Curriculum Statement. At Oxford Spires Academy we:
- Define the curriculum as meaning everything that we do that holistically impacts on a child’s learning and development. This includes but is not limited to:
- Provide a broad and balanced curriculum that celebrates the value of each subject equally.
- Recognise that the curriculum is broader than examination specifications and encourage teachers to enrich students beyond the restrictions of the syllabus.
- Believe that the curriculum should enable all students to achieve their best whatever their ability on entry and career goals. This is achieved through a fully inclusive curriculum and individualised advice and guidance.
- Believe that the curriculum should motivate all students to want to learn and prepares students for their future.
- Believe that teacher subject knowledge, questioning skills and general expertise are crucial to good learning and that good professional development is every teacher’s right and responsibility.
- Understand that students learn differently to each other and that their learning needs change over time and that the curriculum should be flexible enough to respond effectively to this.
- Understand that learning is different in different subjects and that faculties should have the freedom to develop learning activities that enable success in their subject area. This includes how they approach assessment, marking and feedback.
- Understand that deep learning takes place when students make connections between their learning in different subjects.
- Understand that knowledge and skills are intertwined. Knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill, and skills need to be developed to enable a student to gain knowledge. Our best teaching develops both.
- Understand that the learning process involves our five senses and that activities should capitalise on this by including a variety of tasks over time that utilise each sense. We further recognise that when learning involves more than one sense at the same time it is more likely to stick.
- Recognise that in any lesson students may have learning preferences on any of these continua, that their learning preference may change and that lessons should include aspects of all over time.
A major focus of our Academy Development Plan is teaching students how to take more ownership of their learning. Importantly, this includes how to deal with success and failure. We aim to get the balance right between giving helpful feedback that helps children improve their work while reducing stress and anxiety around exams. Our aim is to move towards an open, low-stakes form of feedback where individual assessments are reported back regularly, are helpful and meaningful.
We hope that parents will support this ethos by encouraging their children to ask teachers for feedback when they don’t understand and to prepare for lessons by reading more widely about the topics they are studying. There is clear evidence to show that students who do this improve their grades.