A Curriculum for The Future

2015-01-06 10.22.01 amFirstly, a Happy New Year to you! We started 2015 in school with the staff's third INSET day. The focus? Laying the foundations for developing an exciting and effective school curriculum capable of making our children, as our vision claims,  'future ready'. The renewed school curriculum will be delivered in September 2015 and has high aspirations for all of our pupils.

All state-funded schools (except academies) are required to teach the National Curriculum. This is a statutory document that teachers use to plan and deliver the various subjects detailed within it. However, broader than this is the 'school curriculum'. This comprises of all learning and experiences which a school plans for its pupils, one part of which is the National Curriculum. Having made this distinction clear, we were focussed on making our next school curriculum the best it could possibly be for our children.

Yesterday, with a full staff team of teachers, teaching assistants, leaders, Play Co-ordinators and SENCos, we drilled down further to unpick the school's vision represented by our blobby, multi-coloured, amorphous characters: The Blots. Each of the blots represents a distinct area in which Blue Coat is trying to prepare the children for their future (these are detailed here).

We took each area a step further by defining each in terms of a set of 'Big Ideas' that we will try to promote and instil in our children over the course of their time with us. These came directly from common themes identified in our year-long vision consultation with our stakeholders.

For example, within our 'Learning About Ourselves & Others' part of our vision an identified theme for preparing our children was in Teamwork. The Big Idea that they will then need to grasp is: 'What makes an effective team and how can I contribute to its success?'

We continued in this manner with all 4 areas of our vision - sub-dividing it in this way to come up with a full set of Big Ideas that we want our children to have grasped before leaving at the end of Year 6.

We then went further to devise a set of aims for the school curriculum itself, prioritising aims which ensured that the children would have fun, lasting memories, and opportunities to excel etc.

With both the curriculum aims in place, and a series of Big Ideas stemming from our vision foci, we now have the foundations for our school curriculum firmly set. These will be at the centre of literally everything we plan in school: after-school clubs, playtimes, lesson plans, enrichment, collective worship and more.

This was a real milestone for Blue Coat as it meant that, for the first time, all learning and experiences we will offer our children will be aimed at the school's ultimate vision of preparing them for their futures. A challenging but exciting prospect and one that we're relishing over the coming weeks and months as the planning process unfolds.