Curriculum Intent

Grace Academy – Curriculum

The Academy’s approach is to deliver a knowledge-based curriculum across all subjects. This should be systematic and sequential, whilst allowing for misconceptions to be revisited and addressed when required. Our key curriculum aims/intentions are to:

  • Place significant emphasis upon the “powerful knowledge” required to fully understand each subject or curriculum area. It is intended to be sequenced in a logical, coherent fashion which builds upon prior learning. Our curriculum will then develop the skill required to apply this knowledge effectively.
  • Provide frequent opportunities for students to recall and retrieve this knowledge, ensuring it is retained in the long-term memory.
  • Develop students’ general, and also subject-based, literacy and numeracy.

In addition, we also aim to:

  • Ensure equal access to learning for all pupils, with high expectations for every pupil and appropriate levels of challenge and support.
  • Champion not just inclusion, but “anti-racism” through content, references and ideology featuring within our curricula.
  • Promote a positive attitude towards learning.
  • Equip pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
  • Develop pupils’ independent learning skills and resilience, to equip them for further/higher education and employment.

The Key Stage 3 (KS3) curriculum runs from Year 7 to Year 9 and focuses on the delivery and application of the powerful knowledge required at KS4 and beyond. Students study  subjects from the core curriculum of Maths, English and Science but also have the opportunity to experience and master subjects drawn from a wide range of specialisms. The rich and varied curriculum ensures balance across a student’s timetable.

In addition, our tutor-time Ethos curriculum complements the wider curriculum in embedding key learning skills and reflection exercises into students’ daily routine. The KS3 curriculum is designed, implemented and reviewed by leaders and their teams. This is managed to ensure that key topics are delivered, relevant assessments are provided and highly effective feedback is given. Over the three year KS3 period, students are supported so they will be in a strong position to make choices around the pathways available at KS4. Subjects studied at KS3 are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • P.E.
  • R.E.
  • Computer Science
  • Expressive Arts
  • Design & Technology
  • PSHE

 

The curriculum at Key Stage 4 (KS4) will allow students to specialise. The KS4 curriculum is a broad offering of a wide range of GCSE/equivalents in order to suit individual interests, passions and future life choices. As well as adhering to Statutory Progress 8 requirements, the curriculum at KS4 emphasises preparation with college/employment to give our young people the best start in life beyond the Academy. All students will study English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Science (combined or separate). In addition, their pathway choices will include the study of Humanities (Geography/History) and MFL is encouraged. The Academy recognises the government’s ambition for students to study MFL and are moving towards this. All students also have timetabled time dedicated to Physical Education. This allows students to experience a broad and balanced curriculum characterised by academic rigour and vocational opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to choose from a broad range of subjects including Geography, History, French, Spanish, Art, Drama, Business & Enterprise, Health & Fitness and Health & Social Care (BTEC). In addition to the qualifications on offer, the curriculum at Grace is also intended to ensure students can navigate the challenges of life in a complex world with confidence and support. Therefore, the Ethos programme during assemblies, form time and Ethos Days gives students support with work experience, college applications, emotional well-being, British values and mental health. As in KS3, our tutor-time Ethos curriculum complements the wider curriculum in embedding key learning skills and reflection exercises into students’ daily routine.

The Curriculum in Post-16 meets the learning needs of the cohort and wherever possible, student preferences. The Academy has developed accredited pathways at Level 3 to include A-level and BTEC qualifications. A strong Ethos programme is embedded at Post 16 level to ensure students are prepared on a Social, Moral and Cultural level in all aspects of Health and Well-being. Study programmes include 15 hours minimum per week of academic study and 1 hour per week devoted to Careers and Study Skills. All students will leave the Academy with wide ranging experiences to complement their academic achievements. Work Experience and Volunteering are essential elements in their personal development and assist in preparing them for their future at university or in the world of work. The Curriculum in Year 13 will follow through from Year 12 with the same balance of both academic and non-academic studies.

Across the Academy, Religious Education embraces the Social, Moral, Cultural and Spiritual Dimensions and aspects of Health Education (PSHE). It also deals with behaviour, respect, courtesy, honesty, integrity, work ethic, responsibility, reliability and development of a culture of achievement as part of a planned programme including sex and relationship education. This is delivered as part of values days, tutor times and in other lessons depending upon the Academy and the specific syllabus being taught. Further details are available by contacting the Academy directly or within the Relationships and Sex Education Policy.

The five “British Values” are delivered implicitly through our tutor-time programme, with levels of complexity appropriate to student ages.

Extra-curricular activities are an integral part of our curriculum and are actively encouraged across all key stages. The Academy regularly reviews and updates the extra-curricular offer, which:

  • focuses upon a wide-reaching offer, incorporating sports, the arts, academics, personal development, and inclusivity.
  • is promoted and shared with staff, students and parents
  • either extends and builds upon the current curriculum or provides additional curriculum opportunities
  • draws upon staff expertise or utilises outside agencies
  • is acknowledged and rewarded in line with the Academy approach for rewards