Forwards Centre Curriculum
The Forwards Centre curriculum is based on the updated DfE guidance for Alternative Provision (2013) with the aim of ensuring that pupils have the necessary skills to move on to the next stage in their education.
It is comprised of a core curriculum of maths, English, science and computing and uses the national curriculum for England as its basis. Pupils will also have a range of enrichment experiences with the aim of developing the positive character traits (DfE Character Education Framework, 2019) which support success in wider life.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves healthy and safe and behavioural expectations are explicitly taught alongside personal and social skills.
In order to be successful, we believe that excluded pupils need to feel a strong sense of belonging. The curriculum therefore includes experiences with the aim of both promoting that sense of belonging and providing pupils with the cultural capital that they need to be part of wider society.
The teacher responsible for maths in the centre is M. Brandwood. Pupils are baselined on arrival at the centre using our Steps in Learning document for Place Value; Addition and Subtraction; Multiplication and Division; Time and Money. Any gaps in learning are identified and form an individualised programme of work for that child. When a child is working at age related expectations in those key areas, the curriculum will be widened to cover other aspects of maths. Once competent in all areas, the child will continue to work at their age related expectations in greater depth. Mathematical reasoning is taught explicitly using those aspects of maths with which the child is secure.
The teacher responsible for English in the Centre is S. Kennedy and the curriculum follows the national curriculum for England.
Reading – Reading is broken down into word reading and comprehension
The reading scheme used at the Forwards Centre is PM Benchmarking
The phonics scheme used is Letters and Sounds. Toe by Toe is used for older children requiring a phonics programme.
- Children are taught the statutory decoding/phonics skills.
- Children are taught to read the familiar words lists.
- Both become more individualised as the pupils get older and require good ongoing assessment.
- Children are taught comprehension skills when reading with staff individually.
- Comprehension is also taught during whole class reading.
- Children are taught to answer written comprehension questions accurately and fully where appropriate.
Transcription is further broken down into spelling and handwriting.
Composition is further broken down into vocabulary, punctuation and grammar
Spelling – Children are taught the statutory spelling rules and lists. Again, these will become more individualised as the children get older and will require ongoing assessment.
Handwriting – Is a core skill and children are taught as laid out in the national curriculum. Staff handwriting should model the expected style at all times.
Composition – Staff are to follow the schedule for ensuring that children have a wide range of writing opportunities across the year. This will ensure that there is sufficient evidence that children’s work can be assessed. A key text or stimulus is used a vehicle for teaching discrete skills with each child having identified next steps to work on during their composition.
Vocabulary – When writing, it is important that children use wide and appropriate vocabulary. This needs to be taught. It is done by reading widely and often and learning reading and spelling rules.
Punctuation – Rather than simply being a set of discreet exercises, punctuation is learned by reading widely and looking at the way texts are put together and then being given the opportunity to write in a range of genres. The national curriculum is the source of statutory requirements.
Grammar – Grammar is split into 3 discrete sections
- Word level – How single words are used in sentences (e.g. plurals, tenses)
- Sentence level – How sentences are constructed (e.g. clauses, conjunctions, adverbs, prepositions)
- Text level – How sentences are put together to form text types. (e.g. subheading, paragraphs)
All are taught by analysing texts and then having a go rather than simply a set of discreet exercises.
The teacher responsible for science in the centre is Mr Patel. Our science offer has been shaped to respond to the challenges that come with delivering a science curriculum to classes of mixed age children, with patchy prior attendance arriving at different points in a year.
Each class uses an enquiry based approach to the teaching of science which follows the following structure:
- Enquiry Question
- Prediction – Children make their own prediction based on their prior knowledge.
- Planning – What are we going to do to test those predictions?
- Safety – How are we going to keep ourselves and everyone else safe whilst we carry out our test?
- Fairness – How are we going to ensure that our testing is fair?
- What did we find out?
We use the skills framework within the national curriculum to ensure that children can access at their own individual level during enquiry activities and to track attainment.
The teacher responsible for computing in the centre is C. Naylor. As in science, our computing offer has been shaped as we respond to the challenges that come with delivering a curriculum to classes of mixed age children, with patchy prior attendance arriving at different points in a year. In computing, we assess and track children against Bolton Schools ICT (SICT) computing ‘ican’ skills statements in core areas and then plan work according to their gaps in learning. We begin each half-term with a block on Digital Citizenship based on Education for Connected World (UK Council for Child Internet Safety, 2018) to ensure that each child gets this in their time in the centre. We then work through Digital Literacy to ensure that children develop their computer knowledge. During their time in the centre, we also offer each child the opportunity to visit Bolton Schools ICT centre (SICT) to develop their understanding of computer science.