Whole-Academy Curriculum Statement
We want all of our students to experience great learning. Underpinning great learning is an inspiring, rigorous and logically structured curriculum. All students in our academy will have access to a challenging curriculum that ensures their potential can be realised and they can ‘be the best’.
Our Curriculum Aims
The curriculum is designed to ensure that all of our students are developing the skills, knowledge and understanding, that combine to create ‘great learning’:
Our Curriculum Principles
The academy curriculum has been designed to ensure that it follows some important principles.
- It is broad and balanced and meets the requirements of the national curriculum: all of our students will have access to the full range of subjects at both key stages, and to the entitlements outlined in the national curriculum.
- It is knowledge-led: we think it is crucial that students learn and remember key knowledge and concepts in each of their different subjects so that they can develop their expertise.
- It is rigorous: it is important that our students have a precise and in-depth understanding of all their subjects in order that they can apply their knowledge in a range of contexts.
- It is sequenced to help students know and remember more: we have structured our curriculum to enable students to build detailed knowledge of their subjects and to be able to commit it to long-term memory.
- It must develop literacy: our curriculum will enable all students to develop a rich vocabulary through systematic teaching; it will encourage a culture of reading widely, and it will ensure all students are able to communicate effectively.
The National Curriculum
Our curriculum follows the national curriculum. This means that our subject curricular ensure students are getting the full breadth and depth of subjects to which they are entitled. This is important to us because it means our students are studying a wide range of subjects, giving them a fully rounded education by the time they leave the academy. We ensure that all students have a full three-year key stage three before progressing to a two-year key stage four.
Delivery of the Curriculum
Our teachers are experts in their subjects. We are clear that some ways of teaching are more effective than others. In turn, we are constantly developing our effectiveness by focusing on the best ways of delivering our curriculum.
In order to ensure that we maximise what our students learn teachers will:
- Provide opportunities for students to revisit previous learning at the beginning of each lesson.
- Introduce new knowledge and concepts in small steps, to ensure lots of opportunities for students to practise what they have learnt.
- Share models and worked examples so that students can see precisely what they are expected to achieve.
- Provide temporary scaffolds so all students are supported to access learning and demonstrate what they understand.
- Routinely check students’ understanding and give feedback to help them constantly improve.
Ensuring Access for All
We are committed to the principle that all students, regardless of individual circumstances or background, have access to the same curriculum. However, we also recognise that in order to deliver this commitment we will need to make adjustments.
Students with special educational needs will be supported by our Learning Support department. This support might include one-to-one or small group work with specialist staff and a range of interventions to ensure all students can access our curriculum. Equally, it might be appropriate for subject staff to spend longer on specific elements of the curriculum to ensure that fundamental knowledge and skills are securely learnt.
Equally, our most academically talented students will have access to our Scholars’ Super Curriculum, led by the academy’s Academic Excellence Leader. This programme will ensure that those students are given opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding beyond the provisions of the normal curriculum.
As part of our commitment to a ‘Great Experience’, students will have access to a range of enrichment opportunities. Within the curriculum, these will include trips, workshops and visiting speakers. Equally, in arts and sport, students will have opportunities to perform both in the academy and in local and national events. Furthermore, the ‘10 Ways of Being Great’ encourages all students to undertake experiences to support their personal development. We are committed to ensuring that all students can benefit from enrichment opportunities to enhance their learning.
Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that students need to succeed in life. Many of our students come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and so it is even more important that our curriculum builds students’ cultural capital. We ensure that students are developing their cultural capital through our teaching of a rigorous curriculum; the wide-ranging enrichment activities that we offer; and initiatives like our Scholars Programme. Equally, our engaging and challenging PSHCE programme, ensures that students have opportunities to explore important concepts and ideas that further enhance their understanding of their world. This will mean our students leave with the same essential knowledge and understanding of the world as those students in the very best schools nationally. In turn, they will have the same opportunities as they apply for further and higher education; be able to pursue careers in the professions; and lead richer more fulfilling lives.
Our Co-op Values
As a member of the Co-op Academies Trust, we want our curriculum to deliver its mission. In turn, through the combination of a rigorous curriculum, expert teaching, and a wide-ranging programme of enrichment, we are confident that we provide a challenging and rewarding education that will enable our students to achieve great outcomes. In turn, this will mean that our students are able to leave the academy ready to access further and higher education, whether through academic or vocational routes, and will be ready to add value to their community.