The ultimate intent of our curriculum is to enable pupils to flourish. We want them to flourish during their time at the Academy, and we want them to leave the Academy and flourish for the rest of their lives.
The choices we make about what we teach pupils are important in realising this overarching aim. The Academy has deliberated at length about what we value –what we feel will help pupils to thrive- and allocated curriculum time to subjects in the way we feel will best help pupils. Each department has, in turn, asked what is most valuable about their subject and has built a curriculum around those principles.
Of course, choices about curriculum go far beyond lessons. We teach pupils when they are in extracurricular clubs and activities, when they are in the corridor or the playground, or when they are on educational visits. Most importantly, we teach pupils through the way we communicate with them, and through the way we conduct ourselves every day at the Academy and model our Tudor Values. In this sense, no activity is extra-curricular, and we are equally thorough when considering what pupils learn outside of a classroom as we are when considering what they will learn within one.
Both inside and outside of lessons, we have sought a curriculum that is broad, ambitious and equitable. Broad because it allows pupils to supplement a strong academic core of subjects with a range of artistic and creative subjects; because strong foundations of knowledge are complemented by character education and a variety of experiences. Ambitious because we believe every child should access a curriculum that provides them with the cultural capital and essential knowledge they need to be educated citizens. Equitable because every child will access this curriculum, regardless of their background or past experience, and because this universal entitlement means every child will have the potential to take advantage of a range of opportunities in later life.
A carefully planned and well sequenced curriculum is the foundation upon which secure learning is built. In all subjects, a curriculum has been planned by a team of subject experts so that each piece of new learning builds on prior knowledge. Careful attention is paid to the way that pupils build up their long term memories, and teachers use spaced practice, regular checking and feedback to support this process.
Years 7, 8 and Y9 (Three Year KS3)
In Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils will study a broad range of subjects, built around a strong academic core. The focus is on providing pupils with fundamental knowledge and skills within each subject, so that they have fully mastered the key concepts and themes of each discipline. This fundamental knowledge will be revisited and retested several times, until pupils have committed to long term memory the knowledge they will need to participate fully in the cultural life of our society.
The academy has carefully compared the Year 7, 8 and Y9 curriculum to the Key Stage Three National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Our pupils cover the vast majority of national curriculum content and receive a curriculum of equivalent breadth and depth thanks to subjects such as drama and enrichment lessons. We are currently in the process of making changes to the curriculum to ensure that all pupils currently in Years 7, 8 and 9 cover all national curriculum content in Key Stage Three, and to address the gaps for older pupils.
Years 10 and 11
Throughout Years 10 and 11, all pupils complete a core curriculum of English, maths, science, and core PE. Together, these will allow pupils to achieve five GCSE qualifications at the end of Year 11: English language, English literature, maths, and science trilogy (worth two GCSEs). In addition, pupils are able to choose from a wide range of subjects in order to develop their individual interests and ambition. The subjects available vary from year to year, in order to meet the needs of each individual cohort.