Midhurst Rother College Curriculum Statement
Intent – our ambition for our pupils; how we achieve the best in everyone
At Midhurst Rother College, our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life. Our curriculum is designed to provide children with the core knowledge they need to do well in education and later life, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person and the talents of the individual and to allow all children to become active and economically self-sufficient citizens. By drawing on the best that’s been thought, said and done in each subject, we hope that our curriculum enables children to appreciate and participate in the full richness of the human experience.
Midhurst Rother College offers students a broad and balanced curriculum matched to the needs of the individual student, giving students a wide choice of subjects throughout their time here. All students have access to the full curriculum, irrespective of gender, SEND, ethnicity, academic ability, social or cultural background. The curriculum meets all statutory requirements.
We also want all pupils to be able to see themselves in our curriculum. Our recent review into the Diversity and Inclusion of our curriculum included a commitment to this dual function of curriculum: that all pupils see themselves in our curriculum, and our curriculum takes all pupils beyond their immediate experience. Our curriculum, encapsulating students’ whole learning experience during time in school, is underpinned by the MRC principles of “Achievement, Respect and Happiness” and by the United Learning Curriculum principles of “Entitlement, Coherence, Mastery, Adaptability, Representation and Education with character.”
- Entitlement: All pupils have the right to learn what is in the United Learning curriculum, and schools have a duty to ensure that all pupils are taught the whole of it.
- Coherence: Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within subjects and between subjects.
- Mastery: We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills, and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupils revisit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts.
- Adaptability: The core content – the ‘what’ – of the curriculum is stable, but schools will bring it to life in their own local context, and teachers will adapt lessons – the ‘how’ – to meet the needs of their own classes.
- Representation: All pupils see themselves in our curriculum, and our curriculum takes all pupils beyond their immediate experience.
- Education with character: Our curriculum - which includes the taught subject timetable as well as spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development, our co-curricular provision, and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – is intended to spark curiosity and to nourish both the head and the heart.
Implementation – how we expose our pupils to powerful knowledge and provide education with character
Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and you will see differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subjects. Standardised written assessments, for example, play less of a role in performance subjects such as music and physical education. The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time, and we are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers of the same subject to plan together and collaborate.
At Key Stage 3, we deliver a traditional curriculum and we believe a 3-year Key Stage 3 provides pupils with the time and space to gain a secure understanding that builds over time in each subject. In our lessons we expect to see all pupils grappling with the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for pupils who need it. Rather than moving on to new content, our higher attainers produce work of greater depth and flair.
Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. We use Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction to develop our teaching practice. At the heart of Rosenshine’s principles is a simple instructional core:
• Explanation of new material in small steps (I)
• Guided practice with prompts and scaffolds (we)
• Independent practice with monitoring and feedback from teacher (you)
In order to allow the mastery approach to be effective (i.e. children learn what they are expected to in the year they are expected to), early catch-up is essential: we aim to promptly identify and support pupils who start secondary school without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics so that they can access the full curriculum.
At both key stages 3 and 4, students choose different enrichment ‘subjects’ each term from an imaginative, diverse group of activities. This keeps our curriculum student-centred, providing students with the curriculum that they need and want.
Everything from which children learn in school – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the co-curricular provision and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – are to be seen as part of the school curriculum. Our principle of ‘Education with Character’ is delivered through the curriculum in this broadest sense.
Impact – how we measure and secure continuous improvement for all
At key points in the year, students will take summative assessments, which allow pupils to demonstrate their growing understanding of their subjects and enable teachers to assess the impact of their teaching. These summative assessments are typically taken once or twice a year, allowing teachers to focus on formative assessment from lesson to lesson.
We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing.
The culmination of our curriculum is that pupils leave our school with the confidence and intelligence to thrive. We know our pupils as individuals which enables us to provide curriculum guidance and careers guidance throughout their time with us. We expect all pupils to leave our school with the grades required to progress to their desired destination, and the character required to flourish once they get there.
By teaching our curriculum well, and delivering education with character, we bring out the best in everyone at Midhurst Rother College.