Curriculum Overview 2016/17

Curriculum Overview – 2016/17

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum at Dr Thomlinson CofE Middle School. (The school curriculum has been carefully redesigned to give a broad and challenging education. Pupils say they enjoy their work and they value the support they receive from adults Ofsted 2016).

Details of how are we are following the new National Curriculum are detailed below. By clicking on each subject link you will see much more detailed information about each subject's curriculum framework.

If Parents or other members of the public wish to find more about the curriculum our school is following then they are welcome to contact our school to discuss it further.  Our contact details are:  


Dr Thomlinson Church of England Middle School; Silverton Lane; Rothbury; Morpeth; Northumberland; NE65 7RJ; 01669 620287

Life After Levels

The old and new curriculum have different content. Many of the objectives in the old curriculum have moved to lower year groups in the new, more rigorous curriculum. This meant it was not possible to have an exact correlation between a level that was the outcome of the old National Curriculum assessment and the requirements new National Curriculum ; this meant a shift in thinking and in the way we assess out children’s outcomes.

 Dr Thomlinson's welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents.  We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.

We feel  our system to assessment and tracking will enable our students to continue to make good progress and achieve well. This is because it encourages objective-led target setting. Our new approach involves the students much more with their own learning and progression. We use Termly Reports and Assessment Folders to communicate these targets and they are continually monitored and revised.

The new langauge our teachers and students will be using to replace levels is:

  • Developing - working within age related expectations but not yet securely
  • Expected - the standard all students in the year group are aiming for
  • Mastered - age-related objectives have been achieved and the student is working at a deeper level of understanding and application

We use a traffic light colour system to represent this progression. It is important for students and parents to remember that red is not negative! It simply means this is an area which needs further work and development. Going for gold (or yellow!) is where we expect our children to be by the end of the academic year. Some children may have gained deeper knowledge/skill so they will have reached green.


Reporting to Parents 

We are now into our second year of using this reporting format following the government’s decision to remove the use of levels for reporting assessment. Our Ofsted inspection in May 2016 commended our new system: ‘The school has recently reviewed the curriculum and developed an effective system for collecting and analysing pupils’ assessment information in partnership with the middle and high schools of the Three Rivers Learning Trust. Staff skilfully employ this new curriculum and assessment system to engage pupils in their learning and regularly review how well they are doing.’

 Below, is a sample of some of the fantastic feedback we received from parents last year about these changes: 

Can you see how our new approach to assessment will support your child in making progress?

  • The new system will allow for lower ability children to identify strengths across the curriculum so will hopefully be less demoralising than simply a numerical value.

  • It will makes things very clear for both children and parents to see progress and what can be worked on to develop.

  • Yes with very detailed learning objectives and by identifying strengths and areas to be improved.

  • Yes it will allow pupil specific learning.

  • Clear framework ; excellent signposting ; clear links to progress.

  • Feedback on next steps very useful to parents and students.

  • Yes although it will take some getting used to!

We held an information meeting on Thursday 10th November for new parents to Dr Thomlinsons to find out more about the reporting system ahead of the Autumn Reports being issued. There is detailed information below if you could not attend the meeting.