Curriculum Statement / Vision
Our aim at Blessed William Howard is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education that develops the God-given talents in all of them and prepares them for success in life; spiritually, socially and academically, creating students with a love of learning.
Our curriculum is designed to provide children with the core knowledge they need for success in education and later life, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person allowing all students to become the person God has created them to be, making a difference in the world around them.
To be educated is to be learned – to know about God’s creation and about people who are part of it. However, facts and skills are of little value unless we have wisdom also – the ability to see what is important and what is not. Drawing on the best that’s been thought, said and taught in each subject, we hope that our curriculum enables children to appreciate and participate in the full richness of God’s creation and the human experience allowing students to discern the importance of each subject matter. Subjects work together to identify knowledge and develop students’ cognitive ability to recall knowledge and information, helping them to become self-regulated lifelong learners.
The curriculum in each subject is set out on the 5 year curriculum maps that may be accessed and viewed on the subject pages.
We recognise the intrinsic value of both knowledge and skills that are subject-specific. However, at Blessed William Howard we strive to create successful learners with engrained study habits. Therefore, our school curriculum and lessons are marked by a focus on cognitive and metacognitive skills. The teacher will enable all pupils to grapple with the same challenging content, with additional support for pupils who need it, utilising students working memory to study a topic in-depth to become fluent in the subject area. In our lessons, you will see clear success criteria that allow students to understand how to be successful in each and every lesson, knowledge recall to free up working memory and challenging and aspirational subject matter.
At Key Stage 4 we encourage students to study GCSE option routes with the EBACC the preferred suite of subjects to be studied. A small number of vocational courses are offered to ensure sufficient breadth in the curriculum for all learners is maintained.
In order to create successful lifelong learners, early catch up is essential: we aim to promptly identify and support pupils who start secondary school without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics so that they can access the full curriculum.
The curriculum at Blessed William Howard consists of many aspects that form the Catholic Education that students receive – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, vocational, social and cultural development, the pastoral system and the ethos, prayer and worship and the ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – are to be seen as part of the overall school curriculum. Above all, we are hoping to create learned students who, finding God in all things; are wise in the ways they use their learning for the common good.
Our formative assessments are designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject.
This means that in lessons pupils are quizzed on prior knowledge in order to embed this knowledge in their long term memory. This frees up their working memory to attend to current learning. We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing. Success criteria provide students with key knowledge and skills to be achieved in that lesson and subject enabling them to obtain the key knowledge they require in order to be able to perform higher-level functions such as analysis and evaluation. We also encourage all pupils to read widely and provide guided reading lists to students, parents and carers.
Every student at Blessed William Howard is a ‘gift entrusted to us by God at this moment in History’ (St John Bosco). Therefore, we ensure through our curriculum plan, which encompasses all of school life, we will see students gain fluent knowledge and skills in each subject area, whilst developing their values and virtues to become the person that God has created them to be.