Our Curriculum Intent
Hayesfield is a comprehensive girls’ school, taking girls from the City of Bath and its surrounding rural towns and villages. As our students arrive with a wide range of experiences of primary education, our curriculum at Hayesfield is designed to ensure that all students can achieve their personal best and develop their individual character. We do this by quickly identifying and then addressing the specific needs of each of our learners. A large number of students come to Hayesfield having attained highly by the end of Key Stage 2 but we also serve a smaller group of students who are lower ability on entry. Thus we aim to exceed the National Curriculum requirements at Key Stage 3 and provide our students with a rich and varied diet of academic and vocational qualifications, which are the cornerstone of educational success, at Key Stage 4.
‘Learning is defined as an alteration in long term memory. If nothing has altered in long term memory, nothing has been learnt’
Sweller et al (2011)
Our curriculum has a strong focus on knowledge acquisition. Acquisition of knowledge allows our students to develop the:
- communication and language skills needed to have successful interactions with others
- listening skills required to respond fully, knowing the meanings of words and social cues
- deeper understanding of subjects being taught by freeing more mental space to think about what they are encountering
- vocabulary of words that will enable them to express themselves effectively
As literacy is at the centre of all that we do, we aim to foster a love of reading with our students at our school, which also allows them to develop empathy towards others whose lives are very different from their own socio-economic background and culture. Ultimately, we want our students to become well-rounded members of society and have the skills and attitude needed to lead a happy and healthy life. Hence our focus on careers education and social, moral, spiritual and cultural development through our wider curriculum offer ensures that our students have a much wider understanding of the world around them, which is much more diverse than our school in Bath, which is ultimately predominantly white British.
Our PSHE programme is fully compliant with the most recent RSE and health education statutory guidance. It ensures that our students are kept safe online and tackles contemporary issues such as identifying and tackling harmful sexuliased behaviour, prejudicial attitudes and peer-on-peer abuse.
‘The school’s ambitions for all pupils to excel are clear in the curriculum, which is broad and balanced and matched well to individual pupils’ and groups of pupils’ needs.’
Ofsted, March 2017
Our Curriculum Implementation
Students make progress by learning and remembering in a more complex way as they journey through the curriculum. Thus, at Hayesfield we have ensured that each key stage not only builds on the former but also allows our students to build knowledge needed for their future learning, too.
Our teachers have thought carefully about the order that learning should follow by looking at the national curriculum and Ofsted’s subject research and review series as well as consulting with their professional organisations. Our subject leaders regularly meet in teams across the Trust to work together to plan sensible sequencing of learning so that students can fully grasp subject concepts by placing components of topics in a logical order. In this way, students can build secure foundations of knowledge and use these to further place new pieces of knowledge on top of another, enabling them to learn more and remember more.
We ensure that we teach our students how to recall information through a range of reinforcement techniques that help pupils retain knowledge they are taught and unpackage learning so that all pupils can achieve the learning goal set.
Assessment is through low-stakes quizzes to help teachers understand how much our students have learnt and retained. Our formal assessments then help teachers to determine how well students can use their knowledge in different situations. At GCSE we do not teach students to test. We help them to prepare for the demands of examinations by ensuring they know and can remember more and therefore free up the mental
The curriculum is delivered through a two week 50 period timetable and is divided into three broad stages:
- Key Stage 3: Year 7 to Year 9
- Key Stage 4: Year 10 and Year 11
- Key Stage 5: Year 12 and Year 13