We believe that communication is a skill that you can learn and once mastered opens the door to a lifetime of opportunity and learning. Therefore, learning to communicate and express yourself is at the heart of our curriculum: speak up, speak out, speak clearly!
Our Expressive Curriculum has been designed, organised and planned using the National Curriculum as a starting point, with learning to communicate running as a golden thread through every subject. We strive to ensure that every child receives an engaging and purposeful blend of academic and personal development, with a strong focus on communication skills, self-care, ethical knowledge and creative thinking. In practice, this means our curriculum places equal importance on core and foundation subjects, with the development of expressive skills threaded throughout: we want our pupils to speak up, speak out and speak clearly. As part of this, our curriculum teaches pupils, through experience and opportunity, as well as provoking debate, to develop their own ideas, views and opinions. We believe that through the curriculum we can impact on how they feel about themselves, so that they feel clever, confident and ready to tackle any challenge they may face.
The Milton Abbot School curriculum is designed to be flexible as we aim to provide all pupils, regardless of advantages or need, with a curriculum that is rich in vocabulary and well-chosen knowledge that is transferable, empowering pupils to have the skills and capacity to perform. These are the Principle Aims every member of the team is expected to apply to their curriculum thinking, planning and delivery.
Our curriculum must:
Ensure ‘Reading for knowledge, reading for pleasure’ is at the heart of our planning and teaching. Every opportunity to promote reading must be seized upon by class teachers.
Ensure a love of language and a playfulness with vocabulary is central to every learning opportunity – teachers must model, and children must practice, using a rich, deep, technical, exciting and varied vocabulary.
Deliver a broad range of curriculum experiences and opportunities that teaches a cultural capital of knowledge whilst developing the skills to apply this knowledge effectively
Encourage and develop a confident and positive attitude in all pupils towards the learning tasks they are set, especially new challenges. To aid this, teachers must be very clear on the purpose of the learning and invite and inspire questions
Develop active learners who want to achieve their potential, and can ask questions and share opinions, becoming increasingly self-reflective and taking responsibility for their own learning, academically and socially.
Teach children to become active listeners who can question and respond during learning tasks and beyond.
Instruct and support pupils to become strong team players, knowing that this is a skill for life and future employment.
Grant children the opportunity to learn how to effectively articulate their opinion and feelings on a wide range of subjects based on knowledge and experience (adapting to different contexts and audiences).
Be varied – no teacher or pupil should be ‘rooted’ to the classroom alone, pinned by electronic chalk and talk with robotic systems that lead to poor learning habits. Our Curriculum must be alive, active, varied, surprising, multi-sensory, whilst always leading with purpose and challenge.
Bibliography: We have taken positive points from our research, including:
‘The Curriculum – Gallimaufry to coherence’ by Mary Myatt
‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’ by Alex Quigley
‘Bringing words to life’ by Beck, McKeown and Kucan