The Curriculum Blog

Wave Trust have been recently announced as the winners of the Youth Sport Trust Award for Outstanding Inclusive Practice, in recognition of our practical 'PE in a Box' test and trial project. 

This is a huge achievement and reflects the hard work and commitment of staff at the Trust to not only ensure our pupils receive a high quality experience of physical education, but to learn together as thinking, solutions-focussed and reflective practitioners. 

Last term, over 40 members of staff from across our Alternative Provision Academies came together at Stansfield AP in Exeter for a day of Physical Education training around YST TOPS training and our PE in a Box resources. 

This is part of our planned roll out of 'PE in a Box' -a test and trial project, designed with the support of the Youth Sport Trust, to find solutions to the barriers of providing high quality PE Education in Alternative Provision, so resolutely captured in the Research Report of Dr Thomas Quarmby, Professor Anthony J. Maher, Dr Oliver Hooper at Leeds Beckett University.

At Wave Trust, we prioritise physical education in its broadest sense: exercise, movement, play, physical literacy and the joy this can bring as we re-engage and prepare our pupils for life beyond our Academies, and in the wider world. And we are determined to find solutions to barriers.

At Wave Trust, we reflect the National Picture of provision for Physical Education in Alternative Provision. Often (but not always): Lack of facility; space; expertise; team sports; the many hats of the AP teacher and lack of PE specialism;  perceptions and attitudes carried over from previous experiences in school...

And we equally know the power of physical literacy; the joy and freedom of movement; the leadership and self direction that sports enable. 

To play is to be human, after all. 

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.

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!

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 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. 

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

As you encounter a broad curriculum, your exposure to new words that don't appear so much in everyday speech increases. 'Symbiosis' in Biology, or 'propaganda' in History for example. How do you learn these new words? How do you remember them? The English language is diverse and spelling can seem random at times and not adhering to patterns and rules. Why the silent 'B' in 'Doubt'? Why does 'ough' make different sounds? By understanding the stories, routes and history of some of our increasingly complex subject specific vocabulary (the etymology), we can enrich our learning and understanding in ways beyond just learning to spell them...'While spelling may sometimes seem random or unexpected', this short video with Gina Cook at TED, 'illuminates how peeling back the layers of spelling helps us understand the complex history and meaningful structure of words'.

"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.