Academic Curriculum

Our unique curricular elements

Our subject curricula have been designed to best develop subject knowledge and subject-related skills and thereby enrich young minds. Their designs also embrace some central elements that as a school we believe are of fundamental importance in enhancing the future life success of our learners.

For further detail for each academic year for all subjects please see our Curriculum Content page

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The Future You strategy ensures that learners receive a continual exposure in their subject lessons to the huge range of professional futures that are available for people to pursue.

 

This curricular element is a deliberate, school-wide attempt to humanise future careers and workplaces, and to raise aspiration through providing broad awareness of future professional possibilities

The Big Ideas strategy is designed to ensure that our learners are exposed to ‘the best of what is known’, thereby enhancing their cultural capital. All subjects deliberately programme the teaching of important, exciting and/or amazing things that aren’t already in the National Curriculum or exam board specification.

Such Big Ideas lessons explore knowledge or understanding that we feel enhances lives.

The Academic Literacy strategy ensures that in all subjects across the school there are lessons that have been deliberately designed to increase skill and understanding in essential communication skills, including: 

Analytical reading; 

Extended writing; Understanding of genre; Development of technical vocabulary;

Oracy and presentation skills

Every lesson includes a ‘high challenge’ task or activity being shared with the learners. These are small additional tasks that push learners to think that bit harder, to make links between subject ideas or to put in that extra bit of effort that leads to excellence.

Completing High Challenge tasks results in learners being awarded Brain Stars and a series of reward badges.

(We expect learners with high developed ability to tackle High Challenge tasks in all lessons)

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Every lesson also includes the sharing of a specific Successful Habit - a way of being that we believe should be adopted by our learners as acquiring such habits will underpin future success.

We have a five year programme designed to progressively develop specific essential skills and societal knowledge and positive behaviours.

Our Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 transition

Our KS3 curriculum runs from Year 7 through to the mid-point of Year 9, after which Year 9 learners start their GCSE courses. 

Note that the commencement of GCSE studies does not mean that our learners experience a narrow curriculum throughout their GCSE study period, in fact quite the contrary. This year we have introduced a ‘Best of Big Ideas programme’ that continues to expose our learners to rich, culturally valuable knowledge from all subject areas throughout their GCSE programmes, regardless of whether they have ‘dropped’ that subject for study for future examination.

Key Stage 3


Our Key Stage 3 programmes have been designed to ensure full coverage of the specified National Curriculum content. Our KS3 courses are knowledge rich and deliberately challenging. Content is carefully sequenced. Each KS3 course is punctuated with quizzes and assessments to probe understanding and develop greater learning. Each KS3 programme has been designed such that they contain a specified number of lesson hours dedicated to the teaching of our central curricula elements: Future You, Big Ideas and Academic Literacy.




Key Stage 4


Just as is the case with KS3 courses, all examination courses have carefully considered Delivery Maps for all years of study. Each details the intended lesson-by-lesson journey through the year’s curriculum. Each subject curriculum has been designed such that the teaching and assessment of exam-board materials takes no longer than the QCF’s 140 hour ceiling.





Should you wish to find out more about our curriculum please contact the appropriate Head of Department.