The Curriculum Blog

What Science will I teach, when I have 3 different Key Stage 3 Year groups in the same class, all with different amounts of prior learning of the subject I had planned to teach?

Last year, we invested in this very question, problem solving as a team, drawing on support of the Hubs and external experts, as well as on our own in house experts and Science Lead for some joined up problem solving.


The result is our Trust wide Science Benchmark Curriculum. And initial findings are positive…it’s enabling team work and sharing of approaches, resources and assessment practices in our behaviour APA.

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In Alternative Provision, we are review our curriculum provision regularly. In part, the transient nature of our pupil population necessitates this, as new groups form mid term, and classes in are not always year group defined.
This is the joy and craft of teaching in our sector. And ironically, the reason why having vision and clarity of the core subject intent matter so much. We are often long term planning for the unplannable.


Having a coherent, aspirational and planned subject offer is a non negotiable for us at WAVE Trust.
Because having a plan means you can deviate from a plan with confidence and reason.


Plans do not kill creativity, but encourage it.

Know your intent. Flex to reach it.

Our second Wave MAT chain story flying its way across the two counties last week is published here and based on the following picture prompt. Entitled 'The Sphere' this story was written by the amazing student writers at CHES AP, Stansfield AP, River Dart AP and Torlands AP with their English teacher. 

Thank you to the wonderful Wave writers who took part in this project. You are brilliant and we are all so proud of you!

 

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At Wave MAT, every day is 'Book Day' as we champion and celebrate reading throughout the year in our classrooms and beyond. However to mark 'World Book Day' on March 4th 2021, we ran 3 'Chain Stories' across our schools in Devon and Cornwall. Starting with a picture as a prompt, our schools were challenged with writing a section of the text (opening, development, climax and resolution) before passing it on to the next group of writers and their English teacher. 

We are so proud of our imaginative creative writers at Wave and their teachers. Where the stories began was rarely where we anticipated they would end up! The results are something that all participants involved can be very proud of, as published writers here. We can all be writers. We can all have a voice. 

 

Read 'The Door' here....written by the amazing students at CHES AP, North Cornwall AP, Restormel AP and Shoreline AP and their teachers. We are so proud of you and what you have acheived togther. The Door is published here:

 

 

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We recently ran a whole staff INSET exploring how we effectively develop students' literacy within Medical AP (with CHES and Sowenna in Cornwall and Torlands in Devon), and the unique challenges and opportunities therein. Equipping all our staff with the knowledge and understanding of the precise next literacy steps for each individual is key. Joining up conversations between English teachers and colleagues is important here as we look to sustain pedagogical change as well as enhance existing good practice in this area. 

One of the tools for developing literacy we explored on the day, with our guest speaker Andy Brumby, is ‘modelling'.

Andy has kindly followed this up with this article here:

Modelling regains its mojo!

 

If reading is too difficult, students are less likely to do it. Everything research tells us suggests that the gap between those who can read fluently and those who yet cannot when they join secondary school will widen. If you can do it, you will; and, because you are, you’ll keep getting better. If you don’t yet, and explicit attention isn’t given to this, progress in reading will stall. Reading becomes a chore; difficult and compounds a sense of failure when everything around you is saying ‘read more; reading rocks etc etc, you’ll never succeed if you don’t read’ etc etc

And we also know from research that we can make a difference by supporting students to choose texts that they are not only interested in, but that are closely matched to their current reading ability. Just the right level of difficulty in order to support fluency, and to introduce unfamiliar vocabulary at the right pace. If we get this part right, we are in a lot better position to be able to support continuing reading development and engagement.

 

 

Every AP within our MAT has an English lead teacher. Here are a few words from each about themselves, and their classrooms across the two counties...

 

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"The National Theatre Collection makes the best of British Theatre available worldwide to libraries, schools, universities and the wider education sector. Our unique collection presents high quality recordings of 30 world-class productions, giving you the best seats in the house whenever you want." 

Students and staff at WAVE can access the collection for free until the end of July 2020. For our GCSE students who study English Literature, you can watch acclaimed performances of Shakespeare's plays as well as adaptations of Frankenstein and other classics. Please ask your English teacher at WAVE for details of how to log in to the NT site:

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Teaching cursive handwriting is given time and attention in the primary curriculum in UK schools. Teaching how to type effectively shares less space currently within the national curriculum. And yet, as we know, we are all typists and increasingly so... 

Ever thought about learning to touch type? How many words to you punch into a screen every day? In today's fast moving world of technology and quick messaging, developing this skill could really help you to let your ideas and inner voice flow. During lockdown, it can be a great thing to have a go at learning something new, and it's never too late to learn.

You can do so for free in a course of online lessons here:

Touch typing course

There is a similar programme aimed to develop touch typing skills aimed at our younger primary students here:

BBC KS2 primary Touch Typing course

We know the importance of developing empathy in our young people and society, and we're seeing it in action in these current times as communities look to support each other. So what is empathy? And how can we develop it? Reading and discussing stories and characters is a great way! 

'In reading, you get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals'-Neil Gaiman

You can read more about the work and research underpinning how reading can help develop empathy and the work of EmpathyLab UK here:

EmpathyLabUK-find out more here

On June 9th 2020, it is Empathy Day, and a lot of free family learning resources have been produced to support home learning. There are videos of some great and classic stories; children's laureate Cressida Cowell and author Malorie Blackman leading online activities, as well as games and activities to support empathetic thinking and understanding. You can access these by clicking the link below.

Family Activities-Read for Empathy

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