At The John of Gaunt School we aim to deliver a high-quality, broad and content-rich, curriculum. We want our students to appreciate the purpose of their studies so that they are actively engaged in their learning. We want our lessons to be responsive to our students’ needs and they can lead a successful life as a positive, well-rounded citizen within our society, in the 21st century.
Our Learning Cycles
Senior and middle leaders have worked collaboratively over a number of years to develop, implement and refine our GEM* Learning Cycles throughout Key Stages 3 and 4 (KS3 & 4). These form a cohesive, progressive and purposeful curriculum. Time and resources are invested annually, to ensure we meet our intended goals.
Our Learning Cycle goals
- There is a unified rationale and intent toward our whole-school curriculum
- We are innovative with our curriculum development so that it is personalised to the community we serve
- Our curriculum will provide students opportunities to immerse themselves in cultural activities both inside and outside of the classroom, helping to build equity in knowledge and experiences between peers
- We are outward facing, drawing upon evidenced-based studies, successful strategies from other effective schools and the requirements of the current educational climate
- Each subject has a clear statement of intent that explains what our students should know and the skills they need to acquire in their academic discipline based upon the national curriculum
- Our KS3 & 4 Learning cycles are sequenced, layered and interleaved, building on prior learning and experiences so preparing our students for further learning, examinations and their future lives
- Our GEM curriculum is inclusive, supportive and challenging allowing all our students to progressively acquire, develop and refine their knowledge and skills to the highest standards
- Students are able to learn in an effective way so to ensure they reach their potential and be the best they can be
- Our Learning cycles are planned collaboratively at inter-faculty and intra-faculty levels. We want to provide our students with opportunities to transfer skills and draw upon knowledge gained in other fields making ‘connections’, so increasing the potential of mastery in various disciplines
- The above factors lead to our curriculum being robust and settled
* GEM: Filling the Gaps – Embedding the knowledge and skills – Mastery
Our Learning Cycle structure
We are highly focused on making a positive impact on our students. We have created our Learning Cycles to monitor and evaluate the progress of every student. This is carried out through our assessments and GEM weeks so that we can be responsive to their individual needs. The GEM weeks provide all faculties with the opportunities to assess and moderate the recall and application of the knowledge the students have acquired and to plan personalised tasks based around:
- Filling any Gaps in their knowledge
- their knowledge and the ability to use the content effectively and, when they are able
- Apply their knowledge to deeper tasks that demand a Mastery of the relevant skills and knowledge.
Our Medium Term Plans
We are determined to ensure EVERY student gains the same experience. We have invested a lot of resources to develop our Medium Term Plans (MTPs) that provide a detailed structure for all members of staff to access. The MTPs breakdown every Learning Cycle unit into lessons and provide links to the resources required. Aims, Key terminology, Assessment criteria and Gatsby benchmark standards are all provided. Not only do these plans support consistency of delivery but our quality assurance processes.
Our Key Stage 3
KS3 (Years 7-9)
At KS3, we deliver a curriculum that is broad and balanced. Our students follow a 3-year programme that is scheduled over a 2-week timetable and consists of 50 x 1 hour lessons. Some subjects are delivered as double lessons.
Students are set by ability in mathematics, science, languages and computer science. Students that start KS3 below the expected national levels and have reading ages lower than their chronological age receive specific literacy and numeracy lessons integrated within their timetable.
Our Key Stage 4
KS4 (Years 10 &11)
All KS4 students receive a core provision supplemented by a broad and varied range of subjects, four of which are selected by each student.
Although students are set in core subjects, to meet their needs and challenge them at the appropriate levels, the ability groups are spread over both halves of the year groups to support our aspirational and challenging culture. The sets are reviewed regularly by both senior leaders and directors of learning.
Our options curriculum meets the requirements of the Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures. We expect many of our students to fulfil the English Baccalaureate requirements of a language and one other element. We also expect all students to select at least one Ebacc subject bar a few exceptions who are following a more bespoke curriculum tailored to their needs.
We provide a range of academic and vocational courses (GCSE, BTEC & CAMNAT):
KS4 Curriculum Provision 2021 (PDF link)