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Curriculum

 

1. Curriculum Intent

1.1 At Blacon High School, our core values of respect, relationships and resilience are at the heart of everything we do. We set high expectations to ensure that every student excels across all aspects of school life. Our aim is to prepare very young person for success and make outstanding progress, through our ‘thinking curriculum’. We want our students to leave with knowledge and skills which will not only create excellent life opportunities but will also prepare them exceptionally well for life beyond the school.

1.2 The subject-based curriculum is just one element of the education of our students. Our curriculum is the vehicle through which we profess and articulate our vision to ‘inspire students who love and enjoy learning’ and key to this is the school belief that ‘everyone can achieve’ regardless of background or starting point.

1.3 All at Blacon High School are committed to providing a curriculum that enables students to:

  • Experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum;
  • Meets the needs of all students so that they are able to realise their full potential
  • Develops the whole child by promoting students’ spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development
  • Prepares all students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences presented by life in 21st Century Britain.
  • We have high expectations for student behaviour and achievement

1.4 By doing so, all students will become:

  • Confident and optimistic individuals who take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them  
  • Responsible and active citizens who conduct themselves in a way that benefits others
  • Academically passionate and emotionally resilient
  • Successful learners who develop an ever-increasing web of knowledge and autonomously seek and learn from feedback

2. Curriculum implementation: The Model

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2.1 Our thinking curriculum helps students to achieve high standards and make excellent progress. At Key Stage 3, the curriculum is designed in a way to ensure that students develop a deep understanding across a range of subjects and align fully with the National Curriculum. There are many opportunities built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded. The curriculum will be enriched and will ensure that the students build the cultural capital they need to become successful and well-educated citizens. At Key Stage 4, the courses are carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited and this undoubtedly prepares pupils for external examinations at the end of the course.

2.2 The development of student language and oracy is at the forefront of our curriculum as we understand how vital it is for our pupils to build confidence in communication skills not only for their time in school but also to prepare them for working life. We ensure students have opportunities in all subjects to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view and to develop their formality of language to ensure they can have the confidence to speak to different audiences. Numeracy skills are embedded across the curriculum. Students who arrive with below expected maths skills are quickly caught up through expert teaching and incisive intervention. The school ensures that students are literate and numerate enabling them to flourish, thrive and access the next stage of their education, employment or training. All students are expected to read widely and access a diverse range of high quality and aspirational texts through carefully planned curriculum planning.

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2.3 Our curriculum is designed to promote thinking through inspiring teaching and a range of learning opportunities to enable students to enjoy their subjects. SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) is championed at the school in order to develop students as a whole, not just academically, to fully prepare them for life in modern Britain. Students are encouraged to take part in a range of sporting, cultural and charitable activities. Links with local and national business enrich the curriculum offer and help to contextualise learning.

2.4 Our curriculum is planned and structured on the following fundamental principles:

  • All students have an entitlement to the whole curriculum provision; irrespective of their ability, gender, ethnicity, culture or social or economic background.
  • The curriculum is broad, balanced and contributes to the education of the whole child.
  • The curriculum is filled with rich first-hand experiences and is flexible and responsive to individual needs and interests.
  • The curriculum actively promotes the fundamental values of British citizenship; democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
  • The school focuses on ensuring that all students make progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • The curriculum encourages all students to be responsible for their own learning and to engage in a variety of learning experiences.
  • The curriculum promotes the open and equal access to the curriculum through the setting and grouping of students according to ability and prior attainment.
  • Teachers have high expectations of all students and plan lessons to support yet challenge all learners.

 

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2.5 The Blacon High School curriculum is structured in a way that equally values all subjects in providing our young people with an enjoyable and diverse learning experience. This is enabled through:

  • A 2-week timetable that allows for careful allocation of time to each subject and experience
  • A 3-year Key Stage 3 that ensures students have sufficient knowledge from a broad and balanced curriculum before personalising their pathway
  • A 2-year Key Stage 4 in which all students are given the full two years to complete all programmes of study without early entry for final examinations in any qualification or subject
  • A comprehensive extra-curricular offer during lunch times, after school and in a range of ‘Cultural Capital Days’ that cover a range of personal development themes, topics and experiences
  • A comprehensive offer of local, national and international travel to students of all backgrounds
  • Equal and open course choice for students of all abilities and backgrounds
  • A PSHE programme that promotes the schools values, the fundamental British Values and SMSC development
  • Student leadership opportunities and a Careers Education programme that meets the expectations set by the Gatsby benchmarks.

 

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2.6 The Key Stages are as follows:

  • Key Stage 3 includes Years 7, 8 and 9
  • Key Stage 4 includes Years 10 and 11

2.7 The organisation of students in Key Stage 3:

  • In Key Stage 3, each year group is split into two roughly equal populations, X band and Y band. Each year group also includes a ‘Sanctuary group’ and a ‘Curriculum Plus group’ comprising of a small number of our most vulnerable students.

 

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2.8 The following tables shows the time allocation for each subject at Key Stage 3 (based on a 50 lesson 2-week cycle):

Years 7, 8 and 9

Subjects

7x

7y

7 Orion

8x

8y

8 Orion

9x

9y

9 Orion

English

7

7

7

7

7

7

8

7

7

Maths

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

Science

7

5

7

5

7

5

History

3

2

3

2

3

2

Geography

3

2

3

2

3

2

Languages

4

4

2

4

4

2

4

4

2

Product Design

1

1

1

1

1

1

Food Technology

1

1

1

1

1

1

Art

1

1

1

1

1

1

Music

2

1

2

1

1

1

Physical education

4

4

4

4

4

4

Citizenship

In PSHE

 

In PSHE

 

In PSHE

 

Computing

2

1

2

1

2

1

Religious Studies

2

1

2

1

2

1

PSHE (RSE)

2

1

2

1

2

1

Drama

2

1

2

1

1

1

Graphics

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

2.9 The organisation of students in Key Stage 4:

  • In Key Stage 4, each year group is split into two roughly equal populations, X band and Y band. Each year group also includes a ‘Sanctuary group’ and a ‘Curriculum Plus group’ comprising of a small number of our most vulnerable students.
  • All students study English, Mathematics, Religious Education, Science, Core PE and PSHE. Students are given individual advice and guidance to choose 4 options.
  • Teacher specialisms and capacity allow the following subjects to be offered through the KS4 options process: Geography, History, Religious Studies, Triple Science, Computer Science, iMedia, Enterprise & Marketing, Media Studies, Physical Education, Music, Performing Arts, Dance, Art, Graphics, Product Design, Food Technology, Health and Social Care, Child Development.
  • A Life Skills qualification is available to a very small number of students through an accredited external provider.
  • An ASDAN qualification is available to students through an accredited external provider.
  • The school is committed to driving towards the government’s ambition to promote the English Baccalaureate.

2.10 The following table shows the time allocation for each subject at Key Stage 4 (based on a 50 lesson 2-week cycle)

Years 10 & 11

Subject

Year 10

Year 11

English

7

7

Maths

8

8

Biology

3

3

Chemistry

3

3

Physics

3

3

Religious Studies

0.5

0.5

Computer Science

0.5

0.5

Physical Education

3

3

PSHE

2

2

Option A

5

5

Option B

5

5

Option C

5

5

Option D

5

5

 

2.11 The Curriculum Plus model

  • All students study English, Mathematics, Science, Core PE and PSHE.
  • Students are given individual advice and guidance to choose options subjects.
  • Students will also study a range of ASDAN units, which they will select based upon their own interests. 
  • Students will access and engage in external educational provision provided by an accredited external provider.

Years 10 & 11 Curriculum+

Subject

Year 10 Curriculum+

Year 11 Curriculum+

English

6

5

Maths

5

5

Science

5

5

PE

4

4

PSHE

2

1

Religious Studies

0.5

0

Computer Science

0.5

0

ASDAN

4

4

Options

5

0

Offsite learning

10

20

3. Accreditation

The following table shows the qualifications that are available to students in Key Stage 4.

Subject

Year 10

Year 11

Art

AQA

AQA

Biology

AQA

AQA

Chemistry

AQA

AQA

Child Development

OCR

OCR

Computer Science

OCR

OCR

Computing (short course)

ASDAN

ASDAN

English Language

Eduqas

Eduqas

English Literature

AQA

AQA

Food

AQA

AQA

French/Spanish

Edexcel

Edexcel

Geography

Eduqas

Eduqas

Graphics

AQA

AQA

Health & Social Care

OCR

OCR

History

Eduqas

Eduqas

IMedia

OCR

OCR

Marketing & Enterprise

OCR

OCR

Maths

Edexcel

Edexcel

Media Studies

AQA

AQA

Music

Pearson

Pearson

Performing Arts

Pearson

Pearson

Physics

AQA

AQA

Product Design

AQA

AQA

Religious Studies

AQA

AQA

Religious Studies (Short course)

ASDAN

ASDAN

Sport Science

OCR

OCR

4. Curriculum implementation: Pedagogical Delivery

4.1 The curriculum is delivered in a way that:

  • Actively seeks to creatively engage, inspire and capture the imagination of learners
  • Carefully sequences and presents curriculum content in a way that enables students’ retention and fluent recall of knowledge
  • Identifies and addresses gaps in learning and common misconceptions
  • Develops students’ reading and mathematics skills as the building blocks of effective learning
  • Caters for special educational needs and disabilities at all times
  • Promotes equality and fundamental British Values
  • Explicitly places all learning within its ‘bigger picture’ and its relevance to the world of work
  • Facilitates meaningful feedback that enables all students to improve performance
  • Explicitly develops students’ thinking and recall skills, thus empowering them to lead their own learning
  • Fully enables parents to support their children’s progress through the curriculum

5. Curriculum impact

5.1 The Blacon High School curriculum will:

  • Ensure that the sequence of learning builds on previous knowledge whilst supporting future progression
  • Ensure students know more, remember more and can do more
  • Ensure students make at least expected progress with some making better than expected progress
  • Lead to qualifications that are of worth for employers and for entry to further and higher education
  • Enable all students to achieve
  • Meet the needs of students of all abilities
  • Allow students to acquire an appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures
  • Prepare students to make informed choices at the end of KS3, KS4 and beyond.
  • Help students develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to question and argue rationally

6. Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum

6.1 Curriculum implementation will be reviewed and quality assured through line management, curriculum review, student voice and lesson visits.

6.2 External monitoring and support will ensure robust quality assurance.

6.3 The curriculum delivered in each subject will reviewed annually by subject leaders to ensure the sequence of delivery allows pupils to build on their knowledge and that pupils are sufficiently stretched and challenged.

6.4 The curriculum hours and subjects offered will be analysed by the senior leadership team and governors on an annual basis.

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6.5 The impact of the curriculum on students’ academic progress is measured through a combination of:

  • Knowledge and vocabulary fluency tests
  • Knowledge application assessments
  • Review of class work and homework
  • Mock examinations in Key Stage 4  
  • Performance in external national examinations
  • Analysis of students’ destinations

6.6 The impact of the curriculum on students’ personal development and aspirations is measured through a combination of:

  • Reward and behaviour (SSA) point accumulation
  • Participation rates (particularly disadvantaged students) in extracurricular activities and opportunities
  • Student voice feedback
  • Analysis of students’ destinations