Our vision is for our school to be a community where everyone has the right to teach, to learn and to be respected. We aim to:
We endeavour to work together to provide excellent learning experiences.
Our vision has been carefully crafted by many hands. We have sought the opinions of all stakeholders so that our vision is inclusive and appropriate. We have dedicated staff meeting time to honing our vision so that it meets the needs of all of our students. Our governors have provided their insight into the crafting of the vision and students and parents have also been consulted in the process. The resulting vision has gone through many drafts and will continue to be reviewed until we are satisfied that it reflects all views in our school community. The curriculum that we have constructed as part of the switch to a new Curriculum for Wales enables us to realise our vision. As part of curriculum design:
The four core purposes of the new curriculum have been embedded into our school vision. Those responsible for designing our new school curriculum have carefully considered how these purposes can be embedded into the everyday experiences of our learners. We firmly believe that our new curriculum will enable all of our students to realise the four purposes, regardless of their age, ability and aptitude. The curriculum is not just limited to the classroom. Our wider learning experiences roadmap outlines some of the exciting opportunities that will be offered to our students, contributing to their experience of the four core purposes:
The What Matter Statements (WMS) in each Area of Learning Experience (AOLE) and the corresponding progression steps have been the fundamental building blocks of our new curriculum design. As a school that recognises the importance of knowledge acquisition, as well as the development of skills, the WMS have enabled our AOLE leaders to design the curriculum to reflect the most important core concepts in each area of the curriculum. The school has used the principles of progression to ensure that each student is able to journey through a curriculum that is broad and balanced. The curriculum also aligns to the mandatory requirements of teaching Welsh, English and Religion, Values and Ethics (RVE). The mandatory elements of Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) and the cross curricular skills of literacy, numeracy and digital competence are embedded throughout the curriculum.
Our school curriculum has been designed to ensure that all students can develop against the mandatory principles of progression. Our staff will support all students to develop the capacity and behaviours to progress. We have developed our assessment strategies to reflect this. We recognise that summative assessment remains an important means of assessing a student’s progress so far. However, the new curriculum gives more space for more formative modes of assessment which can be used to ensure all learners have the support that they need to progress at an appropriate pace. These formative assessment strategies allow for active engagement between learners and teachers and help teachers to provide ongoing guidance as to the next steps students are required to make and the challenges that they will need to face. Just as the way we assess students’ progress has changed, so has the way we feedback to students. Excessive written marking is not an effective way of ensuring that teachers are enabling the progress of their students. Research shows that a suite of feedback strategies is a much more effective means of supporting the progress and development of students’ knowledge and skills. Therefore, each area has also developed their own Pillars of Feedback reflecting the most commonly used feedback strategies in their lessons.
Finally, the way that we feedback to you has also changed. We have redesigned our spotcheck and reporting system to provide a much clearer picture of the progress your child is making in school. Our school reports will inform you of progress in the integral skills which are central to the new curriculum. As National Curriculum levels have been removed, we will instead provide you with data from your child’s performance in national tests in order to give you a snapshot of their academic performance. Ultimately, we feel these new reporting methods will provide you with a holistic picture of your child’s progress.
We have long been committed to honest and effective self-evaluation at Alun School and the implementation and delivery of the new curriculum will be kept under review to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all of our learners and helping them to progress in achieving our school’s aims. Self-evaluation will be an ongoing process, involving all stakeholders. We fully expect the curriculum to evolve as we deliver it; the views of students, teachers, parents and others will be crucial as we continue to shape the curriculum.