Curriculum is all about power. Decisions about what knowledge to teach are an exercise of power and therefore a weighty ethical responsibility. What we choose to teach confers or denies power.
C COunsell, 2018
The fundamental purpose of BLT is to challenge and defy the barriers that constrain the educational progress of our students. The curriculum is the conduit through which that purpose becomes a reality. The BLT academic curriculum is rooted in the principles of being:
- rich in powerful knowledge
- academically demanding
- building cultural capital.
Our academic curriculum is a vehicle for success. It challenges the mind, nurtures
the heart and guides the hand.
Each subject discipline delivers excellence by sequencing learning so that its key knowledge, vocabulary and skill set are mastered by our students.
Our curriculum is statutorily compliant, aligned to a traditional academic approach and will yield knowledgeable, confident, articulate and culturally astute young adults. The curriculum doesn’t sit in isolation from the wider values and culture of each academy; academic progress and character development are prized by all. BLT students are ambitious, have strong values and develop a sense of agency.
Each subject is now embarking on the process of designing a curriculum programme which meets the aims of the BLT curriculum. Each curriculum programme will be centred on an exploration of the big ideas / key knowledge for that discipline. It will be explicit about the vocabulary students will master. It will identify and build in opportunities for students to hone their skills in applying their subject knowledge.
The curriculum programmes will be complete packages of resources that teachers will use to deliver their subject across a key stage. They will include a long-term plan, with content and knowledge sequenced carefully, as well as all the resources and training required for teachers to deliver individual lessons. Crucially, these curriculum programmes will be knowledge-rich, and have teacher-led instruction and whole-class teaching approaches at their core.
The content of long term and medium term plans is sequenced to build on prior knowledge and ensure progression across a concept and from one unit of work to another. There will be a clear pedagogic rationale behind the sequence chosen and this will align with the aims of the BLT curriculum. The content will be rooted in the discipline of the academic subject; materials will provide opportunities for retention, subject-appropriate application and re-use of knowledge. Specialist vocabulary appropriate to the level being studied will be used with precision. Key teaching points will be reviewed against research evidence. The programme will include training or guidance for teachers, which can:
- Support the effective use of resources in line with the intended approach
- Enhance teacher subject knowledge
- Continuously improve the quality of teaching.
Within each curriculum programme there will be content that can be used with pupils across the ability range, including approaches which ensure the engagement of higher attaining pupils and approaches for supporting pupils with SEND and EAL, whilst still placing the emphasis on whole-class teaching, teacher-led instruction and the entitlement of all pupils to see the most demanding materials. Individual lesson materials will be adaptable at the same time as maintaining fidelity to the programme approach.