The knowledge-based curriculum is broad and engages pupils' interests.
Oasis Academy Shirley Park Secondary and Sixth Form
Curriculum Statement of Intent
“Power is knowledge to think the unthinkable and the not yet thought” Basil Bernstein
In line with Oasis Community Learning’s Education Charter, the curriculum is the heart of Oasis Shirley Park’s provision. That is why we have designed, refined and implemented a curriculum that sits at the cutting edge of current educational principles. Within this, we place an emphasis on knowledge. More specifically, powerful knowledge, the knowledge that has the power to transform our students' lives and push them beyond their lived experiences and towards ambitious destinations.
Selection and prioritisation of teaching material are therefore critical in the discussions that are constantly taking place in our school, ensuring that the provision offered to our young people is as strong as it possibly can be. This, of course, means that what we teach at OASP is not easy. Our desire is to inspire our students to reach for and meet high academic and personal standards and our provision is therefore designed so that all of our learners – regardless of background or ability – can achieve the bright future that they deserve. This means that year 8 English students are taught Beowulf in the autumn term, it means that our year 7 history students encounter the complexities of the 12th Century crusading world when they arrive at the school, and it means that all of our students are regularly given access to knowledge that will allow them to succeed beyond school. Our knowledge-rich curriculum is therefore crafted on 3 big ideas, with two key themes throughout.
1) Scope & Balance:
We make confident and well-researched decisions about the relationship between breadth and depth of powerful knowledge in our curriculum in order to provide all learners with the most balanced, effective and productive learning journey possible.
Discussions take place between subject leads and senior leaders to ensure that conversations around breadth and depth are rooted in the latest academic and educational theory. This is increasingly aided by the comprehensive subject-knowledge of our middle leadership team.
2) Rigour & Ambition:
We select challenging, ambitious and transferable powerful knowledge from our subjects, which stretch and empower all learners, with the intention of exceeding the normal expectations of the National Curriculum. In this sense, our philosophy is one of high-expectations for all of our young people.
3) Coherence & Sequencing:
Embracing rigour, ambition, scope and balance, we are able to design an effective, coherent and well-sequenced curriculum, to ensure all learners are able to access and accumulate its powerful knowledge, and thus facilitate rapid progress.
From the moment students come to school to the moment they leave, they are receiving well-sequenced, powerful knowledge that will take them beyond their everyday experiences. On account of the rigour of our curriculum, we have over 80% of our students sitting the EBACC each year. This means that almost all of our students will take a GCSE in one of the humanities (History or Geography), a language (French or Spanish), alongside English, Maths and Science. It also means that many of our students are able to attend sixth forms across London, and go on to attend Universities across the country. The foundations laid from year 7 upwards, the careful (and often quite agonising!) decisions made by subject leads, and the emphasis on curriculum at the core of what we do at Shirley Park, allow this to be the case. In this way, what we teach develops in our pupils an intrinsic love of learning, and the capacity to build bright futures.
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