At The Kingsmead School we believe that it is important that our curriculum is broad, balanced and absolutely focused on preparing our students to become responsible, caring and hard-working citizens who can engage fully in society. We offer all students a broad range of leaning experiences and opportunities which encourage both cooperative and independent learning. For some pupils on personalised programmes this means that the core elements of the package are enhanced to support access to the curriculum.
We aim to be flexible enough to meet the individual needs of each student. This means that we keep our curriculum offer under regular review to ensure that the range of academic and vocational qualifications is both relevant and meaningful for all our students. Through our PSHCE programme and other enrichment activities students are encouraged to understand democracy, the rule of law, liberty, equality, mutual respect and tolerance across all faiths and beliefs. Our FAGUS curriculum supports personal development and the curriculum delivery and enrichment activities help to foster confidence and self-belief.
The core aims of our curriculum are:
- to provide pupils with the requisite skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to make positive next steps post Kingsmead
- for pupils to feel supported and included
- to provide a safe space for pupils to better understand themselves and develop their resilience, confidence and sense of personal responsibility
Kingsmead School offers an engaging and opening curriculum designed to inspire and challenge our students to make outstanding progress in aspects of their life and learning. The curriculum is structured around a two-year accelerated key stage 2 to 3 catch up phase, aimed at quickly bridging the gaps in knowledge, experiences and skills that many pupils arrive with. Key stage 4 is delivered over 2 years. Year 9 is an “accelerated learning year” that helps rapidly fill gaps in knowledge and understand to move pupils from the nurturing model in key stage 3 to study disciplines needed for qualification and exam accreditation. In years 10 and 11 pupils focus on consolidating their knowledge and skills and developing higher order and critical thinking skills.
Students will follow the National Curriculum but the approach will be nurture based, with a strong emphasis on knowledge acquisition, cross-curricular learning and development of social and emotional resilience and critical thinking skills.
Kingsmead recognises that we are preparing our students to live in a diverse and rapidly changing World where the skills of independence and resilience will be key to future success. Alongside our academic curriculum of mathematics, English, science and ICT, we believe in ensuring our students have a broad range of ‘life’ skills: sex and relationships education, for example, will follow national guidelines and there will be a strong emphasis on developing economic understanding and British values, as well as the identification of core competences related to the world of work. Using the knowledge base of the national curriculum, there will be an emphasis on developing higher order thinking skills through topic based learning. Students will also be given opportunity to acquire and expand a wide range of social and emotional tools via a range of embedded and extra curricular activities linked to developing a wider and deeper understanding of themselves and the world they live in.
The school expects all students to undertake the Kingsmead Pledge during their time with us. This describes a range of additional, wider learning and character education opportunities designed to enrich their school experience and build their cultural capital. This will be achieved through our character and emotional development programme during which pupils will be guided through a range of social and cultural experiential milestones. For example – visiting a capital city and attending a theatre production.
We will foster a love of reading and provide students with opportunity to develop and articulate their opinions in a forum designed to demand deeper thinking and questioning. This commitment is concurrent with our Kingsmead Pledges whereby pupils will be exposed to a range of experiences to enable them to understand context. We want our students to be positively challenged to think about why they are learning, as well as what they are learning. Students will sit nationally-recognised assessments and gain nationally-recognised qualifications at the end of key stages 4. Where students are significantly below age-related expectations, the core disciplines of English and mathematics will be prioritised in their timetable until they have “closed the gap”. The identification of students who will benefit from such a strategy will begin during the primary school transition programme and Kingsmead induction and will be supplemented with baseline testing once the student has joined the school.