Curriculum Overview 2020-21
Our curriculum aims to secure for our students the necessary skills, confidence and qualifications that will allow them to engage positively in their future education, employment or training. We recognise that students in Year 11 arrive with a range of significant gaps in one or more of the following areas:
- academic knowledge and understanding
- cultural capital
- social and emotional literacy
- understanding and following behavioural norms and expectations
- confidence to do well in education
- An understanding of their future aspirations and goals
These gaps mean our students’ relationship with and attitude to education has often been negative; the purpose of our curriculum is to change this. We aim to deliver an academically rich curriculum whilst supporting students in their personal, social and moral development. Following our referral and interview process, students will be able to select either academic or vocational pathways at Key Stage 4 which will guide them toward this aim. At Key Stage 3, our students are taught a full range of EBACC subjects, as well as accessing some vocational practical subjects. At both key stages, the Skills for Work and Life Programme forms an essential part of the curriculum, exposing students to wide variety of learning and social experiences designed to equip them to be successful at the next stage of their education.
The core aims of our curriculum therefore are:
- To provide a broad and balanced curriculum which is accessible, provides appropriate challenge and contains a wide range of learning experiences.
- To develop our students into confident learners that are able to secure meaningful and relevant qualifications.
- To provide our students with the necessary skills for work and life which will allow them to build successful and independent lives.
The key elements of our curriculum are as follows:
Literacy and Numeracy
Students receive 4 hours per week of direct instruction in English and Mathematics, as well as some students receiving additional support in these areas based on their need. Our curriculum reflects the importance of developing knowledge and skills in these areas as an essential factor in future success.
A rich academic and vocational offer
Students have access to a range of subjects, ensuring sustained academic progress and access to Level 2 qualifications. Students also have the opportunity to access subjects directly linked to future employment opportunities which often do not exist in mainstream settings, such as Construction, Health and Social Care, Business and Media Studies.
Skills for Work and Life
The Skills for Work and Life is dedicated curriculum time designed to develop students’ social and emotional literacy, awareness and understanding of societal issues and the development of their employability for future careers. It encompasses the in-class Skills for Work and Life Learning Programme, our Assembly programme, our Enrichment offer, our three Thematic Days, our Tutor curriculum and our careers programme. Where necessary, our Inclusion team also support students’ social and personal development by providing access to life coaching and counselling.
Enrichment: Our rich and varied programme forms a core element of students’ timetables and aims to support personal development, as well the building of cultural capital, through a wide range of educational and social experiences. Activities include but are not limited to: The Football Beyond Borders programme, The Resilience Project, Boxing, London Site Seeing and Travel Training, Duke of Edinburgh, weekly visits to Jamie’s Farm, Duke of Edinburgh and Yoga Therapy.
Prince’s Trust Programme: Students will receive lessons in developing social and emotional literacy, work skills and employability and societal and cultural awareness and understanding.
Tutor time and Assemblies: Students will be exposed to core British values, aspects of the SACRE guidance and access to activities designed to promote personal and social development.
Thematic Days: Three dedicated curriculum days dedicated to the development of our students’ social, moral, cultural and spiritual development, as well as careers and the world of work.
Careers: All students will receive career guidance which will support them to make a successful transition into mainstream, further education, work or training.
Level 2 Pathway
Students may engage on a curriculum for one year taking English Maths and Science with two additional option subjects. Students who are successful may then apply to a level 3 course on offer the next year or apply to an external college or sixth form to access a level 3 course.
Students who cannot access level 2 subjects in the initial entry will be encouraged to take level 1 qualifications to secure confidence in their ability and to progress onto a level 2 course by the end of the academic year.
Students will also receive a lesson a week in the Prince’s Trust Award which will revolve around these key skills.
- Applications for work/further/Higher Education
- Interview Technique
- Work Experience
- Financial Planning
- Self Confidence
- Literacy and Numeracy
There will also be one afternoon per week of Enrichment covering sport and wider academic study, which will range from attending lectures (including lectures from visiting speakers) to independent study and seeking additional help from teachers in support session.
Students may engage on a curriculum for one year taking English Maths and a Construction subject.
Students who cannot access level 2 in English and Maths in the initial entry will be encouraged to take level 1 qualifications to secure confidence in their ability and to progress onto a level 2 course by the end of the academic year.
The Academy shares facilities with Harris Professional Skills Sixth Form and is also in very close vicinity to two other Harris academies. The travel plan for HPS6F has always been designed in such a way that staggered starts for year groups are necessary to avoid “bottle necking” of transport systems and being mindful of the local community.
With the “reopening of schools guidance” there have been further changes to the start and finish times and process to minimise potential risk to students. The
The academy has put in the following actions.
- Tutor Time is conducted online via MS Teams until guidance changes
- Enrichment has been suspended for on-site activity until guidance changes
- Students are not allowed off site during the school day for Lunch
- The timetable has been configured into 2 bubbles for Aspire students:
- Apollo House – GCSE/CNAT students
- Mercury House – Construction students
- The timetable has different start and finish times for the two bubbles
The timings for the three pathways are outlined below:
After hours study support (suspended until guidance changes)
The Academy has a planned program of out of hours learning, the details of these plans will be circulated to staff and parents or carers at the start of each academic year. They will be coordinated by the assistant principal in charge of study support and will include:
- Homework interventions.
- Holiday revision and catch up sessions.
- Booster sessions for English, Mathematics and Science
- Various extra study sessions for targeted students through departments
- SEN support for students with coursework, homework or classwork