At Ysgol Aberconwy, we want all of our students to achieve their potential and develop into young adults who embody the Four Purposes of the Curriculum for Wales, that they become: ambitious, capable learners; enterprising, creative contributors; healthy, confident individuals and ethical, informed citizens. The curriculum we offer is central to achieving this.
We adopt a project-based approach to learning which aims to stimulate the imagination of our students; engender excitement and foster creative thinking.
Students study projects from across the six Areas of Learning and Experience, in order to promote greater breadth and depth of study.
These Areas of Learning and Experience are:
The projects are framed by an ‘inquiry question’ or a ‘big idea’. This provides a relevance for the learning with many exploring key issues or challenges we face in our society. The projects contain opportunities to take learning beyond the classroom to further inspire and enthuse, and draw upon the vast array of resources which our local community has to offer. We want learners to value their local community and strive to foster their sense of ‘belonging’ and we do this through celebrating Wales’ cultural heritage and diversity; its languages; values and its histories and traditions. Many of the projects give students the opportunity to ‘showcase’ their learning to their peers; teachers; families and wider school community providing students with a greater sense of personal fulfilment and pride in their learning.
High quality learning experiences are essential in enabling students to fulfil their potential and we use a range of teaching methods to stimulate, challenge and support our students. The project-based approach to learning enables students to make links within the Areas of Learning and Experience to connect and deepen their knowledge and understanding.
Our projects also aim to provide learners with the skills required to be successful in their future lives; skills which help them to thrive in further education and in their future careers.
Learners will be given planned and regular experiences where they will:
In addition to this, we also place significant emphasis on developing more personal skills which will allow young people to engage confidently with the challenges of their future lives. These include: creativity and innovation; personal effectiveness; critical thinking and problem solving and planning and organising.
We understand that learners progress in different ways and different paces and we aim to enable learning for all. We do this by using a range of approaches in our lessons and through providing differentiated support to individual learners. The learning environment, both physical and emotional, is also important in enabling learning. We pride ourselves on creating environments which inspire, stimulate and value diversity and demonstrate inclusivity.
Assessment and feedback play a fundamental role in ensuring each learner is supported, makes progress and succeeds. Within the projects, we use a range of day-to-day assessment and feedback strategies to gain a holistic picture of the learners; their strengths; their areas for development – in order to inform next steps in teaching and learning. The projects contain a range of assessment opportunities which enable all learners to showcase the knowledge and skills they have developed.
We also believe that students need to take an active role in reflecting on their own progress in their journey towards increasing independence. The well-being of our students and their readiness for learning are of paramount importance to us and the key to success. We will develop these by creating a culture of high expectations and educating learning mindset
The Form Tutor and wider pastoral team also support this process by reviewing progress with learners during form time. We value our communication with parents and aim to provide you with purposeful and meaningful feedback on how you can support your child. Parents will receive an ‘interim’ every 10 weeks which provides an insight into your child’s progress, their areas of strength and an indication of skills they need to work on.
We recognise that the pace at which learners progress will be individual to each learner and aim to provide all our learners with the necessary support and challenge. We also work closely with our cluster primary schools to ensure that there is a continuum of learning in place and that progress is maintained during the transition to secondary school.
Celebrating the success of our students is very important to us and we seek out opportunities to do this. Achievement is monitored every day, in every lesson through the use of our achievement point system which then in turn leads to learners being able to access our rewards programme. Taking learning outside the classroom is something we do regularly in order to enrich students’ experiences. In year 7, every project will have an outdoor element linked to it so that students can see how their learning applied to the real world. Some of these include:
Please click on the images below to explore each area of learning and to see our projects: