Mission and Beliefs
At LIFE Education Trust, our Mission is to “build great learning communities“.
As with all our work, our Beliefs are evident in our curriculum. They are:
It takes courage to hope for a better future. We champion a ‘can do’ attitude and encourage our pupils and staff to tackle challenges with resilience and perseverance as they reach for ambitious targets.
Through captivating discoveries in the classroom and eye-opening adventures in the outside world, we give pupils freedom and promote varied learning experiences which stimulate innovation and develop adaptability.
We show love and respect to each member of our community as we nurture a powerful collective spirit. In humility we embrace difference and individuality, show forgiveness when necessary and are united by compassion.
The curriculum is the foundation for what happens in each of our schools. It is not just about what is taught in lessons and nor is it simply about subject content. Each school has a curriculum which is driven by our LIFE mission and beliefs and built upon eight key principles which ensure that all our pupils, regardless of their backgrounds:
- learn valuable knowledge
- are taught the skills to read well
- experience, understand and value creativity
- acquire vital cultural capital
- understand and maintain good physical health and mental wellbeing
- develop the skills to be lifelong learners
- are fully prepared to carry out their roles as valued citizens in all aspects of life in Modern Britain having developed an understanding of themselves and others
- achieve excellent outcomes in national tests and examinations
Across our diverse range of schools, there will be differing curriculum content based upon pupils’ age and local context, but all adhere to the principles outlined above. Our schools collaborate with one another, particularly within the same phase, to learn from one another, build upon best practice and ensure consistency of experience and high standards for all pupils in LIFE schools.
Curriculum Design (Intent & Implementation)
The design of the curriculum for every subject in every year group in all our schools, is driven by our principles above, along with careful evaluation of:
- Which skills, knowledge and vocabulary will be required by the end of the key stage
- How the content of each year builds upon prior learning and contributes to future progress
- How often pupils will revisit and build upon what they have learnt
- How each individual lesson fits into the building of skills and knowledge across the curriculum
- How enrichment and extra-curricular activities complement the taught curriculum
- How the quality of teaching and the pupil’s learning experience is monitored
- How the level of challenge and inclusivity is monitored across all curriculum areas
- How and when the curriculum is reviewed and progression assessed
Each school has its own curriculum policy, which clearly explains the rationale and the intent for the curriculum in that school and how it addresses the Trust’s guiding principles.
A similar intent document exists for every subject taught within the school and these are published on the school’s website.
Each school has also developed clear long, medium and short term plans which ensure that every teacher understands the curriculum intent of what is taught when and why, and that they are empowered to deliver creative and engaging lessons that secure pupil progression throughout the key stages.
Long-term plans provide a curriculum map, or overview, that articulates the rationale for the sequencing of the curriculum, so that every teacher knows not only what they are teaching, but how the knowledge and skills will build upon prior learning and will be developed in future years to ensure progression. Cross-curricular links are identified when appropriate.
These plans are not restricted to National Curriculum subject content; they also outline the progression in pupils’ cultural and creative opportunities and their character development.
Medium-term plans provide the schemes of work that deliver on the curriculum intent and ensure smooth progression and high aspiration for all pupils.
They clearly articulate the expected outcomes and success criteria, key vocabulary to be learnt, and a range of creative activities and resources to provide and innovative learning experiences for both in and out of the classroom.
Short-term plans provide teachers with a range of pedagogical approaches to deliver exciting lessons that ensure the progression of the curriculum, even for less experienced teachers.
Learning and Teaching (Implementation)
The true quality of any curriculum, in terms of achieving its intended outcomes for pupils, is only as good as its implementation; ie. the quality of teaching.
In LIFE Education Trust we recognise that our teachers are our most important resource for achieving our curriculum aims. In order for us to “build great learning communities” we ensure all our teachers are trained to fully understand the curriculum they teach and to understand the latest research on how pupils learn; so that every teacher can deliver the creative lessons that will bring the curriculum to life and will ensure that all pupils, of all abilities and backgrounds, will achieve excellent outcomes.
We recognise and value different pedagogical styles and approaches and all teachers in all LIFE schools undergo continuing professional development in order to secure a shared understanding of how children learn and their roles in ensuring that pupils learn and achieve beyond their expectations. This is outlined in the Trust’s Teaching & Learning Framework.
Outcomes (The Impact of our Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and Assessment)
Every LIFE school sets highly ambitious targets in order to secure progress at above the national average for all pupils, and all groups of pupils. Pupil progress towards these aspirational standards, and the role of the curriculum and teachers in achieving them, is consistently reviewed and evaluated; and, where necessary, appropriate actions taken.
The way in which LIFE schools track pupil progress and provide feedback is outlined in the Trust’s Assessment Framework.
I Gurman / J Dutnall
Download: Teaching and Learning Framework