Over the last two weeks I have had the pleasure of supporting the C10s with their mock exams. I have been really impressed with their conduct, maturity and focus as they have entered their exams each day. Teachers will be using the data from these exams to inform their planning for the remainder of the summer term and into September. They only have one year left until the real thing.
Once the C11s leave us we will be using the mock data to organise additional support for C10s. C9s will then have a similar experience at the end of the term so that teachers can timetable them into curriculum pathways for September.
Continuing with the theme of assessment, I was lucky enough to spend some time in music today whilst the teachers were moderating the GCSE coursework. I could not believe the quality of what I heard. Our learners are incredibly talented and we must never forget that success comes in many forms. I would like to congratulate the C11 GCSE music learners on producing an outstanding set of compositions. Whilst we can’t escape the importance of exams assessment there is more to an education than simply passing these tests.
You will recall that last week I revisited the six capitals (Moral, Social, Cultural, Knowledge, Organisational and Professional). The capital enhancing curriculum is what underpins our vision and plans going forward and is just as much about building character as it is about exam success. Our aim is for learners to leave us happy as well as successful.
I would however like to update you on where we are with regards to the curriculum content – what we are teaching our learners and what knowledge we deem important for them to learn.
Over the spring term we introduced a new curriculum model and resources to support our teachers in their planning for September. The philosophy is very much about providing a depth of knowledge, skills and understanding from C7 upwards. Once complete we will be sharing our curriculum with families via our website so that our learning aims/intentions are transparent. We will then be revising our assessment and reporting to be more in line with the curriculum aims. Our core curriculum principles are as follows:
Honywood Curriculum Principles
Our capital enhancing curriculum should:
1. Foster a love for learning
2. Be challenging, rigorous and personalised
3. Offer breadth and depth of learning
4. Be knowledge rich and culturally enhancing
5. Recognise the importance of connecting with prior learning
6. Be rich in literacy, numeracy and oracy
7. Require learners to showcase their learning effectively
8. Be transparent and demonstrate progress
9. Allow learners to acquire and develop their knowledge, skills and attributes
10. Model success and aspire for excellence
11. Require learners to build and demonstrate a strong set of shared values
12. Enable learners to leave us resilient, confident and successful so they can embrace their future
These curriculum principles can be mapped across our six capitals. It won’t surprise you to know that they are mostly concentrated in the development of knowledge capital. The thing that will make the most difference to success in this area is ensuring we have built a challenging and aspirational learning experience that progresses over the five years learners study with us. And the thing that ensures optimum execution of this curriculum content: great teaching and learning and great teachers. These are the things we will continue to develop over the next year.