January 2023: following the launch of our new website, the pages detailing the content of the curriculum for each subject, for each academic year, are currently under construction and will appear here shortly.
ICC Curriculum Statement
Our curriculum is the bedrock upon which we educate our students in the knowledge, understanding and skills that we, as a team of teachers, have identified as being essential for them to have. It is composed of the learning that comes both through lessons and other experiences beyond the classroom, the messages that we communicate via assemblies and support we give in tutoring, and the study habits that we cultivate through the way we use homework and revision activities. It exists to empower all students and to give them a demanding and comprehensive education that enables them to unlock their own potential and challenge themselves to go beyond the place where they thought their limits could be found.
Students access the curriculum at a depth and breadth that best supports them to do this as we recognise that there is no single curriculum that they will all experience, instead there are as many individual curricula as we have students in the school and consequently we continuously flex and finesse the curriculum experience for them: we articulate this as ‘excellence for all’. We hold high expectations of all of our learners, and believe that this is part of what excellence is; we will never cap or limit an individual’s potential by telling them that they should aim for something less than their peers.
We aim to support our students in being confident individuals, independent learners and responsible citizens, and our curriculum builds on the learning that has taken place in primary schools, provides a broad and balanced programme both in and outside of the classroom facilitating a range of choice and opportunity, and ultimately prepares learners for post-16, life-long education and training. Our first-rate citizenship and careers programmes exemplify this: bespoke plans created with our students’ contexts firmly in mind.
We talk about local and global communities in our classrooms and assemblies, using our knowledge of the learners in our school to provide them with a curriculum that furthers their understanding of life and cultures both within and beyond the UK. Students are encouraged to form educated opinions from this wider knowledge, and as teachers we work with them to refine and hone their thinking by considering others’ perspectives and beliefs. One way we achieve this is by ensuring that our students are given extensive wider reading opportunities and they are able to access a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction texts from many writers and cultures (with our first-rate library being at the heart of this): being able to offer this opportunity is a core value of our school.
We believe in preparing students to be able to communicate coherently and precisely with others, and as such we provide them with explicit knowledge of subject specific and non-subject specific vocabulary along with teaching of grammar and spelling. We place value in students being able to construct and deliver extended pieces of writing from notes that they have constructed from their own understanding of the knowledge they have been given, and we will always ensure that they are stimulated by our creative approach to giving them real-world inspired purposes and audiences for such writing. In addition to this, we believe that structured speech events are also crucial for a number of reasons: for building confidence through communicating effectively with others verbally, as part of a number of strategies designed to encourage re-call and revision, and furthermore as a way for students to consolidate their understanding of knowledge they have built.
Beyond the classroom, we design and deliver bespoke curriculum-centred events to show our students that learning extends beyond our grounds. These opportunities help students to explore the knowledge they have been introduced to in school by making links to the wider local and global world that they encounter. Closely linked to this is our use of homework as a way for students to Curriculum development either consolidate their learning or begin new learning experiences through carrying out a variety of tasks such as pre-lesson preparation; knowledge retrieval; structured projects and open-ended tasks.
Our teaching methods reveal the ways that we implement our curriculum. We use meaningful assessment as a curriculum activity to motivate and challenge our students and value the use of temporary scaffolds which can be gradually withdrawn as a student’s knowledge and confidence builds. We also strongly value the uses of modelled and exemplary work in all areas in order to clearly show students what success looks like. Encouraging and planning for students to work with their peers also provides access to others’ work as a template for their consideration (as well as facilitating vital team-work skills and showing learners how to work in defined roles within a group structure).
Our ultimate aim is that all students leave us prepared to take the next steps in their lives. Using the knowledge base and range of skills that they have acquired, they will be able to offer articulate and considered opinions and will be aspirational in their outlook to the future. Our flexible and choice driven curriculum, in which we encourage students to take control of their own learning, will have helped to create independent learners, and also guided them towards becoming responsible members of society.
For more information about curriculum matters, please contact Matt Ford, Deputy Headteacher.