At Accrington, we believe in the adage “Children’s learning is not a rehearsal. They never get a second chance. Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life. Our HSC and Childcare and curriculum is designed to provide children with the core knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits (KASH) they need for success in education and later life, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person and the talents of the individual and to allow all children to become active and economically self-sufficient citizens.
HSC is taught in KS4 with HSC and Childcare taught at KS5. Both are taught as BTEC subjects to enable our students to develop skills for the workplace as well as academically.
Hundreds of United Learning teachers and leaders have been involved in developing the United Learning Curriculum as a core academic curriculum, founded on these key principles:
Entitlement – We believe that all children have the right to learn a powerful knowledge based curriculum. This knowledge is tested in every lesson through live in 5 and assessed through NEA tasks assignments and exam practice where required.
Mastery – We want all students to achieve a full understanding of the knowledge specified in the Curriculum for each year, and teaching should not move on until this is achieved.
Stability – We won’t constantly amend the Curriculum: while we should make occasional adjustments in the light of feedback and experience, we will aim for stability over many years, so that teachers can develop expertise, and we constantly build assessments and teaching materials to support the Curriculum.
Concepts not context – The Curriculum is intended as a concise specification of knowledge and content to be taught and learned; it is for schools and teachers to decide how to teach and bring it to life.
Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and you will see differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subjects. In HSC and Childcare our students are taught concepts until they have mastered them. Through the IV process NEA tasks is standardised across the department. Once mastered, they can move onto their NEA tasks or exams. The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time, and we are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers of the same subject to plan together and collaborate. Our timetable on a Monday has been changed to provide “Golden time” to allow our teachers to collaborate and work on subject development as we believe this collaboration is vital.
In our lessons we expect to see all pupils grappling with the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for pupils who need it. Rather than moving on to new content, our higher attainers produce work of greater depth and flair.
Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. We use Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction to develop our teaching practice. At the heart of Rosenshine’s principles is a simple instructional core:
· Demonstration: Teacher presents new information in small steps (I)
· Guided practice with models, prompts and scaffolds (We)
· Independent practice with monitoring and feedback from the teacher (You)
At each point, teachers check understanding of all pupils by asking lots of questions and providing feedback. We use a framework of instructional coaching at Accrington to allow our teachers time and space to develop their practice.
The Rosenshine principles support the implementation of the curriculum by ensuring that pupils regularly recall prior learning. You will often see this at the start of our lessons with our Academy “live in 5 strategy”. When prior learning is committed to long term memory it becomes fluent or ‘automatic’, freeing space in our working memory which can then be used for comprehension, application, and problem solving. We ensure that throughout KS4 and KS5 we are developing and encouraging high levels of literacy and numeracy within the subjects and these are demonstrated through the marking of NEA tasks.
Everything from which children learn in school – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the co-curricular provision and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – are to be seen as part of the school curriculum. Our principle of ‘Education with Character’ is delivered through the curriculum in this broadest sense. We are passionate about ensuring this character education though our “Accrington Aspires” programme of form time/assemblies/Every child matters days and a broad range of extra-curricular activities which ensure we focus on developing the whole child. During KS5 students must complete work experience within a HSC or Childcare setting which enables our students to be work-ready when they leave school.
Students are assessed formatively throughout lessons and during the teaching and mastery before they start their NEA tasks. Their NEA tasks is often lengthy and so is formatively assessed fortnightly within BTEC guideline and summatively assessed with opportunities for resubmission where required. We also have two opportunities for full exam papers twice a year, this allows teachers to focus on formative assessment from lesson to lesson.
We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing. Knowledge organisers provide students with key information that they are expected to learn and recall with fluency, enabling them to develop their understanding of key concepts outside of their lessons.
The culmination of our curriculum is that pupils leave our school with the confidence and intelligence to thrive. We know our pupils as individuals which enables us to provide curriculum guidance and careers guidance throughout their time with us. We expect all pupils to leave our school with the grades required to progress to their desired destination, and the character required to flourish once they get there.
By teaching our curriculum well, and delivering education with character, we bring out the best in everyone.
HSC at KS4 is taught through 5 hours a fortnight, HSC at KS5 is taught through 22 hours per fortnight plus a day of work experience, Childcare is taught through 17 hours per fortnight plus 2 days of work experience. Students also have dedicated independent study time to complete NEA tasks tasks or exam revision each week.
To find out more about our curriculum please contact our Vice Principal in charge of Quality of Education Mrs Christine Williams on Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org or see our Curriculum policy.
Our guided choices booklets also give us more detail on the programme of Guided choices from KS3 into KS5
Health & Social Care Staff
Click on Teacher name to read full bio
Ms S Mukhtar
It was whilst I was studying at University when I decided to challenge myself and become a teacher, I graduated from the University of Salford with a BSc (Hons) in Sociology and Criminology. In order to achieve my dream and passion for teaching I successfully completed my PGDE at The University of Bolton. Throughout my career I have taught A Level Sociology, Health and Social Care and Child Care. I truly believe Health and Social Care is an important subject as it provides students with a vast range of knowledge and expertise necessary for a career in Health and Social Care. I love teaching this subject because it’s never dull; every topic brings a new discussion to light and can be applied to todays fast pace diverse society. I believe teaching was the right choice for me as I can make a big difference to young people’s lives and my passion for the subject is what makes my teaching enjoyable and fun!