St Egwin’s is proud to offer all of our students a broad and balanced curriculum. We have made a conscious decision to maintain breadth across all subjects in Year 6 even though it is a SATS year. In their school experience pupils have 20 terms to prepare for their Key Stage 2 national tests, but only 2 of these are with us at St Egwin’s (see Ofsted Inspection handbook section 263), but despite this we are absolutely committed to the value of a wide-ranging curriculum that emphasises an equity of opportunity for all. We believe that pupils gain academically and socially by studying a broad and balanced curriculum as this is the best way to support pupils’ successful transition to high school. Data from GL assessments and feedback from High School GCSE results indicates that pupils leave St Egwin’s well prepared to succeed.
We aim to ensure that pupils use their three years with us to secure academic, social, and extra-curricular knowledge that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education and beyond. We believe in the importance of cultural capital and ensuring that our curriculum fosters the three key aims of us as a church school of love, respect, and endeavour. We are proud of our strong moral commitment and use the inclusive nature of Christianity as an inspiration.
We have the same high ambitions for every pupil with knowledge taught and module end points the same for all students. We use adaptive teaching to support pupils to help them throughout their time with us so that when they leave us in Year 8 they do so with a strong sense of self pride at their achievements. For our most vulnerable students in Year 7 and 8 we provide an additional English and Maths support lesson and instead of doing a dual language, students study a single language.
Our newly developed Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy focuses on pupils knowing more, remembering more, and understanding better. In order to help pupils achieve this ambition we sequence key knowledge, identify key vocabulary, and identify key misconceptions that might occur in each module studied in each subject. Retrieval practice is used where pupils are given frequent opportunities in each lesson to demonstrate that they have understood the key knowledge and can apply it.
We believe that ongoing formative assessment throughout a lesson opposed to written feedback is more effective in supporting staff wellbeing and in helping pupils to be more likely to secure the key knowledge required. Lessons therefore typically start and end with knowledge recall activities and teachers use opportunities throughout the lesson for pupils to demonstrate their understanding and application of key knowledge. At the end of each module pupils undertake a knowledge based summative assessment which is scored as a percentage to help pupils, parents/carers and teachers understand the progress being made.
In order that we deliver the planned curriculum, lessons will typically follow six key steps that are outlined in the Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy:
1. Review: Lessons start with reviewing previous learning. This review focuses on recent learning but also draws, where relevant, on longer-term knowledge to help secure understanding. This strengthens long term memory and leads to fluent recall.
2. Explain: Lessons are teacher led as opposed to activity or student led. Explanations consider the core message, audience, and misconceptions. Teachers ensure new information is presented in a manageable ‘chunk’ to avoid cognitive overload.
3. Model: Modelling is used to demonstrate pupils how success is achieved. Modelling based on ‘I do, we do then you do’ is the typical methodology. Modelling typically starts with simple examples before gradually building complexity.
4. Questioning: Teachers ask questions to make pupils think hard about the knowledge they are learning. Teachers check students understanding and identify any misconceptions they have which can be addressed by the teacher. Question sessions are short, sharp, and concise to help all students with focussing and learning.
5. Deliberate practice: This involves constant practice to optimise learning the knowledge taught and then applying the knowledge in scenarios of gradually increasing complexity. All teaching techniques devote most time to deliberate practice that ensures pupils embed core knowledge and concepts.
6. Plenary test: Students complete a plenary at the end of each lesson to review the learning and assess what they have learnt. Completion of a plenary test holds students accountable for their learning during the lesson as well as providing teachers with key information that can be used to inform preparation for the next lesson.
Supporting our curriculum, we pride ourselves on a wide ranging extra-curricular programme at both lunchtimes and after schools with opportunities for pupils to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge as well as further grow in self-esteem and self-confidence. We provide meaningful school trips, that minimise disruption to the general flow of the school curriculum, that we ensure are accessible in order to provide additional experiences to supplement our broad and balanced curriculum. We also facilitate specialist curriculum enhancement opportunities in the local area and beyond and have a bespoke Activities Week as well as a Careers Day which attracts support from a wide range of employers across many fields. We are proud for example of our School Games Gold award as well as our outstanding Gatsby Benchmark reports.
The school day formally begins at 8:30 and finishes at 3:15, though most clubs and activities run until 4:30 most days.