As a result of The Change Schools programme in 2011 supported by Creative Partnerships, Ravenshall reviewed aspects of its curriculum, which placed creativity at the heart of its improvement plans for educating children and young people for the future. The Change Schools programme focused on generating long-term dialogue about creative teaching and learning, and how schools can become effective creative learning environments. Change Schools are encouraged to explore in depth how they are developing the conditions where creativity can thrive.
In KS3 the aim is to provide a global, yet personalised, curriculum that offers opportunity for discovery and achievement. The revised curriculum is designed to give pupils a strong sense of their own identity and thereby generate confidence and fulfilment and the belief that every individual can make a positive contribution.
The curriculum model encourages pupils to make discoveries, to be excited and to want to find out more. Learning will be personalised and achievements recognised and celebrated. The emphasis is on the development of skills and understanding and on encouraging learners to investigate and expand their subject knowledge through a range of activities designed for the individual.
The model is based on a central dimension through which all subjects can be recognised and coverage ensured, thus recognising the importance of each subject area whilst developing personal learning and thinking skills, through cross-curricular activities and learning.
The model recognises 6 units run half-termly each year and rolls over a three-year programme, meaning there will be 18 themes rolling over three years. THE CURRENT THEMES ARE BEING REVISED AND A NEW SUBJECT COORDINATOR FOR THE HUMANITIES IS IN THE PROCESS OF MATCHING THESE UP TO THE NEWLY REVISED NATIONAL CURRICULUM, INCORPORATING A NEW ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK, WHICH WILL ENABLE THE TRACKING OF PROGRESS OF KNOWLEDGE AND KEY SKILLS.
Engagement is a key factor, which will support learning and sustain motivation for all pupils. Students are encouraged to have an input about what is relevant to them within a particular theme and what questions they have to ask. This is then reflected in the planning by teachers.
Subject leaders and other colleagues are encouraged to discuss and share ideas and information with each other to ensure the areas of their subject that they feel to be important will still have a place in the curriculum. By linking all subjects to a central dimension it is hoped that no subjects will be taught as stand-alone areas of study.
The model actively encourages joint planning and pooling of ideas between colleagues.
Pupils will be placed in mixed-age classes where their skills and abilities have been considered. The dynamics of interpersonal skills will also be considered when the groups are set up.
Teachers will be responsible to ensure all planning reflects a breadth of progression in key skills for subject areas (in particular, geography and history) if teaching as a Topic. Other subject teachers can consider the thematic threads creatively in their own subject planning and delivery.
Each half-term, a dedicated day is given over to a particular theme, which forms the basis of a whole school drop down day, providing yet another engaging opportunity for pupils to learn creatively. Staff and pupils will discuss the possible themes for upcoming events and will then plan accordingly. A range of successful drop down days have explored a wide variety of pertinent areas which have included: British Values; Inspirational Women in History; Problem Solving; Christmas Crafts; German Day; World Book Day; Italian Day; Enterprise Day (Valentine's Day); Poetry Day; Green Day (Environmental); Health and Well-Being Day; Chines Culture Day; Spanish Day.
Drop Down Days continue to be a popular, well organised and successful aspect of the curriculum at Ravenshall, impacting on enrichment in learning and engagement.
The vocational-based ‘Pathways’ curriculum at Ravenshall offers students a chance to promote learning in a safe and structured environment and the opportunity to develop skills which may be appropriate to working life when they leave school.
This year, opportunities include a range of options, including Design Technology: Food Technology and Resistant Materials, GCSE Art and Design, Sports Leaders Programme, Peer Mentoring, Horticulture, Personal Progress, Life Skills, Music and working in ‘The Zone’.
Some of these ‘Pathways’ courses are taught to GCSE level or other accredited certifications.
All Key Stage 4 students at Ravenshall will have the opportunity to choose from a range of practical areas of study with some personalisation.
The wide range on offer endeavours to appeal to an individual's personal interests, strengths and ability levels.
It is intended that students leave school in Year 11 with more than one accreditation in a practical area, with skills for working life. Certification includes AQA: GCSE, Entry Level and the Unit Award Scheme and the Arts Award.
Students follow a long-term plan throughout years 10 and 11, and aim for accreditation in as many areas as possible.
The Vocational elements of KS4 Provision at Ravenshall aim to offer Key Stage 4 students an opportunity to: