Teaching & Learning
At Buxton Community School our students are at the centre of what we do; we want to prepare them with the knowledge, skills and attributes that will enable them to thrive within and beyond the world of school.
The highest of expectations are embodied in the school curriculum. Our aim is to provide a strong, broad and challenging educational experience that supports students in developing the values of a lifelong learner. Every student is entitled to a curriculum which provides a well-balanced education, developing the abilities of individual students so that they may play a valuable, positive and active role in the community and wider society. The entitlement is for each student, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or disability.
The curriculum is underpinned by an entitlement to high quality knowledge and developing the skills and understanding to use and apply what has been learned. Subject specific knowledge taught by specialists in their field is key to this. We believe that immersion in powerful knowledge enriches the life of a student within and beyond the classroom.
Our curriculum is not focused on acquiring knowledge for its own sake. We will equip our students with the skills to use and apply the knowledge they learn. Not only will students have access to the best specialist knowledge to date; they will also understand that knowledge is forever developing and expanding, and that they themselves may play a part in that expansion in the future. We will nurture the spirit of intellectual curiosity and develop students' skills in creativity, reasoning, critical analysis and problem solving.
The curriculum provides access to a wide-ranging education across the sciences, humanities, languages, arts, technologies and physical activities to provide a meaningful experience for each student. The thoughts and opinions of students will be taken into account when shaping the curriculum. We are also committed to providing a comprehensive range of opportunities beyond the classroom to create an appetite for new learning experiences. Extra-curricular activities are therefore an integral feature of our ethos.
Great importance is also placed on Citizenship under the umbrella of provision for Personal, Social, Health, Emotional and Economic education. Our students will be taught tolerance, empathy, and how to show kindness and respect to others. This, combined with enterprise, work-related learning and artistic experiences, constitutes outstanding provision for all students.
Implementation and Delivery
- We teach knowledge to be remembered, not encountered: our curriculum embraces evidence from cognitive science about memory, forgetting and the power of retrieval practice. The curriculum has been designed to be remembered in detail; to be stored in students’ long-term memories so that they can later build on it and successfully apply their learning to challenges that lie ahead.
- Subject leaders align their curriculum to the whole school model and principles but retain autonomy to reflect the demands and uniqueness of their subject. They lead their teams through collaborative planning, which drives decisions on the sequencing, mapping, delivery and assessment of the learning.
- Subject teams build in interleaving, formative low-stakes testing and plenty of repeated practice to ensure progression and the opportunity for each student to maximise their achievement. This develops into controlled testing of moderately challenging assessment to grow resilience and understanding of how to be successful. Eventually, high stakes testing checks mastery of a subject and associated assessment styles. All assessment informs the next steps in learning for students and staff.
- The language of each subject is given high status; the specifics of what we want students to learn matter and the traditions of subject disciplines are respected and the curriculum will reflect this. Teachers model excellence in their subject and high-quality explanations, discussions and questioning, supported by well-planned resources, enable students to engage with and master the learning.
- A readiness for the next stage will be developed: whether this is transition between schools, across a key stage, or between units of work and associated lessons, our curriculum prepares students for academic and vocational learning, and adulthood.
- Our curriculum is appropriate for all and responsive to individual students. This includes provision for students with additional needs, whether they require learning support or further challenge for the most able.
Our students will:
- Achieve strong outcomes and make significant progress in-line with high expectations.
- Possess powerful knowledge: they will know more, understand more and remember more.
- Be able to apply this knowledge in more challenging, relevant and engaging ways, and translate this into actions for success.
- Be resilient in the face of adversity and develop life-long skills that will equip them for the 21st century.
- Become self-motivated, aspirant learners who embrace the many opportunities and doors that are open to them.