to mark each other’s work (peer assessments) and their own work as a way of taking responsibility for their own learning. Teachers will ensure that marking focuses on: 

  • Showing Success 
  • Indicating Improvement 
  • Making Improvement 

Teachers will show success by highlight how work is linked with learning objectives, when  indicating improvement; teachers will use symbols such as an arrow to indicate exactly where on  pupil’s work improvement can be made.  Clear suggestion will also be given as to how improvement can be made, this will help the pupil to know exactly how to improve. 

For marking to inform learning it must be effective; effective marking will: 

  • Correct mistakes 
  • Point out was in good about the work 
  • Offer suggestions about how pupil might improve 
  • Give positive comments 

Teachers may use more than one of these when marking. On a whole “positive comments only” marking will motivate pupils of all abilities and produces gains in learning and achievement because it challenges pupils to think for themselves 

Praise is a simple effective way of motivating pupils and also has a positive effect on self-esteem and confidence, example of positive praise: 

  • That was good because------ 
  • That was a good start; I know it was difficult---- 
  • Well done you have made a good effort--------- 
  • This was a much better attempt than last time 

Teachers must be consistent with marking the school policy stipulates that all pupils book will be collected by subject teachers every fortnight Teachers must demonstrate: 

  • What level is the pupil currently working 
  • Target level 
  • Specific area for improvement 

Page BreakMonitoring and Evaluating the Curriculum 

Rationale 

The prime purpose of this policy is to ensure that our monitoring and evaluating processes contribute to the improvement in teaching and learning and the raising of standards throughout the school. Monitoring and evaluating will be seen as both positive and constructive, and is central to the school’s self evaluation process. 

This Policy provides a structure which emphasizes our positive approach to raising standards, through support, motivation and staff development. It will enable us as a school to make an informed decision regarding standards, which will lead to the identification of areas for development.  These areas of development might be linked to the needs of individuals, or become the focus of whole school initiatives, and will inform the School Improvement Plan.   

The process of School curriculum will be monitored, evaluated, and revised annually based on multiple factors (e.g., school curriculum, state standards, national standards, student performance on state assessment, student academic needs defined from other sources). 

The governing body will receive an annual report from the head teacher on: 

  • The standard reached in each subject compared with the national and local benchmarks. 
  • The standard achieved at the end of each key stage taking into account any important variations between groups of students, subjects, courses and trends over time, compared with national and local benchmarks.  

The governing body will review this policy at least once a year and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school. 

What will this look like in practice? 

Discussions 

There will be the opportunity for regular discussion with colleagues both formally and informally, lead by the Headteacher.  These discussions will have a focus and will be related mainly to the core curriculum areas. The process of discussion regarding the core subjects will take place throughout the academic year, and will include feedback on the issues raised. 

Using and Analysing Data 

Using national data 

  • Standards reports from QCA 
  • School Performance tables 

Internal data 

  • Baseline 
  • Analysis of pupil performance in internal assessments 
  • Tracking individual pupil performance 
  • Identification of areas of weakness in the curriculum through assessments analysis 

Management of Resources 

All subjects teachers will be responsible for the day-to-day management his/her resources.  The School Manager will be responsible for the maintenance and replacement of consumable stock.  The process of monitoring and evaluating will help identify and prioritise the need for innovative resources. 

We aim to ensure that resources are purchased and used in the most effective and economical way, avoiding duplication and waste. 

At the beginning of the financial/SIP year lists including pricing, catalogue details will be submitted to the School Admin. Resources will usually be purchased as part of the SIP/financial planning.  Occasionally small purchases will be made during the year.

Analysis of Planning 

This will be related to progression, differentiation and national curriculum coverage.      

Classroom Observation and Feedback 

There will be a focus for the observation; areas for future development may be noted.  Feedback will be provided by the Headteacher to the individual subject teacher.  The Headteacher will keep a record of the observation and discussion. This record will be kept in their CPD file.  A copy will be given to the teacher. 

Following classroom observations, the Headteacher will be able to identify trends, and suggest areas for whole school development.  These will be recorded and then discussed with the Head teacher.

Reviewed by Head teacher: May 2016 

Next Review: May 2017