A Connected Curriculum

In 2019-20, we are developing a Connected Curriculum at Rhyl. This follows the adaptations made in 2018-19 with a STEAM approach towards curriculum intent and implementation. This has resulted in increasingly purposeful links for our pupils, enabling them to better understand the world around them, their place within it and current topical world issues.

Through our Connected Curriculum, we aim to ensure that all our children are provided with opportunities to develop skills to become global citizens of the future. At the heart of our new curriculum is the commitment to prepare children for their future life chances, giving them the confidence and skills that is their social and cultural capital.

What is the INTENT of the Connected Curriculum?

  • To ensure our pupils are ready and prepared for the world ahead of them, from the next stage of their education and beyond to employment and to living in their local and global community
  • To ensure our pupils have a range of skills to meet their needs that now and for the future and to reach the highest aspirations
  • To ensure our pupils understand the impact they can have on the world around them as well as within their own family life
  • To equip our pupils with the skills to make positive choices about their education, social and working life
  • To ensure our pupils are able to manage their behaviour and reactions to those around them and to enable them to positively adapt to the changing environment around them
  • To enable our pupils to understand that they are have a good start in life and that by caring about others in the world they can make the world a better place
  • To celebrate their locality and help them understand their place within London, and for them to positively contribute and be valuable members of their local and the wider London community

IMPLEMENTATION of the Connected Curriculum

The curriculum is organised into whole school learning themes rather than topics over the year. The themes will be reviewed annually and selected to meet the needs of the pupils at the time. The learning across the theme is for a full term in order to ensure depth and strong links as well as quality time to embed learning and skills. The implementation of the curriculum is through a STEAM approach, which focuses on skills and understanding and the development of cross-curricular skills to enable pupils to use their learning in a meaningful and purposeful way.

Each term, subject specific days and weeks will take place to ensure in depth coverage of subjects as well as thematic learning. This will also include National events and days of celebration as well as new discoveries and political issues where appropriate

Concerts and end of term celebrations are closely linked to thematic learning to better involve parents and celebrate learning. Each term a ‘Fantastic Finish’ will celebrate and show case children’s achievements in a whole school event as well as year group events. Trips and visits are integral to the curriculum to provide our children with opportunities and experiences, which we know many of them do not have outside of school.

Common aspirational themes across the school are the focus of curriculum planning and experiences for children and are underpinned by British Values. Connections are made with world issues and current events of which children need to be aware with STEAM and creativity at the core of our curriculum.

Measuring IMPACT of a Connected Curriculum

Evaluation of a STEAM approach to curriculum planning and implementation showed a particular impact in the following areas:

  • an improvement in oracy and the use of key vocabulary across STEAM topics
  • more collaborative learning through projects, allowing and encouraging pupils to work as a team from the planning and research stage to the making, doing, evaluating and presenting aspects
  • The STEAM approach has often given pupils a high quality end product such as flood proof structures or a topic book of their own, for which they have taken responsibility for planning and developing their own learning
  • Monitoring and evaluation of planning and teaching, both by SLT and with the teaching teams leading the STEAM approach, has been highly positive. We have seen greater engagement, greater links across learning and greater involvement in creating and making.
  • Pupils are able to talk with greater understanding about what they are doing and enabling links to their own lives and locality
  • Greater links within the curriculum has resulted in improved attainment in writing and oracy across the school.

The areas of focus in 2019/20 will be:

  • Development of clear expectations for progression across each subject with end of year expected outcomes for each stage
  • Development of class and individual pupil portfolios to demonstrate achievement and progression across the curriculum through the use of See Saw and curriculum books
  • Further development of computing across the curriculum as a tool for learning
  • Increase proportion of pupils reaching higher levels through provision of depth in learning across the curriculum and the application of core skills in all areas of learning
  • Ensure effective assessment and progression for pupils with SEND to achieve highly and reach aspirational targets
  • Monitor progression and achievement in particular of boys and disadvantaged pupils to ensure they make accelerated progress

2019-20 Whole School Themes and Big Questions