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Curriculum Intent

A high-quality curriculum, outstanding teaching, learning and personal development provide students with an excellent preparation for the next stages in their lives.

                                                                                                            (Ofsted Jan 2019)

Our aim at Pleckgate High School is to provide an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum that will challenge every student and allow all to achieve their full potential. Our school’s curriculum is continually reviewed to ensure it is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.

Heads of Department, who in their own right are subject experts, lead on the content, specifications and delivery of the curriculum in each subject.  At the heart of curriculum design is a shared commitment to constructing programmes of study that students find interesting, challenging and will lead to success – whether it be as student’s transition from Key Stage 2 or when they sit external examinations at the end of Key Stage 4.  At each key stage, we support students and parents with transition guidance to ensure that students are happy, engaged and make sustained progress.

Key Stage 3 at Pleckgate High School spans three years to ensure that students experience a wide range of subjects across an extended period of time. The Key Stage 3 Curriculum at Pleckgate is designed to ensure the aims of the National Curriculum are met and exceeded.  As well as the core subjects of English, maths and science all students study creative arts, the humanities, Religious Education, languages, technology, computing, PE, PSHE & Citizenship.  It is important that young people get this good grounding across all disciplines to make informed choices as to what subjects they will study at GCSE.  Students who require additional support in mathematics or English may have a bespoke timetable that allows for intervention in order to accelerate their progress.

At Key Stage 4, students predominantly study GCSE’s across a range of subjects informed by the choices and aspirations of young people.  We are proud that at Pleckgate, a much larger cohort of students than those nationally, study single sciences and perform well.  Every student also studies RE to GCSE, following the furthered religions of Christianity and Islam alongside a range of other world views.  We have a diverse student body and the furthered study of RE provides many opportunities to understand how people from different faiths and diverse communities can have a common purpose, shared beliefs, tolerance and a mutual respect.  These values also underpin the wider ethos of the school community.

The pastoral and wider curriculum at Pleckgate High School is just as important as the academic curriculum with students carefully organised into tutor groups using information gathered during transition from primary schools. The students remain in these tutor groups for five years with the same form tutor and a Head of Year who, together with the tutor team are responsible for the safety, well-being, personal and academic success of each student. Enhanced with a taught PSHE curriculum in year 7, Super Learning Days throughout the year, and numerous opportunities to take part in additional activities and visits, at Pleckgate we are committed to developing the whole person.

Curriculum Implementation

We believe that excellent teachers are the most valuable resource in our school and we are committed to ongoing professional learning support.  We are outward looking, networking with other professionals and institutions to ensure that staff remain experts in their field and are best placed to maximise learning for our students. Our teachers present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion about the subject matter being taught. They check students’ understanding systematically, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In so doing, our teachers respond and adapt their teaching as necessary.

Over the course of study, our teaching is designed to help students to remember long term the content they’ve been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas. The work given to our students is demanding and matches the aims of our curriculum in being coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge. Our teachers ensure that their own speaking, listening, writing and reading of English support students in developing their language and vocabulary well. We have a rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum for those students who require additional support to ‘catch up’. At the heart of the reading curriculum is the aim to develop students’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading.

Curriculum Impact

Students at Pleckgate High School are extremely well prepared for their next stages in education or training. Their positive and successful experiences of learning give them an eagerness to continue with their studies. Teachers systematically build students’ independent learning skills by developing their resilience when faced with difficulties. Students are encouraged to be inquisitive and are prepared to question things they do not understand or might disagree with. They use modern technologies well to support their own learning. Students show respect for others and are confident and ambitious. Students are well informed about the opportunities that exist for them beyond school and how to achieve their ambitions. Almost all students go on to further their learning on courses that match their aspirations.

The use of a range of assessment approaches allow teachers to support students to embed and use knowledge fluently and to check understanding and inform teaching. Our students develop detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well.

This is reflected in our internal assessment results, outcomes from national tests and examinations that meet, and in many instances, exceed government expectations.

 

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