At Hadley Learning Community, we know that excellent curriculum principles and design in conjunction with outstanding, dynamic delivery leads to an excellent education.
The structure of our curriculum design is presented within two different documents. Our curriculum map, which outlines subjects studied at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 and our 5 year curriculum overviews which specify the intent, implementation and impact of each individual subject.
Our curriculum is the vehicle to deliver our whole school vision. At Hadley Learning Community we recognise that improving educational outcomes is the biggest way we can positively impact our students’ futures. We believe that a student’s education includes their intellectual development, social and emotional development, character and responsibility, happiness and success. At HLC this vision is ‘lived’ in the way teachers develop the curriculum and the way students experience it. We have developed a curriculum that is carefully designed and implemented, that is true to subjects’ core content and concepts, develops a love of lifelong learning, and creates beautiful work, expertise, and wonder. Our curriculum is underpinned by our whole school values: Belong, Respect, Inspire, Succeed, Enjoy. We believe that through a challenging, broad and balanced curriculum, our students will be inspired to achieve in all they do.
Belong Respect Inspire Succeed Enjoy
We believe that through a challenging yet broad curriculum, our students will be inspired to achieve in all they do. They will leave us as well-rounded, respectful individuals with all the skills they need to equip them to belong and flourish in an ever-changing world. We support both breadth and depth of curriculum in the EBacc curriculum and in the arts. Our curriculum reflects the vision of our community school that all students enjoy their learning at HLC and when they leave they will be able to look outwards, through open windows, to an endless journey of personal success.
The key priorities within our curriculum programme are:
• To create an inclusive environment based on positive relationships, in which all students are valued, respected and celebrated, allowing them to fulfil their potential by responding to individual requirements and needs.
• To provide an ambitious curriculum that enhances social mobility through breadth of opportunity, particularly for our disadvantaged students, as they take their place in a global economy, understanding and respecting environmental, economic and social issues.
• To ensure our curriculum allows students to understand Telford’s past, present and future place so that they are proud of their community
• To focus on providing the knowledge and passion to promote full and enriched lifestyles
Alongside sequencing our curriculum to ensure that it is coherently planned for maximum success, we promote the use of evidence-informed teaching practice based on the work of academics. This includes Barak Rosenshine’s ‘Principles of Instruction’ (Tom Sherrington, 2019); Graham Nuthall’s ‘The Hidden Lives of Learners’ (2007); Geoff Barton and Alex Quigley’s literacy strategies; Kate Jones’ retrieval strategies; and Fiorella and Mayer’s generative practice.
Teachers are supported by instructional coaches (Jim Knight, The Impact Cycle, 2018) who work with them to share teaching strategies that help teachers meet goals that they set to improve the learning of our students. This work is underpinned by Tom Sherrington’s WalkThrus.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
At Key Stage 3 our students are offered a breadth of subjects to allow them to explore their academic strengths, experience a range of learning and build up increasingly robust, interconnected schema.
We aim to introduce our students to the bigger picture of their learning, exposing them to the pattern and order of the world around them, so that they are more likely to retain the detail of their learning within the context of the overall scheme.
By planning for breadth at KS3 and reminding students of subjects’ conceptual understandings each time new learning is introduced we make it easier for students to acquire new details and layers of difficulty. Through ensuring all students know more about our subjects we advantage the least advantaged (David Didau).
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
At Key Stage 4, all students fulfil the traditional, academic curriculum by studying English, Maths, Science and a Humanity subject with learners encouraged to study the full EBACC offer. A personalised and inclusive curriculum is at the heart of our Key Stage 4 offer and therefore we ensure that students have access to a range of appropriate qualifications that allow them post-16 opportunities and social mobility.
Our priorities are personified by the breadth of experiences that students are offered at Hadley Learning Community. This ranges from developing their talent in sports up to national level, participating at performing arts, including through a partnership with Birmingham Conservatoire and competing nationally in STEM activities to Duke of Edinburgh and our Project Hadley programme. Alongside this, students are provided with a thorough careers programme to raise their aspirations and capitalise on the opportunities available to them.
Within both the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 curriculum, most learners with SEND follow the same breadth and depth of study as their peers. Where more specialist provision is required, inclusive solutions that minimise the need for withdrawal from the classroom are sought as far as is reasonably practicable, such as through the explicit teaching and modelling of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary and the focus on disciplinary literacy. Targeted provision such as specialist literacy or numeracy programmes are selected to complement rather than replace the mainstream curriculum. In cases where intervention is required that sits outside the classroom focus, such as 1 to 1 emotional literacy support, speech and language work or short, targeted programmes, these are timetabled sensitively to reduce the impact on academic lessons.
Our formative assessments is underpinned by research from the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) and is designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject. This means that in lessons pupils are quizzed on prior knowledge in order to embed this knowledge in their long-term memory. This frees up their working memory to attend to current learning. We foster a culture of high challenge, low threat because it is when we feel safe at a deep level that we are prepared to risk things and have a go (Mary Myatt).
We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing.
Knowledge organisers provide students with key information in each subject, broken down by topic enabling them to memorise the core knowledge they require in order to be able to perform higher-level functions such as analysis and evaluation.
In our summative assessments we monitor what students know and can do. Summative assessments are designed to test the application and long-term retention of knowledge. Moderation and standardisation are built into our tests to ensure that all our teachers are aware of the standards and results are reliable. Analysis of summative assessment is used to inform responsive teaching at whole school, departmental and classroom level, ensuring that all students’ (including SEND and disadvantaged) gaps in knowledge are acted upon.
Every student has an equal right to a challenging and enlightening curriculum. By teaching this curriculum well, and developing effective habits in our students, we bring out the best in everyone at Hadley Learning Community.