All young people at Sedgefield Community College experience a broad and highly aspirational curriculum because this is what they need and deserve.
All students study a wide range of subjects to ensure they are successful during their time at school and then for the rest of their lives. It is a curriculum that supports four key aims.
- We make sure students achieve excellent qualifications to support them in entering the next stages of their learning and then being successful in the world of work.
- We raise aspirations so that all of our students appreciate what they can achieve.
- We develop the wider skills and personal qualities needed to be successful.
- We build the confidence of our students so that they can compete and succeed in school and beyond.
How Is Our Curriculum Organised?
We think about our curriculum as a continuous learning journey, from the point that a child joins our school until the point that they leave us.
We support students to progressively build their subject knowledge and wider skills, with regular opportunities to revisit and deepen their understanding of vital content and refine their ability to apply key skills.
Our curriculum is underpinned by a traditional suite of academic subjects that sees all students studying English, Maths, Science and a Humanities subject (Geography or History) throughout their time at Sedgefield Community College. We also place great importance on Modern Foreign Languages and this allows as many students as possible to study the full range of EBacc subjects (English Baccalaureate).
We appreciate the importance of a broad and balanced curriculum, with many of our students excelling in Dance, Drama, Music and the Visual Arts. We understand that these subjects, and many other practical subjects, play a vital part in developing skills, personal qualities and building students’ confidence.
In order to equip our students with the skills that they need to thrive in the modern world, we place great importance on the development of knowledge and skills relating to the digital world. All of our students study Digital Literacy throughout their time at Sedgefield Community College and all subjects embrace digital technology when it can support our Inevitable Progress model for teaching and learning.
Where necessary, we also make significant and innovative adjustments to the curriculum studied by specific students or groups of students. Our priority is always to provide the curriculum that best enables our four stated aims to be achieved. Where a bespoke curriculum of this kind is required, we ensure it is still as broad, balanced and aspirational as possible.
Personal Qualities, Skills and Cultural Capital
Our continuous learning journey approach allows students to develop the personal qualities, skills and cultural capital that they need. Key elements of this approach are summarised below.
- Whilst we aim to create independent learners who can think deeply for themselves, we provide our students with concrete strategies that will allow them to do this. We use a range of thinking tools, such as Thinking Hats and Thinking Maps, and our young people become experts in using them.
- We recognise that reading is crucial to allow students to unlock learning and enrich their lives. We use a consistent reading strategy (Reciprocal Reading) in all year groups and subject areas, which equips students with the skills to read skilfully for understanding.
- Increasing the vocabulary of students is vital to their future life chances and there is a consistent whole-school approach to building subject-specific and non-subject specific vocabulary.
- Our curriculum provides students with regular and structured opportunities to discuss and debate topics in order to help them to form and express their own opinions and respond sensitively to the views of others.
- We support our students to make links between their learning in different subjects and year groups by using our identified key themes and key skills. Using the linked icons as a starting point for discussions, we help students to draw upon their previous learning and explore how this relates to their current and future learning.
- We have established a structured approach that enables all students to build their cultural capital and provides our young people with access to experiences that they might not otherwise encounter. Whilst these experiences do go beyond our curriculum, many are closely linked and are able to deepen and secure the understanding of students and encourage their enthusiasm for learning.
We hope that this summary gives you a sense of the broad, balanced and aspirational curriculum that is offered at Sedgefield Community College. It is a curriculum that we continue to reflect upon and refine, to make sure it continues to meet the needs of our local communities exceptionally well.