How we approach Teaching and Learning
Coppice Valley School Curriculum approach
At Coppice Valley we adopt a Learning Challenge style curriculum.
This concept is built around the principles of active learning, exploring, creating and thinking critically. This results in a rich and meaningful curriculum which promotes higher standards and empowers the skills for life-long learning, contributing to preparing our children for life in modern Britain.
What drives our Learning Challenge approach?
Curriculum planned around the distinctive needs of the children
Enquiry based learning which promotes curiosity
Emphasis on the application of skills across a range of contexts to achieve mastery of the skill
English and maths skills embedded across all areas of the curriculum
Interesting and intriguing learning for all
Integrates Empowering Learning (‘learning how to learn’)
What does this learning journey look like?
Learning Challenges hold the key to the format of this curriculum.The design of the curriculum is based around a series of challenges – all expressed as questions.The main aim is to deepen learners’ thinking and encourage them to be more involved in their learning. Teachers questioning and tasks incorporate higher order challenges and thinking. For example, in addition to the skills of acquiring knowledge and understanding, we actively encourage the skills of application, analysis and evaluation.
Pre Learning activities, tasks or challenges are an important part of the Learning Challenge Curriculum because they ensure that learners are involved in the planning process.They can take many different forms. In some cases they will be class discussions with the teacher acting as a scribe. In other cases learners may engage in a pre-learning activity or homework.
The idea is that teachers who plan for a learning challenge can take account of learners’ previous knowledge, misconceptions and areas of interest. In this way our teachers are able to plan the learning at just the right level for the various learners’ needs and skill level.
The WOW Effect
To ensure that learners are immediately ‘hooked’ by the theme they are exploring, the learning challenge curriculum considers that the introduction to each new theme be given careful consideration. The idea is to create a very powerful stimulus that immediately grabs the learner. For example - a visit to a special place of interest is one way of achieving this. Another way is to involve visitors coming into the classroom. Both these have been used very successfully to introduce a new theme. The idea is that learners are immediately ‘grabbed’ by the topic being studied.
Outcome and Reflection
A critical part of the learning challenge approach is ensuring that children understand what they are working towards, i.e. knowing the bigger picture. Reflection helps to cement the learning. i.e WHAT have I learnt and HOW have I learnt it? We think this is critical to developing the child as a reflective individual who can engage in thinking about their own learning.
Applying Skills and achieving Mastery
Our learning challenge approach promotes high standards across the curriculum. Feedback from evidence tells us that the most successful schools ensure that children practice their basic skills in many contexts. At Coppice our teachers endeavor to build in opportunities to meaningfully practice basic skills across the curriculum.
The DfE has added weight and focus to a child's ability to apply their learning - this is called Mastery.
Mastery is how a child can apply the skills and knowledge they have learned in a range of different contexts and in more complex, in-depth and multi-modal methods. It allows a child to demonstrate how skilfully they really understand a concept.
At Coppice Valley we are committed to exploring ways of teaching and learning with a strong focus on mastering skills and concepts.