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Whole School Curriculum

Rationale

Curriculum Context

We are the singular grammar school in Liverpool and have a rich heritage and tradition within the city. We are a multi-cultural co-educational school, rich with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Our aim is meet the learning needs of our highly able learners with their holistic development at the centre of our provision. We are an 11-18 school with almost all students entering professions and most doing so after entering Higher Education.

Our whole school vision is “to develop exceptionally well-rounded individuals with the skills to thrive and positively contribute to a rapidly changing society”. It is this vision that underpins all that we do at Blue Coat. Therefore, our Curriculum Rationale reflects this overarching vision.

Curriculum Rationale

Academic excellence, educational equity, and fairness demand a strong foundation of knowledge for all learners

Quote from E.D. Hirsch

We believe that it is this focus on excellence, and the acquisition of knowledge that underpins and enables our students to become confident and exceptional learners. From Y7 to Y13, it is our intention that our curriculum will allow students to consistently strive for the pursuit of knowledge through academic excellence, understanding that our learning environment is simply the foundation for a lifelong learning journey.

Our core curriculum values:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Knowledge-Centred
  • Empowered Individuals
  • Understanding Others

 

Academic Excellence

We are proud to have so many exceptional students at this school and have created a challenging curriculum that reflects this. Our curriculum is set up to nurture resilience and develop both creative and critical thought, where the students’ passion for learning is fostered within a stimulating environment that encourages each student to fulfil their potential through scholarship and rigour. The curriculum has a breadth, depth, and balance to it throughout the seven-year journey, allowing students to grow intellectually and find success through a well-focussed and constructed curriculum pathway. Our pathway secures considerable breadth up to 16 which is reflected in almost all students following the national targets for EBacc.

Knowledge-Centred

Our curriculum encourages students to acquire, understand and skilfully apply systematic knowledge that enables students to move beyond normal learning.  We believe that through our purposeful curriculum, all students are enabled to remember knowledge with gradually increasing levels of complexity, creating a richness and depth to their learning that aligns well with their capable and inquisitive minds.  Our curriculum ensures the student is at the heart of all that we do, developing coherent knowledge which is deliberately mapped and sequenced over time promoting confidence and progression in all our students.

Empowered Individuals

The curriculum at Blue Coat goes much further than what is simply taught in lessons, providing students with the fundamental building blocks to generate the capacity for genuine self-determination in life.  It is the breadth of our curriculum and our co-curricular opportunities that will enable each student to achieve self-realisation and enjoy self-fulfilment beyond school.  Our curriculum is designed to enhance student cultural capital, allowing them to maximise their ability to understand and participate positively in the society around them.  The curriculum enables all students to become confident adults, able to make informed decisions and independently steer their own lives.

Understanding Others

Our student intake is from across the Liverpool City Region which represents a wealth of cultural backgrounds and diversity, and they leave us to live and work in an interconnected global society.  Our ambition is that the curriculum should ensure that all our students can see themselves reflected within it, and appreciate through study, the experience of others who are also not like them. Challenging marginalisation will help students to understand the breadth of cultures around them, ultimately gaining the knowledge that will act as a powerful tool in ensuring all our students appreciate and respect the differences and everyday experiences of others.

Whole School Intent and Implementation

Intent and Implementation

At the Blue Coat School, it is our aim to develop the highest possible quality provision for all our students which we recognise can only be achieved within a creative and ambitious curriculum intent and implementation process. At the heart of this ambition, we encourage all our students to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness of each subject discipline, which are linked to our four school curriculum values.

Academic Excellence

We see academic excellence as the ability to perform, achieve and excel through a wide variety of scholastic activities linked to the academic and practical nature of each of the different subject areas. Through distinct sequencing of each provision, we are confident that our students will experience the richness and depth of each subject which will challenge and extend their thinking within the breadth of the material they cover. Our subject areas have built their curriculum upon key blocks of knowledge that will develop the rigour that is required to underpin the value that we put on academic excellence and scholarship. Our aim however, goes beyond simply the achievement of high grades and involves the ability to think critically and communicate effectively, as well as the acquisition of new knowledge and the demonstration of new skills. Quite simply, academic excellence is about achieving exceptional performance which we believe our school provision and delivery will provide.

Knowledge-Centred

We recognise that each subject area is underpinned by key knowledge and conceptual understanding, and this has been purposely built into planning. Subjects use this accumulation of knowledge to encourage and enthuse our students, developing the breadth of understanding of these end points of learning which they can then utilise within the next stage of their academic journey. We believe that the acquisition of knowledge should underpin our approach in all subjects and feel that this can only achieved through a focus on ‘powerful knowledge’. Powerful knowledge is something that cannot be left to chance but should be developed through a range of memorable encounters and enriching experiences. The learned knowledge gained,should then become part of long-term memories allowing each student to form and evolve an ever wider and deeper schema. Our approach here, has been to develop a whole school curriculum provision that is built around a spaced retrieval practice. Thisin turn, encourages and creates automaticity and fluency, acknowledging that through repetition and practice, powerful knowledge will be successfully embedded.

Empowered Individuals

Our main purpose is for our students to encounter a school provision that allows for the genuine progression of secure understanding, by having the opportunity to reflect and revisit any misconceptions they may have encountered overtime. We recognise that empowerment is the process of enhancing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes. It is then through the support and guidance of subject teachers that each student will transition these ideas into understanding of the higher-order content. This provision is for all students of all backgrounds and of all levels of learning potential. We strive to develop and nurture confident individuals who are more than willing to challenge and question ideas. We believe this will enable each student to become more independent in their thinking and ultimately more confident in their decision making, leading them purposefully to a life that clearly demonstrates true independent empowerment.

Understanding others

Chosen subject content aims to introduce concepts and ideas from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds from around the world and throughout time. Our purpose is to develop students who have a deep appreciation of the positive diversity of others that subsequently prepares them for modern society. It is the richness of the school curriculum and the breadth of opportunity to go beyond the national curriculum, which allows our students to develop a genuine empathy of the world in which they live and more fully understand the individuality of those around them.