Our curriculum supports our vision of Success for All. We offer a rich, broad and balanced curriculum which prepares students for the next phases in their education or employment and allows students to ACHIEVE their full potential.
Knowledge is Power allows us to ensure we have a knowledge rich curriculum. Our subject leaders have thought carefully about the key knowledge students need to remember in order to be successful in their subject. The curriculum is well sequenced. Staff carefully consider prior learning and have a clear rationale for the topics covered and the order in which they are delivered. This allows students to build on knowledge and make progress year on year. We recognise the need to help students retain key knowledge and teach Thinking Hard strategies to ensure students can remember key content. Our weekly CPD programme ensure staff are up to date on the latest educational research and that this is used to plan effective lessons.
We recognise the importance of literacy across the curriculum. Key subject specific vocab is taught to ensure students can access the curriculum. Students are encouraged to answer questions in full sentences using key vocab where appropriate. All subjects are encouraged to teach extended writing through our Right to Write programme.
Our whole school initiative character is key ensures character education is at the forefront of what we do. A focus on the 5Rs allow students to become Resilient, Resourceful, Reflective learners who Respect each other and take Responsibility for their learning and behaviour.
Our curriculum is ambitious for all students. Our setting arrangements are fluid as we believe students develop at different rates and that one student may excel in one subject but need support in another. At KS3 students study a curriculum that goes beyond the National Curriculum. Our KS3 curriculum does not narrow too early allowing students to study a range of important topics providing a good foundation for KS4 and just as importantly providing them with a core of knowledge for the future in the option subjects they may not study after Year 9. Raising aspirations and developing cultural capital is important given our local context. Alongside our taught KS3 curriculum, our outstanding Out of School Hours Learning programme, drop down ACHIEVE days and extra -curricular offer help us achieve this
We offer a wide range of courses at KS4 and KS5. The breadth of our curriculum offer meets the needs and local context of our school community. Our free but guided option choice in KS4 means students are engaged in courses they enjoy, leading to improved behaviour and outcomes. Our destination data and positive progress data shows that our curriculum is effective.
TIMETABLE AND CURRICULUM DESIGN
At JRCS we have a three-year KS3. We believe this is important to ensure students gain a broad education covering a variety of subjects which promotes cultural capital and social mobility.
We have a good balance of subjects as detailed in the table below:
|Subject||Hours per fortnight|
|Year 7||Year 8||Year 9|
|DT and Food||3||3||4|
At KS4 all students study English, Maths, Science, PE (non- exam) and PSHE. Students must then take one option from the following subjects: French, Geography, History. Students then have three further guided option choices from the wide range of courses that are listed below. The timetable and option blocks are then constructed around student choices which allows us to have a number of pathways for our students’ ensuring students are on courses that interest them and promote engagement.
|Hours per fortnight|
|Year 10||Year 11|
|English Language and English Literature GCSE||8||10|
|Dual or Triple Science GCSE||8||8|
|Option subjects x 4||5 per subject||5 per subject|
GCSE: Art, Business Studies, Computer Science, DT Product Design, Dance, Drama, Food Science, French, Geography, History, Media Studies, Music, PE, RS, Spanish, Triple Science.
BTEC: Business and Enterprise, Construction, Engineering, Food and Catering.
At KS5 we work with four other schools in order to strengthen the breadth of our curriculum offer. The formal curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities of the Five School Partnership is intended to have a positive impact on students’ personal development, behaviour and welfare.
There is a wide range of subjects and study programmes offered and these include Level 3 academic and vocational programmes as well as Level 1 vocational programmes. The Level 3 programme of study is intended to enable aspirational progression to higher education or higher-level apprenticeships. The Level 1 programme of study is intended to enable students to progress onto appropriate employment or Level 2 studies, with emphasis on life skills and preparing students beyond education.
The enrichment curriculum develops leaders of the future through its varied programme of extra-curricular and pastoral activities. It gives ample opportunity for students to develop their own sense of character and breeds a positive culture of philanthropy through connection with social issues around them. It also has a focus on health, both physical and mental, providing students with the skills of resilience and empathy preparing them for life in the 21st century.
The curriculum structure facilitates students to be able to follow a range of future career pathways including medicine, law, architecture and the creative industries. Information, advice and guidance is provided to students through specific programmes within the curriculum that enhance employability skills and ambitious advancement. Our KS5 offer can be seen on our Sixth Form webpage.
Knowledge is Power
Jo Richardson is a school that fundamentally believes the teaching and learning of knowledge builds foundations for skill progression which is crucial for student development. In order for students to achieve their full potential, they should be equipped with the knowledge and skills that are essential for success in external examinations. Additionally, we believe knowledge acquisition is crucial to develop a cultural capital within our students that enables them to access opportunities later in life. Developing a strong academic grounding alongside an understanding of common cultural reference points supports social mobility and provides opportunities for our students.
The whole school Knowledge is Power initiative is designed to support teachers to effectively help students develop the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to be successful in the classroom. This initiative was first launched in September 2018 with a focus on the importance of first time, initial learning to help students encode information into long-term memory. Each half-term a new ‘thinking hard’ strategy was introduced which forced students to engage with material and strengthen retention and retrieval paths to the long-term memory.
After much success in the launch year of the Knowledge is Power initiative, the focus for September 2019 shifted towards vocabulary. Our Teaching and Learning Policy states, “In the first instance, knowing the meaning of words and having the ability to decode language is crucial for child development.” Supporting our students to be successful in the exam hall and developing their cultural capital to ensure they are not socially excluded from opportunities later in life are both very important at JRCS. In order to support student success in these ways, we recognise vocabulary development to be an invaluable tool.
Heads of Department have a clear knowledge about what students are expected to know by the end of each Key Stage. Each department has clearly thought through how learning is sequenced, and the building blocks put in place for students to progress.
Character is Key
Character education is essential in ensuring Success for All. Through the initiative Character is Key we have ensured that the key character traits we believe our students need to be successful are developed through our pastoral work and the taught curriculum. These traits are the 5Rs:
The 5Rs are embedded into lessons, assemblies and tutor time activities as part of our taught and pastoral curriculum. Students are rewarded for demonstrating these traits as they are integral to our ACHIEVE criteria.
INTERVENTIONS AND PASTORAL CURRICULUM
Due to the complex demographic of the local area, pastoral care is key to inclusion because students need to feel a sense of belonging with consistent boundaries and effective routines. The pastoral team will ensure that students are fit for school and able to thrive. In addition to this, whole school priorities such as, literacy, Knowledge is Power and Character is Key will be delivered through the tutor time and assembly programme. Our approach aims to ensure that students leave as well-rounded individuals who are able to access opportunities and successfully cope with the challenges faced in modern day Britain. This programme is implemented by all year teams in a sequenced and well-considered manner to fulfil this vision by the time students leave JRCS.
British Values SMSC Character is Key Knowledge is Power Careers OSHL
To develop a pastoral curriculum which:
- Teaches and consolidates British Values in a range of contexts, including promoting democracy and the individual’s role in society through effective student leadership;
- Explores the breadth of the SMSC curriculum;
- Provides students with the opportunity to establish their future career paths and give their learning a context;
- Explores the values of a successful individual in society through the Character is Key and Knowledge is Power programme;
- Engaging and motivating student success through the reward programme that includes the ACHIEVE agenda, inter-form competition and other competitive activities;
- Enabling students to recognise online and offline risks to their wellbeing;
- Promotes difference as a positive and provides an inclusive environment that fosters a culture of success for all and endorses equality;
- Any other area responsive to the needs of individual year groups, including the context in which they operate;
- To support the whole school curriculum by devoting time to deliver initiatives and projects;
- Supports Heads of Department by analysing performance data and identifying students who need additional support or intervention;
- Advertises and actively promotes out of hours learning to support our healthy schools agenda;
- Develops a network of external experts to harness opportunities for work experience.
(There is a planning map for each of the coloured themes above)
The above will be assessed through:
- Report monitoring;
- Student and staff questionnaires;
- Parental responses;
- Student voice;
- OSHL participation figures;
- SMSC audit.
Relationships and Sex Education
As part of our Personal Social and Health Education curriculum, students are taught about the importance of healthy relationships. The curriculum is planned to deliver knowledge needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds. Students are informed about how to keep themselves safe and healthy and have good relationships with others. Our programmes of study build on essential knowledge covering different types of relationships and how to recognise healthy and unhealthy relationships of all kinds. In addition, the curriculum covers how relationships can affect health and wellbeing. This aspect is further developed by taking safety online into account. Factual knowledge about sex, sexual health and sexuality are taught within the context of relationships.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (or SMSC) is part of everything we do at Jo Richardson. British Values are integral to SMSC and underpin our school’s ACHIEVE values. We take a thoughtful and deliberate approach.
SMSC is embedded into our curriculum and teaching staff plan for opportunities to develop students’ ability to reflect on their learning. Our curriculum, our assembly programme, our tutor time programme and our Student Voice programme ensure SMSC is wide-ranging.
Student Voice elections provide an opportunity for students to engage in decision making and democratic processes. Students are actively encouraged to respect everyone in our community and to ensure that everyone in our community is treated equally. Spiritual development is about how students reflect on their own beliefs and how they respect the feelings and values of others. Moral development can be seen in the decisions students make between right and wrong, how they put their actions right and reflect on those actions. Social development includes a respect for individual liberty and the law. We prepare students for a positive life in modern Britain both through our ACHIEVE agenda and learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. Students participate and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities and have an appreciation of cultural influences that shape their lives and the lives of others.
Fundamental British Values form an essential part of our SMSC work both in and out of the classroom. We plan for our students to engage with opportunities that encourage them to take on the fundamental values of democracy, respect for the rule of the law, respect for others and respect for individual liberties. These values are wholly supported by our Character is Key 5Rs and the ACHIEVE agendas.
Out of School Hours Learning (OSHL)
The curriculum is more than just the taught curriculum. At Jo Richardson we offer students a broad range of opportunities and experiences. We believe that these opportunities provide students with the opportunity to develop our key character traits of Respect, Responsibility, Resourcefulness, Resilience and Reflection. Each year we collapse our timetable to offer students five ACHIEVE days. During these days the whole school is engaged in trips and visits or workshops which enrich the curriculum. On top of this we run a number of national and international trips, offer our Student Voice programme, our Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, as well as trips that extend other areas of the curriculum.
Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)
Our aim is for all students at Jo Richardson to access the necessary knowledge, skills, understanding and experience through a varied careers provision across the curriculum and extra-curriculum, which supports them to succeed in learning and make informed choices about their pathways to future employment. This is guided by the national framework of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks which helps schools deliver and monitor ‘good career guidance’. Our careers programme is mapped out across departments and year groups to ensure a balance of opportunity is given to all students in their time at Jo Richardson. We quality assure the ongoing work that we do using the Compass tool, and look at ways to develop our provision further.
|1.||A stable careers programme||Every school and college should have an embedded programme of careers education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.|
|2.||Learning from career and labour market information||Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.|
|3.||Addressing the needs of each pupil||Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.|
|4.||Linking curriculum learning to careers||All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.|
|5.||Encounters with employers and employees||Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.|
|6.||Experiences of workplaces||Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.|
|7.||Encounters with further and higher education||All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.|
|8.||Personal guidance||Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.|
If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the School Office on 020 8270 6222 or contact Ms L Keane at LKeane@jorichardson.org.uk