Statement of Curriculum Intent
Our aim at Swanmore College is to provide an excellent academic education and experience for all pupils regardless of their prior ability, family circumstances or educational needs. We aim to ensure that pupils leave Swanmore ready for the next stage of their education and life regardless of what that may be. We do this by supporting pupils to become resilient, inquisitive and independent learners ready to take control of their own education and lives.
Our curriculum choices
At KS3, which covers Years 7, 8 and 9, our pupils study the full range of academic subjects as directed by the UK National Curriculum. Pupils make a choice as to which modern foreign language they study starting in Year 7. This enables them to be fully immersed in the language prior to potentially studying it for GCSE. Our Key Stage 3 is based on a mastery approach. This ensures that, with effort, all our pupils will meet expectations. Great teaching, engaging lessons and accurate formative assessment is embedded in all that we do to ensure pupils are challenged in all lessons.
In Year 9, pupils choose which optional subjects to study in Year 10 and 11 for their GCSEs. Pupils can choose from a range of subjects previously studied in Key Stage 3 and also subjects new to them. In addition to English, English Literature, Mathematics and Science, pupils can choose an additional three option subjects. We do not mandate that pupils choose to only study EBACC subjects (languages and humanities as well as English, Maths and Science). However we recommend that where appropriate, pupils choose a balance of subjects that will keep their options open later in their education. For some option subjects we guide the pupil toward the most appropriate course. For example in PE we currently offer GCSE PE as well as the vocational Cambridge Nationals PE course. Reviewing and adopting, where appropriate, the latest innovative courses allows us to offer the best qualifications for our pupils.
Option choices are limited to three GCSEs in order to ensure that the pupils are given an appropriate amount of time in Key Stage 4 in order to do well at these subjects. Our view is that it is more important to be challenged and do well at eight or nine GCSEs as opposed being average at ten or eleven.
At all stages of our curriculum design, we strive to ensure that the sequence of skills and knowledge learned builds as time progresses. We also look to maximise the connections in skills between subjects and have designed our curricula to ensure the links between subjects are optimised. Our curricula are designed to provide our pupils with both academic and life experiences.
At Swanmore College we embed the development of our pupils’ character into everything that we do. This manifests itself in how we build resilient and independent learnings through our LORIC reward system. In addition we encourage the development of character through encouraging active participation in our Student Council, after school clubs, the Pixl Edge programme, sporting and music participation and through the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
Swanmore College has an active PSHE programme delivered during tutor time that allows our pupils to explore and debate subjects such as British Values, Religious and Sex Education and staying healthy.
At Swanmore we have an ethos of equality. Our academic subjects are encouraged to teach pupils about the struggles and successes of people from diverse cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. Pupils are encouraged to celebrate diversity, share their views and to listen to, and respond to the views of others in a considered and respectful way.
Our Key Stage three focus
The ‘Key Focus’ of Year 7 is to ensure that all our pupils are active readers and are able to read and comprehend age specific texts. Reading and literacy is encouraged in all our subjects. Most importantly we encourage all pupils in Year 7 to understand the importance of reading as well as reading for enjoyment.
In Year 8 the ‘Key Focus’ becomes reading to develop a viewpoint and to articulate that viewpoint both in written and verbal form. Through our individual subject curricula we encourage students to use their reading skills to analyse written text and to summarise their views on it, both verbally and through written text.
In Year 9, our ‘Key Focus’ is developing the pupils’ ability to express their views in extended writing as well as continuing to verbally express their measured opinions.
Throughout Key Stage 3 we aim to ensure that pupils become independent learners through regularly setting and assessing meaningful homework in all subjects.
Our Key Stage four focus
In Key Stage four as our pupils study their GCSE subjects, we also focus on teaching our pupils how best to recall and revise key facts and skills. Independent learning through online tools and the development of revision strategies is developed in each subject as well as in whole school revision days. Staff understand and make use of the latest cognitive research (e.g. Rosenshine’s Principals) to ensure that learning is embedded and effective.
At Swanmore our curricula are developed and delivered by subject experts. We have a philosophy of continual improvement in our teaching. All staff are encouraged to keep up to date with current academic research both in their own subjects as well as in teaching generally. Staff are encouraged to understand how pupils learn (meta cognition) and to ensure that their teaching practise develops and improves continually. Our Teaching Research Teams draw from many disciplines within the school working collaboratively to research and implement the latest teaching pedagogy.
We carefully monitor and develop our teaching staff to ensure we deliver a positive experience and environment through a highly engaged college team.
Using a blend of different and new KS4 courses allows all pupils to find option subjects that meet their needs.
Our staff work together across all subject areas to ensure teaching pedagogy is current and effective.
Our curriculum ensures that pupils get the best opportunity to exceed their potential when the move to the next stage of their education.