Our Curriculum Drivers

These are the values on which our curriculum is planned and delivered in order to support the achievement of our vision and inspire our learners to...

Our Curriculum Drivers consider: 

  • The needs of our learners and our community

  • Our values and vision

  • The location of our school

 

Why does Bishopspark have Curriculum Drivers?

Rather than just letting subjects drive the curriculum, we felt that it should be the needs of children that should determine the emphasis. It is vital that our children learn what is in the statutory National Curriculum, but most parents and teachers know that children need much more than this. Balancing children’s needs with the statutory curriculum will always be a challenge, but instead of the two acting in opposition we aim to  ensure the content of the curriculum meets the needs of children and fulfils statutory requirements. To do this, we established some key ‘Drivers’ for our school. These aim to ‘drive’ learning forwards and become the ‘Drivers’ for our unique Bishopspark Curriculum.

We use these 'drivers' to underpin the development work we undertake in all areas of school life and to ensure our curriculum offer is enriched and personalised to meet the needs of our community and reflects our location here in Paderborn, Germany.

After a thorough consultation with stakeholders, we decided on five main drivers for our exciting curriculum and they are that our learners will:   

Be globally aware

Know their locality

Achieve their potential

Develop life-long learning skills

Receive ‘Excellence from all’

 

Be globally aware

 

Our children have to know themselves and where they come from – and identity is always important – but we also encourage them to look beyond Paderborn and the UK and recognise the incredible opportunities that are created by diversity and the richness of culture that there is across our planet. Teaching our children about global issues and encouraging them to see the world through the eyes of others is of huge importance.  In an increasingly interconnected world, today's young generation need to learn to be able to engage in communication with people from a wide range of different cultures and traditions.

Know their locality

Places shape the stories of our lives and for the children at Bishopspark School; Paderborn is part of that story. We use our locality to develop a healthy environmental awareness. Such mindfulness comes primarily by way of first-hand positive experiences through outdoor learning, especially in environments fostering a “sense of place”.  For this reason, we are developing our own outdoor learning area.  We also use the local natural and built environment to deepen the children’s sense of place in connection to Germany. Creating a sense of place for young children is helpful in fostering a lifelong commitment to the natural environment and an appreciation of their local area. We also recognise that we are a British School in Germany.  The vast majority of children will return to the United Kingdom, however, some of our learners have never lived in the UK. We therefore make sure that our school also offers a curriculum that creates a sense of belonging to the United Kingdom and prepares children for life in today’s Britain. At Bishopspark, we aim to give children a sense of place and connection to the United Kingdom and beyond, allowing them to be a successful global citizen of tomorrow.

Achieve their potential

 

At Bishopspark all stake holders aim to help children and staff to achieve their potential. We believe that this is important because we want everyone to make progress in their learning and make significant educational gains while at our school.  To do this we aim to facilitate the sharing of good practice, through further development using judicious school based CPD and training for staff and parents.  We challenge areas of underperformance and through development and support, improve performance.  We do this in a sensitive way, promoting collaborative working within and across our school and where possible with other MOD schools and occasionally using external sources to improve the outcomes for all of our learners. We use our Link Inspector to sharpen our focus on raising the capacity of the school to deliver sustained improved outcomes. Our Leadership team carefully monitors and evaluates learning and the strategies used in order to identify those that have a measurable and positive impact. We also promote the targeted and co-ordinated use of sound learning strategies to improve outcomes for those learners who are failing to achieve their full potential. We are continually sharing good practice, to drive forward school improvement. We continue to improve the use of data, including information provided in school and externally, in order to identify how well our school is doing and to identify groups of learners at risk of underperforming, with timely corrective procedures implemented swiftly and reviewed frequently. We work hard to promote more collaborative working between consortia schools to ensure learning is co-ordinated between lower key stage 2 and our feeder school. Our SENCO coordinates multi-agency collaboration to meet the needs of vulnerable groups of learners.

We are continuously reviewing our practice and evaluating strategies to help learners achieve their potential. Most of all, we continue to strive to improve by embedding our positive learning ethos ‘Be your best self, show your incredible character and use your learning powers’.

Developing Life-long Learning Skills

 

All children and young people need to be flexible and adaptable, with the capacity to continue developing the new skills which they will need for the rapidly changing challenges of life, learning and achieving in the modern world. The skills for learning, life and work are often transferable across the whole range of curriculum areas, contexts and settings. These are skills that can be developed by all learners, whenever and wherever they are learning. To mobilise children to use their skills we use, Building Learning Power (BLP) through our Learning Powers. This is an approach to learning that we have begun to implement at Bishopspark School. This approach was created by Professor Guy Claxton and is based on the idea that we are all capable of becoming better learners. BLP applies this idea directly to the work of teachers in our classrooms, to provide a practical framework for fostering lifelong learning in all young people. At Bishopspark School, our school ethos is one of striving to be ‘your best self’, recognising that we all have different strengths and interests. BLP and our learning powers allow us to embed a learning culture which nurtures greater independence and an enjoyment of all learning, resulting in life-long learning skills.  

Receive Excellence from all

 

All parents want the very best for their children.  At Bishopspark, this means teachers and learning support assistants have a commitment to nurture, guide, inspire and challenge children – to find the joy in learning, to build their skills and understanding, and to make sense of their world. Each individual child will be known and understood, and their individual potential developed. As our children progress, it means knowing that they are increasingly self-motivated learners – confident and creative individuals, with the personal resources for future success and wellbeing wherever they are posted next.

 

Excellence in learning

Every child at Bishopspark brings a different set of experiences, knowledge and skills to school with them, and understanding these is essential. From the earliest school days in FS1 and throughout their time at our school, whenever they may arrive, teachers use information about individual children’s’ capabilities and needs to plan for their learning.  We do this to engage our learners in rich learning experiences, developing the vital core skills for success, now and in future years. By sharing information about learning development regularly, teachers engage parents as active participants in their children’s education.

 

Excellence in teaching

Children’s learning is underpinned in our school by high quality teaching and leadership.  Bishopspark staff members are expected to exhibit a high degree of professionalism and commitment. Lessons and learning opportunities are engaging and teaching strategies are evidence-based. Individually and collaboratively, teachers evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching practices and plan for the ongoing learning of each child in their care. Teachers and Learning Support staff take shared responsibility for continued improvement and contribute to a positive learning culture with high expectations. Teachers are encouraged to be reflective and work collaboratively to ensure ‘the rest are as good as our best’. This includes observation of colleagues in learning walks and through our ‘learning triad lesson study initiative’.

 

Excellence in leading

Strong, strategic and effective leadership is the cornerstone of our drive for excellence at Bishopspark. Leaders have a commitment to fostering a school-wide culture of high expectations and a shared sense of responsibility for pupil engagement, learning, development and success. Children benefit from the school’s planned and proactive engagement with parents and the broader community. Leaders at Bishopspark ensure that operational issues, such as resource allocation and accountability requirements, serve the overarching strategic vision of the school. Ultimately, our leaders enable a self-sustaining and self-improving community that will continue to support the highest levels of learning throughout the drawdown of British Forces in Paderborn.