CurriculumRationale for S4 – 6The six years of education have been considered together to give a coherent andprogressive experience for all young people from 11 to 18. Transition to secondaryschool from primary schools, and from secondary school to other destinations,college, apprenticeship, employment, university, volunteer internships etc must alsobe considered to provide a continuity of learning experience for all.To provide a specialist curriculum for the senior phase which allows all to achievethe qualifications and experiences, skills and capacities necessary to move to apositive destination at the end of the fourth, fifth or sixth year of a young person’ssecondary schooling or at the end of the second term in the sixth year.The fourth to the sixth year is the Senior Phase where there is specialisation. Thecohort in Senior 1 will be almost all from the fourth year but there may be some fromthe fifth year. Some at the end of fourth year may choose to move from school tocollege; apprenticeship, work etc and their needs must also be catered for in thisphase.The cohort in Senior 2 will be mainly young people from fifth year with some fromsixth year.Senior 3 and 4 are designed to meet the needs of the sixth year cohort and otheryoung people who have fast-tracked through the previous two years, who areplanning to study Advanced Highers and move on to Higher Education at the end ofthe year. From past experience, there are likely to be very few young people in thiscategory.All within the senior phase are entitled to A curriculum which is coherent The opportunity to obtain qualifications as well as to continue to develop the attitudes and capabilities of the four capacities Opportunities to develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work with a continuous focus on literacy, numeracy and health and well being Personal support to enable them to gain as much as possible from the opportunities that Curriculum for Excellence can provide Support in moving to a positive and sustained destination beyond school
Proposal for the Senior Phase • Learners in S4, S5 and S6 will be considered together as a single cohort for timetabling to classes of particular subjects and levels. Learners needs and levels must be appropriate and secure. • Selection of subjects in the Senior Phase will follow a process of subject choice at the end of the third year. At present the proposal is the choice of five subjects for almost all young people. Young people will have access to any course on offer in the Senior Phase to construct their own programme of study according to their needs and abilities. (This ‘free choice’ will then be used to construct a timetable.) • The balance of S4, S5 and S6 in a class will depend on the level. The level advised for a pupil will be dependent on progress made up to the end of the General+ phase. • All should be able to move into the new qualifications framework at a level that is appropriate to their needs. The range of provision could be from a mix of Access courses, discrete literacy units and numeracy units, life skills, supported work experience college input, intensive careers input, wider achievement opportunities e.g. Duke of Edinburgh Award, skills for work units, ASDAN, John Muir Award etc. Through to learners studying for Higher in the fourth year. The expectation is in Northfield Academy that the majority in fourth year will move into the new National 4 qualification leading to National 5 in the fifth year, there will be a minority who will achieve National 5 in S4 so therefore go on to Higher in S5. There is an expectation that most will sit an examination at the end of S4 but some will NOT sit the exam and will then move seamlessly through to Higher in S5. There is an assumption that the articulation between National 5 and Higher will allow this to happen. • Most will progress through their course for two years. There will be the opportunity to change course at the end of fourth year, taking the appropriate qualification then. However it is expected that with the preparation for the Senior Phase provided up to the end of the third year, this will be rare. There will be some young people who have expressed a desire to leave at the end of fourth year and their programme will have been tailored to meet this desire. • In Senior 1, 2, and 3 literacy, numeracy, IT and health and wellbeing will continue to be embedded in the curriculum. There is built in to the school week, dedicated time for Physical Education, PSE/RME, Enterprise and study time. The study time will allow time with the register teacher and Principal Teachers to monitor progress in all aspects of the curriculum, support, and advice.
• Learners returning for a sixth year of school could be following a full programme of formal challenging course or studying for four/five subjects with an additional limited amount of study time and compulsory leadership team involvement/ leading learners (or should it be learning leaders!) offering support for younger learners. (Good example Torry Academy) • An evaluation of sixth year progress would be made just after the New Year. This could lead to several options. Some might continue on their chosen course of study i.e. remaining in Senior 3. Others might complete units and have these assessed and then leave school. Others might choose to move into Senior 4 and have the opportunity to opt for a reduced number of formal subjects using the remaining time to follow a personalised planned programme. This could involve increased leadership team /learning leader involvement; wider achievement opportunities e.g. CSLA, D of E, work experience or internships with employers to match a young person’s career path; volunteering or a more formal volunteer internship working with local volunteering organizations; vocational qualifications; HNC units at college; other wider achievement courses at college; open university unitsNext stepsCurriculum External partnerships and their place in the curriculum and its development Detail of the co-curricular programme which is part of the ‘curriculum’ and which meets all the principles of CfE Reference to be made to achievement and how this is recorded, measured and recognised What will be the model for work experience in the future? Should ‘masterclasses’ be built in to the Senior Phase? This could be exciting at this stage – bringing in staff from universities.Learning and teaching Learning and teaching through the ‘classroom without walls’ – virtual learning supported by workshops, seminars and tutorials, learning in places other than the school, consortia arrangements with other schools and GLOW.Personal Support Link to the new personal support operating from 2011/12 in Northfield Academy which is in line with Curriculum for ExcellenceArrangements to support the purposes of learning Assessment and how this fits with the curriculum, BtC5 What ‘qualification’ or recognition for completing the phase of broad, general education should there be? Could there be a Scottish Certificate of Achievement which recognises a broad range of achievements, skills and
attributes? This could be the foundation for the certificated curriculum post- General+. It should also give an indication of progress in skills for learning, life and work. Assessment of numeracy and literacy What will courses in the Senior Phase look like? How will they be assessed? Professional development Resourcing – restrictions because of financial constraints – how do we ensure no reduction in the quality of the core provision? Staffing to cope with choices in the General+ sessionsThis is Northfield Academy’s vision for the future and we as a group acknowledgethat staff are being asked to think outside the box. This implemented well wouldcontinue to meet the needs of our learners.