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Bespoke Curriculum

The three ‘i’s of curriculum = Quality of Education

 

"Pupils are taught a highly stimulating curriculum which is both broad and balanced. They have many and varied opportunities to study and hone their skills.

The learning environment in lessons enables pupils to thrive and develop into self-assured, confident individuals. Pupils have exceptionally positive attitudes to learning. They take huge pride in their work and are keen to show their successes both inside and outside of school"  (OUTSTANDING OFSTED October 2016)

Intent

Quite simply, it is our intention that every pupil, irrelevant of needs, achieves their full potential and develops a love of life-long learning though Birchwood’s innovative curriculum design… our Wheel of Wisdom. 

 

Implementation 

Implementation is about how the shared curriculum intent is disseminated by Leaders.  For example, through all Subject Leaders and staff specialists at Birchwood ensuring the whole school curriculum is founded upon expert sequencing of knowledge, skills, concepts and understanding in every subject.  Essentially, the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum in each subject form the skeleton of our curriculum design. 

Most importantly, we have tailored this curriculum scaffold in line with the skill set of our staff, parents, volunteers and local physical environments and businesses. Obviously Birchwood Bolts (Forest School / Plot to Plate / Pupil Voice / Sporting Success) are areas which Birchwood excel and these areas appear prominently in our personalised progression of skills documents for each and every statutory subject and also our extended curriculum (e.g. Forest School skills).  At Birchwood, throughout Key Stage 2, staff members teach all core subjects but teach their foundation subject specialism across the Key Stage.

 

Effectiveness of our implementation is gleaned by staff at all levels performing annual activities such as Pupil Perception, Staff Perception, Subject Leader Perception, Learning Walks, Work Sampling and Planning Scrutiny.  This important evaluative work informs us of the impact of our curriculum and evolves our curriculum design.  

 

Impact

There are literally hundreds of ways we can demonstrate the excellent impact our curriculum design has on our pupils. In a nutshell, here are 2 examples:

1 -the impact of our Y6 micro business with the Birchwood Poultry Flock – Our Y6 chicken monitors were so inspired by the Y6 project, that for their Birthday’s and Christmas’, they wanted their own rare Suffolk Chicken breeds and now both Y7 children, proudly own their own flocks. Birchwood is one of only 2 school DEFRA approved egg production units in the UK! The children record daily egg production, label and market the eggs, produce weekly spreadsheets on profit v outgoings, order food and materials and care for the flock. This gives them first hand business ‘life experience,’ before transferring to Secondary school.

2 – 2019 Birchwood results for pupils compared to their peers nationally are simply the best since the school opened in 1990 and are well above all 2019 national outcomes. For example, Birchwood Y6 reading at expected = 100%, the national figure was 73%. Y1 Phonics Screening Test = 97% pass / nationally the 2019 outcome is 85%. These are just 2 examples. All outcomes for all pupils are above the national average.

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