At Kirkburton Middle School our curriculum is rich and deep, broad and balanced and we ensure that all of our pupils follow a rigorous and challenging curriculum that is designed to prepare them for what is a fast changing and demanding world. Our intention is that our pupils will follow a curriculum that opens their minds to new and existing possibilities and aspirations, as well as being given the opportunities to explore the world around them locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. This will enable them to gain access to the vast opportunities this exploration provides. It is also important to us that children develop personally as well as academically, developing empathy with, and understanding of, the needs and beliefs of others. The skills of team-work, personal organisation, independent learning, creativity and self-reflection are embedded throughout the curriculum.
Through our curriculum we want to develop resilience and a ‘Growth Mindset’ in our young people to enable them to become independent, analytical and questioning individuals who are confident in themselves and can achieve their own highest standards and personal best. Our ultimate aim is that our young people become well-adjusted, well-rounded adults who are healthy mentally and physically. We aim to develop pupils who feel they can clearly articulate their own belief systems and feel empowered to contribute to society and make a difference where they feel it is needed.
At Kirkburton Middle School there are a number of principles upon which our curriculum is built:
1) High challenge and high support:
The curriculum is intended to provide both challenge, which is a precondition for learning to take place, and the opportunity to enable pupils to receive the necessary support they require to be successful. To this extent we are constantly looking for opportunities for our pupils to develop further. We aim to instil in our children a Growth Mindset approach to themselves and their learning, encouraging pupils to always aim to achieve as highly as possible in all they do. At the same time, we provide small group support and interventions where pupils need additional time to develop and consolidate their skills in the core subjects, in particular where they have entered school below national expectations or appear not to be making at least expected progress.
Our curriculum offer is rich and broad, combining a real focus on key skills, along with an exciting range of activities, both within lessons and beyond the classroom through a variety of enrichment activities. Our aim is to develop our pupils as fully as possible to become well-rounded individuals who are motivated to learn, achieve and feel confident to try new experiences.
2) Individualised and personal to a pupil’s needs, skills and aspirations:
We are firmly committed to supporting our pupils irrespective of background to achieve to the best of their ability (and beyond). We ensure that pupils from a perceived disadvantaged background are supported, challenged and inspired to achieve and be given exposure to opportunities which will support social mobility both inside the classroom, and beyond.
Our curriculum is regularly reviewed and amended in order to respond to the needs of changing cohorts of pupils and national expectations of government and employers; in essence, we aim to remain up to date and be proactive rather than reactive in our approach.
3) Academic rigour and expectation:
We provide all pupils with a sound academic basis, building upon the work of our link schools, and expect all our pupils to be successful. The school supports and encourages our pupils to meet and exceed the national expectation that a curriculum should provide for successful study of the core subjects, whilst retaining a broad and balanced curriculum from entry to Year 6 through to the end of Year 8.
Assessment is planned carefully to provide pupils with the motivation to persist as learners. Meaningful and robust assessment, and regular marking and feedback, helps pupils to understand what their strengths are and what they need to improve further. Also, good assessment celebrates achievement and endeavour through a Growth Mindset approach, encouraging pupils to challenge their own expectations and learning. The criteria for assessment dovetail specifically into GCSE expectations at Year 9 through regular, focussed liaison with Shelley College curriculum leaders.
4) Enriching experiences and opportunities:
Pupils are encouraged to participate in a range of enrichment activities both within and beyond the end of the school day to support both their academic and wider development. These include: acting as Befrienders and Young Leaders; STEM Club; participation in a wide range of sporting activities (competitive and non-competitive); school plays or musicals; extra art activities; music clubs; chess club; Warhammer Club; to name but a few. We encourage and give our pupils opportunities to participate in intra and inter-school competitions in a variety of disciplines at a local and national level.
Progression is a major facet of our curriculum offer which ensures that pupils are well supported throughout their time at KMS, as well as at key transition points.
We aim to put the right building blocks in place (strengthening the work already undertaken in our link schools) for our pupils to be able to make smooth and rapid progress through transition points. We take seriously this responsibility to prepare our pupils to be successful and to take meaningful qualifications to prepare them for GCSEs in Year 11, further education (e.g. college, apprenticeships), higher education (University, higher level apprenticeships) and into a range of high quality careers and professions.
Excellent teaching in a broad and balanced curriculum, underpinned by an effective holistic approach to Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development of our pupils, will help to prepare them for life in modern Britain. Core British values are promoted throughout the curriculum.
At Kirkburton Middle School we offer a broad and balanced curriculum comprising of; Art, Computing, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages (French), Music, Physical Education, Personal and Social Education, Religious Education, Science and Technology, delivered through a fortnightly timetable of five 55 minute lessons per lesson a day.
Subject lesson fortnightly breakdown
Apart from English and Maths pupils are taught in mixed ability classes drawn from a pair of tutor groups. In English and Maths, in all year groups, pupils are taught in sets made of one or two ‘high achiever’ sets, 3 or 4 mixed ‘middle achiever’ sets and a smaller ‘lower achiever’ set for pupils needing more support.
In the vast majority of lessons, pupils will be taught by subject specialists who have a wealth of experience teaching at Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and 4 and where non-specialists are used they are well supported by Subject Leaders and other specialist staff.