At Rawmarsh Sandhill we understand that getting the curriculum right for each and every individual student is the single most important factor in ensuring progress, encouraging positive engagement and raising aspirations. We are continually reviewing and improving the curriculum we offer.
We believe that the curriculum is a powerful tool. Our curriculum is not driven by performance tables. We are proud that the curriculum in our school is a starting point for a wide and varied learning experience for our students. We enrich the curriculum by our strong ethos based on respect for ourselves and others, equality and a sense of wonder at the world we live in and through opportunities to develop deep and sustained engagement and give students the capability to think deeply and critically for themselves. We are committed to developing the whole student.
It is our belief that our school has a strong, broad, balanced curriculum which can be tailored to meet the needs of individuals, so that we can remove barriers to learning and allow all students to access the curriculum appropriate to them. We believe the curriculum should be tailored to the school’s local context by addressing typical gaps in students’ knowledge and skills. Our students will have the opportunity to be creative, to be physically active and to be academically challenged. We ensure the students have a range of learning experiences that challenge, stimulate and promote thinking and learning.
In our school, the core of our curriculum is a strong foundation in English and Maths, with the opportunity for additional support to address deficits in literacy and numeracy, as we believe that these essential skills not only enable students to access the rest of the curriculum, but are vital life skills. Our aim is for our curriculum to be as broad as possible for as long as possible.
We believe that participation in high quality physical activity and physical education is valuable in its own right because of the specific educational outcomes and the personal, social and health benefits. It is also a very effective means of engaging young people in their broader learning, by raising aspirations, providing motivation and promoting behaviours that lead to higher levels of attainment across the full range of school subjects. Because of this, we believe that every child in the school deserves equal access to high quality PE and Sport learning environments and programmes that are inclusive, safe, challenging, progressive and enjoyable, taught by specialist tutors. These opportunities are embedded in the school curriculum, available as out of school hours provision and in the community. The wider promotion of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle is extremely important as well as the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular clubs and teams. All pupils have the opportunity to take part in outdoor education/watersports through Wickersley Partnership Trust’s Ulley Centre.
Our extra-curricular offer is extensive beyond physical activity and includes creative and performing arts and STEM. We take every opportunity to extend the curriculum through visitors from the worlds of art, STEM, computing, history, science, music. Educational visits range from trips to local sites of historical interest for example, Wentworth, Conisbrough Castle and The Yorkshire Mining Museum to residential visits to Sherwood Forest, Crowden Outdoor Adventure Centre and Bridlington. All pupils are given the opportunity to be taught by specialist music teachers and to learn an instrument and the trust actively provides a peripatetic music service to ensure progression for pupils who wish to develop their skills and interests further. We are given the opportunity to take part in a WPT public performance, such as the Trust Christmas concert and Young Voices.
There is a dedicated Outdoor Adventurous Activities timetable where we can access 2.5 days of water based activities. During the off-season, pupils can access 1.5 days of climbing activities using WPT’s indoor provision.
In addition to the National School Games programme, there are a number of additional competitions which are available to pupils. All competitions have a National/Local Governing Body pathway leading to opportunities to transition into a club setting ranging from grass roots to professional academies.
We have designed a curriculum that values the development of the ‘able’ as much as it does ‘qualified’. We believe that both are equally important to our students so that they can play their full part in the world.
We aim to engender a love of learning, self-belief and aspiration through 4 key intentions:
Intention 1: Removing barriers to learning
Four common barriers (listed below), if left unchallenged, will limit the progress, engagement and development of our students. We therefore remove barriers to learning and support students’ ability to access the curriculum through the development:
- Literacy and language acquisition
Intention 2: Developing knowledge and skills for learning in a range of subjects
Each curriculum area intends to grow mini subject specialists through the progressive development of the subject knowledge and skills. Student knowledge and essential learning skills go hand in hand. We strive, at all times, for personal excellence by developing the 5 key skills for success below:
Intention 3: Developing personal attributes (The Sandhill Way)
The Sandhill Way allows us all to promote the attributes our children need in order to develop their independence, responsibility and resilience to have a happy and successful life.
The Sandhill Way promotes:
Intention 4: To enrich students’ experiences and broaden their horizons:
Our curriculum seeks to equip students with the understanding of how to develop themselves as well rounded citizens and maintain healthy relationships; to enrich their and broaden their horizons, both in their cultural capital and future aspirations. Our curriculum will offer:
- Experiential Learning – Trips, visitors
- Hands-on Experiences – Practical opportunities in the classroom
- Extracurricular opportunities – sports clubs, School shows
- Wider opportunities – Residential, charity work/ involvement, Young Voices
Our pastoral curriculum is planned out for progression and identifies milestones in personal development and opportunities for social, cultural and careers experiences, increasing pupils’ cultural capital. Starting in Early Years Foundation Stage, our students experience a full programme of PSHE opportunities. In PSHE, we use a spiral curriculum for students to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding throughout the phases.
The PSHE curriculum is developed to build key knowledge and skills around SMSC, British Values and to give age-appropriate messages around health, well-being, relationships and sex education. This is in line with the new ‘Relationships, Sex Education and Health Education in Schools (2020)’ guidance.