What do we do?
Our curriculum is rooted in developing core reading and writing skills. All KS3 and KS4 students have a portion of their lesson dedicated to reading for pleasure; this takes the form of either reading a range of fiction texts for pleasure in KS3 or reading the set Literature texts in KS4. In both cases, students are encouraged to engage with the whole text before they are expected to analyse it. Reading for pleasure is a fundamental element of our offer of reading as research shows that students are most engaged with reading when it is low risk and teacher led.
We are proud of our 7 year curriculum that allows students from Y7-Y13 to engage with a range of texts and skills that are developed across the 7 years. Students are challenged in all years with knowledge and skills being balanced throughout.
The English offer at Derby Moor Academy is a true embodiment of our school value of ‘Together We Succeed’ as we strive to enable all students of all abilities to flourish within their learning setting. Our setting of students is based on a mixed ability model as research shows this is one of the most effective ways of enhancing student achievement and learning enjoyment. We feel strongly that students should be stretched and challenged at all levels to ensure they can achieve their personal best. Within these settings we ensure that all groups of students are catered for through the curriculum and, most importantly, we ensure that we lift all barriers to student learning within our power.
Ultimately, our curriculum allows all students to make a smooth transition from KS2-3. We then continue to develop and enhance knowledge and skills to prepare our students for lifelong ambitions. Our qualifications open up an array of opportunity and our intentions are clear: we want our students to be enthused, fulfilled and prepared.
How do we do it?
Our curriculum is a well thought out journey that enables students to access all core elements throughout. Students have a broad range of reading and writing opportunities in all schemes of learning so that there is a common thread running through all years.
Assessments are timely and rigorous and lessons are directed strategically to support students to achieve the best outcomes they can. To ensure consistency, we have a bank of regularly reviewed and updated schemes of work to ensure that they are always in line with the challenge required, as well as supporting specific student need.
We implement core writing skills from Y7-Y13 by ensuring writing skills are practised for one hour a week. This hour sits alongside all schemes of learning to ensure that pupils maintain a focus on the importance of developing the organisation, fluency and grammatical accuracy of their written work. Aside from supporting pupils with their non-fiction and fiction writing skills, this ‘writing hour’ enhances the coherence of their work in other curriculum areas and enables pupils to articulate their ideas with greater clarity and sophistication. As well as modelling best practice to develop these skills, we strive to model our own love of writing in order to foster this in our pupils.
In both reading and writing lessons, we provide opportunities for self and peer assessment. We have developed strategies to enable pupils to provide effective feedback; this ensures that they are familiar with success criteria and have regular practise in implementing it, further embedding their understanding of how to achieve the most challenging assessment objectives. Teachers also provide regular verbal and written feedback, to which pupils respond, in order to support their progress and maintain an effective dialogue.
Why do we do it?
We are on a journey of continued and sustained academic achievement entrenched in a strong focus on teaching and learning. We are confident about the intent of our curriculum and are continually reviewing our curriculum offer to ensure it meets the needs of all students.
Work scrutiny, along with other forms of curriculum review allow us to make the necessary changes to further develop the depth of the skills and knowledge covered. The impact supports us to direct our developments in a meaningful way and we use our impact data alongside staff and student voice to evaluate the effectiveness of our curriculum. When needed, necessary tweaks are made to ensure that the intent and implementation of our curriculum is aligned with the impact it needs to make.
We offer a student centred curriculum- continually evaluating the impact of it- to make sure students leave us with an enriched and varied experience of knowledge and skills that will be essential for their next steps. The impact of our curriculum goes beyond statistics and we will continue to foster a professional discourse around curriculum to ensure that we are always student centred.