“4. We want to transform the life-chances of our children by focussing on raising standards, particularly the basic life skills of literacy and numeracy as well as employability skills so that our students have the best possible start in life.”
We firmly believe that all children, irrespective of their starting point, are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum. To that end, we are delighted to offer an innovative and knowledge rich curriculum, which enables any student within our academy to fulfil their potential and develop the all-important skills and qualities, which will serve them well in later life.
Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is run over Years 9, 10 and 11, rather than the two years (10 and 11) which were traditionally advocated. This additional year is one of the hallmarks of our curriculum. This, along with the permanent, supernumerary subject specialist directors of English, maths, science, humanities, modern foreign languages, computer science and the arts, who work across all the academies within the OGAT group, are key to helping teachers add the maximum value that we can to a child’s education.
Alongside these important subject specialists, we also deploy specialists in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Attendance: regular attendance is critical to a child’s success.
We fully support the entitlement that students have to study the group of qualifications, which the government calls the English Baccalaureate (EBacc): a GCSE grade 5 or higher in one English, mathematics, two sciences, one humanities subject (geography or history) and a modern foreign language.
To allow students to spread the examination load in Key Stage 4, and help them achieve a balance in their studies, up to two non-EBacc subjects can be studied and taken at the end of Year 10. This early entry option also helps students prepare for the further examinations that they will take at the end of Year 11 and can often be a real turning point in a student’s education. Our highly flexible Key Stage 4 curriculum allows us to create personalised guided pathways for our students.
There will be the opportunity to have additional time for English or mathematics, for those who need it. We do this in the full knowledge that further and higher education, as well as many employment opportunities, require students to have attained a good level (GCSE grade 5 or higher) of literacy and numeracy.
As part of our commitment to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC), students study religious education within the academy’s Life programme. In addition to specific content delivered through the Life programme, students also experience SMSC across other curriculum areas. Life lessons also promote students’ personal, social, health and citizenship (PSHCE) development and understanding. For further information on our approach to PSHCE please see the OGAT Sex and Relationships Education Policy on the OGAT website.
For information about how the academy promotes British values, please click here.
As part of our commitment to ensuring that every student has the best possible chance of success, we personalise the learning provision for every student in the core subjects of English, maths and science by placing each student in a learning group that is appropriate to their ability. Every student will be stretched, challenged and supported through this personalisation of the curriculum.
Students are provided with opportunities to add depth to their learning and develop personal skills through a rich and varied enrichment programme. Students will have the chance to enjoy new experiences and consolidate their timetabled learning through this programme. Further detailed information on the opportunities available to students can be found in the academy’s Enrichment Brochure.
During Years 7 and 8, students will study a broad and balanced curriculum which includes English, maths and science. Students will also study a range of expressive arts subjects, geography, history, religious education through the Life programme, computer science, technology subjects, a modern foreign language and physical education.
Students will start studying GCSE or equivalent courses in Year 9. These will include English (including English Literature), mathematics and science (which includes physics, chemistry and biology). Students will also study physical education and the Life programme.
During Years 9 to 11, students will study a variety of Guided Pathway courses. These courses will all contribute to the qualifications a student will gain over the course of Key Stage 4. The courses currently being delivered at Key Stage 4 are included in the table below.
In this video, our Principal Ms Rice will introduce parents/carers of Y8 students to the Guided Pathways process, in preparation for their transition into Y9. We would usually host a Guided Pathways Evening and welcome parents/carers to the academy, but in the interests of safety in our current circumstances, we have adapted our approach and shared all the necessary information virtually.
Y8 students have received a series of assemblies to support them in this process with a booklet to follow, with details of all the courses offered, as well as a letter giving the login details for their pathways form. We would encourage you parents/carers to complete this form with their child.
Please note the deadline for forms to be completed is Friday 29 January 2021.
If you have any questions or would like further information in relation to our curriculum plans, please contact Miss Ferris via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
In this final week before the Christmas break, a letter and information regarding our Guided Pathways Process for current Year 10 will be sent home.
Each student will have a personal conversation regarding Guided Pathways into Year 11, with a member of the senior leadership team, in the week Monday 11 January – Friday 22 January 2021. There will then be the opportunity of parental appointments to discuss decisions, if required, in the week Monday 25 January – Friday 29 January 2021.
For more information about our Curriculum, please contact Ms Ferris, Vice Principal via her email address which can be found on the ‘Key Staff Contacts’ section of our ‘Contact’ website page here: www.bydales.outwood.com/contact