Secondary Curriculum Implementation
How we deliver, teach and assess our curriculum
From Year 7, each year is planned to stretch and challenge all students in their exploration of subjects. Departments design a rich access to the core knowledge, methods, terminology and approaches to thinking within their subject. From Year 7, students regularly revisit core concepts, recall key knowledge and repeatedly practice subject skills to develop a deeper understanding and mastery in preparation for their next steps and future study. Our subject pages illustrate the importance of each subject discipline and detail their 5 year subject curriculum plan showing what is taught, how it is assessed and what the benefits their subject study are.
Across Year 7 and 8, students experience a broad range of subjects studying English, maths and science alongside a range of expressive arts subjects, geography, history, religious education through our Life programme, computer science, technology subjects, a modern foreign language and physical education.
Academic & Technicalstudy at Level 1 / Level 2 (including GCSE) offers a wide entitlement to subjects including those subject which make up the Full English Baccalaureate*: GCSE in one English (Literature or English Language), mathematics, two sciences (including computer science), one humanities subject (geography or history) and a modern foreign language. There is opportunity to study triple or combined sciences and a wide selection of open subjects are offered including a range of expressive arts subjects, religious education, technology subjects, physical education, social sciences including Business Studies etc. Our curriculum is designed to enable large numbers of students to choose creative subjects because we create the time and flexibility to study them up to 16 years old. *To achieve the Full English Baccalaureate students must achieve a Grade 5 in each of these subjects
Robust support is available to ensure all students can access subjects across the curriculum. This includes a strong focus on students’ literacy and numeracy skills and where appropriate an increased access to core English and Maths at point of need. For example, in our Year 11 curriculum pathways we can timetable additional groups in English/Maths/Science to provide greater support for students targeting grades 1-3, 4/5, 6-9. Personalised reasonable adjustments are implemented and regularly reviewed to enable equitable access to our curriculum for all students with special educational needs and disabilities.
Opportunities for students to experience achievement and choice are maximised and promoted across our core and wider curriculum. Effort and success are recognised and encouraged. Students become motivated by their improving subject fluency and engaged by their right to choose improving achievement across the curriculum for all students.
Regular points of guided choice are offered from Year 9 to Year 11 reflecting students’ changing interests and aspirations. Advice and guidance underpins our curriculum modelling ensuring our students have regular points of discussion with senior leaders about their current and future study choices.
Flexibility and choice is key to our curriculum; balancing breadth and depth with choice and personalisation to enhance student engagement and success. At Level 1 and Level 2 (including GCSE) every subject / qualification is open to every student. There are no pathways where students are ‘excluded’ from certain subject combinations. Our Year 9,10 and 11 blocks are re-shaped each academic year to build our timetable around our students’ choices removing the restriction of option blocks to create greater freedom for students to deepen their selected study.
Students can choose three subjects within their Year 9 progression pathway allocation so that up to two non-EBacc subjects can be studied for possible certification in Year 10. This helps students manage their examination portfolio over three years reducing the pressure of mass entry in Year 11 whilst increasing their sense of achievement and engagement. This model enables students to better mix their continued study of Ebacc and non EBacc subjects allowing greater choice and balance in their studies.
Assessment is mapped to age related expectation. Progression across each subject pathway is planned so that learning in any one year builds effectively to the next. Feedback is regular and timely and occurs both during the lesson and through written feedback. Students are encouraged to engage with all feedback in dedicated Student Response Time (SRT) activities. Every 6 weeks, parents and students are provided with a Praising Stars© report. This information is used in school to effectively intervene with students and best meet their changing needs.
Intervention is embedded into our feedback and assessment practices. A wide range of strategies are available be it in class through our teachers’ planning, Student Response Time and responsive teaching practices or beyond the lesson through small group tuition, after school or break time support, master classes, access to online learning programmes such as Hegarty Maths or in class support and targeted homework etc.
We structure a wealth of opportunities into our curriculum to enrich our students experience and enjoyment of school. Promoting our students’ emotional, health and well-being, guiding them to make positive choices, building their social responsibility and encouraging a lifelong love of learning.
Our wider curriculum is structured to enhance our students’ personal growth and emotional well-being. Our assembly, tutorial and Life Programmes promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) and support our students’ appreciation of the values of our society in Britain. Our students study personal, social, health and citizenship (PSHCE) to deepen their understanding of the world they live in and consider their role and responsibilities within it.
We offer lots of opportunities which student can elect to participate in. After-school enrichment programmes offer academic support, sporting and performance opportunities and a range of different clubs and activities. Unique and memorable experiences are built into our curriculum offer. These may range from extended learning activities, trips and visits to activities that celebrate and commemorate important events, people and dates. We operate Student Voice programmes teaching students about democracy and citizenship whilst encouraging sustainability, charity and community engagement. Students are encouraged to engage in our Pledges initiative which promotes the value of extra-curricular involvement within the academy and recognises students’ interests outside of school.
Careers & Next Steps
Regular events occur to showcase higher education and the world of work. This is complemented by our programme of independent careers education, advice and guidance.
Our curriculum seeks to complement the social, moral and cultural education that subjects offer and develop the citizenship, British Values and emotional health and wellbeing of our students. Our curriculum provision is designed to educate and support our students’ personal and academic development. Tutorial time is enhanced by our vertical mentoring structure focusing peer mentoring, quizzing, competition and highly effective pastoral guidance.