Curriculum

Curriculum and Assessment Policy

Curriculum at Aylesford School
The aim of the curriculum at Aylesford School is to develop life-long learners who have the knowledge skills and character virtues that will enable them to be resilient and adaptable learners.  Our students will be equipped to be able to deal with whatever challenges our rapidly changing world may throw at them.
This aim is underpinned by a rich, relevant, broad and balanced curriculum, characterised by, personalisation, innovation and creativity.  It is a curriculum which challenges students to excel in their studies and one which inspires a quest for learning through enthusiasm and empathy and prepares students for further study and employment.
Our curriculum is one of academic and personal rigour underpinned by a culture of high expectation which effectively fosters students’ commitment to succeed.  It will provide a focus on the needs of the individual to ensure equality of opportunity allowing our programmes to be personalised to meet their needs and those of the school.

Key Stage 3 (Year 7 & 8)

Subject Allocation
English 4
Maths 4
Science 2
Physical Education 2
History 2
Geography 2
French 2
Technology 1
Music 1
Art 1
Computing 1
Religious Education 1
Dance 1
Performing Arts 1

Key Stage 4(Year 9,10 & 11)

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
GCSE English Language and English Literature 5 5 5
GCSE Core Science and Triple Science 4 4 5
GCSE Maths 4 4 4
Physical Education 3 2 1
Intervention 0 1 1

The following subjects will be considered for Options for year 9,10 &11

GCSE Art 3 Hours
BTEC Business 3 Hours
GCSE French 3 Hours
GCSE Geography 3 Hours
GCSE Health and Socisl Care 3 Hours
GCSE History 3 Hours
GCSE ICT 3 Hours
GCSE Religious Education 3 Hours
BTEC Sport 3 Hours
Level 2 BTECH in Engineering 3 Hours
NCFE level 2 Certificate in Food and Cookery 3 Hours
Level 2 BTEC in Music 3 Hours
Level 2 BTEC in Performing Arts 3 Hours
WJEC Level 2 Award in Retail Business 3 Hours

Assessment at Aylesford School

1. Transition from KS2 to KS3
Subject Leaders must have a secure knowledge and understanding of progression from KS2 to KS3, given the changes to the primary curriculum and changes to assessment at the end of Year 6.  Subject Leaders should couple their knowledge of the KS2 curriculum with other useful data such as KS2 results, CATS results and the outcomes of their own baseline assessment to demonstrate a thorough understanding of students starting points when they arrive at Aylesford in Year 7.
When students arrive at Aylesford in Year 7, Subject leaders and teachers should be secure in their understanding of the knowledge skills and understanding which students should be able to demonstrate based on their experience at KS2.  This should include the subject specific skills and concepts they have acquired and developed so far including the topics and topics and themes which should have been taught previously?
Appropriate support must be given to teachers of KS3 to ensure they have a secure understanding of students’ experiences from KS2. 

2. Transition from KS3 to KS4
Subject Leaders must have a secure knowledge and understanding of progression from KS3 to KS4, given changes to the GCSE specifications and the implications for examination success at the end of KS4.
It is an expectation of all teachers and leaders to have an effective knowledge of where students need to get to on their learning journey.  A thorough knowledge of the subject specific exam specification at KS4 is therefore crucial.
Subject Leaders and teachers should be secure in their understanding of the knowledge and skills that students must be able to demonstrate to achieve well at the end of KS4.  Consideration must be given to:

    What subject specific skills and concepts will they need to acquire and develop?
    What topics/themes will need to be taught?
    How much time is needed?
    What are the assessment objectives of the specification?

    What contribution do they make to the final outcome?

Subject Leaders must ensure all department members, especially those teaching KS4 are secure in their knowledge of the examination specifications and how these should be delivered.  This obviously has implications for planning a curriculum from Year 7 all the way through to Year 11.

    Has appropriate support been given to teachers of KS3/KS4 to ensure they have a secure understanding of expectations at the end of KS4?
    To what extent do Line Managers have a secure understanding of requirements of these specifications to ensure they can hold their Subject Leaders to account?


To address the priority of improved student progress, it is imperative that we as a school establish the link between outcomes at KS2 and expectations for performance at KS4. 
All Senior and Subject leaders should therefore be aware of the implications with regard to Attainment 8 and Progress 8 to understand this important link.
Based on an improved knowledge of start and end points, clear expectations will be set for a KS3 and KS4 curriculum to ensure challenging goals and targets are achieved.

3. Transition from KS4 to KS5
Subject Leaders must have a secure knowledge and understanding of progression from KS4 to KS5, given changes and reforms to post-16 courses including the new exam based units in applied general courses.
It is an expectation of all teachers and leaders of KS5 to have an effective knowledge of where students need to get to on their learning journey.  A thorough knowledge of the subject specific exam specification at KS5 crucial.
Subject Leaders and teachers should be secure in their understanding of the knowledge and skills that students must be able to demonstrate to achieve well at the end of KS5.  Consideration must be given to:

    What subject specific skills and concepts will they need to acquire and develop?
    What topics/themes will need to be taught?
    How much time is needed?
    What are the assessment objectives of the specification?
    What contribution do they make to the final outcome?

Subject Leaders must ensure all department members, especially those teaching KS5 are secure in their knowledge of the course and examination specifications and how these should be delivered.  This obviously has implications for planning a curriculum from Year 10 all the way through to Year 13.

    Has appropriate support been given to teachers of KS4 to ensure they have a secure understanding of expectations at the end of KS5? 
    To what extent do Line Managers have a secure understanding of requirements of these specifications to ensure they can hold their Subject Leaders to account?


To address the priority of improved student attainment and progress, it is imperative that we as a school establish the link between outcomes at KS4 and expectations for performance at KS5. 
All Senior and Subject leaders should therefore be aware of the implications with regard to new post 16 performance measures.
Based on an improved knowledge of start and end points, clear expectations will be set for a KS5 curriculum to ensure challenging goals and targets are achieved.
Assessment in IBCP
Assessment in the IBCP programme will collate the following information during termly data collection points.

    IB Subjects Working at & Target Grades 7 – 1
    Vocational Subject Grades
    1-4 Assessment for the core element of the CP in behaviour, attitude, KSU and independent study (see section 9)

Progressive Curriculum Plans
Each curriculum area needs to provide evidence of a coherent and progressive Curriculum Plan between Year 7 and Year 11 (and year 12&13) building on the skills and concepts developed at KS2 and targeting those skills and concepts which are set out in the examination specifications at the end of KS4 and KS5.
Key Considerations

    Does the curriculum meet the requirements of the National Curriculum?  If not, this must be addressed.
    To what extent does the curriculum build on the prior experiences at KS2?
    To what extent does the curriculum effectively address the skills and concepts needed for success at KS4?
    Are expectations clearly mapped out from Year7 to Year 11 (and year 12&13) in a progressive Curriculum Plan?
    Is progression evident across an academic year?  Do students undertake more challenging tasks from term 1 to term 6?
    Do students complete more challenging and complex tasks from Year 7 to Year 11 (and year 12&13)?

Subject Leaders should ensure that CPD time is used to ensure all team members know what should be taught and when, what resources are needed and what are the best teaching methods for delivery.
Curriculum Plans should include:
1. Overview of content – Topics and themes
2. Approx time scales for teaching – No of weeks etc
3. Clearly identifiable assessment objectives
4. Outline of assessment task/assessment method.

A transparent approach to Curriculum planning will provide effective opportunities for departments to critique each other’s provision to support school improvement.
Leaders within the school should be able to know what is being taught to whom and when with a clear overview of how and when this is assessed.

5. Planning Schemes of Work
A successful Curriculum Plan will be underpinned by good quality schemes of work which outline the specific details for lesson delivery.  All departments must have in place schemes of work which are fit for purpose and provide every opportunity for students to progress.
There should be a clearly defined and identifiable assessment object for each scheme of work to drive learning and progress for students.  Schemes of Work should identify the skills and concepts needed to be successful, the content to be covered an approximate timescales, the criteria for success and exemplification of success through modelling.
All department members must have a good understanding of the SoW to be able to deliver it effectively.  Knowledge of the assessment tasks and outcomes should be the driving force behind any good SoW.
Leaders at Aylesford should not leave curriculum provision to chance and must take action to address fundamental weaknesses in provision through the improvement of SoW.

6. Delivery of Schemes of Work
Teachers must have the skills and ability to deliver the curriculum effectively in the classroom.  Assessment should drive this delivery within the classroom and students must be aware of how they will be assessed before embarking on a unit of work.  It is imperative then that, as teachers, we actively share success criteria with those we teach.  Thus ,ensuring that the delivery of the SoW prepares students for assessment through the acquisition and development of the most appropriate knowledge and skills.  Use of modelling will be essential for this process to be a success.
Teachers must be sufficiently skilled to deliver the planned SoW using the most appropriate and most effective teaching strategies that engage, enthuse and challenge our students.
Subject Leaders must be aware of individual strengths and weaknesses of teachers and take these into account with their support for lesson delivery.
To ensure improvements to the quality of teaching and the effective delivery of SoW and assessment tasks, teachers must be reflective in their approach to evaluating their practice.  This can be achieved through:
1. The collaborative planning of tasks in small groups or pairs.  Planning should not take place in isolation
2. The effective use of ACE(Aylesford Curriculum Excellence) meeting time to develop lessons
3. Teachers must talk about their lesson delivery methods and seek advice when evaluating their practice
4. Collaborative marking and moderation of assessment tasks should take place in an open and supportive way. 
5. Opportunities for peer lesson observations should be created and encouraged (Lesson Study)
6. Teachers should teach each other about effective lesson delivery

Through these methods the school’s most effective practice will be shared and enhanced.
Visits to lessons are conducted on a regular basis to establish the quality of teaching over time.  This will be supported by a scrutiny of student work, teachers planning and their marking.  Student voice activities will be undertaken to triangulate information from a range of sources.  Where concerns arise, these will be addressed rapidly through as a consequence of effective monitoring and evaluation.
Leaders at Aylesford must be able to effectively evaluate the quality of provision across the school and can judge its effectiveness in terms of students learning and progress.  Leaders must have a good understanding of the strengths of teaching and on the strengths and weaknesses of individuals and groups of teachers.  This information should be used to inform targeted additional support and to identify staff to support improvement through coaching programmes.

7. Assessment for Learning
Through the delivery of high quality Schemes of Work, opportunities for formative and diagnostic assessment for learning should be enhanced.  A clearly identified diagnostic assessment task for each unit of work will enable assessment for learning to support progress through the SoW.
Examples of strategies to support this process will include the use of formative marking and feedback to build on current practice and the work undertaken as part of the Classroom Leadership Programme.  The continued development of a Marking and Feedback Toolkit will facilitate these improvements and will provide strategies to be used and shared within and across departments.
The use of Peer and Self-Assessment techniques will support students to identify progress in relation to success criteria.  Finally, effective Level Up time will provide the appropriate opportunity to enable students to respond to feedback and improve their work as a consequence of the good feedback they have received.
All of this must be underpinned by a set of clear assessment/success criteria linked to the skills and concepts needed to successful in the subject area (linked to requirements at GCSE as discussed previously).
For effective AfL to take place students must have a good understanding of the criteria by which they are being assessed and they should know explicitly what this looks like through high quality modelling. 
Specific assessment criteria, to identify the progressive development of subject specific skills and concepts, must be evident in each department.  The use of Personal Learning Checklists (PLCs) will support this. 
Students and teachers will then able to use this when assessing tasks as part of the SoW delivery to identify strengths and learning gaps and to plan targeted intervention as a consequence.
Subject Leaders must ensure the following:

    Clearly identified and specific assessment tasks which drives the delivery of each SoW

    Assessment tasks must be accompanied by a clear set of assessment criteria that identifies the progression through subject specific skills and concepts

    Assessment criteria should be used to develop a mastery approach to learning.
    Opportunities must be taken to model what success look like at in relation to outcomes.

    Teachers must be familiar with the assessment tasks and know how progress towards their completion can be tracked.

Moderation of student work should take place at timely intervals to provide opportunities to compare to modelled responses.  The outcomes of these assessment tasks should inform class and departmental intervention planning in line with a Diagnosis, Therapy and Testing model.  Identifying specific KSU gaps will allow Subject Leaders with the opportunities to review and amend SoW in light of the assessment outcomes.  Teachers should use these outcomes to directly influence their classroom practice.

8. Tracking Learning and Progress over time
Tracking progress and attainment over time is crucial in light of new performance measures.  This will be particularly important for the tracking of sub groups of students.  Summative Assessment should be conducted at timely intervals to establish an overall summary of progress based on achievement over time.  This supports the tracking of progress from starting points and towards established targets.  Summative assessment should identify how well students have mastered or secured subject specific skills and concepts.
Summative Assessment Grades from September 2018 will be based on a 9 Point Scale in line with changes to outcomes at Key stage 4, where 1 is the lowest and 9 the highest. These will be used for all students for all subjects in Years 7-11.

 

Grading Scale Summative Criteria
1 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 1 at the end of KS4
2 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 2 at the end of KS4
3 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 3 at the end of KS4
4 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 4 at the end of KS4
5 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 5 at the end of KS4
6 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 6 at the end of KS4
7 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 7 at the end of KS4
8 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 8 at the end of KS4
9 The student is mastering the skills and concepts required to achieve a grade 9 at the end of KS4

The scale will provide us with the flexibility to use a 5 Year assessment strategy linked directly with outcomes at KS4. 
By assessing students summatively in this way it allows for clear tracking of performance against targets and also to make comparisons on the rates of progress achieved by students in different year groups to help identify improvement priorities.
Teachers must keep clear records of grades achieved to inform the data input of whether students are making good progress
Following summative assessment points, leaders must conduct a thorough analysis of attainment and progress data through the moderation and standardisation of student work and outcomes.
This should be undertaken for each year group and will include the analysis of different sub groups.  A detailed analysis of performance in relation to attainment should inform Subject Leader analysis meetings and improve individual staff accountability for performance where the contribution of every student grade in the school will contribute to whole school improvement.

9. Reporting Outcomes to Parents
It is important to keep parents and carers informed of the progress their children make at Aylesford.  The most effective way to communicate this information is through regular dialogue between teacher and parent.  A dedicated parents evening will provide face to face opportunities to communicate these important areas and these should be the basis for any professional conversation between teacher and parent. 
At different points in the academic year, a report will provide a further opportunity to communicate vital information to parents from teachers, including summative assessment data and progress towards targets.  The grade sheet will provide useful summary information on attitude to learning (ATL) , behaviour and attendance.  At KS4 & 5 these assessment points will be six times per academic year at the end of each term and three times per year for KS3
At KS3, students will receive a progress towards target grade and an ATL.
At each assessment point KS4 &5 students will receive a current working grade. This is the level of attainment they are currently working at based on their most recent assessments, classwork homework etc.  Students are also provided with a Predicted Grade.  This is the level of attainment they are expected to achieve at the end of the year if they continue to make progress.

Students are also assessed in relation to their Attitude to Learning to the development of their knowledge, skills & understanding, their homework, effort and behaviour.  This is based on a scale of 1-4 where 1 is outstanding and 4 is inadequate.

The emphasis of these grade sheets will be on praising and rewarding effort, commitment and diligence to induce a growth mind-set amongst students which in turn with facilitate their improvement. 
In addition to these aspects, the school will also report on attendance, punctuality and character strengths.

To download a copy of the Curriculum Policy please click here