Integral to our mission statement is our commitment to high quality learning that enables all students to reach their full potential. We hold the highest aspirations and ambitions for our young people and regularly review our curriculum and practice to ensure that students access learning experiences that enable them to be the best that they can be.
Our curriculum places great emphasis on knowledge acquisition. Knowing more is learning more and remembering more. Our new curriculum map and learning models support students to develop deep knowledge and understanding. We want our students to experience ‘the best that has been thought and known in the world’ (Arnold 1869) so that they feel personally empowered and can think and make decisions creatively and critically.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced. With a focus on relevance and planned learning progression over the short, medium and longer term, it supports students in developing a variety of subject specific and transferable skills that promote lifelong learning.
We want all of our students to be avid, fluent and expert readers able to use numbers and calculations to solve mathematical problems and to speak confidently, clearly and articulately when expressing their thoughts and ideas. Our curriculum promotes this, with the importance of literacy and numeracy skills embedded throughout. There is also an emphasis on the significance of words and building a comprehensive vocabulary. Through the curriculum our students will build their understanding of people and society and appreciate cultural diversity. Their creativity will be nurtured and they will be supported in building resilience. Students will be encouraged to learn from their mistakes and will be taught how to learn, thus developing as independent learners.
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum covers all statutory subjects that form the National Curriculum, whilst at Key Stage 4 we ensure that students access the core English Baccalaureate curriculum alongside other statutory and optional subjects. This ensures that students are well prepared to progress to higher education, training or employment having acquired a broad and balanced range of qualifications and skills.
Our curriculum includes the following:
Students are timetabled for twenty-five one hour lessons per week. A twenty-five minute tutor period each day enables students to explore some of the personal development and spiritual, moral, social and cultural elements of the curriculum, with additional drop down days calendared throughout the academic year to support this learning. Each week, students participate in a 25 minute year group assembly where personal development, academic and enrichment themes are explored.
The personal, social, health and citizenship education (PSHCE) curriculum across Key Stages 3 and 4 ensures that important themes are explored by students in a variety of differing learning contexts, across subjects and through designated PSHCE learning time and tutor programmes. Themes include: physical health and wellbeing, respectful relationships and keeping safe online, what it means to be a British citizen and celebrating our culture and heritage. All statutory frameworks have been adhered to when developing our revised framework, including: ‘Relationships and Sex Education’ and ‘Health Education’. We are confident that students will develop the knowledge and understanding required to enable them to make positive and informed personal decisions.
Our enrichment and extra-curricular programmes enable students to continue their learning beyond the classroom. We have a wide variety of sports clubs; health and fitness is promoted across our academy. We value the importance of educational trips, visits and residential experiences and ensure that all year groups access opportunities that champion their learning and enrich their experiences.
The content of our curriculum has been mapped across all subject areas. All subjects have individual intent and implementation statements and frameworks. These state clearly what knowledge, understanding and skills students will be developing over time as well as the rationale for the choices made with regard to content and skills. The curriculum maps show the sequence in which content and skills are taught over time and how students are able to build upon prior learning and revisit it to reinforce memorisation and retention, whilst enabling students to transfer and apply their learning in differing contexts.
In Dylan Wiliam’s foreword to the National Curriculum and the Teachers’ Standards in 2018, he states ‘The difference between a collection of topics to be studied and a well-designed curriculum is the same as between a pile of bricks and a house. The elements are important; but how they are assembled is much more so.’
We have assembled our curriculum in a coherent way in order to inspire, motivate and enthuse our learners. The needs of all learners are addressed within our curriculum model; students of all abilities are able to enjoy, progress and achieve success. We want all of our students to feel happy, safe and excited by their learning whilst ensuring that they are fully prepared to realise their ambitions in the future.
If you have any questions regarding our new curriculum and what it means for your child’s learning at our academy, please do not hesitate to contact us either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone on 0114 287 2171. We value your feedback and the importance of working in partnership with you.