Challenging Every Learner Every Lesson Every day

Quality of Education

At Horizon our vision is to develop students who are ‘School ready; Work ready; Life ready’ 

We deliver this vision through 

  • the quality of education students experience 
  • the behaviour and attitudes students develop  
  • the personal development opportunities students enjoy.

Quality of Education

Our Quality of Education mantra of ‘challenging every learner, in every lesson, every day’ ensures every student knows more, remembers more and can do more.

Curriculum (Intent)

We have designed this around seven key principles: balanced, focused, coherent, connected, appropriate, ambitious, relevant. Our aim is to 

  • enrich students’ ambition and love of learning 
  • develop knowledge, skills and cultural capital 
  • prepare students for post-16 pathways and later life 

 

Subjects at Horizon then have their own individual curriculum intents with long-term curriculum plans that outline 

  • the key subject-specific strands they are developing  
  • how their learning journey is sequenced, spiralled and/or interleaved across years 7-11. 

Schemes of learning and individual lesson plans then detail when and how this learning will take place.

Teaching and learning (Implementation)

We develop this to ensure the highest quality of classroom practice and the most effective delivery of our curriculum. Our pedagogical approach, individualised and developed at subject level, is based on: 

  • High expectationsambitious academic goals and positive relationships  
  • Explanation and modelling 
  • Questioning, retrieval and discussion 
  • Responsive teaching (be ready to go back as well as forwards) 
  • Independent practice and scaffolding 
  • Growth mindset and metacognition  

 

We develop a culture of reading – for understanding, for knowledge and for pleasure, to ensure students are able to successfully access their learning across all subjects and widen their understanding of the world around them.   

We use formative and summative assessment to systematically check for understanding, to inform future planning and to support students in maximising their academic potential.

Outcomes (Impact)

Our students achieve well, taking pride in the work they produce and achieving outcomes considerably above the national average. They leave us with the character and skill set they need to flourish in the next stage of their education, employment or training.  

OUR CURRICULUM

Our curriculum aims to provide an education which enriches students’ ambitions and love of learning and equips them with the skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to access aspirational post-16 pathways and the responsibilities and experiences of later life. It underpins everything we do as a college, challenging and supporting students in their academic, social and moral development. 

 It is designed around 7 key principles: balanced, coherent, connected, relevant, appropriate, focused and ambitious (as explained further in the table below).  

 The individual subject curricula delivered to our students reflect the pride and passion subject teams have for their disciplines and have been created with the specific needs of our students in mind. Working together to build these bespoke curricula, choosing the skills or knowledge students should learn and in what order they should learn them, forms a core part of our work as teachers.   

 We clearly communicate the intent, skills and knowledge of our curriculum to our students. We believe that they should understand why they are learning this topic now, what skills or knowledge they have learned in the past that has prepared them for this and how they will build on this in the future.  

 This section of our website contains information about our curriculum priorities as a college, as well as detail on individual subject curricula.  

Balanced

Promotes intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative, emotional and physical development equally.

FOCUSED

Seeks to identify and teach the most important knowledge/skills within a subject.

INTERLEAVING/SPIRAL

Interleaving focuses on progression by weaving different topics together, switched between and revisited at intervals throughout the year. Spiral focuses on progression by building knowledge each time. Combined with retrieved practise to give a truly powerful and balanced learning environment.

COHERENT

Is purposely structured and sequenced. It links knowledge and skills between different subjects and other learning experiences.

APPROPRIATE

Carefully matches the level of challenge to what students’ are able to do cognitively, physically and emotionally at a certain age.

RIGOROUS

Is cognitively demanding and challenging. It seeks to develop a deep understanding of subject knowledge and skills with the ability to apply these to solve complex problems.

RELEVANT

Seeks to connect the knowledge and skills so students’ can understand the purpose of their learning. They can see the value of what they are learning and its relevance to their lives, present and future.

What are students learning this half term?

Year 7 Curriculum Overview

Year 8 Curriculum Overview

Year 9 Curriculum Overview

Year 10 Curriculum Overview

Year 11 Curriculum Overview

SUBJECTS

Teaching & Learning

Challenging every learner every lesson every day

Teaching and learning at Horizon ensures that all students can access and engage with a well-planned and aspirational curriculum, so that we “challenge every learner, every lesson, every day.” Research and evidence-based practice inform the six elements of pedagogy that we believe underpin quality first teaching at Horizon.

High expectations, ambitious academic goals and positive relationships

Clear, consistent routines foster a climate for learning in which students are able and expected to discover their true potential.

Explanation and modelling

Teachers plan opportunities to share subject-specific expertise, so that students understand and become confident to engage with new learning.

Questioning, retrieval and discussion

Dialogue is planned to support students recalling previously learned knowledge, to provoke thought and to deepen subject-specific understanding.

Responsive teaching (be ready to go back as well as forwards)

Teachers use a variety of techniques to gauge and respond to students’ understanding within a lesson.

Independent practice and scaffolding

Learning activities are pitched to the top and designed to ensure that all students are able to achieve challenging outcomes.

Growth mindset and metacognition

Teachers provide opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and articulate their next steps, so becoming independent learners.

Home Learning

At Horizon, students are set home learning weekly in each of their subjects. They are asked to carry out retrieval practice using their knowledge organsiers, and then complete a ‘retrieval quiz’ online through Microsoft Teams. The purpose of this is to help them securely embed knowledge they already have, so that they remember this the next time they use it. This helps to make learning within lessons even more purposeful for students, as important knowledge is therefore ‘readily available’ to be added to, supporting rapid progress. The only subject that sets home learning in a different format is Maths, who use the online Hegarty Maths program.

What are knowledge organisers?

A knowledge organiser breaks down the key knowledge students need to learn within a scheme into small chunks. These support and help to organize students as they complete their retrieval practice each week. To find out how to use a knowledge organiser (Click Here) Students receive a physical copy of all their knowledge organisers but they can also download them from the student hub (Click Here) if they need to.

What is retrieval practice?

Retrieval practice is when students deliberately practise recalling information. They are encouraged to use one of four retrieval strategies when completing their home learning:

· Look, cover, write, check

· Brain dumps

· Mind maps

· Flash cards (self-quzzing).

Details about how to use each of these strategies are provided in the Student Planner on page 36. In addition, teachers take time to explain the strategy they want students to use that week within lessons, and students are regularly shown examples of their teachers using a strategy themselves during form time.

Assessment

Assessment, in all forms, is an important part of any learner’s academic journey and goes far beyond national and end of year exams. At Horizon Community College a variety of assessment is used throughout the year to help students understand the progress they have made and highlight areas for continued practice, just like a Fitbit might help an athlete analyse their performance. Assessment falls in to two categories: Assessment for Learning (Formative) and Assessment of Learning (Summative).

Formative Assessment is described by William and Black as “encompassing all those activities undertaken by teachers, and/or by their students, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged”. Horizon Community College enables formative assessment through classroom activities such as teacher questioning, teacher observation, multiple-choice questions, connect activities, in addition to regular low stakes testing in the form of progress checks and subsequent feedback activities.

Summative assessments are a more formal way to sum up learner’s progress and take place after they have completed a block of work, whether that be on a term or modular basis. The timeline for summative assessment is bespoke to each subject area and year group, the expectation to this is the three mock windows that GCSE pupils sit. Mocks take place in the summer of year 10 and the November and March of year 11. Summative assessment is the largest contributing factor to data that is reported to parents periodically throughout the year.

Reading

At Horizon we have three key priorities for Reading for the academic year 2021-2022. These are:

Promote reading within the curriculum using disciplinary literacy to underpin this. This will involve:

1. Ensuring targeted vocabulary instruction is in every subject.

2. Developing students’ ability to read complex academic texts.

3. Promoting the ‘think it, say it, say it again better’ strategy.

Develop a culture of reading for pleasure. This will involve:

1. Continuing to develop and embed ‘Reading Journeys’ into year 7 and 8.

2. Raising the profile and quality of the library provision.

3. Promoting reading through extra-curricular opportunities.

Support students who are currently not reading at their chronological age. This will involve:

1. Identifying reading abilities using NGRT.

2. Ensuring quality wave one teaching addresses reading needs of all students.

3. Ensuring high quality interventions are in place for students whose reading ages are significantly below their chronological age.