The curriculum at Medlock Valley is designed with the children at its heart and provides a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all learners. In addition to this, it also reflects the local context, history and culture and is shaped by the needs of our pupils. In order to develop safe and happy individuals who flourish socially, emotionally, morally and culturally, there is a strong emphasis on PSHE, which is developed alongside our own key values, which underpin our whole school ethos. These are as follows:
We interweave each of these values into every area of the curriculum, with a vision that all members of the school community will develop into ambitious, inquisitive and motivated learners. In conjunction with the teaching of British values, which are also fundamental to ensure our pupils understand the importance of respect, we aim to prepare all of our pupils for life in modern Britain. Our pupils are exposed to teaching and learning opportunities that enable them to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in an ever-changing world. The school’s vision is deepened through our home learning offer, where pupils are encouraged to take ownership of their own learning and become independent researchers.
We recognise that we have a high percentage of disadvantaged pupils (just below 50%) in comparison with national figures and that our children represent a culturally diverse community in which levels of unemployment and deprivation are high. We are also aware that the majority of our pupils enter our school with communication, language and literacy skills that are below those typical for their age. Although English and Maths are taught discretely, the key skills and knowledge they are taught are revisited and applied across the curriculum, with opportunities to deepen their understanding and develop their long term memory storage and retention. In order to meet the needs of our learners, children are provided with literacy-rich opportunities to read and write in a range of contexts for different purposes. In addition to this, our learning environment is rich in age appropriate vocabulary. The National Curriculum forms the foundations of our school offer, with the Focus Education Learning Challenge Curriculum driving the content. This ensures progression in skills and knowledge that is built on prior learning and is based on enquiry based learning, which ignites curiosity and encourages children to think critically and creatively.
As a result of our pupils’ starting points, it is vital that our curriculum delivers first-hand experiences that develop their social and cultural capital. With this in mind, opportunities are provided for children to learn outdoors in our school grounds and each topic provides at least one visit, visitor or activity that takes place outside the classroom alongside formal learning opportunities to support and develop their understanding. We strive to ensure that disadvantage and additional needs are not barriers to learning and achievement and that we celebrate even the smallest of successes.
Ultimately, our main aim is to inspire a love of learning and create life-long learners who are not afraid to take risks or make mistakes, who take pride in all that they do and contribute positively to the world they live in.