Our curriculum aims for pupils to make rapid progress and achieve academic excellence. It has high expectations and aspirations for every pupil. It is based on our unwavering belief in the limitless capacity for everyone to achieve great things. It is rooted in our understanding that what we become and achieve comes from great teaching, hard work and fantastic support.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced. It equips pupils with the knowledge and skills to achieve top grades at GCSE and A-level and it allows pupils to acquire this knowledge and remember it. It equips our pupils with the character and learning power to lead successful lives. Our curriculum is a through-school curriculum which systematically and sequentially develops content and skills as pupils journey from age 3 to age 19.
The curriculum embraces and meets all requirements of Curriculum for Wales (up to Year 8) and the National Curriculum (Year 9 upwards) and is specifically designed to meet the needs of our community. It provides access to the best that has been thought and said. It promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils and allows them to appreciate human creativity and achievement. There is a real focus on spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary integral to all aspects of learning.
Our curriculum ensures pupils read a wide range of texts because of the profound impact on educational outcomes. Our curriculum represents, celebrates, and values the rich diversity and inclusivity within our school community. It fully caters for the needs of pupils for which English is not their first language and for pupils with additional learning needs. The important skills in speaking, listening, literacy and numeracy are promoted throughout the curriculum at all key stages.
The curriculum is fully integrated to provide the necessary holistic approach within and across AoLEs. This includes in lesson design (chosen skills and content) and by providing cross-curricular rich tasks that link to various topics and themes.
The four purposes are at the forefront of the formal and informal curriculum offer. Skills and subject content chosen by the Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs) is decided based on the promotion and embedding of these purposes and underpinning integral skills.
All pupils at King Henry VIII 3-19 school are challenged to become: Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives; Enterprising, creative contributors; Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world; Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
Statements of What Matters
The ‘Curriculum for Wales’ guidance sets out the twenty-seven statements of what matters across the six areas of learning and experience. At King Henry VIII 3-19 school the ‘What Matters’ statements link with the four purposes to decide, organise, and develop learning, so pupils have the appropriate skills, experience, and disciplinary knowledge. The ‘What Matters’ statements act as the basis of organising learning progression and progress. They, in conjunction with the principles of progression, are used to decide and develop the skill areas that shape learning in each AoLE.
Each AoLE uses the descriptions of learning (progression steps), to design how the AoLE skills develop across the through-school. AoLEs plan the sequential and systematic development of these skills across the phases and year groups to fulfil the What Matters Statements and achieve the Four Purposes. This developmental mapping also serves to identify what is ‘on track’ at various points in the school. These descriptions of learning, in conjunction with the What Matters Statements and Curriculum for Wales mandatory and suggested content, are also used to design developmental content coverage for each AoLE.
This skill and content development is also designed holistically to develop the integral skills identified in the Curriculum for Wales. This methodology ensures a coherent holistic curriculum approach.
The new curriculum has three cross-curricular responsibilities: Literacy, Numeracy, and Digital Competency. Our curriculum brings subjects together so pupils can learn and develop these skills in authentic contexts. Cross-curricular rich tasks are planned and delivered to develop these skills.
The school’s curriculum also strategically designs what success in these cross-curricular responsibilities looks like in each phase and year group to provide clear and consistent teaching across all AoLEs and subject areas. This allows every AoLE and department to teach these as integrated skills in their specific teaching. Clear training is provided for staff to ensure the necessary joined up approach