The curriculum at TALA is everything we plan that students should learn, do and experience throughout their time with us. We believe this is important because we believe that Learning Changes Lives. That’s why we exist!
We design our curriculum to support students to learn in four different areas: to know, to do, to be and to live together. This definition comes from a UNESCO report into the purposes of education (1996). What does this mean?
Learning to know– is about gaining knowledge that helps students to become educated, have cultural and social capital and to understand the world and people around them. We believe that subject specific knowledge is very important and we define and test the knowledge that we believe students should have in each subject. We set flipped learning/ preview to help students gain some of this knowledge before lessons so teachers can then help them to consolidate and apply this learning in the classroom.
Learning to do– is about gaining and developing skills. We specifically aim to develop the academic skills of analysis, evaluation and problem solving through our KS3 curriculum and we also want students to become self-managing and independent. This includes our flipped learning/ preview teaching model and our student leadership programmes throughout the Academy. Subjects also develop specific skills, such as using equipment safely in science and food technology or shooting and passing in PE.
Learning to be– is about developing emotional awareness, resilience, intelligence and happiness. This is planned for through our PSHCE program, our enrichment program, our tutoring, mentoring and pastoral care programs and through how we live out our LANFRANC values (Learning, Achievement, Nurture, Fellowship, Resilience, Active, Nobility, Community). Our sporting and residential activities (we aim for every Year 7 to attend a residential trip) also help students develop their character.
Learning to Live Together– is about learning to value being part of a community. Through PSHCE students learn about the global, national and local communities of which we are a part and we celebrate our diversity through Academy events and the design of our curriculum. Through the prefect and Academy Council systems and our sports leadership programme we aim to help students to learn and value community and each other.
The way we teach is also part of our curriculum.
Subject specific knowledge is at the heart of what we do. Each department has defined what students should learn in each term in every year using schemes of work and knowledge organisers. Students are helped to remember what they have learnt through interleaving and spaced learning.
Our teaching model also includes Preview (Flipped Learning) in every year group. Every week all teachers will set some preview to be completed at home before a lesson.
We also teach key skills explicitly in KS3. In every subject teachers plan to teach, and then report on, skills of analysis (breaking information down and organising it to help understand a topic), evaluation (using your analysis and knowledge to make a judgement based on criteria) and problem solving (using the “plan, monitor, evaluate” model to work increasingly independently on subject specific tasks and problems).
We focus on effort by reporting on Attitude to Learning in subjects. This is used to reward students showing the most positive attitudes and to spot where we need to intervene to support students.
Developing a love of reading and encouraging regular and rigorous reading is also a key aspect of our curriculum model– this is why all students in Year 7 are part of the Accelerated Reader Scheme.