At Brooksbank we believe that a carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built. The curriculum is designed and implemented in such a way that it builds on prior knowledge and prepares students for the next stage in their education. This is complimented by the ‘Ten Principles of Effective Teaching’, a research based philosophy that ensures that all lessons are engaging, challenging and appropriately planned so that every student can achieve their full potential.
Development of skills, vocabulary, building of knowledge and sequencing of learning are integral to curriculum planning. Curriculum Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a programme of study that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics. Teachers plan learning that allows students to embed and recall knowledge through researched techniques such as interleaving of topics and spaced retrieval practice. This builds firm foundations for progression to the next level and examination success.
Whole school, bespoke and subject specific CPD, is delivered with the curriculum and the ‘Ten Principles of Effective Teaching’ at the foundation; driven by robust evidenced based research, which ensures that all teachers are improving alongside an evolving curriculum.
All subjects are supported by the student Knowledge Organisers that encourage independent learning and revisiting of knowledge from previous lessons to help students commit this into their long-term memory.
In Literacy lessons, students are introduced to challenging academic vocabulary which is revisited in lessons to ensure retention and mastery. The Oracy Charter builds on students’ vocabulary skills and confidence to secure a solid foundation for extended written work.
The development of student reading is high profile – within lessons and through the wider curriculum. Challenging texts are read by all students. Weaker readers are supported through a number of reading intervention schemes and all staff adopt a common approach to reading strategies in the classroom to support reading.
A discrete, developmental and responsive Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship programme is at the centre of the school curriculum and provides opportunities to teach concepts, knowledge, language, strategies and skills that enrich the wider curriculum. We recognise this subject’s role in developing interpersonal skills such as listening, questioning, team-working and risk identification and its impact on students’ academic achievement, behaviour and success beyond school, including employability.
Formative assessments are used within lessons to embed knowledge, check understanding and inform planning: targeted questioning, low-stakes quizzing, multiple choice testing, pair-and-share activities, group feedback, spelling and vocabulary tests to name but a few. Regular feedback ensures that misconceptions can be addressed swiftly and immediate intervention put in place.
All staff use routines in lessons and the Brooksbank ‘Not for Sales’ ensure consistent and high expectations are in place across the school. These are used along with positive language to promote a culture of success and celebration.