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Alternative secondary curriculum

(9 Posts)
PotteringAlong Wed 10-Oct-12 18:47:52

I have been asked to join a curriculum review at school (secondary) to overhaul what we do to come in sept 2015. At the moment we're just looking at options / different places. So I thought I'd ask the mumsnet staffroom.

What do you do? Is it different / does it work?

cricketballs Wed 10-Oct-12 19:37:54

for all years or just KS3? At 2 schools I have worked at during year 7 they focus more on PLTS and do it in a 'project' manner so incorporate most subjects within the projects but the LO are based on the PLTS skills. The only 'normal' lessons are Maths, English, Science and all other subjects are written in the project SoW

PotteringAlong Thu 11-Oct-12 06:32:29

We're changing it for all years, but we were having a discussion about year 7 last night!

cricketballs Thu 11-Oct-12 16:42:25

not sure how you are going to manage overhauling KS4 given that Gove just wants them all to pass his version of useful subjects.....

PotteringAlong Thu 11-Oct-12 16:49:07

The plan is we're looking at changing stuff for starting sept 2015, so in line with the changes. We need to do something though as we're not a school where Gove's version of ks4 will work...

I suspect we'll end up concentrating on ks3 - we've got until Christmas to hatch a plan!

cricketballs Thu 11-Oct-12 22:35:32

I fully understand being at a school where Gove has just not realised exists! But in reality how are you going to manage the threat of academy etc when your Ebacc results etc are below his threshold or are you already an academy/planning to be?

Maybe look at what the JCB Academy are doing in Staffordshire as they run a project type of curriculum with KS4&5

PotteringAlong Sat 13-Oct-12 13:35:03

We're not an academy nor planning on being and our results are already below his threshold...

Our strength as a school has always been not in our results but the suitability of our provision for our kids in our catchment area and we've always been praised by local authority / ofsted for that. The problem we now have is that our provision isn't good at the moment.

If I'm honest, I don't know whether we will be able to alter KS4 or whether it will just be KS3 because I'm not sure how must freedom we will have or how off piste we will be allowed to go. We're just looking to see what's out there at the moment.

Thank you for the JCB academy tip.

EvilTwins Sat 13-Oct-12 19:23:51

Where I teach we used to run an Opening Minds curriculum in Yrs 7 & 8 (similar to what cricket talked about up thread) but have ditched it this year. It worked brilliantly when the Head of Opening Minds was in post - she was superb and the whole thing was very smoothly run which excellent planning. She has now left to be a primary HT (she was primary trained, which is possibly one of the reasons OM ran so well) and the whole thing has fallen apart.

I have mixed feelings about it. I think to run any kind of alternative curriculum, you have to have the parents completely on board - some of ours were highly suspicious of OM as it wasn't something they'd done themselves. However, for our kids, it worked - particularly those who weren't quite ready for the jump from KS2 to KS3. Downsides were that they they had to choose options in Yr 9 having only had one year of subjects like History or RE as discreet lessons. Positives were the focus on PLTS, the relationship between the kids and the teachers, and the relationship within classes themselves.

cricketballs Sun 14-Oct-12 11:10:45

there was something on BBC Breakfast this morning about something similar (can't find the link at the moment) but they interviewed a deputy head and an academic about this type of learning.

There suggestion was that students took the learning on themselves by the natural curiosity that we have and they were allowed to take their learning in a tangent if they so desired. The presenters pressed them hard about how can they then gain the qualifications if they are are not 'studying' the prescribed curriculum and their answer was that they were "learning to learn" which they then take into the more traditional route.

very interesting; you might find it on BBC iplayer it was around 8.30-9am this morning

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