2020 Curriculum Statement
“At Colne Valley High School, we believe passionately in the power of knowledge in helping young people to lead
healthy, happy, successful lives. Our curriculum aims to offer our students a rich, deep,
knowledge base which will allow all of our young people to feel
confident when accessing all aspects of society”
Our curriculum is underpinned by our core values of: Respect, Integrity, Teamwork, Aspiration (RITA)
Knowledge is taught to be remembered, not merely encountered. Our knowledge-rich curriculum at Colne Valley High School embraces concepts from cognitive science about memory, forgetting and the power of retrieval practice.
At Colne Valley High School our ambitious knowledge-rich curriculum:
- Is designed and sequenced to allow all students to build, retain and retrieve powerful, transformative knowledge
- Is academically ambitious, yet inclusive with opportunities to build cultural capital and background knowledge that takes our young people beyond their experience
- Promotes reading for learning, pleasure and provides opportunities for oracy
- Embraces the Colne Valley community, people and local history
We are implementing this in the following way:
- The curriculum maps clearly show progression across the key stages, so that the knowledge students acquire each academic year is made explicit. This knowledge builds cumulatively in terms of its breadth, depth and the ability of the students to develop mastery through thinking and understanding.
- Whole school, bespoke and subject specific CPD, is delivered with curriculum at the foundation; driven by robust evidenced based research, which ensures that all teachers are improving alongside an evolving curriculum.
- All schemes of learning are supported by knowledge organisers and knowledge questions that stipulate the ‘powerful knowledge’ (Young 2013) we want our students to learn and retain. ‘Do Now’ activities seek to revisit knowledge from previous lessons/home learning and schemes of learning help students commit knowledge into their long-term memory. All subjects carefully build in spaced retrieval practice and Interleaving is carefully planned in all curriculum plans, to help students remember as much declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge as possible.
- In lessons, students are introduced to challenging subject specific terminology. Students revisit vocabulary to ensure mastery and retention. Opportunities for students to apply new vocabulary in extended written work are regularly provided.
- The development of student reading is high profile. Challenging texts are read by all students. Weaker readers are supported through our Accelerated Learning programme and through ‘Thinking Reading’. This is a meticulous process that determines exactly where students are struggling to read and identify strategies to address them. High order reading skills, for example; evaluation, analysis, inference is promoted throughout.
- Formative assessments are used within lessons to embed knowledge, check understanding and inform teaching. Within lessons staff use a range of formative assessments for learning, of learning and as learning. This will include but is not limited to; targeted questioning, low-stakes quizzing, multiple choice testing, hinge questions, show me, spelling and vocabulary tests and exit tickets. Formative assessments will also encompass higher order thinking skills.
- All staff use routines in lessons to ensure consistent and high expectations are in place across the school. These are used along with common language to promote a positive attitude towards learning.
- Home learning is planned into the curriculum and consistently applied across the school through the use of knowledge organisers. All home learning tasks are designed to complement the learning that takes place in the classroom and contributes to the end goal.