Falinge Park High School
Opening Doors; Unlocking Potential
Falinge Park High School
Our Curriculum at Falinge Park High School
A curriculum is more than just a block of subjects or a series of lessons that fulfil the National Curriculum requirements. At Falinge Park High School we believe the curriculum influences everything the pupils do: from the moment they wake up in the morning and put on their school tie; the way they conduct themselves on the way to school; the experiences they have of learning both in lessons and in the wider opportunities they benefit from; to learning outside the classroom, through visiting speakers or the extensive trips and visits we offer; to how they succeed post-16 and the choices they make.
Our curriculum is underpinned by the following principles:
- Be coherent and consistent, designed to develop creative thinkers and secure a growth mind-set
- Invest in and extend pupils’ cultural capital
- Be academically and aspirationally challenging
- Provide an enriched experience of education
For 2016-2017 we have identified the purpose of each year. This gives us clarity in our objective to create a compelling learning experience and informs our Falinge Footlights programme which will be coming soon…….
- Year 7 – PURPOSE
To provide a supportive transition and build the foundations for the future.
- Year 8 – PURPOSE
To open the doors and develop the responsibility to choose the right pathways.
- Year 9 – PURPOSE
To unlock the potential through the specialist pathways and through channelling a sense of community and citizenship.
- Years 10 + 11 – PURPOSE
To develop leadership of learning and become experts in their own specialist areas.
We aim to be a school where the curriculum has a soul and that is evident in all our practice.
We are proud to be supported by the Comino Foundation one of only three schools in the North West. Through our work with them we are able to enrich our curriculum experience and provide opportunities in the creative, digital and manufacturing industries.
- Digital Designer in Residence – we have taken computer code and manipulated it into pieces of Art Work.
- Speaking for Ourselves – a collaborative project based on British Values with two other secondary schools.
- Computer Science development in partnership with the Science and Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub at the University of Manchester. We are currently developing a Robot orchestra based on drone technology
- Presentations to the Royal Academy of Engineering on our STEM work.
- An EED.Net school.
- Summer schools with McCanns and BJL advertising agencies.
- Part of the inaugural opening of Manchester European City of Science.
- Involvement in IBM Computer Science summer schools.
Literacy Across the Curriculum
Falinge Park High School is committed to raising the literacy standards of all students, so that they develop the skills required to cope confidently in all areas of the curriculum and to help them meet the demands of further education, employment and adult life.
We aim to
- encourage and promote literacy across all areas of the school in order to raise standards and levels of attainment in all subjects;
- ensure that all student leave school as fluent and competent readers;
- ensure that all students can communicate effectively through a variety of spoken and written forms;
- equip students with the literacy skills needed for the world beyond Secondary School.
What is Literacy?
Literacy involves the communication skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. There are also new forms of literacy, including the ability to locate, evaluate, use and communicate using a wide range of technologies including electronic text, visual, audio and video sources.
We are committed to valuing and promoting pupils’ literacies in languages other than English as we recognise that there are cognitive advantages in being bilingual and that competence in first language literacy supports the development of literacy skills in English.
The communication skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are important in every subject. Each subject has its own literacy demands with subject specific vocabulary, content, concepts and skills. Key literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening are taught primarily in English lessons, however these skills are reinforced and applied with accuracy across other subjects.
In doing so, our students understand the need for clear communication in all its modes: reading, writing and speaking and listening. They strive to be clearly understood and have a clear understanding, through expert teaching of what the differing demands of clear communication looks like in all subjects across the curriculum. Students work collaboratively, using talk to support learning in a range of activities and for a range of purposes. Teachers plan for opportunities for students to practise the literacy skills needed for their subject. If literacy skills are a barrier to success in subjects across the curriculum, the teacher has identified ways to explicitly develop students’ literacy skills, and this is reflected in schemes of work and lesson plans.
- In speaking, students learn to speak articulately in a range of contexts and for different purposes, encouraged to use correct Standard English when appropriate;
- In listening, students learn how to actively listen to others and respond and build upon their views constructively;
- In reading, students learn strategies to help them actively read with understanding, to locate and use information, to follow a process or argument, to infer, analyse, and synthesise;
- In writing, students learn the correct spelling, punctuation and follow grammatical conventions. They learn to organise their writing in logical and coherent forms, using language effectively to suit the purpose, form and audience;
- Students learn the technical and specialised vocabulary of subjects and how to use the words.
Creative Cross Curricular Collaborative Project
Every year Falinge Park High School lead a Creative project based on a theme to make learning meaningful, challenging and exciting. The project works in collaboration with Falinge Park High School as the hub and primary schools across the borough bringing together the skills of teachers and pupils. Over the past 5 years we have worked on Project Hugo, Project Tommy and Project 1915 and Project Earthworks all showcasing at high profile venues; Carnforth Train Station, Imperial War Museum, MOSI and the People’s History museum.
Following on from the success of last year’s Earthworks Project we have now gone Global!
Global Earthworks is a creative collaborative project involving Falinge Park High School and four primary schools. These are, All Saints C of E Primary School, Healey Primary School, Heybrook Primary School, and Shawclough Primary School.
In addition the Project offers a variety of Creative Opportunities for all schools across the borough to become involved with workshops in Dance, Art, Music, Drama, Poetry and Debating.
Following on from last year’s successful sharing and exhibition we will be returning to The People’s History Museum, Manchester on Sunday 2nd July 2017 to share our collaborative creative work with each other, parents and families. If you would like tickets please contact the school on 01706 631246.
Please take a look at Global Earthworks to see all the great work which goes on throughout the year and key dates for up and coming events.
Curriculum Aims – STEM
STEM is a cross-curricular collaboration between the Science, ICT, Technology and Mathematics departments. We engage pupils in STEM through a variety of opportunities both in lessons and in extra-curricular opportunities by integrating their knowledge of STEM subjects and encouraging pupils to think in a more connected and holistic way. Within this we aim to highlight the importance and relevance of STEM and to show students the wide ranging STEM careers that are available to them.
The STEM departments have worked together on a wide range of activities that include:
- STEM Club – We provide pupils with a range of fun activities and competitions for all year groups which allow them to develop practical skills, to explore scientific ideas and to enjoy Science. The activities completed in STEM club would not normally be done in lessons and sometimes uses specialist equipment not found at home. The club has been running successfully every week for three years.
- Raspberry Pi Club – a pupil led club with Mr Hodgson that focuses on using Python programming language to network Raspberry Pi’s.
- Young Scientists – a club for Key Stage 3 pupils run by Miss Zwarts and Mrs Jaffa-Brown to develop scientific vocabulary through experiential learning. Pupils work on different scientific investigations over a period of 6 weeks and present their newly acquired skills to staff and family members at a celebration event.
Other STEM activities include:
- Robot orchestra – as part of the European City of Science celebrations 4 pupils collaborated with Manchester University to create a digital Theramin involving a Raspberry Pi and a Drone.
- Light fantastic festival – a festival at the Museum of Science and Industry where pupils focused on the wide and varied uses of light which they then used in an art project.
- Talent 2030 Competition – pupils competed in a national competition to find a possible engineering solution to a twenty first century problem.
- International bridge building challenge – pupils competed via an online video conference call against Al Khor School Qatar. The competition involved designing, building and testing a structure to carry a marble across a space between two tables. It was a close run thing with FPHS just winning on the last round.
- Meet the Engineer – visits from various engineers who spoke to pupils from years 7, 8 and 9 about STEM careers and offered a question and answer session.
- The Pringle challenge – pupils had to package a single pringle using only paper and cotton wool, which were then sent in the post to Al Khor School in Qatar.
- Science/STEM week – Every March the science and technology department dedicate an entire week to STEM related learning. The week usually sees our year 7 and 8 pupils taking part in problem solving activities seeing whether they have what it takes to become an engineer.
- IET Faraday challenge – pupils worked as a team to design and program a BBC Microbit to alert transporters if there was a problem with any cargo; where their pitch also included how it could be further developed to cover Amazon deliveries using drones.
- Science busking –STEM ambassadors to came into school and showcased some amazing science experiments to our year 7 pupils (which was enjoyed by both pupils and staff alike!).
- Stellarium project – a project in partnership with Manchester University where pupils are communicating astrophysics through creative dance.
As a result of our work, we are the first school in the country to be awarded the Excellence in STEM award by the Museum of Science and Industry. Also, the school has now been accredited with STEM embedded status from STEMNET. This is in recognition that the school “continually exposes our young people to inspirational STEM activities which inspire them to be the innovators of the future and allow students the opportunity to develop skills needed to be successful.”