Curriculum

 

 “ Understanding People” 

Vision & Values 

At Bridgelea school we want to help our children, families, and communities to understand themselves and others more. As a Nurture school, we feel that the nurture principles and approaches support us to develop and embed a nurturing culture throughout the school, enhancing teaching and learning, promoting healthy outcomes for children and young people, all by focusing on emotional needs and development as well as academic learning in a whole-school environment.  

As a gold Rights Respecting School children's rights are promoted and realised, adults and children work together to ensure children can access their rights. A Gold Rights Respecting School is a place where we can all feel confident with ourselves and it encourages us to use our voice. 

  • Pupils benefit from the approach that supports them in their specific needs while delivering teaching and learning in a way that all can access. The pupil is at the heart of our focus and their learning is understood developmentally. 
  • Parents and carers benefit from being involved and welcomed at  Bridgelea, in seeing the improvement in the children’s learning, behaviour, confidence, and attendance. A better outcome for their children both in and out of the school and classroom. 
  • Staff benefit from focusing on their pupils and a more balanced measure of outcomes for individual pupils ensue.  
  • Our community, Manchester, benefits from having a school that wants to be at the heart of the community and demonstrates its central role in children's and young people’s lives. 

 

Bridgelea Values and Nurturing Principles 

Communication 

We seek to understand each other better through clear and effective communication.  

Well-being 

Being inclusive is intrinsic in our approach with learners, staff, parents, and governors.  

Nurture 

We seek to ensure our learners and staff feel safe and supported in every aspect of their lives. 

Resilience 

We want to equip our children with the knowledge and skills to independently sustain their choices. 

Aspiration 

We have the highest aspirations for our learners and staff and will stop at nothing to deliver it. 

NP: Language is a vital means of communication. 

NP: All behaviour is communication. 

NP: The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing. 

NP: The classroom offers a safe base. 

NP: The Importance of transition in children’s lives. 

 

 

NP: Children's learning is understood developmentally. 

 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 reflect 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 Bridgelea 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 that 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;
  • 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 these 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 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 develops the use of visuals, supports increased processing time and creates scripts to enable children to be successful in their development. Language is a vital means of 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 that 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. 

 We are currently working towards a Thinking School Accreditation. We are working hard to embed a whole school approach resulting in a common language and framework which enables children to talk explicitly about thinking and to understand there are different kinds of thinking.  We have introduced eight thinking maps which are used to help children organise their thinking, whether it be in story planning, classifying and sorting information, understanding relationships, or considering cause and effect. At Bridgelea we believe that you can increase the life chances of children by helping them build useful mental models. Creating persistent changes in their knowledge by harnessing and directing pupil thinking.  

The next stage is to introduce the 16 habits of mind which develop the skills and attitudes necessary for life-long learning. Children are encouraged to reflect on their learning, identify their thinking strengths and areas for improvement, set themselves goals, and celebrate their successes.  We are loving becoming a Thinking School! 

 

Implementation 

Theory of Learning 

As a school, we have been thinking about learning and how to help understand our children as learners to enrich and improve our curriculum. While learning is hugely important, it is also vastly complex. Through our work on memory and metacognition within Bridgelea, we are developing our curriculum and a shared language of learning. Referring to the process of learning as thinking and the product of learning as knowledge.  

At Bridgelea we want our children to know more, do more, and remember more. Thinking is the process that precipitates such a change, a process involving our working memory. Many of the children at Bridgelea present with working memory deficits and it is crucial that we understand how this impacts children’s learning and how our curriculum and its implementation can limit the impact of these difficulties. Many of our children present with attention and concentration difficulties and this is also a key component of effective learning. 

As a school we are exploring the ‘Theory of Learning – based in working memory – long term memory model’ and how an improved understanding of our children’s learning, using this model, can lead to improvements to our teaching approaches. This theory is underpinned by the following principles: 

  1.  People can only attend to a limited number of stimuli at once.  
  2. Prior knowledge determines what students can learn. 
  3. Working memory capacity is limited. 
  4. Memory is a residue of thought.  
  5. Children may commit incomplete or incorrect ideas to their long-term memory. 
  6. Forgetting is inevitable. 
  7. Information can be stored in increasingly sophisticated mental models. 

Our curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each phase are 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.  

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 judgments. Staff work within milepost teams to support this.  

  • Mile Post 1: Year 1 and Year 2 
  • Mile Post 2: Year 3 and Year 4 
  • Mile Post 3: Year 5 and Year 6 

Children and teachers have access to 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 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. 

We have a developing digital curriculum and pupils make good use of technology across the curriculum. This has been further enhanced by our work with the DFE Demonstrator Programme and the implementation of Microsoft 365 and access to additional DFE laptops within the school. 

In addition to our nurture curriculum, SRE, 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-centered. 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 an Elklan Language Friendly, Gold 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. Examples of this include: 

  • Open afternoons   
  • Achievements shared in assemblies   
  • School concerts and Christmas shows   
  • Stars of the week awards  
  • Whole school displays 
  • Competitions   
  • Class blogs & Newsletters
  • The 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.  

 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 judgment 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. 

The 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. 

 

How do we capture progress? 

Bridgelea 

Value 

Communication 

Having good communication skills. 

We seek to understand each other better through clear and effective communication.  

Well-being 

Highly motivated children. 

Being inclusive is intrinsic in our approach with learners, staff, parents, and governors.  

Nurture 

Having good self-control.  

We seek to ensure our learners and staff feel safe and supported in every aspect of their lives. 

Resilience 

Having good coping skills.  

We want to equip our children with the knowledge and skills to independently sustain their choices. 

Aspiration 

 High self-efficacy.  

We have the highest aspirations for our learners and staff and will stop at nothing to deliver it. 

Nurturing Principle 

NP: Language is a vital means of communication. 

NP: All behaviour is communication. 

NP: The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing. 

NP: The classroom offers a safe base. 

NP: The Importance of transition in children’s lives. 

NP: Children's learning is understood developmentally. 

How do we monitor & capture impact? 

  • SALT Assessments and progress within a SALT intervention. 
  • Iris Data- tracking serious incidents of behaviour. 
  • Retreat intervention monitoring. 
  • Boxall Profile: Diagnostic strands. 
  • Pivats Speaking & Listening (To be introduced Summer 2022) 
  • Habits of Mind Autumn 2022 
  • PASS data 
  • Iris data 
  • Attendance data 
  • Retreat intervention monitoring. 
  • SEND review paperwork. 

 

  • CPom tracking 
  • SEND review paperwork 
  • Iris data 
  • Attendance data. 
  • PASS data 
  • Iris data 
  • Attendance data 
  • Retreat intervention monitoring. 
  • SEND review paperwork. 

 

  • Pass Data 
  • NGRT 
  • Classroom Monitor data reading, writing, maths 
  • Boxall Profile: developmental profile. 
  • SEND review paperwork.  

 

 

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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