Our aims from our School Development Plan (SDP):
Build on our Hope, Agency, Leadership
● develop young people with the desire and capacity to effect change through increasing awareness of their responsibilities as global citizens
Provide a nurturing environment
● develop the spiritual growth, responsibility, resilience and independence of all our children so that they are able to thrive in times of challenge, now and in the future.
Promote excellent achievement
● raise the academic achievement of all our students through evidence-based research into learning and the continued professional development of our teachers.
● prepare students for the future by developing their higher-order thinking skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity and innovation.
Enable each person to flourish
● celebrate personal development by inspiring students to demonstrate the School’s values
● develop every student’s unique strengths by providing a broader range of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities.
Create a community for life
● develop opportunities for our students while they are at School and after they leave by bringing together members of the Marden community.
Prepare students for the future
● guide and support students to understand and realise their ambitions by providing personalised careers, post-16 and higher education advice so that every student leaving Marden has a clear pathway to follow.
● develop students’ entrepreneurial, leadership and digital competency skills.
● equip our students with life skills such as financial competency and public speaking proficiency that they will need to be active and valued members of society
Curriculum intent and principles
The aim of our curriculum is to equip our young people with the knowledge and skills from KS3 to make them ready for KS4 and, beyond KS4, ready for the next stage in their lives. Through this we want to ensure that students leave with a high level of literacy and are able to communicate confidently through both the written word and oracy. Our curriculum is predominantly subject based but is also supplemented by the wealth of opportunities available outside of the classroom: from structured clubs and activities, such as debate and dance, to playing chess at lunchtimes; being a prefect with a specialist interest such as media or maths. By the time they leave, students will know what they need to excel in their exams but, due to the structuring of the curriculum and style of delivery, will be able to draw on rich cultural capital and knowledge and apply this to a love of life long learning.
The curriculum is guided by these whole school principles:
● Opportunities to develop literacy are embedded into the framework.
● Learning is sequential and allows students to build cognitive science and effective use of feedback to foster independence.
● Skills are developed that can be applied to new knowledge and different contexts.
● Strategies for teaching interleave knowledge and this means that students embed it in their long term memory.
● Assessment for learning (AFL) strategies identify how information has been processed by students and the next steps that need to be taken .
● Interleaving of skills means they are practised and refined.
● Delivery encourages students to question and enquire.
● It is differentiated depending on the individual learning needs and contexts of students.
● The way the curriculum is delivered fosters positive relationships.
● It allows students to build cultural capital.
● It links to CEIAG and the skills required for the world of work
Our curriculum is a framework for learning to take place with sequenced topics and skills. Students build and apply knowledge that leads, not just to an end point of summative assessment but, to students who have a solid knowledge in areas that encourage them to engage and enquire with the world around them.
There are many CEIAG opportunities built into the curriculum and in 2021-22 we are working closely with local business partners on how we can embed shared language and skills from the world of work further across the curriculum. We will be using Skills Builder as a vehicle for this together with GlobalBridge so that there is fluidity between students’ learning and development in school and into employment.
At KS3 students study a broad range of subjects. Skills that are assessed at GCSE are brought down into KS3 but the content is different and varied, allowing students to develop cultural capital through the content they study.
At KS4 students can select three options (one of which follows the EBacc) path. Students are encouraged to consider their next steps but also to pick subjects that will interest and engage them. All students study English, English literature, maths, PE and personal development. students all study separate sciences in Year 10 and then continue to do so in Year 11 or move to combined science. Our curriculum is inclusive and so there are no set pathways for certain students to follow at GCSE, just lots of discussion about what is appropriate through options evenings, parents’ evenings and tutor discussion. The options offer include all identifiable groups in our student cohort, there are equal opportunities for the academically gifted and those inclined to more practical, vocational learning. Our curriculum is based on our determination to raise the attainment and aspirations of all of our students so that very nearly all of them continue their education through a range of post 16 pathways. It is planned to develop highly skilled, confident and knowledgeable young people who are ready to undertake the demands of study and work after the age of 16, with the majority moving on to university.
Within our school framework the curriculum is bespoke at subject level. Each of our curriculum areas outlines their intent within their curriculum development plans that are then shared with teaching staff. Within this, the delivery of the curriculum is teacher-led, with teachers adapting the curriculum for the students they are delivering it to.
Personal development of students is planned carefully for each year group to develop the skills necessary at each stage of development. This is integral to the Personal Development curriculum delivered in tutor groups and is influenced by what is appropriate for each year group at each precise stage of their development e.g. Year 9 a focus around careers when choosing their options subjects. This focus on the development of the ‘whole child’ is underpinned by everything we do and the other opportunities offered to students such as boys and girls network, M10 missions, work experience, mock job interviews, trips to CERN and local universities.
Full course coverage can be found on the subject clouds for each year group.
In addition to our timetabled curriculum there are a number of clubs and activities that students can join. Our MAST (Marden Achieving Success Together) programme provides targeted intervention in literacy, numeracy and in active sports.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum (The timetable is organised on a two week basis)
During form time students have designated sessions for literacy (including oracy), maths and a quiz which develops students’ cultural capital. Assemblies are delivered on a theme of the week.
Students are in ability classes for most subjects apart from Humanities, Personal Development and Physical Education. Where possible, there is subject setting.
At KS3 students are assessed on skills and knowledge using the following progress markers:
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
At KS4 our aim is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which will lead students to as many pathways as possible in the future. All students take one Baccalaureate subject in
order to ensure they are studying a broad range of subjects and students are encouraged to take two if they are considering going on to higher education. Options subjects have been assigned six lessons over a two week period in order to ensure depth of study.
Students are in ability classes for core and some other subjects. Where possible, there is subject setting. Option groups are mixed ability unless two classes are run simultaneously.
During Year 10 students access a one week work experience program. Work Experience is an important part of the school curriculum, it helps students to learn more about the world of
work and explore possible future careers. Students undertake extra responsibility that will encourage greater independence in their learning and way of life. They are challenged to
develop aspects in their skill set such as initiative, resilience and time management outside of their comfort zone. It also allows them to explore potential career paths as well as
appreciate the working world in modern Britain.
Current Year 10 Subjects over a two week timetable:
In 2021-22 all students will take English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science (separate Sciences initially then this may change to combined in Year 11) as compulsory
subjects and also follow PE and Personal Development.
Current Year 11 Subjects over a two week timetable:
Staff in core and other subjects provide revision sessions for students which are often targeted. This runs alongside generic and subject-specific study skills resources for KS4
students which are available on the subject clouds and the Google Classroom.
During Year 11 students are given one-to-one Connexions appointments where they can discuss future choices and the steps students need to get there. We have special assemblies from the main local providers of college and sixth form such as Whitley High, QA and Newcastle College who come in to speak to students about where they will go from Marden. students also have access to careers advice through a careers fair and more bespoke specialist sessions delivered through Personal Development.