DGAT CURRICULUM STATEMENT
Our Trust’s vision, rooted in John 10:10 that ‘I have come that they might have life, life in all its fullness’ overarches everything we do as a family of schools - enabling, nurturing and celebrating all our children’s achievements encouraging all of our children to be the best that they can be.
Learning and Curriculum
We are an innovative, aspirational and outward facing organisation which seeks to continually drive forward to ensure that the opportunities our pupils experience in the classroom are the best that we can deliver. To this end we are committed as an organisation to Action Research across our schools to ensure that our teachers continually reflect individually and together through teach meets etc. to ensure that what is offered is best practice.
We believe in a broad and balanced curriculum, set within a Christian context, which recognises the uniqueness of every child and which serves to prepare them for their future. We are committed to sustaining high quality educational provision, and to supporting schools in need of specific improvement. We aim to recruit and retain staff of the highest quality and to offer them the working conditions they need to give of their best as they serve the pupils in their care. We work in partnership with families so that all our children are encouraged to be the best that they can be. Throughout all of this we seek to ensure the health and mental well-being of all in our community - pupils, staff and parents.
As a trust we delegate individual curriculum design and decisions to our schools. We do however, expect all schools to develop a curriculum largely underpinned by the National Curriculum, enhancing this with opportunities to make learning exciting and in a meaningful context for children both in and outside the classroom. The curriculum that we expect our schools to offer should be ambitious and skilfully designed so that over time all our pupils regardless of their starting points are given the knowledge and skills that will enable them when they leave to be prepared for their next steps in their learning journey. Leaders in our schools ensure that this happens through checking carefully and regularly to ensure that the quality of provision evidenced through both coverage of the curriculum as well as the pupils’ knowledge and understanding demonstrated in a variety of ways remains strong.
All our schools use Philosophy for Children to develop our children’s ability to think, reason and ask the big questions in life.
There exists a wide range of curriculum design within Trust schools, which reflects the different needs of our diverse school communities. Typically, our schools utilise a creative curriculum formed from a mixture of skills and knowledge-based approaches. This ensures that our children use and apply their learning across a range of subjects, allowing them to deepen and embed their subject knowledge. This encourages them to make connections in their learning. Across all our schools we seek to foster a love of reading in our young people through our shared and individual activities. We employ a mastery approach to learning in mathematics supported by the Glow maths hub. This helps to enhance pupils’ mathematical understanding. A range of visitors, trips and use of our own amazing local environment supports this learning. We aim for all children in our schools to experience a wealth of educational experiences so that they become independent learners fully ready for their next challenge, with a well-developed understanding of the need to fully engage with their community. For our church schools, Religious Education is delivered through the Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus supported by the Understanding Christianity resource ensuring a consistent approach is in place for planning and provision of this core subject area.
Church and community
We expect all our children to ask and answer big questions, and to recognise that it is important that they play their full part in their communities, both in and out of school. In our Church schools this is supported by our strong Christian values. Through this and our continued focus on courageous advocacy we ensure that our children are fully ready for the demands of life in modern Britain. Our schools offer many ways to further develop these skills through the leadership opportunities they offer, whether they be Head Boys or Girls, House Captains, Eco Leaders, or other responsibilities appropriate for their age and stage. This introduces them to the art of decision making as well as supporting their personal development. It helps our community ethos become a reality in our schools.
We are also committed to supporting our schools to be inclusive environments where tolerance and respect for others are embedded into daily life.
We have high expectations of our children and the very least we aim for is that standards across the trust are in line with national comparative data. When this falls short, we support and challenge our schools to ensure that appropriate action is taken to improve this and ensure that rapid progress is made.
All our schools ensure that the rich, engaging and fulfilling curriculum they design and offer, seeks to enable each individual to reach their full potential ready to take their place for the next stage of their school career.
Through a distinctive ethos rooted in a strong scriptural base, linking back to the National Church and Diocesan Vision, (John 10:10) our schools, including our community schools, seek to ensure that every child in their care understands how they are called to live and develop as citizens in modern Britain. Much of this work is supported by P4C which fully allows our pupils to celebrate diversity and differences as well as developing and enhancing their ability to demonstrate tolerance and respect for others. Each individual element of SMSC is clearly defined and articulated in our schools.