At Ravenshead, providing our children with opportunities for learning which lead to maximum growth and development is our top priority, including designing and implementing a curriculum that is best suited to their needs. We want to provide them with a curriculum with both breadth and depth, that is highly relevant and purposeful, exciting for both staff and pupils, and that will really make a difference to their outlook and views. We aim to offer a wide range of inspiring, engaging and exploratory learning experiences, developing cultural capital through planned activities, such as residential trips, and teaching them about human creativity and achievement.
We want the pupils’ learning to be more ‘big picture’ oriented and less about ‘box ticking’, tapping into their strengths, such as a great work ethic and an eagerness to learn, as well as addressing their weaknesses.
Underpinning all of our core beliefs are our Christian Values of: Hope, Care, Community and Wisdom. These form the foundations to our learning and are embedded across the school ethos.
Our curriculum is centred around our focus of ‘taking care’: -
Taking care of ourselves.
Taking care of our learning.
Taking care of our community.
Taking care of our future.
Taking care with God.
We use Dimensions ‘Learning Means the World’ Curriculum as the vehicle for this, with a view to changing our pupils’ hearts, as well as their minds.
'Learning Means the World' is a fully integrated curriculum. By cutting across subject boundaries and emphasising unifying concepts, integration focuses on connected knowledge and skills, allowing pupils to engage in relevant, meaningful learning that can be connected to real life. This does not mean, however, that individual subject disciplines aren't taught. Pupils must have substantive and disciplinary knowledge embedded in the first place, in order to make meaningful, authentic connections.
'Learning Means the World' is a carefully thought-out curriculum model, consisting of individual subject schema through which concepts are woven together to give a high quality, multi-disciplinary approach to learning.
At the top level are four core areas - Communication, Conflict, Culture and Conservation.
There are clear end goals for these fours areas, which are referred to in the curriculum as World Issues.
These have led to the formulation of two 'big ideas' which have guided the selection of curriculum content for 'Learning Means the World'. This is then married to National Curriculum requirements, to ensure full coverage of the Programmes of Study.
In line with the centrally prescribed National Curriculum aims, the big ideas ensure pupils gain a real appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
- Leaders of societal change
- National leaders, Empires and Dynasties
- Inventions and Developments Exploration
- Disciplinary Discoveries
The 'big ideas', as well as the 4 Cs - Communication, Conflict, Culture and Conservation - provide the framework for learning to grow and develop. These strong threads help to develop the curriculum sequence diagonally, as well as horizontally and vertically.
There is clear domain specific, factual content (substantive knowledge) prescribed for the subjects, organised into a sequential flow within the thematic units. The subject fields are clearly marked, so there is no confusion around which domain(s) the pupils are working in. Subject specific vocabulary is also detailed in a progression across the phases. This learning is then interlinked, as appropriate, within the thematic units.
Disciplinary knowledge is anchored in the knowledge building system for each subject e.g. history - cause and consequence. Pupils learn that studying history involves learning about perspectives and interpretations, whereas learning about science focuses on aspects such as methods of investigation.
How does 'Learning Means the World' allow pupils to successfully 'learn the curriculum'?
The inter-connected network of skills and knowledge, which helps pupils develop their subject specific thinking, enables them to identify relationships between disciplines and make connections with increasing fluency in different and more complex situations.
Using the skills ladder in tandem with the knowledge building system, pupils are able to construct a clear subject narrative over time, with key foundation concepts and vocabulary further developed at every stage in the Learning Pathways. This leads to curriculum depth and lasting learning.
Subject Coverage Documents
This curriculum is underpinned by four highly relevant world issues, known as the four Cs:-
We believe that language is the key to learning. We want our pupils to be secure in reading, writing and speaking and listening skills, as we believe these are necessary tools in order to fully access the broader curriculum.
Our curriculum provides lots of opportunities for pupils to develop their language and vocabulary, thus enabling them to articulate their learning, express their thinking and opinions clearly in discussion, debate and presentation, as well as enabling collaboration and exchange of ideas.
We want our pupils to be thoughtful, effective and considerate communicators, learning to take account of context, audience and setting.
As a school that predominantly represents a white British demographic, with little personal experience of other ethnic groups, we want our pupils to fully appreciate and embrace cultural diversity, learning about and experiencing a range of different cultural and faith heritages.
We want them to value diversity, understand the roots and importance of cultural heritage and to behave in a respectful and tolerant way towards others, regardless of faith, ethnicity or background. We actively and explicitly promote cross-cultural friendship, respect, tolerance and understanding through ‘Learning Means the World’.
We believe that life skills should be taught throughout the curriculum and an understanding of responsible, respectful behaviour is an important aspect of learning. Having a developed understanding of sources of conflict and the importance of seeing things from others’ points of view, we believe, will make a difference to their own choices as they learn more about conflict resolution. We want our pupils to be able to work through their differences, instead of simply ignoring anyone they don’t agree with, whilst realising how important positive relationships are throughout life. We also want them to be able to put into action conflict resolution and modify their own behaviour to help them disagree in a constructive manner.
We are very blessed to have a school set in beautifully wooded grounds and we want our pupils to fully appreciate and benefit from this. We feel they will do this best through a curriculum that employs a more structured approach to developing environmental awareness and appreciation, not just at local, but also national and global levels, that ‘Learning Means the World’ offers. We want our pupils to be much more informed about conservation issues, realising that a ‘throw away’ attitude to resources and seeing everything as disposable has led to many environmental issues. We want them to care passionately about our world and to engage actively as good stewards of God’s world, both now and in the future.