Year 9 students will take part in the staggered return to school, affording them the opportunity to complete any one to one meetings with staff or take part in the Academic Mentoring sessions which will help establish their current status and ensure that they are ready to return to school.
Supporting Our Year 9 Students
- Lessons and Learning
- Curriculum: What is being taught?
- Supported Recovery
- Above and Beyond
- Assessing Needs
Year 9 will return directly to lessons and learning and subject staff will carry out a range of diagnostic and baseline assessments to assess where students are up to. Lessons have been designed to be responsive to student knowledge and staff will work across units to make sure that any gaps in knowledge are being actively plugged. The use of low stakes quizzes, spacing and interleaving will assist in helping students catch up and recover any lost information.
For students struggling to engage in the curriculum there is additional provision to support students to re-engage with learning.
Intervention for students will be done based on a subject by subject basis.
Lessons and Learning
In order to maintain the integrity of bubbles as much as possible, whilst ensuring year 9 students have access to their chosen specialisms, we have created a highly skillful team of designated to deliver the year 8 curriculum. Teachers will focus on laying the foundations of knowledge in readiness for KS4 and ensuring that students have the appropriate conceptual and procedural knowledge in order to access the curriculum.
Year 9 will follow a traditional timetable which offers a broad and balanced curriculum.
- MORE Principles
As a school we are committed to excellence in the classroom and quality first teaching is our priority and mission. We know children are resilient and we believe that with consistency, routine and high quality input, we know that all of our students will recover from the time lost in the classroom. To ensure high quality and excellence all of our lessons and learning experiences are based on the MORE principles which stand for:
Meeting the needs of all: in every lesson, every child’s needs will be met through excellent planning and responsive provision.
Magenta: The Magenta principles can be reduced down to a simple idea that lessons should be exciting, engaging and effective and if children are to understand new information they need to do something to it or with it. Getting students re-engaged in the learning process is an important way we are helping our students recover from their missed education.
Oracy: Talk is central to learning in our school and language acquisition and developing pupils who are able to articulate their thoughts, ideas and opinions with clarity, accuracy and fluency is a top priority. Talk is taught in an explicit and structured way in lessons.
Reading: We have dedicated reading lessons in y7 to 9 and this is an indication of how committed we are as a school to promoting the value and importance of reading. As a school, in every subject we explicitly teach 6 key reading strategies, use an Active Reading approach and are dedicated to improving tier, 1,2,and 3 vocabulary.
Retention and Recall: Our curriculum and lessons are designed and sequenced to ensure that knowledge is in constant circulation. In order to help our students retain and recall information we use low stakes quizzes, diagnostic questions and activities that are high challenge and low threat in order to really maximise cognitive function and memory.
Enrichment and Entitlement: One of the ways we make our lessons and learning experiences engaging is by enriching the lives of our students, exposing them to rich, diverse and powerful knowledge and by giving them opportunities to do things that they would otherwise never experience. Our commitment to the acquisition of cultural capital is in evidence in every one of our units of work across the school and it is something we believe changes the life chances of our children.
- Google Classroom and Remote Learning
“Provide immediate/high quality remote learning with a full curriculum offer:
We are fortunate enough to be a Google School and the use of chrome books means that we are able to transition from school to home learning with little disruption. If indeed we are expected to work at home, timetables will continue as normal with live lessons delivered via Google Meet and all work will be set on Google Classroom and the Learning Portal. The same principles of MORE will be applied to every remote lesson taught in order to ensure consistency of teaching and learning.
Curriculum: What is being taught?
- Core Subjects
English, Maths and Science will be taught in sets by subject specialist teachers.
Students will have access to the full range of option lessons and will be taught, where possible, in subject specialist rooms with appropriate equipment. Whilst staff and students will need to be pragmatic under new public health guidelines, students will not be disadvantaged and will have access to appropriately enabling environments for the delivery of subjects.
- Services for Students
One of the big ways we are supporting the wellbeing of our students as they try to re-integrate into full time education is the Services for Students. Students can self-refer, be referred by staff or can be referred by parents. If you feel that your child would benefit from some additional support – please contact school to request an assessment. Services are bespoke to the individual needs of a student and pupils are placed on a 4 week personalised programme to help them make a positive start back into education.
- Academic Mentoring
One final way we hope to support our students is by the appointment of Academic mentors. Each Year will have an Academic mentor and sessions will include:
- Academic DTT
- Study Skills
Mentors will provide welfare support as well as academic support. Academic mentors are the first port of call if there are any issues, worries or concerns about your son or daughter’s progress in school.
- In class support
All students who have an Educational, Health Care Plan (EHCP) or Individual Pupil Resource Agreement (IPRA) will have access to in class support where needed. Students on the SEN register will also receive some in class support from Teaching Assistants and teachers. All students on the SEN register regardless of stage have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which informs staff about individual needs and strategies to support them.
Any student highlighted by Year Manager as in need of support to settle back into school life will also receive targeted in class support from a Teaching Assistant, a member of the behaviour team or a member of staff specialising in mental health based on identified need.
Above and Beyond
SSF: Shakespeare Schools Festival – One night of Shakespeare and making a new world record. Our year 9 have been invited to be part of a national project to break the world record for the number of performances of Shakespeare plays on one night. On 20th November, year 9 students will perform Othello. Students will have been involved in 2 workshops delivered by the SSF and will perform their abridged version of the play to the year 9 students who study this text as part of the English curriculum in year 9.
‘Words for All’ project – this year we will take part in the Words for all Project, a scheme that supports students who have spent time in care to be empowered by their use of language and access to language. This should be a transformative project for some of our more vulnerable students who may need extra support vocalising.
Micro-library, online library, access to Blackburn central library books and archive. As a school we have made a significant investment in reading provision. Micro libraries have been set up in each of the year group bubbles and students are invited to borrow books. Books that encourage students to both read for pleasure and support their studies are available.
Football Beyond Borders and Blackburn Rovers
This project reaches out to students in a hope to educate and inspire them. Please see the website for more information.