Aim: To develop and support inspirational teaching and learning to achieve academic excellence and prepare pupils for the challenges of the 2020s.
Background: The school had a ‘traditional’ curriculum that met EBacc / national curriculum requirements. There was a desire to develop a love of learning in Year 10 with options beyond the formal Key Stage 4 curriculum, including opportunities for more practical experiences.
Year 1: After consulting the Senior Leadership Team, governors, staff and pupils, the following enrichment options were offered to Year 10: a Level 2 Project, investigating an area of personal interest, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Young Enterprise, Community Service, Mad Psychology, Computer Programming, Cookery, Media, Photography and Introduction to Law.
Year 2: At the end of the first term, the groups were asked to present what they had achieved / learned in their option. Additionally, students were asked to fill in a short questionnaire to evaluate the programme. This allowed staff an opportunity to see how they could improve the delivery of courses and refine them to meet student expectations. The Community Service option ran in terms two and three and was evaluated. Comments were extremely positive both from students and from the community partnerships. Unfortunately staffing allocations were reduced for enrichment and the plan to extend the options to include Year 12 had to be curtailed.
Year 3: The options were continued into Year 11 with the removal of Introduction to Law due to staffing changes. Textiles and GCSE Short Course PE ran as viable groups, but Level 2 Project did not. In December 2014, the decision was made to allocate the two lessons which had been given over to enrichment for GCSE English and Mathematics following the new specifications. As a result, the project came to a natural end.
Evidence: Pupil questionnaires, lesson observations, learning walks.
Impact: Student questionnaires indicated that courses were generally successful and engaging, with imaginative and collaborative projects happening around the school. It is notable that staff were keen to deliver the enrichment options, although they felt that initially they had to overcome negative student perceptions of curriculum time in Key Stage 4 being spent on ‘non-examinable’ options. However later feedback showed that the objectives of the project had become more widely accepted. Take up at A Level in Psychology showed a small improvement, possibly due to the Year 10 enrichment allowing a ‘taster’ for a new A Level course.
Reflections: The most important indicator for the project was the student voice. Given the aim of the project, comments from students such as “we enjoyed the teamwork, being able to work independently, finding out new things and learning new skills”, ensured that we were meeting the objectives.
Contact: Linda Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org