Curriculum intent:

At Huntcliff we believe in providing our students with a challenging and stimulating learning environment. The curriculum is planned and delivered with the aim of allowing all students, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or ability, the opportunity to achieve their best. Students at Huntcliff usually work according to their age. Grouping by ability in some areas enables students to move through the programmes of study at an appropriate pace and with appropriate challenge.

Our curriculum has undergone a full review now the new GCSEs are in place and in planning for changes we want to ensure that the learning experience for all students is balanced but has the depth and breadth. We are re-considering programmes of study to make sure lessons are sequential with the progression of knowledge over both key stages and that students develop their ability to apply learned knowledge. We want students to go beyond rote learning and exam preparation and love learning so they are keen to continue this through into adult life and the world of work.

Our aims help students to:

Develop a lively, enquiring, imaginative and creative mind and to encourage them to question, argue rationally and apply themselves to a multitude of situations within school and beyond;Respect others, promoting individual and team endeavours whilst developing healthy, spiritual and aesthetic and cultural awareness of the environment in which themselves and others live;Be active participants and contributors to our global society, developing skills and interests enabling them to make the most of opportunities in work and leisure time.

Our students’ personal, social and health education and careers education, information, advice and guidance programmes are designed to promote these aims and develop caring, knowledgeable, team workers who can communicate confidently and effectively and with high levels of initiative and independence. Our relationship and sex education programme is currently being updated in line with the new statutory guidance. It is adapted regularly in the light of student feedback and to reflect emerging needs within our local community as well as ensuring we meet all statutory requirements.

We are a Centre of Excellence for Inclusion and we hold the Quality in Careers Standard as a mark of our commitment to developing the whole child through their learning experiences here at Huntcliff.

A greater emphasis in the older years ensures our students are prepared for the continuation of education beyond 16 or for training for employment. We are proud of the post 16 progression routes of our students and many are happy to return to share their knowledge and wisdom with younger students to inspire them to achieve.

We personalise the curriculum to maximise the potential of all our children by offering a broad, balanced and varied range of subjects, all taught be specialists. At Key stage 3 those students who enter the school below age expectations follow an accelerated programme in English and Maths and we place an emphasis on developing reading and vocabulary in lessons. We are passionate that students should have the access to the full range of creative and design subjects alongside the compulsory elements of the national curriculum.

In Key Stage 4 we continue to offer a wide range of subjects at Level1and 2 including GCSEs, BTECs and technical awards. This enables all students to access the full range of qualifications appropriate to them and all students have equality of opportunity and access to the full range of subjects. We liaise closely with our post 16 providers when reviewing our curriculum to ensure appropriate progression to key stage 5 progression routes including apprenticeships, A Levels and other relevant qualifications, supported through our careers programme (see careers section of the website).

The curriculum is designed to develop and promote student qualifications, citizenship and employability skills so they are thoroughly prepared for the world of work. Curriculum delivery is complemented by a programme of employer engagement opportunities as well as Enrichment and such whole school events as our Modern British Games Day and fund raising activities.

As an aspirational community school, we seek to meet the needs of students of all abilities through a wide range of well thought out strategies and opportunities. All students are encouraged to maximise their academic potential through experiences that are both challenging and varied, incorporating higher order thinking skills and creative forms of differentiation.

As a school we are committed to providing students high quality arts, music and sports as part of our curriculum offer and are given the opportunity to develop their expertise to the full. We have many students who over the years have represented the school at county and national level in a variety of sports or have gone on to achieve at high levels within theatre or music.

We develop leadership opportunities within the classroom and across the school through student council, peer mentors etc. We offer enterprise activities such as Company Programme, Pitch It competition, Woman in Manufacturing and Engineering, the Green Power F24 Car and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. We actively seek to develop cultural experiences through trips and visits as part of both the taught curriculum and as extra-curricular provision.

Homework

All students at Huntcliff School are expected to do homework. Tasks will vary according to the subject and level and will include activities such as; reading, writing, research and project work.

All students are issued with a Student Journal at the beginning of each academic year which is designed to help students’ personal organisation. Many things, including homework, targets, and key dates are noted in the journal. Parents are encouraged to check and sign the journal.

Special Educational Needs (SEND)

We firmly believe that the best learning takes place in the classroom with a qualified teacher. All teachers undertake training of SEND in their postgraduate qualification and continue to develop their skills and knowledge of SEND throughout their teaching career.

We have additional classes of literacy and numeracy plus to support students in the lower years where we feel it would benefit a pupil's progress to have additional support in these areas. Some students may be withdrawn for additional support in literacy and numeracy and social, communication and interaction skills.

Our Gateways environment supports the most vulnerable learners in year 7 and 8. This ensures that our pupils in the lower school have the skills necessary to progress to Key Stage 4 and achieve the best possible outcomes for their individual needs. This usually leads to personalised programmes in Years 9-11 which includes a foundation studies option to continue to build upon the development of basic skills.

During unstructured times our SEND staff are timetabled to support break and lunchtimes so that all of our students have access to a nurturing environment. This means that our students have points of access throughout the day to ensure that emotional needs are met and we are aware of any difficulties that may arise during the day.

We have a well-equipped resource base that provides additional teaching material, equipment and expertise for any pupils who may at any time experience difficulties in learning.

This resource base also serves as a learning base for staff to seek advice on all the conditions our students' face.

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

Relationships and Sex Education is covered in various areas of the curriculum and at several stages during a student’s school life as well as through our Step Programme.

Both boys and girls in year 7 are introduced to the elements of the human reproductive process through their science lessons. From Year 8 students follow a programme of responsible attitudes to relationships including the risks of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. This is carried out as part of the Personal Social Health Education Programme and is delivered partly by our staff and complemented by local experts from the Health and Youth Work sectors.

We are currently updating this programme in line with the latest statutory guidance.

If you would like to find out more about our Curriculum, please contact the school and speak to Mrs P Hartley, Deputy Headteacher i/c of the curriculum.

 

(Jan 2019)