Curriculum

Vision & Values

At Bridgelea school we want to help our children, families and communities to understand themselves and others more. We have seven school values which permeate all aspects of life at Bridgelea.

  • We value WELL-BEING. We have a holistic approach to well-being across the school.
  • We value COMMUNICATION. We believe that all behaviour is communication.
  • We value SUCCESS. Children achieve academic as well as social and emotional growth. 
  • We value DIVERSITY. We celebrate each other as unique individuals with rights that we respect.
  • We value SAFETY. We care for each other and keep each other safe.
  • We value CO-OPERATION As a school we cooperate with the community to inspire and empower every individual.
  • We value DEVELOPMENT. All learning is understood developmentally.

Six Principles of Nurture 

  1.  Children's learning is understood developmentally
  2.  The classroom offers a safe base
  3.  The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  4.  Language is a vital means of communication
  5.  All behaviour is communication
  6.  The importance of transition in children's lives

Our Curriculum

Bridgelea’s curriculum is built on the following foundations;

  • The locality of the school and the direct needs of the local community in Manchester.
  • The schools vision and values; ‘Understanding People.’
  • The needs of wider society. At Bridgelea we believe this is underpinned by communication, creative problem-solving, self-awareness, and collaboration skills.

At Bridgelea we believe that the children learn and develop at different ages and stages and this is reflected in our curriculum and nurturing approaches. Teaching and learning reflects how nurture underpins the curriculum and staff seek opportunities to work with children at their development stage.  At Bridgelea we strive for pupils to fulfill their potential and want our children to have high aspirations for their future. To do this we have to recognise the urban environment within which we are expecting them to succeed. The 2019 IMD ranks Manchester as the 6th most deprived LA in England. 

At Bridglea we aspire to ensure harmony between a rigorous academic education on the one hand and outstanding wider personal development on the other.  At Bridgelea we have a holistic approach to well-being across the school. We nurture high expectations of behaviour and value the importance of a well-planned curriculum to support the development of character and personal development, promoting good mental wellbeing. Research suggests that there are enabling character traits which can improve educational attainment, engagement with school and attendance. A literature review for the Education Endowment Foundation and Cabinet Office found that:

  • High self-efficacy, or self-belief, is associated with better performance, more persistence and greater interest in work;
  • Highly motivated children (linked to tenacity) driven internally and not by extrinsic rewards show greater levels of persistence and achievement;
  • Good self-control (or self-regulation, the ability to delay gratification) is associated with greater attainment levels; and
  • Having good coping skills (part of being able to bounce back) is associated with greater well-being.

Through our curriculum we empower pupils, equipping them with the skills and emotional resilience to thrive in an uncertain world and protect and safeguard them from exploitation and unnecessary risk. Through our curriculum we bring hope and real opportunities for our children to have aspirations, to be safe and have the resilience to  to be successful and remain in education, training and employment, progressing towards social and economic independence and building a better future for themselves, their families and the Manchester community of which they are an integral part.

At Bridgelea we understand that good literacy skills provide our pupils with the building blocks not just for academic success, but for fulfilling careers and rewarding lives. A disadvantaged child in England is still more than twice as likely as their classmates from more advantaged homes to leave primary school without reaching the expected levels in reading and writing. (EEF April 2017). The English curriculum encourages the foundations of early reading and writing skills, in an age appropriate accessible manner. The use of quality texts, opportunities to develop oracy and speaking and listening skills underpin our approach to literacy.  Staff are trained in ELKLAN approaches and use this to understand the communication needs of the pupils. Staff develop the use of visuals, support increased processing time and create scripts to enable children to be successful in their development. Language is a vital means if communication and staff are attuned to children to support and challenge unhelpful and negative beliefs about themselves and build resilience. 

At Bridgelea we want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. We want our children to use the vibrancy of Manchester to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, cooperate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with Rights Respecting, Nurture, British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach. We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value and essential knowledge we offer to really inspire our children and prepare them for their future success.

Implementation

Our curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each phase crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. Curriculum leaders have developed subject specific overviews and rationales which underpin what we expect the children to learn, do and remember across the statutory curriculum. These overviews underpin all work in these subjects and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. This can be found in the Curriculum Subject Overviews. 

At Bridgelea we also have our Rainbow Curriculum which captures our overarching aims and principles that can drive and shape all levels of planning, thereby delivering a cohesive curriculum throughout the school. We are currently introducing the from Enabling Enerterprise.

To facilitate coverage of both the statutory and wider curriculum teachers create “ A vehicle” to deliver the curriculum learning to children. The vehicle is a project that does not have its focus primarily on the subjects of the National Curriculum but is rooted in a real life experience that children engage with for up to a term. The key focus in all of these projects has been to deliver the wider aims of the “Rainbow Curriculum” whilst using the academic strands of the National Curriculum subjects to facilitate it. 

We empower our staff to organise their curriculum as they see fit to best suit the needs of the pupils in their care. They are best placed to make these judgements. A good vehicle:

  • Draws on all areas of the Rainbow Curriculum and national curriculum.
  • Drives learning throughout the term, rather than being a 'bolt-on' way of showcasing work at the end of term.
  • Is integral to the delivery of your curriculum. Removing the vehicle would mean the term becomes a set of unrelated, albeit potentially creative, learning activities. If you ask a pupil what they're doing and they don't talk about the overall aim for the vehicle, it's likely your vehicle has become a 'bolt-on'.
  • Inclusive of interpersonal skills such as communication, creative problem-solving, self-awareness, and collaboration skills.
  • Replicates life in the 'real world'. This gives context to the national curriculum
  • Uses an outside client wherever possible, to give the vehicle a purpose. For example, an internal newspaper is not as exciting as one that'll be made and distributed in the local community. This supports the children at Bridgelea, who can often become isolated due to exclusion to create links within the Manchester community.
  • Draws on expertise from the community, including specialists, outside visitors and out-of-school visits wherever possible and relevant.
  • Aligns with the teacher's passions and enthusiasms.
  • Integrating certain national curriculum subjects into the vehicle
  • It's easier to integrate skills-based subjects (such as English, art, DT, and ICT) into vehicles compared to content-driven subjects, such as history, geography, science, PE and RE. 
  • RE and PE are taught as discrete subjects within the timetable.
  • There's a rolling programme of science that releases teachers from 'having to' integrate science. About half of science is taught discretely, and half is taught as part of the vehicle.
  • One vehicle each year has a historical focus.
  • Pupils have a geography fieldwork week in Key Stage 2.
  • Subject coordinators track national curriculum coverage, so that they can flag where additional, discrete lessons are necessary to fulfil national curriculum requirements.

We have a variety of resources and schemes of work and teachers use these thoughtfully to ensure the learning taking place is progressive and challenging. The varied expertise and experience of class teachers and visiting specialists are drawn on to deliver high quality learning experiences for the pupils. 

We have a developing digital curriculum and pupils make good use of technology across the curriculum. We have a specialist Music teacher and our pupils enjoy showcasing and performing for friends and family regularly throughout the year.  We have a specialist Art teacher and our pupils enjoy creating and sharing their art with friends and family regularly throughout the year.

In addition to our nurture curriculum, PHSE and healthy schools, health and wellbeing is supported through our work with rights respecting and our ethos and celebration of wider achievement. The success of our curriculum is through the delivery of high-quality learning and teaching. A wide range of interactive teaching strategies are implemented by all staff, where approaches to learning and assessment are varied and pupil-centred. Direct teaching, individual and group work, text-based work and practical work, the use of IT to support learning, outdoor learning, global citizenship and educational visits are examples of approaches and methodologies designed to actively engage our pupils in their learning.

Impact

We encourage learners to be involved in their learning experiences and to participate in decision making across the school. We are a Elklan Language Friendly, Silver Rights Respecting and Nationally accredited Nurturing school.  Positive relationships are at the heart of everything we do in our school. Learners are encouraged to share their learning inside and outside of school in a variety of ways, building confidence in their ability to experience success with high aspirations and develop as confident individuals. Listed below are some of the ways we celebrate success. 

  • Open afternoons  
  • Achievements shared in assemblies  
  • School concerts and christmas shows  
  • Stars of the week awards 
  • Whole school displays
  • Competitions  
  • Class blogs
  • School website and Twitter feed  
  • Progress meetings with teachers, pupils and parents

Where there are barriers to children’s learning progress, be that educational or emotional we use the wellbeing indicators (captured in PASS) and The Boxall Profile to assess the children and identify barriers to learning. We then look for ways to provide additional support. This may be differentiated work in class, a little extra support from a teacher, more challenging tasks, projects or a referral to one of our partner agencies including Speech & Language Therapy, Educational Psychology. Working in partnership with parents and pupils is vital in ensuring we are meeting the needs of our pupils and families. 

A variety of formative and summative assessment processes are used to determine progress. Assessment is seen as part of learning and teaching and there are high quality interactions and feedback between pupils and teachers to promote thinking and demonstrate learning and development. We are developing the use of Classroom Monitor as a school. When effective, feedback will cause an improvement in the quality of work produced by the pupil. The challenge, though, is creating a process that will allow every pupil in every lesson to receive feedback that will help them progress. This is a key area of improvment on 2020-2021. At Bridgelea we aim to ensure that feedback is: 

  • Manageable – the feedback process will not be effective if it is a burden to the teacher providing it. 
  • Meaningful – feedback needs to be related to pupils’ learning outcomes and communicated in a way that they can access. 
  • Motivating – any feedback given should have a positive impact on subsequent work

Assessment of a learner’s progress and achievement is based on a teacher’s professional judgement of their knowledge, understanding and skills in curriculum areas. Teachers assess learning using a variety of approaches and use a wide range of evidence. Evidence of children and young people's progress and achievements will come from day to day learning and through the things they make, write, say, or do.

Assessment information is analysed by Curriculum Leads, the Senior Leaders and Headteacher as part of our monitoring cycle. Pupil progress reviews are conducted termly and subject reviews are completed half termly with SLT to enhance curriculum development. This process provides the SLT and Governors with an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education at Bridgelea.

We set out our monitoring cycle at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring for all classes is undertaken in all subject areas. Monitoring includes: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and staff voice. All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.

 

Useful Links

http://www.doingsmsc.org.uk/british-values/

https://www.manchesterhealthyschools.nhs.uk/about-us

https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/

https://www.nurtureuk.org/news/national-nurturing-schools-programme

https://www.globalgoals.org/

https://www.skillsbuilder.org/

https://www.manchesterhealthyschools.nhs.uk/news/curriculum-for-life-launch

 

 

 

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