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16th December 17
Trail : home / Case Studies / Curriculum Development : Innovative Approaches
Posted: 20th May 2015 The Creative Lab : Adobe Acrobat file (83.1k)

The Breck Primary School - Innovative Practice Award

This project was about being brave and trying a new approach to teaching mixed age group children in KS1. Creativity had been taught very successfully for several years through small blocks of work and the school team knew that this was a successful approach in engaging all learners, but more specifically “reluctant” learners.

The school suffers from 2 demographic issues – no natural catchment and a large pupil admission number of 35. Despite being popular and oversubscribed, this did not quell the angst of many KS1 parents when faced with their children being taught in mixed age groups and split registration groups.

Through evaluation and analysis the project was conceptualised through “talent” spotting of outstanding practitioners in school, it was further encouraged by the release of a classroom.

The classroom practitioners were given an empty classroom, the fluid learning environment allowed a blank canvas for creativity generated from the children to flourish, the end result being a stunning environment.

The impact on learning has stunned the whole school community in a very short space of time, the feedback from all stakeholders is overwhelmingly positive.

Hillside Specialist School and College - Good Practice Award

To assess the use of iPads throughout the school and the positive impact iPads have had on helping children with Autism access the Curriculum.

Pendle View Primary School - Best Practice

The initial vision was to develop a specialism to promote best practice in physical development for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and this has become successfully embedded within our everyday practice.

The overall focus was to ensure an inclusive environment for all children regardless of their physical ability, by providing opportunities for them to reach their optimum physical potential. More physical independence led to better access to their learning and social environments. By providing a specialised environment and specialised staff, we were able to provide daily physiotherapy sessions for children who required them and begin to incorporate movement opportunities into the classroom throughout the school day. This encouraged staff to think about purposeful movement activities which helped the children to develop their physical independence skills, with or without aids. The specialist provision has successfully developed innovative partnership working with the school's medical support staff of OTs, physios and the school nursing service.

Posted: 18th May 2015 Ensuring all pupils have the opportunity to read : Adobe Acrobat file (101.5k)

Benjamin Hargreaves CE Primary School - Good Practice Award

Following an Ofsted report in September 2013 that highlighted a need for the whole school to develop reading, we decided to focus upon helping pupils to develop a love of reading through using a range of different approaches. The class teachers developed exciting, innovative reading corners within each classroom to encourage pupils to enjoy reading. We invited highly skilled volunteers to come into school to work with individual pupils and hear readers throughout the school. The volunteers are parents, grandparents, governors, retired teachers and community champions from the local supermarket. Each child was registered at the local library and the pupils now attend the library twice in a half term to choose books. We monitor reading across the school and have pupil progress meetings each half term to discuss the progress and attainment of pupils. This allows swift intervention for any pupil who needs further support with reading and it allows us to challenge more able readers. We provide BRP for a pupil in each class and all the TAs within the school are trained to lead BRP. The positive impact of this has already been noted. A HMI monitoring visit commented that " Pupils have made, on average, 13 months improvement since starting on the programme." We have developed comprehension skills through key questions in pupils' individual home reading records and we encourage parents to ask their child  questions and comment on the progress.

...for Pupils with Autistic Spectrum Conditions

 

Pendle View Primary School - Innovative Practice Award

Our aim is to provide specialist Sensory Integration programmes both in class and within our specialist base to ensure that pupils are supported to regulate themselves and to develop self-regulation techniques. The project included the development of a specialist base and teaching assistant to provide intensive sensory diets throughout the day, with sensory snacks being provided within the classroom and built into teachers' planning.

Posted: 16th Jan 2014 Little Me Cluster : Adobe Acrobat file (94.8k)

Rosegrove Nursery School, Basnett Street Nursery School, Rockwood Nursery School, Taywood Nursery School - Innovative Practice Award

  • The cluster formed a small working party of local Nursery Schools to look at how to address equalities and community cohesion with Nursery age children. With support from the EMA/GRT achievement service, they chose to use a simple figure 'Little Me' to support their work.
  • Each child made their own, self-representation 'Little Me' figure and used them in all areas of continuous provision within the different nurseries. They were used in transition and as a way of developing parental engagement through a home/school 'Little Me Adventure Book' or through discussions or conversations.

It was evident that through the use of 'Little Me', children's personal, social and emotional development was supported and communication between home and school was enhanced.

Posted: 6th Jun 2013 Promoting healthy eating   : Adobe Acrobat file (67.8k)

St Mary's RC Primary School - Good Practice Award

Our cookery club is an ongoing activity and is now in its third year. We have used funding from 'Let's Get Cooking' to buy the equipment and resources we required. Our club runs each term and is targeted at year 4 children. They learn safe chopping skills and food safety alongside how to prepare healthy meals. The children learn a different skill each week and eat their prepared meal together. The final session of the 6 week course is a restaurant to which the children each invite three guests. They prepare and serve a three course meal and receive feedback from their customers. This showcase highlights the ease in preparing healthy meals for the family. The children receive a recipe folder so that they can continue to cook healthily at home.
Cookery club has used their skills to make cakes to fundraise for a Macmillan coffee morning and hosting and African café for Todonyang.
Our weekly shopping has formed part of life skill lessons for some of children with additional needs in school.
Our recipes and reosurces now form part of our school's practise.
 

 

Posted: 6th Feb 2013 Plot to Plot : Adobe Acrobat file (76k)

Astley Park School - Innovative Practice Award

  • The project was to encourage parents to work with their children to learn how to grow fruits and vegetables and learn how to cook easy, nutritional and enjoyable food at very low cost using basic ingredients - Giving the whole family a shared interest, light exercise and basic cooking knowledge.
  • The project would also raise awareness of childhood obesity and ways in which this type of activity would help to identify and reduce this at an early age.
  • To start, the families worked together making easy soups and puddings using basic ingredients such as windfall apples and vegetables, Some of which are readily available within the school grounds.
  • They were then shown basic growing skills using a variety of easily obtained containers in which to plant. This was a “hands on” activity and easy to copy at home.
  • The families had lots of fun, made new friends, talked to others and started to enjoy their children.
  • We listened to our members and adapted the club to meet their needs, creating a "drop in" computer club and social events for the families.
  • The impact was staggering, families gained in confidence, worked together and started to enjoy a healthy lifestyle together.
  • During the time that we have been running this scheme, we have been amazed at the difference such a small intervention programme has achieved.  We have taken very small steps, listened to what the club members have had to say and changed or developed as necessary. We introduced an ICT "drop in" for members to learn how to search the internet, make spreadsheets and produce leaflets and promotional materials for events.  The club has gone from strength to strength and we are watching in disbelief as the families are pulling together, laughing together, working together, cooking together, the list goes on and on.  Parents/carers are beginning to enjoy their children, want to be part of what they are doing and most importantly listening to them.
     

Singleton Primary School - Innovative Practice Award

Ofsted recognised the school as satisfactory with Foundation Stage being recognised as outstanding in all three areas. There is a strong team with the Foundation teacher and TA. The aim is to build on practice and where ppossible share relevant aspects of Foundation practice with the rest of the school. These areas are an exciting classroom and stimulating provision that provides learning experiences at the level of every child; a system of rigorous assessment that
ensures every child is moved on to their next steps and targets at their level and pace.

In Foundation we wanted to develop the recording of this through our learning journey. This also provides a manageable way in which to record evidence for EYFSP. Developing the Foundation outdoor area and a whole school approach, valuing the outdoor area as a positive learning environment - we wanted to develop outdoor learning using the natural environment.

... to enthuse and motivate all pupils and raise achievement

St Leonard's Church of England Primary School - Best Practice Award

Our project has been to develop the use of our outdoor areas to enhance learning across the curriculum. We aimed to engage and motivate all learners particularly boys and to have an impact on standards of achievement particularly in writing.

Through training and support the staff have developed the skills needed to plan creatively using the outdoor areas, throughout the school year, in all kinds of weather. All staff now plan and implement ways to include exciting outdoor activities through their cross curricular topics and themes.

The children have access to a wide range of outdoor facilities including an outdoor learning area with sensory garden, vegetable plots, small orchard and an extensive woodland area which have been developed over time. Staff now make regular use of these areas across the curriculum and plan creatively for their use throughout the year to provide stimulating learning experiences for all pupils.

The children are now engaged in active learning outdoors which has had a positive impact on attitudes to learning and standards of achievement. Pupils thoroughly enjoy the outdoor practical learning experiences which are now embedded throughout the school. 

 

Parklands High School, Innovative Practice Award

Parklands High School ‘Learning Challenge Week’ was developed in response to a core desire to increase the opportunities within our curricular provision for independent, creative & purposeful learning in a 21st Century approach.

We collapsed the whole school timetable for the week beginning Monday 11th July 2011 to enable a whole school programme to be delivered, unrestrained by traditional curricular routines. Each year group experienced a range of innovative experiences designed to maximise independent, collaborative and experiential learning.

Posted: 1st Jun 2012 The Development of a Creative Curriculum... : Adobe Acrobat file (76.3k)

... Approach for Pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hillside Special School - Best Practice Award

Our project for developing a Creative Curriculum that delivers relevant content to pupils with Autism in a visual, meaningful and fun way has been successfully developed to include specialised strategies and techniques that enrich the curriculum that pupils at our school require.

Through teacher meetings and INSET, we identified creative approaches to delivering a skills based curriculum.

The development of a curriculum map that structures curriculum content in a thematic approach has enabled our teaching staff to deliver subjects more creatively through half termly topic hemes that cover the following six areas;Creative and Expressive, Enterprise, Citizenship, Environment, Healthy and Discovery and Exploration.

With each theme having two subjects as key foci, statutory subject coverage is ensured and has been developed into a three year rolling programme.  Planning formats have been revised to include Cross curricular links, SMSC objectives, QCA, Equals and SCERTS objectives and is used to inform Bsquared and P-Scale assessments.

Posted: 1st Feb 2012 Our Lancashire  - Heart and Home  : Adobe Acrobat file (83.7k)

 The Rose School - Innovative Practice Award

 

The Rose School is totally committed to providing pupils with opportunities to learn about their community – not only in a geographic/historical/social sense and in particular looking at innovative ways of skilling pupils using practical/hands on approach to learning.
After much planning and preparation (through a small grant) a local artist worked with all of our pupils on a project entitled 'Our Lancashire – Heart & Home' From an initial large group – a smaller group of pupils then linked in to a local high school and worked intensely with the artist – learning new art/craft skills (pottery, glazing, painting, use of specialist equipment, designing etc….).
This took place over a period of 6 months. The resulting piece of art work depicts areas/people/events which pupils felt depicted the community in which they live. Pupils learnt about communities, to work as a team, to support each other, new skills and even now continue to attend art/craft classes at the local school. Understanding and feeling proud of our community plus learning, achieving and enjoying are strong legacies of this project

.... based curriculum for children of the 21st Century

Lever House Primary School ( Best Practice Award)

The vision was to create a relevant, fun, forward looking and creative curriculum for all pupils – one that would raise standards, prepare pupils for the future and make for happy, exciting memories.

A Skills Based Curriculum was already in place but evaluations showed there was an extra curriculum missing which our pupils needed. Therefore, pupils, parents, staff and Governors were asked to say those skills and experiences they felt were missing from the National Curriculum relevant to our pupils and locality.

These new ‘Lever House Curriculum’ skills were then put alongside the Skills Based Curriculum to create a holistic ‘Learning Experience’ made up of the National Curriculum and our own personal Curriculum.

This new curriculum is delivered through Topics which aims to include at least one educational trip, focussing on experiential learning with ‘real outcomes’ and ‘life skills’ for all pupils. The curriculum has a local and global dimension and an emphasis on ICT.

Stakeholders agree that children are thoroughly engaged, motivated and enjoy their learning.  It has been identified that children thrive when provided with real experiences and given a purpose relative to their present and future lives.

They have improved academically, socially and emotionally.

Posted: 6th Jun 2011 A community involvement project developed .... : Adobe Acrobat file (74k)

.... through an interactive 'Living Museum

Westwood Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

The focus of the project was to develop the whole school community's interest and enthusiasm for the past. This was achieved in the following ways:

  • The introduction of Historical artefact boxes which are now used by children and their families to discover and discuss events, people and changes in the past.
  • Artefact boxes helped to develop children's interest so that they are able to share their ideas, knowledge and understanding in a variety of purposeful and quality led talk opportunities.
  • Artefact boxes helped to stimulate quality writing experiences and develop meaningful understanding and creative processes involved in being a writer.
  • Family members have become more involved in school life through shared projects and family history.
  • The Living Museum event brought together family members and visitors from the local community. Families contributed artefacts which were displayed in our Victorian tearoom. Children role-played 'Living statues' from familiar periods of history. Families took part in Tudor dancing and enjoyed a lively, interactive Punch and Judy show.
Posted: 3rd Jun 2011 Blogging to Independence : Adobe Acrobat file (69.8k)

Staining C.E. Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

Using our class blog, children independently write, create & present on topics that have been covered in class in a variety of ways. They chose to present using a range of Web2.0 software that includes animations, flash banners, movies, cartoon strips, storybooks, using a VLE & showing pictures in a blog post, creating PowerPoints & embedding them to the blog and also using 'Google' docs.

They create work that builds on their understanding of areas covered in school. They have built a good awareness of internet safety and regularly use their skills to support teachers around the school.

They have won an award from Brain POP UK for their creative approaches to learning, by their creation of a video in the style of the website, which the children wrote, built, performed & edited.

The class blog has allowed the children to become more independent in their approach to learning and it is having a positive effect in regard to attainment in class. It allows them to take their learning anywhere they go and at any time. We have had over 7000 site hits in the four-month period that it has been going for.

Posted: 3rd Jun 2011 Kitchen Science Week : Adobe Acrobat file (68.4k)

Newburgh Church of England Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

In order to raise the profile of practical science we decided to have a Kitchen Science week. A senior member of staff attended an INSET on practical science and a grant was obtained from the Edina Trust, this was used to purchase all of the materials needed for the week.

Children from Year 5 and 6 led the week by setting up activities in the hall and each class in turn visited in order to have hands on experience of the various experiments.

The children all kept a log of their work throughout the week and the culmination of the week was a whole school 'Volcano' in the playground on the Friday afternoon when parents and governors were invited to take part.

Posted: 3rd Jun 2011 Developing children's self esteem and .... : Adobe Acrobat file (80.1k)

.... confidence, learning in the forest school.

Staghills Nursery School/Children's Centre (Good Practice Award)

The aim of the project was to develop children's confidence and self esteem using the natural environment as a medium for learning; exploring the ethos of the forest school to support children to lead their own learning and exploration with the support of responsive adults. Children spend a full session every week in the woodland area which is part of the nursery grounds. The structure of the session is carefully planned to support the children.  Sessions always begin in the base camp area, with a chance for the children to chat and reflect and to discuss the session. The children are encouraged to look after themselves and each other and are given a range of responsibilities from putting on their all in one suits and wellies to preparing the resources for the "hot chocolate & snack" at the end of the session. The size of the group (max 10 children) supports children to develop close relationships both with their peers and with the adults. The children are given a range of tasks that allow them to work independently and as a team and the collaborative aspects of the sessions have proved to be very successful.

Reedley Real Life : Adobe Acrobat file (96.2k)

Reedley Primary School (Innovative Practice)

We wanted to give the children a 'real life' experience to assist their economic education and encourage their aspirations.

The main focus was to select and apply for a job, go to work for a day, get paid and organise finances just like we do in the real world! We wanted the children to understand why it was important to work for a living.

Monday – Job Application
Over 20 jobs were advertised. KS2 children applied for a job.

Tuesday – Interviews
Successful candidates attended a 'real' interview. Unsuccessful children had circle time to discuss feelings of rejection. They were then given the opportunity to sign up for night school – a chance to improve.

Wednesday – Work
Children went to work or night school!

Thursday – Pay Day
All workers received their wage. Night school attendees were given a grant and the rest collected a small amount from the government!

The children had to pay for everything - playtime cost 5 Reedley pounds! There were opportunities to spend money on luxury activities i.e. Cinema, Cyber Café.

Friday – Reflections
The children had time to reflect, celebrate and aspire by dressing up in 'career clothes'!

The project had a huge impact on children and staff alike. The children learnt so much about the world of work; it introduced them to new feelings and emotions and gave plenty of enjoyment.

.... at Kennington Primary School

Kennington Primary School (Good Practice)

As a staff we wanted to build upon the creativity in our school and celebrate the talent of our children. We felt that we would like to be involved in Lancashire's WOW week and wanted to involve the local community and invite them to share in our activities.
We held an Art Exhibition in our school hall and invited the parents to view the beautiful artwork produced .We also contacted the local library and displayed a small selection of our artwork there as well. Themes included 'Under the Sea' and Aboriginal Art. The following week we organised an Open Air Concert where each class performed a song/dance. This event also involved our local preschool children and a performance by our Street Dance Club led by a local dance teacher. The concert was held on the field with the parents invited to watch. The Year 6 class also produced their own version of A Midsummer Night's Dream which was performed to the school and local community.

Casterton Primary School

Our initial aims:

  • to continue the development of our outdoor provision, which had begun some four years earlier
  • to further develop our thinking skills, creative curriculum and problem solving programmes
  • to provide opportunities that would encourage collaboration
  • to provide other opportunities that would support independence
  • to educate about road safety
  • to further support the school's behaviour management systems
  • to provide an outdoor environment that was, quite, simply, exciting and fun!
  • Working with our own intitial plans plus the expertise of the designing company, we finally came up with:
     
    a large roadway
  • six problem solving activities
  • an outdoor classroom and stage
  • crazy golf
  • a human sundial

And the results? 

  • A fantastic, exciting and fun outdoor environment that accomodates a wide range of activities and interests Improved behaviour at break and lunch times 
  • Development of Thinking Skills and problem solving to enhance classroom practice Support of the curriculum, e.g. Speaking and Listening, PSHE and P.E.
  • Great team work, both in the development of the project and its continued use.

Aughton Christ Church C.E. School (Innovative Practice)

Our school has always tried to encourage children to be aware of other cultures and faiths. Children have been taken on visits to Hindu Temples, mosques, synagogues etc. but as a school in an all white affluent area of the County we realised that we were not giving our children opportunities to really understand the world in which we live. The children were not aware that there are many children who are much less fortunate than themselves and don't have the life chances that they have. The children became aware of this when one of our parents brought into school pictures of a school in Gambia; they were genuinely shocked as to the conditions in the school. We also realised that many of the children were very unaware of the multicultural society that we live in. We felt that although we are situated both close to Liverpool and Preston, our children were not aware of the diverse communities that exist in both of these cities. This all linked together with a link we established four years ago with the Pearl of Africa choir, which has now visited the school three times and somechildren have established links with children in the school in Uganda.

.... teaching opportunities outside the classroom

Red Marsh School (Innovative Practice)

Imagine an outdoor space, alive with adventure, where all could learn and play together, young and older, able bodied and those with disabilities, and people from any race or social background.
That was the challenge for the special school, Red Marsh School. The journey involved many partners; schools, colleges, businesses, funders, experts, designers and the children and young people themselves.
Over three years, we raised funds and created an ethos of learning outside the classroom (LOtC). We created a sensory garden, an imaginative play area, pathways with nature and fitness trail, an adventure trail and new playground.
LOtC opportunities were greatly enhanced; we could now cover all curriculum areas outdoors, greatly improving the scope of pupils’ learning and enjoyment. Staff developed professionally as a result of training. Inclusive practices were developed linking with other schools and colleges.
Children and young people now take part in many diverse learning opportunities both on and off the school site.
From our Great Outdoors (GO) Project we learned that with clear needs analysis, shared vision, careful planning and effective management, we could succeed. The result is a wonderful play and learning environment for many children and young people to enjoy together.

.... achievement and enjoyment for pupils and students with physical and sensory needs.

Pear Tree Specialist School (Innovative Practice)

At Pear Tree Specialist School we aim to give every pupil/ student equal access to sport regardless of disability. To ensure this we have to look at a wide range of opportunities, tailoring these to the individual. For our Sensory pupils/students we offer many individualized activities. Rebound Therapy (RT) is provided in our sports hall on a weekly basis. Individual programmes of work on our school trampoline are developed for each participant following a specialised assessment programme. RT has encouraged independent movement and participation in exercise for pupils with limited mobility and sensory needs. They have made huge personal achievements and gained confidence in moving, communication and socialization.
For our KS3/4/FE students, our 'Drop-in Gym' weekly sessions have encouraged fitness in age appropriate ways. The students now can use a range of fitness equipment independently, giving them skills that they can carry into adulthood. We have worked in partnership with local secondary schools to help support these activities. Both activities are embedded in our curriculum.
As a result of this work we have learned that we are able to offer and promote regular exercise for all our pupils and students, dependent on their very individualized needs.

Posted: 7th Feb 2011 Forensic Workshop : Adobe Acrobat file (76.1k)

Albany Science College (Innovative Practice)

This project has been the most exciting and innovative that I have been involved with to date. It has inspired not only year 11 pupils to go on to 6th form and take BTEC level 3 in forensics, but has engaged and enthused primary school pupils and staff throughout the local area. I have noticed that all children and adults thoroughly enjoy these activities and are keen to take part, showing interest, enthusiasm and a real sense of what place science has in their world.  It has also encouraged many teachers to trial and test ideas in their schools through being involved in this project.
It is hoped that this project has inspired more young people to look at science in a new light, enthusing, encouraging and engaging young scientists of the future.

Posted: 23rd Jun 2010 Raising self esteem and developing an interest ... : Adobe Acrobat file (76.3k)

... in reading through use of Buddy Reading

CHIP Cluster Group (Innovative Practice)

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

Several children appeared to be making less than expected progress in reading. Talking with groups of children revealed that boys in particular did not perceive reading to be a pleasurable activity. Reading engagement was prioritised on the SIP. In response to this concern, we set out to find alternative in-school opportunities for students to read and discuss literature for pleasure. We reviewed literature on students' motivation to read. From this review, we determined two factors that appear to contribute to voluntary reading: self-selection of material and a partner with whom to read. We believed that both KS1 and KS2 learners would enjoy the experience of selecting books and reading together for pleasure.

Consequently, we designed a 'book buddy' programme to provide opportunities for all participants to read without requiring any other kind of assignment that might be construed as extra work.


We believe that we achieved our goal of fostering a love for reading whilst raising the self-esteem of some learners. The success of our buddy reading programme was also evident in both the data recorded and learners' reactions. All teachers reported that confidence improved, and learners with low self-esteem particularly seemed to improve.

Posted: 22nd Jun 2010 Continuous Provision in Key Stage One : Adobe Acrobat file (76k)

Brookside Primary School (Innovative Practice)

  • Our project established the consistent use of continuous provision in Key Stage One to help with the transition from Foundation Stage to Key Stage One and to enrich the curriculum and provide opportunities for independent learning.
  • The children have the opportunity to continue their independent learning through KS1 using the enquiry skills they developed in the Foundation Stage.
  • The continuous provision is planned to link in with the Literacy and Numeracy units of work, therefore reinforcing the children's learning. We also provide a continuous provision area for topic work in the classrooms.
  • These areas are carefully planned for by staff to enhance the children's learning experience throughout the Key Stage.
  • Without doubt the children enjoy the continuity this provides; it is enhancing their overall learning and they are encouraged to be independent learners.

 

Posted: 2nd Jun 2010 Developing an eco-aware school : Adobe Acrobat file (73.4k)

St. Saviour's Community Primary School (Innovative Practice)

The eco team included school staff, children, parents, grandparents, local community project workers and local wildlife conservation groups.
The initial decisions were taken by the children in school council meetings. The two main priorities for school were to develop awareness of environmental issues and to improve the appearance of our school grounds.  Our school is situated on a reclaimed brown field site.  Although there is very little soil (old mill machinery is just below the surface) we wanted to make full use of the land available by planting vegetables as well as ornamental plants.
Regular meetings of the eco council led to a range of activities being suggested by the children including litter collection, a new lighting system in the toilets (new lights only come on when movement is detected and switches off after a given period of time), new push taps to reduce the amount of water wasted when the children are washing their hands, a compost bin to recycle our fruit remnants and peel.  The composting also incorporated school meal waste.
We have appointed an Eco-Governor who attends meetings and is regularly updated on progress.
Golden time activities also supported this project, producing garden decorations and providing labour for digging the gardens over.
We have carried out a mass bulb planting and have plans for a cookery club which will utilise the fruits of our labours and support our healthy eating principles!

Foulridge St. Michael and All Angels C.E. Primary (Good Practice)

  • The project focussed upon establishing a whole school ethos which was underpinned by Christian values.
  • The first part of the project involved all staff and pupils in developing an agreed policy and approach to 'Behaviour Management' to create a common understanding of attitudes, values and expectations.
  •  A well structured teaching programme for PSHE was successfully introduced
  •  throughout the school to improve pupils' confidence, self-esteem, aspirations and motivation.
  •  A new focus for delivering the RE curriculum through 'active learning' was implemented to ensure pupil engagement and meaningful learning.
  •  New approaches to Collective Worship were planned to provide enjoyable and relevant learning experiences to meet the needs of the spiritual development of both staff and pupils.
  •  This project has impacted greatly upon the ethos of the school. This is regularity 
     commented favourably upon by visitors. It has helped to create a strong sense of
    'Common purpose' and identity for the school. Pupil attitudes and behaviour have improved significantly and they can clearly articulate their experiences and understanding about faith.

... and implementation of the new curriculum

Small Schools Curriculum Group (Innovative Practice)

Mossy Lea Primary School

This project has been developed by a cluster of Headteachers from four small schools across the authority. As Headteachers of small schools, we have worked closely together to develop an innovative approach to planning and assessing pupils’ progress across three key areas of the Primary Curriculum.
We met on a number of occasions to review personalised learning and creative approaches to teaching and learning in small schools. With each school at a very different phase in their curriculum development, approaches to teaching and learning were shared and a common area for development was identified. We all identified the need to raise the profile of the essential skills for learning and life in our schools and bring these areas of learning to the forefront of our provision. We have developed progression grids to support the planning and assessment of: Emotional Skills, Personal and Social Skills and Thinking and Learning Skills. The progression grids fit in with each school's vision to provide personalised learning opportunities for every child and support learners in achieving three principle aims: Confident Individual, Successful Learner, and Responsible Citizen.
This innovative approach to planning and assessment will support each school's transition to full implementation of the new primary curriculum.

Posted: 2nd Jun 2010 Economic Awareness Week and Careers Fair : Adobe Acrobat file (75.7k)

Ashton Primary (Innovative Practice)

We decided to organise a whole school Economic Awareness Week as a response to the ECM agenda.  Our aim was to raise children's aspirations and give them opportunities to look at and investigate a wide range of career choices.  As the project developed we also decided to engage the children with meaningful writing activities which would be presented at the Careers Fair.
The children discussed what jobs they wanted to do and were sorted into mixed age groups based on their interests.  The groups were led by teachers and teaching assistants. 
Adults were invited into school to demonstrate, discuss and explain various elements of their jobs.  The relevant group of children were encouraged to take part, ask questions or visit the person at work.
After a very busy week with over 30 different adults in school, the children collated information and created posters, fliers and information packs for the Careers Fair.  Parents were invited to the careers fair to celebrate the children's work.

Posted: 2nd Jun 2010 Creative Competency Curriculum: The 'CCC' : Adobe Acrobat file (88.9k)

Marsden Heights Community College (Innovative Practice)

The Creative Competency Curriculum ('CCC') has been developed to encourage independent, creative and inquisitive learners who will be prepared for a changing world.  It grew from a realisation that the National Curriculum had become information-driven, and that a customised curriculum was needed to provide a more broad, balanced and memorable learning experience for our students.
Initially the Humanities, the Expressive Arts and ICT were combined, and Year 7 were taught for eight hours per week with one teacher in the main.  Cross-curricular projects were planned by the CCC team with the aim of providing interesting content whilst providing opportunities to develop transferable skills.
Towards the end of the first year the results were noticeable, particularly in terms of increased motivation and improved behaviour.  Thus, the college has decided to extend the curriculum time to include English and Citizenship.  This academic year, Year 7 now spends a total of 12 hours in the 'CCC', and the College is very enthusiastic about the projected results with English skills underpinning the course in addition to the competences.

Posted: 28th May 2010 The School's Ethos, Commitment and Partnership... : Adobe Acrobat file (81.7k)

... with Parents through a High Quality Website

Clifton Primary (Best Practice)

The development and use of a high quality school website to reinvigorate parent
partnership with the school and with their child's education in order to raise
standards across the school.

Posted: 28th May 2010 Big Art, Big Write : Adobe Acrobat file (76.5k)

The Breck Primary School (Innovative Practice)

 Self-evaluation has identified standards in writing as a key focus for school improvement.  As a staff we have tried to be innovative in our approach to addressing this key focus.  We decided to target children's ability to use an art inspiration as a stimulus or context for 'short bursts' of writing.
 Every month an art inspiration is selected to inspire writing for a particular genre.  The inspiration is introduced at a whole school assembly where the context for writing is given a framework.  Every child in the school then writes for fifteen minutes in response. All writing is assessed using APP criteria and we have therefore had opportunities to consider assessment across the genres.  We have also used Inset time to carry out moderation to impact on standards. One piece of work is selected from each year group for display in our main hall.  The display reminds children of the inspiration and clearly shows the progression throughout the school.  The writing chosen for that month is part of a year long display that shows year group and whole school progress in writing. 
Being selected each month is a highly valued and prestigious accolade for the children.  For staff,  this monthly focus has enabled them to become confident at using APP materials and moderation.  This confidence has led in part to us being recognised as a Lead Assessment School.   

Posted: 5th Feb 2010 "Amongst The Fells" Storytelling Festival : Adobe Acrobat file (75.4k)

St Mary's R.C. Primary (Innovative Practice)

In order to develop our project-based learning approach at St Mary's school I suggested a Storytelling Festival be held in 2008 which would be run by the children. Its success led to it becoming an annual event for the village. The children were given ownership of the project so that their sense of responsibility would impact upon outcome.

The whole community is involved, from the nursery to local businesses and voluntary groups.

The children choose a theme for the Festival; storytelling revolves around that theme e.g. "Myths, Magic and Minotaurs". The children not only organise the event but are largely the storytellers too.

Organisation of the event includes the children researching suitable venues for storytelling sessions, investigating Health & Safety, approaching businesses for financial support, employing the services of professional storytellers, crafts people and musicians and arranging catering facilities. Pupils identified a need for and organised workshops on storytelling skills for parents.

Posted: 5th Feb 2010 Aiding transition from Reception to KS1....  : Adobe Acrobat file (92.3k)

....through shared role play

Bernadette's Catholic Primary School (Good Practice)

  • Our project focussing on developing a shared role play area to aid transition from Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1 has been very successful.
  • The children have had time and space to develop speaking and listening skills through the effective use of carefully planned role play experiences, skills which will, in turn, develop reading and writing.
  • We created a flexible workspace which can be changed and adapted throughout the year.
  • Staff in Foundation and K.S.1 work as a team to plan the role play around a different topic each term which is led by each class in turn.
  • The role play is designed to provide continuity in teaching and learning for the pupils across Foundation and Key Stage1.
  • We have noticed that all children enjoy the activities and are keen to take responsibility for developing and using the role play.
  • Parents report that their children speak enthusiastically about their role play experiences and the topics covered, and many children have contributed resources from home.
Posted: 5th Feb 2010 Raising standards of achievement through....  : Adobe Acrobat file (75.8k)

.... a creative curriculum.

Royal Cross Primary School

Pupils at Royal Cross have difficulties acquiring language due to the nature of their SEN. We have developed a thematic approach to curriculum content and delivery in order to provide more enjoyable and effective opportunities for language enrichment. Evidence of the impact on learning convinced staff that creative experiences are a better way of developing pupil's communication skills and confidence. Traditional approaches to literacy work often fail to engage our children because it is difficult for them to succeed whereas motivation is increased by visual and practical activities.

We obtained funding from Creative Partnerships to explore the potential of a more creative approach in raising pupil attainment through an 'Enquiry School' project. We worked with a creative agent during the first half of the spring term who put us in touch with 3 external creative practitioners - a poet, a dance teacher and a puppet maker. They began by involving staff in workshops during an INSET day which also included joint planning time, then 15 workshops were delivered to the children during the following 6 weeks.

The project ended with a Celebration Day for families and an Evaluation Day when the creative agent interviewed staff for feedback regarding positive outcomes and impact on learning. The project was a great success and is continuing to develop through further work as a 'Change School'.

Posted: 4th Jun 2009 Welcome to Africa : Adobe Acrobat file (95.4k)

Brabins Endowed School (Innovative Practice Award)

We wanted to develop our pupils' understanding of the global dimension in the curriculum through creative learning. The British Council's International Schools Quality Mark assessment process was chosen as a suitable vehicle for beginning this work, which began in the Autumn term 2007.

This year we have been working with a Creative Agent and Creative Practitioners to build on last year's work so as to further develop and deliver a creative curriculum which embraced long held commitments to environmental education.

The current project related to the 2008-09 School Improvement Plan, as it referred to delivering a creative approach to delivering Education for Sustainable Development - The Eight Doorways. This most recent project involved the children exploring the African culture to further their understanding of global diversity. The programme was designed to encourage pupils to reflect on their own learning and identify strengths and areas for development.

Posted: 4th Jun 2009 Creative Learning Experiences to Enthuse & .... : Adobe Acrobat file (84.5k)

....Engage Children In Learning

Brockholes Wood Community Primary School (Good Practice Award)

  • The project was developed to engage and enthuse children in their learning in order to raise standards of achievement. To do this we re-designed the curriculum and developed a creative, skills-based curriculum with active learning playing a key role throughout. Each topic had to include a visit or visitor to the school so that the children had an experience to draw on. The curriculum also had an outcome for the pupils to work towards e.g. assembly, theme day, exhibition, PowerPoint presentation.
  • The curriculum was re-designed to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum, but also to include elements that interested the children. Each pupil is now given a chance to contribute to topics and direct their own research by asking questions and adding them to their Learning Trees in class.
  • Pupil and parent feedback has shown children are enjoying lessons more and are motivated to learn. Writing portfolios show that there are many more opportunities for cross-curricular writing throughout the school. Standards in writing have improved, particularly in Y6.
Posted: 4th Jun 2009 Funky Friday : Adobe Acrobat file (77.5k)
Thorn Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

Funky Friday was an initiative that was devised as a response to developing AFL and ensuring a smooth transition from EYFS to KS1 through a creative curriculum. This enabled the school to utilise expertise on the staff to teach in small groups focussing on skills progression, clear learning objectives and success criteria in the creative arts (art, music, dance/drama and ICT). The impact has been engaged learners, motivated teachers and teaching assistants and an opportunity to plan collaboratively with colleagues. The curriculum was personalised to groups and individuals enabling children to develop their skills within the different areas. All staff have became familiar with age appropriate expectations within the different subjects and have a more in-depth understanding of the next steps for the children's learning.
Posted: 4th Jun 2009 Using Super Learning Days to enhance our....  : Adobe Acrobat file (80.2k)

....developing creative curriculum

Our Lady and St. Gerard's R.C. Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

We have undertaken a range of training opportunities to assist our development of the curriculum. As a whole staff, we are eager to deliver relevant and creative learning opportunities for all children. Two members of staff attended a conference based on the principles of the University of the First Age and we decided that many of the ideas and teaching styles reflected our own thinking and that further training would benefit our staff and children.

In October 2007, two teachers began the 5 day training required to become a Fellow of the UFA. They received a range of resources, were encouraged to think and act more creatively and learned about 'Super Learning Days'. Fired with more enthusiasm these teachers ran a 'Challenge' after school club and shared their learning and new skills with other staff at staff meetings. Their infectious enthusiasm led to a unanimous decision to hold a 'Super Learning Day'. Initially two teachers went to visit a local school on their 'Super Learning Day' following this all staff generated ideas and each prepared an area of learning for our day, some aspects delivered by staff and some by community partners and other outside agencies.
 
The day, held on 6th Feb 2009, proved a resounding success with staff, children and parents. The impact on the whole school was fantastic. Apart from learning new skills, older children worked with and supported younger children, their behaviour was excellent and everybody in school was enthusiastic and energised.

....and Achievement for All

Clifton Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

 Working closely with an Occupational Therapist, we have developed a programme of exercises and routines which, together with the creation of a Sensory Room, is making a positive impact on children's enjoyment and attitude towards learning as well as raising standards for children with additional needs. Following this impact, we are now extending the use of the Sensory Room and the exercise routines to be made available to all children who could benefit educationally, behaviourally, socially and emotionally.

....across the whole school

Leyland St James' C.E.(Aided) Primary School (Good Practice Award)

  • The development of a thematic approach to planning across the whole school was considered to have the most effective impact on writing skills, which were in need of a boost.
  • The initial ideas came from the independence that the children adopted from a very early age in the Foundation Unit. This curriculum was based around a central theme and enabled the children to experience a very creative play-based environment in which it was fun to learn and use basic skills (primarily writing) in all areas of the settings. Planning a creative curriculum enabled the children to use mark-making skills as well as writing for a purpose within all the areas of learning on a daily basis. Therefore through enjoyable experiences and a willingness to take part, attainment in writing was improving from a very early age.
  • Due to this success, the Foundation Stage Co-ordinator moved into year 1 to facilitate the smooth transition of the creative curriculum into Key Stage 1. There was also a movement of staff enabling the optimum delivery of the new theme-based planning. The staff worked extremely hard together as a whole unit to make the planning work and as a result after 12-18 months the attainment in writing across the whole Key Stage has improved.  As a result, in September 2008, Key Stage 2 adopted a thematic approach to their planning and they are now finding that learning is much more fun and the children are far more willing to learn. The results are a noticeable improvement in writing.
Posted: 6th Feb 2009 Creative delivery of P.P.A : Adobe Acrobat file (104.9k)

Walter Street Community Primary School (Innovative Practice)

As the school responded to the demands of workforce remodelling, it was noted that our Key Stage 2 P.P.A. cover was not robust in terms of sudden crisis nor was the there a true sense of ownership of the learning by those tasked to deliver it.

A combination of circumstances and good planning allowed the school to develop a radical new approach to its P.P.A. cover which:
• Allowed year group partners to plan together;
• Allowed pupils to work in smaller groups than previously;
• Focused on creativity and enjoyment of pupil learning; and
• Made the best use of the staff/resources we had available.

The result of much thought and planning was ‘Diamond Day': a special curriculum day once a fortnight for each of the Key Stage 2 year groups. The day would be delivered by a self-contained team led by a senior member of the teaching staff and three T .A.3 s.

This team were to be completely responsible for planning and delivering all of the
P.P.A. cover over the life of the project.

Posted: 6th Feb 2009 The Arts' Festival enhances commitment to... : Adobe Acrobat file (131.6k)

...the live arts, creativity and every child matters.

Banks Methodist Primary School (Innovative Practice)

Banks Methodist is committed to the live arts - it is an essential component in developing the ‘whole child’. As a very small school, every child has an opportunity and is encouraged to involve him or herself in the arts and creativity.
 
In 2005 we initiated a "Creativity Afternoon" every Thursday afternoon with an ‘army’ of grown ups from the community willing to share their ‘gifts’ and skills with the children on a pre-planned programme of activities for which the school earned a 'Learning Excellence' Award.
 
Children throughout the year get a ‘taste’ of various activities and develoip skills across a wide range of activities including cross stitch, knitting, baking, ICT, quilling, horticulture, modern technology, textiles, card/book making, photography, etc. culminating in a triannual ‘Arts Festival’ or annual competition.
 
The Arts' Festival '08 was our second event of this nature. The triannual Arts Festival has become a much anticipated and celebrated event in the Banks Methodist calendar.
 
The week long event aims to bring a wide range of cultural experiences to pupils, parents and the wider BMS community.
 
Poetry, literature, the visual arts, music and drama are explored in many forms in a mixture of performance and workshop based events.

Posted: 6th Feb 2009 French Day : Adobe Acrobat file (80.8k)

West Lancashire Community High School (Innovative Practice)

Our annual French Day(s) is held towards the end of the summer term and involves all pupils and staff in school. Pupils are given opportunities to practise their spoken French in a variety of activities.
In the café they are encouraged to odrer their food in French from the menu and to talk to each other and staff in French.  In the market they can order a variety of fruits, they play interactive IT games as well as the more traditional ' boules' outside in the sensory garden. They practise their knowledge of numbers in a French lotto session and answer questions in 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' in French.
The pupils enjoy the day and respond positively to the activities. They join in the spirit of the day by dressing up in costumes and joining in a parade in the afternoon. They also enjoy working in teams to create models of famous French buildings such as 'Arc de Triumphe, Eiffel Tower' etc.
Local primary and secondary schools are invited to join our French Day(s) and these groups of mainstream pupils work with our pupils in all the activities.It is an opportunity to expand pupils knowledge of another culture and have some fun whilst doing it.

Euxton St Mary's Catholic Primary School (Innovative Practice)

A whole-school audit of pupil attitudes towards writing, (Autumn 2006), highlighted that many children experienced difficulty in knowing how to actually start their compositions.  A combination of strategies and research over the next two terms (including INSET on the use of drama as a teaching tool and a visit to a leading school in role-play), led us to introduce role-play areas and drama as prominent and engaging tools in all our classrooms.  Many role-play areas are supported by visits within the community in order that the children can experience their role-play in  'real-life' settings.  Role-play is met with a huge amount of enthusiasm from pupils across the school, whilst teacher monitoring continues to report significant improvement in speaking and listening; co-operation amongst peers; use of vocabulary and the boosting of self-esteem particularly amongst quieter and less able pupils.  Areas are often linked to other subjects in order to create more opportunities for cross-curricular writing.  In daily Literacy lessons, teachers now employ a range of drama strategies including role-on-the-wall, freeze frames, thought tunnels, writing-in-role etc.  Drama continues to thrive in school and  KS2 writing SAT results showed great improvement: 92% L4 & above, 44% L5.  Our initiative has shown us that drama and role-play allow children first-hand experience, empowering them as 'the expert' and nurturing them into more confident, motivated and imaginative writers.

Posted: 6th Feb 2009 Developing and eco-aware school : Adobe Acrobat file (102.1k)

Coppull St John's C.E. Primary School (Good Practice)

The scheme has developed over the years. We started re-cycling ink cartridges and then paper and batteries, encouraged the community to save energy with energy saving bulbs through village in a partnership scheme, recycled clothing and card through funds4school. We have also always taken advantage of the woodland trust free hedgerows and trees and for the last few years we have developed our school grounds with these free goods. Last year we decided we would like to develop our skills as gardeners.
We have always had extra-curricular clubs focusing on our environment and we decided we wanted to take this further by developing some of our land and making a small allotment to grow vegetables and edible flowers.
We also wanted to enlist the help of the wider community and initially the project was started by a member of the PCC. This role was then taken over by a grandparent and they, with the help of some other parents, have worked with the children to grow our own produce. The produce has been sold to the parents and given to the church for harvest. We want to grow sufficient quantities so we can provide additional food for the kitchen. We also used some of our golden time so that the children could work alongside the grandparents and parents.

The Loyne Specialist School (Good Practice)

 As a response to the national move towards Enterprising Education, the school decided that it would build on current practice with a range of enterprising initiatives. Initially a group of F.E. students, working with a local business, led an initiative by planning, organising and running regular  "Restaurant Evenings" at school for friends, family, staff and the wider community. Following this, another group of students worked with students from Lancaster University on a Social Enterprise project.  This  led on to  practical work skills modules for FE students; a decorating and  D.I.Y skills module (using our modified garage) and  a horticulture module which develops our sensory garden and planted areas around the school.
The impact of these initiatives has played a major role in raising student confidence and self esteem.  All students participating in all the above projects have moderate to severe  learning difficulties and often struggle to apply basic numeracy and literacy skills.  However through these enterprising initiatives, the skills of money, measurement, communication, problem solving and team work are effectively taught in an exciting and more meaningful and practical way. In addition to this, students have the opportunity to achieve a sense of economic understanding and make a positive contribution to the community and wider world.   (ECM outcomes)

Posted: 6th Feb 2009 To extend opportunities for learning ... : Adobe Acrobat file (108.3k)

...through the use of a virtual learning environment

Cockerham Parochial CE Primary School (Innovative Practice)

A virtual learning environment has been implemented and developed to raise standards though extending opportunities for learning within and outside the school. This is in line with the school's ethos to pro-actively explore the potential of emerging technologies and is ahead of the requirements of Harnessing Technology, Next Generation Learning and in preparation for online reporting in 2010.  It is also in line with current thinking on the creative curriculum, meets recommendations of Every Child Matters and supports personalised learning.

...to involve parents in their child's learning.

Longton Primary School (Innovative Practice)

Following a school-wide parental questionnaire, one of the key findings was that parents wanted an improved level of information.  As a result the school website (www.longton.lancsngfl.ac.uk) maintained by myself, has been streamlined this focus.  Regular newsletters are available to as well as a headboy / headgirl news blog run by the students. Children are now able to post their own 'news reports' on Making the News segment of our site.We also have quite a collection of photos and videos of key school events available for viewing by the parents.  This is all integrated tightly within the site.Our most successful inclusion has been the creation of ‘class learning blogs.’  This entails each teacher filling in an online learning blog collaboratively with the children.  As our children already complete personal paper based learning logs in the classroom this has helped promote them and provides an ideal tool for parents to learn about what is going on in their child’s classroom.  We feel it provides an excellent opportunity for children to talk about their day in the home environment.  The blogs contain text, photos, videos and sound recordings of the children’s school day ad well as website links for revision etc.  Since this inclusion, popularity of our website has increased by 500%.

Posted: 5th Feb 2009 Leading the sustainable schools agenda : Adobe Acrobat file (113.3k)

Brabin's Endowed School (Best Practice)

Since September 1999 Brabin's School has been developing environmental education opportunities for all its pupils and has encouraged the local community to engage with and support many of its projects. The school takes full advantage of the close links between environmental education and global awareness, which when engaged with appropriately, supports the developing sustanability agenda known in schools now as 'The 8 Doorways to Sustainabilty. The school's ethos promotes inclusion and participation, with a collaborative approach to many learning opportunities. Local well-being is supported and the global dimension allows our pupils to see the need for new skills if they are to become part of the solution to challenges like climate change.  During the 21st Century Brabins School has introduced intitatives that now clearly relate to different ‘doorways’. Some of these have included: taking charge of the school kitchen-providing healthy meals made where ever possible from locally sourced ingredients; reducing engergy consumption and minimalising watse- worthwhile recycling schemes are in place, which are supported by community members and implementing a Travel Plan. In addition, the children have been pro active developing the school grounds and carrying out tasks linked to improving the quality of the building- learning important life-skills along the way.

Posted: 5th Feb 2009 Developing Local Democracy : Adobe Acrobat file (79k)

Barnacre Road Primary School (Innovative Practice)

The development of local democracy, by involving pupils from a number of pupil councils in the Longridge Primary School Cluster Democracy Day. To  involve directly a variety of councillors from the surrounding community to raise awaremess and empower children in the democratic process.

Posted: 28th Feb 2007 Well-Being Sessions with Year 6 : Adobe Acrobat file (67.6k)

Walter Street Community Primary School

We introduced a series of 6 Well Being sessions with Year 6 children during the 5 weeks prior to the End of Key Stage 2 tests. Our aim was to prepare the children emotionally for the test experience and to provide them with techniques to support their revision. We adapted NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) techniques to make them child friendly. The children responded very positively to the Well Being sessions, they used the techniques successfully to manage pre-test confidence levels and to help them revise more effectively both at home and at school. Year 6 class teachers felt that the children were better emotionally prepared for SATs Week, particularly individuals who were less confident. Following the SATs Week the children provided enthusiastic feedback about the Well Being sessions, they strongly felt that the sessions should be repeated and suggested constructive improvements for repeating the sessions with the new Year 6 cohort.

Posted: 20th Jul 2006 Creative Timetabling : Adobe Acrobat file (108k)

Stanah Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

School self-evaluation showed that there was considerable ‘slippage’ of time during the working day so making the best use of the time available became a priority. Some subjects were being squeezed out of the curriculum due to time pressures. Literacy and Numeracy were expanding to fill the time available.

The timings during the day were re-jigged, lunch was taken 15 minutes later which meant that 3 periods of teaching time were available during the morning session. Playtimes were split so that the Upper and Lower key stage 2 had different times so creating more space (and fewer problems) on the playground. As a result of the introduction of the revised timetables we have created:-

  • shorter, sharper and more focussed lessons
  • greater access to specialist rooms ICT Suite,  Music Room,  Library etc. and these are now being used more intensively
  • freeing up the ICT Suite means that ICT is being used far more in support of other curriculum areas
  • dedicated curriculum enrichment time every Wednesday afternoon
  • a broader and better balanced curriculum.

West Lancashire Community High School (formerly Black Moss School) (Best Practice Award)

Pupils from Kingsbury and Black Moss schools have been visiting each other’s sites to join in a variety of activities for a period of approximately 5 years; this has increased during the last 12 months as the school moves towards new generic provision.

The project has resulted in all KS3/4 pupils from Kingsbury School attending Black Moss as a discrete group each Tuesday using DT/Science/Cookery rooms.

A small group of four KS4 pupils from Black Moss attend Kingsbury School for cookery/life skills/shopping once each week, with a support assistant.

Staff from both schools frequently make visits to prepare them for curriculum change towards a generic school. This also includes staffing leading activities in either base.

Posted: 24th Jul 2008 A More Relevant, Creative and Skills-Based ... : Adobe Acrobat file (61.2k)

... Curriculum

Peel Park Primary School

We started by looking at a competence led curriculum and by identifying the type of learners we wanted to achieve. We put together our ideas of what a successful Y6 pupil would look like and created a "Learning Profile". We then defined our shared understanding of "Creativity" and how we could change the curriculum to ensure much more relevance, enjoyment and active learning could be achieved.

We decided an a "themetic" approach based on clear "Contexts for learning" -these would be based on real (as opposed to contrived) links. It was necessary to change the planning formats to accommodate a new style of skills-based planning. Contexts for learning were decided upon by each of the teams in school (Foundation, KS1, Lower and Upper KS2.) An initial "brainstorm" of ideas takes place, then the skills to be covered are identified, mapped and recorded and then a sequence of lessons is identified.

Literacy and numeracy are taught each day and linked to the theme if possible. RE, PE and some science is blocked, as are other aspects of the curriculum that don't fit.

Key NC skills are progressively being assessed. A "Creative" pupil council exists which is visiting creative industries, suggesting projects and evaluating our learning journey. There is much more evidence of teachers taking risks, visits and visitors, pupils shaping learning and enjoying the refreshing and often unexpected formats of lessons.

... to raise standards and levels of achievement

Burnley Brunshaw Primary School (Good Practice Award)

National Curriculum thinking skills were built into all schemes of work and short term planning. Pupils were directly taught strategies to aid their thinking ‘Thinking Hats’, ‘Diamond Ranking’, and ‘Philosophy for Children’ approaches. Along with the main learning intentions, thinking skills objectives are shared with the pupils e.g. through WALT and WILF. Explicit mention is made during a lesson of the skills they need to use to achieve a particular learning intention. Children are developing the ability to apply learning skills in their work and demonstrating a clearer understanding of the learning process. Learning is becoming more fun and real. There has also been a significant improvement in achievement – pupils at both KS1 and KS2 pupils achieved well in relation to their targets.

Posted: 20th Jul 2006 Developing a Real Life Curriculum : Adobe Acrobat file (110.5k)

Great Eccleston Copp Primary School (Best Practice Award)

This practice links the curriculum to the child's real world starting with the school building and surrounding grounds and leading on to dealing with issues in the community and beyond. Our starting point is the education of the child. From there we spread out to his/her immediate surroundings, explore, stimulate, learn, create, then use the skills and ideas acquired to venture further into the 'outside world'. 

The very nature of the project implies that development is ongoing. One initiative leads on to another. An idea can be formed by pupil or staff, tossed around, followed up on and developed further. Initiatives can rest then be taken on again and improved or used in a different way. Whichever way the project develops the curriculum becomes richer, more relevant to pupils and more inspirational to staff.

... a Cross-Curricular Whole-school Project (Innovative Practice Award)

Helmshore Primary School

This project involved all the children in the school in a cross-curricular project to produce a stunning woven display for the school hall. All the children were provided with opportunities to work with wool and yarn in a creative context and learned about the history of Helmshore and particularly the influence William Turner – a wealthy mill owner – had on the community. Parents, governors and the local community were involved in contributing to the project which culminated in an open afternoon to display the work. Pupils really enjoyed the freedom and creativity that this approach facilitated. They are particularly proud of the work that was created and can remember with great clarity what they have learned through this project.

Posted: 16th Aug 2006 ‘Personalised Learning’ : Adobe Acrobat file (100.3k)

Edisford Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

This project was aimed at addressing required improvements in learning.

  • March 2002 - the backbone to raising standards saw the identification of clear standards, taken from the National Curriculum. These have been agreed by all staff and are presented to children and parents as a set of targets. Each set is named after a hierarchy of mountains; this system is called ‘Rockface’. 
  • Rockface carries its own reward system and provides an accurate assessment of each child's progress as well as a method for monitoring standards and reporting to parents which takes place each term. It is a simple and very effective way to measure each child's progress.
  • With Rockface, staff use ability group teaching from Years 3 to 6. This allows children to progress at their own rate and allows the school to address individual differences more consistently. From September 2004, SEN was incorporated into the system, linking IEP with Rockface targets.

The impact of this work has seen the school’s KS2 SATs improve by 20% on average over the past 5 years compared to the previous 5 years.  A pupil survey shows that the children really enjoy the system and clearly understand it. Most importantly, with Rockface no child is overlooked - underachievement is quickly identified and tackled.

Posted: 22nd Feb 2007 ASDAN/COPE Awards : Adobe Acrobat file (56.5k)

We introduced the Asdan course in 2004 to meet the needs of a group of disaffected students in Year10.

The curriculum provision for the school did not meet the needs of about 10% of the Year 10 group. Asdan was introduced to provide a more flexible approach to learning and one which could be tailored to meet the needs of individual students who had become disaffected. The course was closely linked to work experience and all students attended a work placement for at least one day per week.

In 2005, the new Year 10 group started the Cope Award with 6 units of accreditation being accessed from the Asdan Bronze scheme and 6 units from the Cope award, providing the 12 units needed for the full award. All students have access to ICT and complete portfolios which include their assignments and work experience reports. Since starting the course we have noticed an increase in attendance levels, greater enthusiasm for learning and increased opportunities for the students in employment. Every student taking the course has achieved a Bronze Award, some students have achieved Silver Award, and we are optimistic that all our present Year 11 students will achieve the Level 1 Cope Award.

Posted: 11th Apr 2008 Musical Futures : Adobe Acrobat file (56.7k)

Lancashire Music Service (Innovative practice)

The Lancashire Music Service

 The Lancashire Music Service has instigated and provided resources for the introduction of music at KS3 using the musical futures model of delivery. This has involved developing new ways of teaching and engaging young people in their school based music making using the instruments that they most identify with i.e. rock band.

In the schools that we are currently involved with the impact has been remarkable.
We have targeted schools in special circumstances including an EBD, SEN and a High School. The impact on these schools has been remarkable not only musically but in the effect on self esteem, behaviour and attendance. This is being delivered to children across the KS3 age range. It has been so successful and provided enough information and developed the expertise of both the instrumental tutors and the classroom based teachers to allow us to extend these opportunities to all schools with KS3 students.

The young people thoroughly enjoy their music making and are all actively engaged with the minimum of supervision, they are achieving both musically and socially and perform regularly to their own class and to the whole school.

Posted: 22nd Feb 2007 Intensive Revision Project : Adobe Acrobat file (61k)

The Science Department initiated this project to raise the quality and assistance with revision for all formal examinations and in particular to raise attendance for Science Modular examinations.

This was carried out in a variety of ways; both targeted and general revision sessions at different times of the day and school year, morale boosting exercises and increasing the perceived significance of modular examinations.  These proved extremely successful, with 100% exam attendance achieved within 12 months of the commencement of the project. Pupil feedback showed increased confidence of pupils prior to exams and a much more positive attitude towards exams across the year group.

Other departments then became involved; targeted revision days which spanned more than one subject were piloted for SATS pupils on the level 4/5 borderline.  Success was achieved when more than 75% of pupils attending the revision day achieved a level 5 in their SATS.

The revision project was then developed across the whole school leading to the Individual Revision Plan for Year 11 pupils. All departments contributed, providing tailored daily revision plans for all pupils in the run up to the final GCSE examinations.  Pupil feedback on the IRP's was very positive, with comments confirming that pupils appreciated better support with their revision.

The IRP was used as evidence of good practice in the recent very successful OFSTED inspection and is being developed further for use in the future.

Pupils at Royal Cross have a diverse range of communication needs arising from the impact of deafness or speech and language impairments.  These include children with varying degrees of hearing loss, cochlear implants, receptive and expressive spoken language difficulties and sign language needs. The appointment of a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) and a new Deputy Head in 2005 provided the opportunity to review the school's communication philosophy. Communication development became a focus of school improvement and communication targets were agreed between classroom teachers (Teachers of the Deaf) and the SALT then introduced for all pupils in their IEPs. Support for children working towards their targets was delivered through child-centred approaches best suited to individual needs.  A Deaf TA (Teaching Assistant) specialising in BSL (British Sign Language) was already on the staff and a specialist TA for speech and language was trained so that individual language programmes could be set up and implemented regularly by the appropriate member of staff.  Monitoring activities show that achievement of challenging communication targets is high profile in school and is having a positive impact on pupil progress. Further development is now underway to increase opportunities for pupils to express their views so that they can make an even greater positive contribution.
Posted: 20th Jun 2007 Development of a 14-16 Construction course...  : Adobe Acrobat file (58.1k)

... accessible to all Chorley pupils

Albany Science College (Innovative practice)

The project was initiated by Albany Science College in order to give pupils from all Chorley Schools an opportunity to complete a 2 year Construction Course at a venue that did not involve excessive travelling and which met the needs of a growing number of 14-16 pupils.

Albany Science College provided the venue and resources for the course having developed the support through close relationships with Runshaw College and the other Chorley schools. Runshaw College helped the School access the required funding.

50 pupils from four high schools were involved in the first cohort that started in September 2006, giving them an opportunity to follow a course that they would not normally easily access. Pupils from other schools are now used to attending Albany Science College for part of their education and this has led to increased collaboration between Chorley schools. Many of the pupils who are on the course were identified as vulnerable in terms of staying at school or achieving reasonable results and this course has contributed to their improved commitment, attendance, enjoyment, success and achievement.

Posted: 11th Apr 2008 The Life and work of Roald Dahl : Adobe Acrobat file (56.2k)

Helmshore Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

Helmshore Primary School

 

• This was a creative, literacy based, cross curricular project involving the whole school. It spanned the academic year and was based on Roald Dahl and his books.  Each class studied a selection of books appropriate for that age group and this was enhanced with a series of lively curriculum activities and supporting creative events. All the special theme days were linked to the Roald Dahl project and each class had reading and writing tents and themed displays in the classroom. 

• The project involved fundraising for a whole school visit to the Bolton Octagon Theatre to see a performance of James and the Giant Peach at Christmas time.  Three hundred and forty children attended and for some it was their first visit to the Theatre.

• Some of the special events organised were: The Roald Dahl launch day, the Witches ball, Percussion workshops, publication of a whole school joke book and our annual school production; "Revolting Rascals". 

• The project involved the staff in adapting the curriculum and planning an alternative cohesive curriculum map based on the theme.  The whole school perspective ensured systematic development from year to year whilst making strong links between the work of each year group. 

• The children enjoyed participating in this project and sharing it with children of all ages.  The whole school was decorated with a variety of displays that reinforced and consolidated the teaching and learning.  The project culminated in a large three-dimensional hall display.

Whalley C.E Primary School (Innovative Practice Award)

The school has well established policies for role play, learning from outdoor classroom and creative play, and has developed an ethos throughout Key Stage 1 where role play reinforces aspects of learning from within the classroom to a more informal environment whilst maintaining a creative emphasis.  Children progressing to Year 3 have already gained a wealth of experience from role play.  We feel that, as part of the transition phase and beyond, it is important for them to maintain this freedom of expression and creativity.  The building of two new classrooms (to house Years 3 and 4 children) also included a very wide corridor, which is ideally suited to the development of role play activity, and the staff decided to extend and develop the policy to Years 3 and 4 in order to maximise the potential gained through previous experience and through innovative practice.

Posted: 5th Feb 2008 Learning Styles Project : Adobe Acrobat file (59k)

Broadfield Specialist School (Innovative Practice Award)

We initiated this project to further improve our practice as a centre of excellence for SEN pupils and to give us greater insight into the best ways to help our pupils learn.
It was integrated into our Specialist School programme and we worked closely with Carole Mitchell, an educational psychologist with a particular interest and expertise in this field.

We had clear objectives to develop:

• staff awareness and understanding of learning style theory and practice
• shared language to describe learning styles
• an agreed Broadfield learning styles model
• appropriate and reliable learning styles assessment methodology
• good practice which would impact positively on pupil learning outcomes

The clearest message from our pilot is that learning style preference is very difficult to be precise about. We concluded that variation in teaching & learning styles is the best way to secure pupil enjoyment, optimum pupil progress, high quality teaching & learning and raise standards.

Enhanced practice is now embedded into School Improvement Plans.

We had an Ofsted Inspection in October 2007 which noted the contribution the project has made to our rating as an 'Outstanding' school in all areas.

Higher Walton CE Primary School (Good Practice Award)

Higher Walton CE Primary School

 • Having organised our first cross-phase theme week as an emergency response to cover teacher illness, the staff involved identified enormous benefits in terms of pupil motivation, enjoyment and development of leadership qualities.  As a result, the staff planned termly cross-phase curriculum enrichment theme weeks, initially focussing on evidence for Healthy Schools standards.  Themes covered have included Healthy Eating, Safety, Physical Activity, Emotional Health and Well-being.

• Through this work, pupils have contributed to school improvements in safety and in designing the library.

• Over time we have modified practice to ensure that all pupils gain from the experience; this has resulted in phased integration of Foundation Stage pupils.  We have broadened out to other aspects of school improvement (e.g. Library Arts week, Science week and Asian Culture week).  We have also begun to explore other ways of working cross-phase, and to ask children for their input in suggesting themes.

• Cross-phase work gives pupils the opportunity to learn from each other, and older pupils have developed leadership skills and grown in self-esteem and confidence.  The relationships between pupils of different ages contribute positively to the "family" atmosphere of the school.

Posted: 5th Feb 2008 Creative Curriculum : Adobe Acrobat file (55.3k)

Thorn Primary School (Innovative Practice)

The school leadership and the wider staff have worked together to develop an alternative approach to teaching and learning across the curriculum. The project involved listening to each others’ views and opinions in order to move the school forward and create a curriculum that was interesting and real to the whole school community. The impact has been engaged learners, motivated teachers and assistants. Staff report that they are able to teach in greater depth, the children are enjoying their learning and it is evidently progressive and far less compartmentalised.  

Posted: 5th Feb 2008 Learn2Learn: an Integrated Year 7 Curriculum : Adobe Acrobat file (46.1k)

 Haslingden High School …. (Innovative Practice Award)


In September 2007, we introduced a new Curriculum in Year 7 to ease transition between primary and secondary school and to equip our students with the skills they would need to be independent learners.  A team of eight form tutors teach their tutor groups for 11 of the 30 periods a week.  They devised their own 'Learning2Learn' package, which focuses on 17 skills, and revised the Year 7 schemes of work for English, History, Geography, RE, IT and PSHE. These subjects are delivered by the form tutor in a tutor base. Every lesson has a learning objective which is subject specific and one which identifies the learning skills to be used and developed during the lesson.

Importantly, 'Learning2Learn' lessons are timetabled on a Monday Period 1 and Friday Period 6, as well as at other times during the week, to allow for planning and target-setting with the students and evaluation and self-assessment. Our AGT co-ordinator is also a Visual Arts teacher and assists with display work, facilitates team teaching and supports identified AGT students within the year group.

The year group have settled in very quickly, with the Head of Year 7 experiencing a significant decline in 'concerned parent' contacts from an average of 40 to only 4 in the first two weeks of term.  The form tutors themselves, and the other staff who teach Year 7, have noticed a greater independence in the students' approach to learning, in their confidence and in their organisational skills.

Carr Head Primary School ( Innovative PracticeAward)

• At Carr Head primary school it is our aim to support and develop confidence and independence in our pupils’ learning. As a staff we have developed and planned a skills-based curriculum using the National Curriculum programmes of study, the knowledge or content base providing the vehicle for the development of specific skills within each subject.

• This is enabling us to develop extensive and exciting opportunities for curriculum development, drama and dialogue. Critical and creative thinking skills and Key Aspects of Learning, as described in the National Curriculum and the Excellence and Enjoyment materials, are woven into the planning and the teaching and learning. The skills and the success criteria is shared with the children at the beginning of each topic and teachers' plans are then evaluated throughout the topic to reflect the specific needs and interests of the class.

• Sharing the planning and progression with the children has given them a sense of ownership and responsibility for their own learning.

• Topics are relevant to the children and so are more exciting for the pupils and the staff. We are already seeing an improvement in pupil motivation and transferability of skills as well as pupil independence, self esteem and confidence.  The staff are happy too!

Posted: 2nd Jun 2008 Leading in Learning : Adobe Acrobat file (81.4k)

Parklands High School

  • The Leading in Learning programme is a cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning that focuses on improving pupils' thinking skills by stressing that learning is an active, social process; it builds independence through interaction, intervention, stimulation and collaboration. The programme involves three teachers from three separate departments who teach a series of three lessons to the same group, three times a year, using the same thinking skills. The aim of the programme is to meet the needs of individual learners and to maximise their achievement by engaging and motivating them.
  • At Parklands, the English, Science, Geography and Maths departments have been involved over a period of eighteen months, having completed their four cycles of cross curricular thinking skills with two year 7 classes.
    The plan for the future is to involve more departments as well as staff who are less kinaesthetic in their teaching. The provision would also continue with Year 8 and then roll into Year 9.
  • We have noticed that all pupils appear to enjoy these activities and are very focused during the lessons. We have also found that retention of information has improved, this having a positive impact on achievement.
Posted: 2nd Jun 2008 An Eco- Creative Approach to Broadening ... : Adobe Acrobat file (82.4k)

... and enhancing the curriculum.

Clifton Primary School

  • Our project focussed on two priorities - raising standards and attitudes of pupils and the development of a better understanding of the positive effect everyone can have on the environment.
  • All stakeholders have been involved with this project but it has been led by the children under the direction of a Teaching Assistant.
  • The project started out looking at the outside environment and the redevelopment of playground areas, leading to our discovering the need for further, more extensive work on the whole outside environment. This really enthused the children, parents,
    governors and staff to make a firm commitment to the environment; looking after it and developing it further.
  • All children and staff are involved in the upkeep of the school grounds as part of the ongoing Creative Curriculum and we are now working closely with other Community Groups to develop practical projects beyond the school's boundary.
  • Our recycling initiatives have raised awareness throughout the community and the school is continually looking at further ways in which we can 'Save the Planet'.
  • This project has led to raised standards, not only in positive attitude, but also in the curriculum, through a better, more frequent use of the 'outside classroom'.
Posted: 2nd Jun 2008 SMSB- The Works! Using Economic and Work ... : Adobe Acrobat file (85.1k)

... related Learning to Promote writing.

St Mary & St Benedict's RC Primary School

  • SMSB The Works!' was originally devised as a schoolwide response to the ECM agenda, underachievement in writing and pupil comment.
  • We decided that we would set up a business park across the school (The Works!). Each class would form a business, with its own management structure, and each business would design and create a recycled product to market and sell.
  • As a stimulus, staff went behind the scenes at Marks & Spencers, with expert input from Global Renewable on recycling etc.
  • Stimuli for the children included trips out to look at textile and weaving mills plus visits to Garden Centres/ Smoothie bars etc. Visitors to school included parental consultants and business partners.
  • Several successful businesses were formed with children genuinely organising and running them. Including:
    Foundation Stage: The RAR Bar!
    Year 1/2               B.F.B.H (Bird Feeders Bird Houses)
    Year 3/4               The Re-usinators
    Year 5                  Class Cloth
    Year 6                  S.O.R. T. (School Organising Re-used Textiles)
  • Each business generated prototype products and presented their 'pitches' to a Dragon's Den panel comprising partners including the Chair of Booths, LEA representatives, EBP, UCLAN, Parental Consultants etc. The best prototypes were then chosen by the Dragons.
  • Impact: Huge impact on lots of fronts including: parental and wider community involvement, enthusiasm and enjoyment from ALL stakeholders, fantastic vehicle for providing real life problem solving situations and opportunities to write for a genuine purpose.
Posted: 2nd Jun 2008 Developing creativity across the curriculum ... : Adobe Acrobat file (85.1k)

... to enrich the learning of all our pupils.

Coppull St John's C.E. Primary School

The SMT and school staff identified the need to further develop creativity within the
curriculum, to empower staff to have more flexibility in planning and delivering a curriculum that meets and exceeds the needs of all our children while working within the excellent and enjoyment framework. They wanted a rewarding and inspiring curriculum that further developed the good practice within the school and allowed the school to inspire and motivate all children in a variety of learning situations. providing enriching, deeper and wider experiences that would allow the more able to work independently and creatively. To engage all types of learners in experiences that would be rewarding and purposeful.
The impact has been that the children of all abilities are making good progress, standards have improved. Children are well motivated and teachers and support staff have more control on what is being learnt, how it is being taught and when. Lessons are more useful and meaningful for all our children.

Walton- Le- Dale Arts College

• Opening Minds was introduced in 2006/7 as a pilot scheme with a group of 27 year 7 students.  The success of this scheme encouraged the implementation of the scheme for the whole of year 7 from September 2007.  Opening Minds lessons are taught in a thematic, cross curricular approach, they embrace Geography, History, RE Literacy, PSHCE and ICT as 8/25 lessons per week.  The themes are also reflected in Art, Drama, Music and Dance.  Opening Minds, therefore, covers 44% of the weekly timetable and lessons are timetabled in 2 and 3 hour slots to enable planning for extended tasks.
• The school uses the student's version of the competences developed for RSA by Barrie Wyse, but with some minor modifications.  These competences are divided into five areas, Citizenship, Learning, Information, People and Situations.  The emphasis is on skills rather than content, the rationale being that given the skills, the students become independent learners able to access content.  The competences also enable provision for a range of learning styles.
• Opening Minds clearly works; it provides an innovative and creative approach to learning, counteracting disaffection.  It is constantly being reviewed, re-evaluated and developed to make it as accessible, purposeful and relevant as possible.