St Aloysius is committed to maintain and develop the Catholic Education of its schools. The message of ‘Christ at the Centre’ is held at the core of our curriculum vision. This requires our schools to be places where the entire community encounter a transforming love and trust, which ultimately determines and guides all that we do.
In order to deliver, promote and inspire the highest quality education we are committed to developing our own unique curriculum, derived from some shared principles. These include:
Individual formation rooted in Gospel Values, by ensuring:
- Every child or young persons’ journey into adulthood is a journey of faith
- A broad and balanced education, committed to the formation of the whole person through simultaneously developing their physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual talents. In this way preparing the child and young person to take an active and responsible part in social life.
- A clear and visible interpretation of our school philosophy ‘Striving for Excellence, Inspired by Gospel Values’
The significance of the school, by ensuring:
- During the transitional phase from school closures to partial and full reopening we hold the wellbeing of our families and pupils at the centre of all decision making.
- The school establishes itself as a hub for the entire community; a centre for extended services and and a source of immense pride for pupils, their families and other local stakeholders.
- A transparency of curriculum content that makes families and professionals unite around the single core purpose, namely that of providing the very best education for each individual child.
- A safe place whereby fundamental British Values and citizenship are promoted.
Our pupil offer, by ensuring:
- The curriculum set out for September 2020 is seen as a springboard to repair learning, rebuild relationships and reconnect socially.
- The closure due to Covid-19 ensures delivery of outstanding teaching and learning and an uncompromising drive for all pupils to feel and be successful.
- All learners, including the most disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND, are provided with the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to catch up quickly and succeed in life.
- Recent school closure is seen as motivation to rapidly repair learning and not an excuse for widening learning gaps.
- Academic rigor to stretch and challenge pupils is appropriate to each pupil.
- Learners have access to a curriculum designed to repair learning gaps and one which evolves with the monitoring of pupil progress. A clear strategy for pupil progression is in place.
- Educational enrichment opportunities, including experiences, visits and visitors continue as is possible.
- Teaching for mastery is promoted across all subjects and disciplines.
- A love of reading is promoted across all subjects and disciplines, both for pleasure and enjoyment as well as to support academic learning.
- Metacognition and critical thinking are planned for and taught across the curriculum.
- Learning as a shift of knowledge from short term to the long term memory is prioritised in the way in which the curriculum is implemented.
Leaders will realise the intentions of the curriculum, by ensuring the following shared principles:
Curriculum delivery and content:
The Curriculum will be carefully planned and agreed in line with any new government guidance of DfE recommendations relating to Covid-19.
It will be designed around three key priorities:
- Pupil and Staff Wellbeing
- Daily Activity and Outdoor Learning
- Repairing Learning Gaps
The curriculum is compatible with the key requirements of the National Curriculum.
Priority One: Pupil and Staff Wellbeing
Ensure a positive and safe learning culture committed to supporting pupils’ and staff wellbeing and one which directly engages with feelings of loss, uncertainty and anxiety associated with the current Covid19 response.
Through every day teaching:
- Use a range of strategies to teach key skills both in dedicated teaching time and in everyday teaching as recommended by EEF. Integrate and model skills including:
- Self-awareness – expand emotional vocabulary
- Self regulation – children to use self calming strategies when faced with intense emotions
- Social awareness – discuss others’ emotions and perspectives
- Relationship skills – role play good communication and listening
- Responsible decision making – teach and practice problem solving strategies
- Teach learning behaviours alongside managing misbehavior.
- Consistency and coherence for managing feelings and behavior at a whole school level are paramount.
- Use targeted approaches such as mentoring and 1:1 counselling to meet the needs of individuals in school.
- Every class to have an interactive ‘emotional check in’ board for the children to use daily – an adult to check once complete. Opportunities for brief discussion and reflection each morning.
- PSHE curriculum carefully reviewed and promoted to support pupil and staff wellbeing.
Priority Two: Daily Activity and Outdoor Learning
Ensure exercise and the outdoors remain key to our pupil re-engagement plan within school and promotes physical distancing
Opportunities for exercise are important for all pupils following this extended period of lock down and will be built into the daily routine at regular intervals. The use of the outdoors is likely to support our drive to promote physical distancing and minimise the risk of transmission.
Priority Three: Repairing Learning Gaps
Ensure pupils are supported to learn the key skills and knowledge missed out on during school closures; the knowledge essential for them to enter the next stages of their education.
All pupils will be suffering some amount of learning gaps as a result of school closures due to Covid-19. It is important as we embark on this next phase of school reopening fully to all pupils, that we do so with a determination and commitment that all pupils will be supported to catch up. Key to this is the principle that schools can make a difference and that evidence can help. High quality teaching is the fundamental lever schools have to improve outcomes for all pupils, and in particularly those disadvantaged pupils’ reported to have likely suffered the most because of school closures. Outstanding teaching and learning is at the centre of our curriculum provision. It will be research based and adhere to current educational thinking, including:
Education Endowment Foundation: Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools
The guidance report provides 5 recommendations, all of which we hold at the core of our teaching and learning approach for all pupils, especially following extended periods of school closure:
We now know that all children will return to school in September and that school closures will have inevitably resulted in some learning gaps – these gaps will differ from one pupil to the next. However, it is also true that pupils will have made some progress in some areas, either due to natural development or because of effective engagement with remote learning. Regardless of how pupils return in September in terms of their learning, it remains essential that teachers operate on the belief that they can make a difference. A teacher’s belief about how much they can influence outcomes has the greatest impact on pupils. (Hattie)
Reflect on how far you believe in the following statements:
- You are the change agent
- High expectations are essential and children can always achieve more than we think.
- It is important to teach varied learning strategies to all pupils so that they can access their learning potential
- Pupils who understand what progress looks like in each subject will make more of it because they are more capable of self-assessment and self-adjustment.
- Peer learning and peer teaching are powerful for learning.
- Making mistakes and being able to take critical feedback are crucial for improving learning.
- The challenges presented be poverty, parenting, prejudice, social class and home or school resources are surmountable.
The more you can embed these beliefs, the greater your impact as a teacher will be. Hattie quotes from Alfieri, confirming research finding that teachers need direct discovery through ‘feedback, worked examples, scaffolding and elicited explanation’ as activators of learning.
‘I know that what I do in the classroom can have a big impact on a child’s potential – no matter what their starting point.’
Once pupils have returned, teachers will immediately begin to assess pupil progress and understanding at each stage of their learning. They will adapt planning accordingly in light of any identified gaps. Where individuals display particular barriers, teachers should be proactive at intervening effectively with the support required.
Assessment is regular and purposeful, including:
- Accurate assessment procedures are in place and used effectively to maximise progress from their starting points, informed by regular retrieval and practice.
- Each subject area will be underpinned with the usual key assessment criteria at both age-related and greater depth within all year groups
- Any data collected will effectively to enhance provision at a school and individual level.
- Ongoing and daily emotional wellbeing support.
- Timely and purposeful interventions will be used effectively, both to support academic learning and emotional wellbeing.
- Mentoring (Small group and 1:1) and counselling will be available where necessary.
Teachers will have the flexibility to assess, plan, do and review in light of how pupils return to school. The information they collect will inform the decisions they make about the next steps for teaching each child. It is this feedback between teacher and pupil that will ultimately lead to new learning.
Feedback is a powerful learning tool. First, you seek it out and, second, you do something about it. Adjust and calibrate on a minute-by-minute, hourly, daily and weekly basis.
Small-group and one-to-one interventions can be a powerful tool, but must be used carefully. Ineffective use of interventions can create a barrier to inclusion of pupils. High quality teaching should reduce the need for extra support, but it is likely that some pupils will require high quality, structured, targeted intervention to make progress.
Interventions ill be carefully managed and should be applied using the principles of effective implementation (EEF):
- Implementation as a process not an event.
- Create leadership environment and school climate that is conducive to good implementation.
- Explore: Define the problem you want to solve and identify appropriate programmes or practices to implement. Prepare: Create a clear implementation plan, judge the readiness of school to deliver that plan, then prepare staff and resources. Deliver: Support staff, monitor progress and adapt strategies as the approach is used. Sustain: Plan for sustaining (the outcome) of an intervention and continuously acknowledge and nurture its use.
A Recovery Tracker will be in place for September for the lowest 20% of pupils in each class.
Effective deployment of teaching assistants is critical. Teaching Assistants should ensure they have a positive impact.
TAs should supplement, not replace, teaching from the classroom teacher.
TAs should not be used as an informal teaching resource for low attaining pupils Use TAs to add value to what teachers do, not replace them Use TAs to help pupils develop independent learning skills and mange their own learning Ensure TAs are fully prepared for their role in the classroom Use TAs to deliver high quality one-to-one and small group support using structured interventions Adopt evidence – based interventions to support TAs in their small group and one-to-one instruction Ensure explicit connections are made between learning from everyday classroom teaching and structured interventions
See Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants (EEF Guidance Report)
School will use a range of methods to evaluate the impact of our curriculum design. This will incorporate a range of analysis including: Pupil achievement data; Attendance rates; Behaviour; Extra Curriculum take up; Pupil Voice; Parent questionnaires; Lesson observations and curriculum reviews.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. With this, pupils will become inquisitive learners who are motivated to excel and who have a thirst for learning. We see the greatest impact of the curriculum to be high rates of pupil progress. Progress in:
- Pupils’ physical, moral and intellectual talents that inform their choices and actions as people.
- The development of knowledge: Progress in knowing more, remembering more, making links and applying knowledge
- Pupil understanding of how well they are doing and what they need to do to get better.
The importance in ensuring all pupils are provided with the opportunity to flourish as a whole and complete person:
We place Christ at the centre of everything we do, integrating the Gospel Values into every aspect of learning, teaching and social life of each partner school.
The young people in our care contribute positively to the wider society by developing values and morals that inform choices and actions, which promote respect for the rights of every human person.
Working with parents, we equip all our pupils to lead full, active, vibrant lives where each child thrives.
The importance of developing a focus on knowledge to help improve the rate of progress:
A well-rounded, knowledge-specific curriculum is required to overcome inequality of opportunity on entry. Leaders will give careful consideration to curriculum coherence across disciplines. Sequential components of learning will cover:
- Knowledge of vocabulary (and literacy in general)
- Knowledge of events, people and places.
- Knowledge of ideas and concepts drawn from subjects.
- Knowledge of procedures.
- Knowledge of interconnected webs of concepts (schema).
This will result in pupils who know how to be learners and how to learn.
In light of a widely talked about recovery curriculum, we are determined that any learning gaps exacerbated by Covid-19 will never be used as an excuse for unsatisfactory pupil progress. Rather, this period of school closure has re-ignited a determination to guarantee equality and excellence for all pupil and through the world class education we provide, rapidly repair learning.