Introduction and Aims
Wright Robinson College’s motto ‘excellence is our aim’ underpins our approach to everything that we do and this includes our curriculum. We are proud of our curriculum which is ambitious and designed to give all students, including disadvantaged students and those with SEND, the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
At Wright Robinson College our view of the curriculum is that:
• It is the total experience of each student who attends the college from years 7-11
• It includes their formal timetabled curriculum but also incorporates their pastoral development and opportunities for every student to develop their personal, social and cultural capital.
• It focuses on supporting students to develop their knowledge, skills, experiences and dispositions as part of a five year learning journey.
The Wright Robinson College curriculum is designed:
• To enable all students to make progress from their individual starting points
• To establish the English Baccalaureate at its core
• To be underpinned by the National Curriculum
• To celebrate inclusive academic and personal achievement
• To be challenging and engaging
• To place significant emphasis on improving our students’ literacy and numeracy
• To allow students to experience a rich and broad range of subjects
• To be based on the knowledge, skills and experiences and qualifications that we want our students to acquire.
• To be sequenced to support students in acquiring, building upon and retaining their knowledge and skills.
• To be coherent, making explicit connections and links between subjects and experiences
• To prepare our students to access and transition to further and higher education and ultimately to prepare them for the ever-developing range of job opportunities in our region and beyond.
• To encourage social mobility.
• To promote students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development with an emphasis on teaching British values of tolerance, mutual respect, democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty.
• To encourage students to live physically and mentally healthy and safe lives
• To be supported by the highest possible standards of teaching
All students at Wright Robinson College experience a complete three year Key Stage 3 Curriculum that is based on the full range of core and foundation National Curriculum Subjects. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum has the English Baccalaureate at its core with these subjects accounting for over 70% of teaching time. In addition, our student experience is broadened by the inclusion of drama and design technology.
Each department follows carefully planned schemes of work and learning journeys that ensure students are well-prepared for the demands of Key Stage 4 study and beyond.
NB. The figures below are based on the 2020-2021 recovery curriculum
Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum is planned to ensure that all students retain an academic core curriculum. All students study maths, English Language, English Literature, science (either combined science or separate sciences) and either a humanities subject or a modern foreign language. Over 60% of our students follow the full Ebacc range of subjects. This percentage is increasing year on year in line with current government ambition. In addition, all students study PE and PSHCE and RE continues to be delivered through a mix of timetabled lessons and our form time programme.
Students are guided, when making their options choices, to select the best subjects for them. In addition to the wide range of GCSE subjects that students may choose in addition to their compulsory subjects, we also offer a range of BTec and vocational subjects such as Hospitality and Catering, Media, Business Studies. A small number of students may also study for Entry Level qualifications in addition to their GCSE and BTec choices.
Literacy and Numeracy
Wright Robinson College is committed to developing the highest standards of literacy and numeracy in order that all students can engage effectively in all areas of curriculum, and as a platform for the demands of further education, employment and adult life.
Every teacher at Wright Robinson College is considered a teacher of literacy and every subject integrates the essential skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening in order to raise attainment and maximise each student’s potential. More specifically, in written subjects, students are taught via direct instruction where teachers give guided, explicit instructions to encourage students to learn through teacher demonstration. In turn, this improves students’ fluency and allows students ample opportunity to hear sophisticated spoken English. The Accelerated Reader programme is newly established at the college and targets students at KS3 with low literacy levels. Reading for pleasure is promoted across the college and students are directed to read for 15 minutes each day through the drop everything and read programme.
Fluency in maths is about developing number sense and being able to the most appropriate method for the task at hand; to be able to apply a skill to multiple contexts. The National Curriculum states that pupils should become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice, which is the core belief of the mathematics department. While a part of this is about knowing key mathematical facts and recalling them efficiently, fluency means so much more than this at it allows pupils to delve much deeper and confidently tackle mathematical problems presented in a variety of ways.
The Extended Curriculum years 7-11
Provision for PSHE comes in the form of timetabled lessons and an extensive form time and Assembly programme. Through PSHE we aim to empower all our students with the confidence, skills and knowledge to be safe and healthy, to form and maintain good relationships and feel positive about their future. PSHE is fundamental in allowing our students opportunities to gain understanding and to discuss local, national and global events which are relevant to the needs of our students. Our PSHE curriculum covers areas such as healthy lifestyles, drug education, financial education, internet safety and British values. Sex and relationship education (SRE) is also an important part of our PSHE curriculum.
Form Time Programme
The college has an extensive form time programme. This supports the holistic development of all our students and provides a safe space and time with a regular member of staff. All students receive two assemblies per week, delivered by the Headteacher and the Pastoral Year Team covering a wide and diverse breadth of curriculum topics, pastoral themes, and celebrations of students’ achievements. In addition, once a week, all students engage in the Let’s Read/Let’s Write initiative and a health and wellbeing programme that the college has recently developed. Punctuated within the form time programme are specific events and national days/weeks that the college celebrate- anti bullying week, world mental health day and national careers week are a few examples.
My Mind My Body
My Mind My Body is our whole school approach to promoting mental health and wellbeing with our students. Through this strategy we teach our students how to promote their own wellbeing so that we develop resilient students who are equipped with strategies for life for positive mental wellbeing. This is delivered through our form time programme, PSHRE and PE lessons as well as cross curricular activities at key calendared points throughout the year. All activities are planned by our Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator and are based on promoting the five key steps to mental wellbeing: connecting with people, being physically active, learning new skills, giving to others and being mindful. To ensure our students receive the best support we work extensively with outside agencies such as Manchester Healthy Schools and the Anna Freud Centre so that our provision is constantly evaluated and the best it can be for our students.
Enrichment activities further support the curriculum but also aim to allow students to engage and explore areas of college life that they have a passion for. The enrichment activities are plentiful and can be accessed by all students across all subject areas during breakfast, lunchtime and after school clubs.
Student Council and Leadership Opportunities
Student voice is very prominent at Wright Robinson and the community of students, parents and staff work collaboratively to support and enhance the curriculum diet that is offered. Leadership opportunities permeate throughout all areas of college life that all students can access from Year 7 to Year 11. Each form group has a representative which sits on the student council board. The student council is led and directed by the lead council members who are the part of the college’s senior prefect team.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Students in year 9 are encouraged to participate in the Bronze D of E aware which includes the three elements of physical, skill and volunteering. Students also take part in an expedition.
At Wright Robinson, we support students to realise their potential and recognise the importance of an effective career education and guidance programme in raising student aspirations. We want all students to make realistic and informed choices about their future options. The college actively works to meet the nationally recognised Gatsby Benchmarks for its careers programme, with 4 of the 8 benchmarks being 100% met.
Careers guidance and activities in KS3 focuses on increasing awareness of employability skills and career opportunities. There is a whole college focus on National Careers Week via assemblies, employer visits, form activities, employer talks and promotion of careers websites. Students have access to our careers adviser and we run an enterprise day to enable them to have a better understanding of the world of work and the many job roles within an organisation.
At Key Stage 4 students are encouraged to further develop their career planning skills. We hold mock interview events, they receive personalised 1 to 1 guidance, they undertake college visits and are provided with support for their college applications. In year 10, all students undertake a one week work experience placement and all Key Stage 4 students and their parents are invited to attend a Pathway Evening in which they have the opportunity to meet with FE, HE and employers face to face.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching and learning at Wright Robinson is designed to ensure that all students make maximum progress from Years 7-11. All departments have clearly sequenced schemes of work that are planned to ensure that students build upon their prior knowledge and revisit their prior learning to ensure that it is retained. All teachers are aware of the need to manage the cognitive load of students to ensure that new material is introduced in manageable ways. Staff professional development is focused on Barak Rosenshine’s ‘Principals of Instruction’, with all teachers encouraged to develop their pedagogical skills through CPD, which from 2021 includes access to video coaching and peer and self-reflection. Staff have the freedom to choose a lesson structure that best suits their topic and subject, but over a period of time, lessons will include a mix of demonstration, guided practice and independent work.
Effective assessment is clearly tied to its purpose. At Wright Robinson formative and summative assessment serve distinct purposes.
We believe that regular high quality formative assessment is an integral part of outstanding teaching and learning. Formative assessment at Wright Robinson does not indicate the level or grade a student is working at, but encourages pupils to reflect on their own progress, understand what their strengths are and what they need to do to improve. For consistency across departments, the college approach involves next step marking and follow up tasks.
Summative assessment at Wright Robinson has been designed to ensure that students’ long-term learning is monitored regularly and communicated effectively with parents, staff, and students. All faculties assess students up to a maximum of 3 times per year against ‘Band Descriptors’. Data is reported as a ‘Band’ which represents the grade that each student is on course to achieve by the end of year 11.
As a result of our ambitious curriculum, students at Wright Robinson achieve exceptionally well. Following both external examination results and internal assessment data, the curriculum is continuously reviewed and developed to ensure that it is effective and meets the needs of all of our students. Faculty reviews take place every September resulting in improvement plans to ensure that we continually evaluate and adapt our provision at every level.
Wright Robinson College is proud of destination data with an RPA (raising of the participation age) of 98.1%. This places us is the top ten schools in Manchester and means that our students are well-placed to take the next steps on their chosen pathways.