Curriculum

Curriculum

As an Ark academy, we have a lot of flexibility with our curriculum – the subjects, learning methods, levels of study and qualifications that students pursue.

We have a broad, academic curriculum, emphasising the importance of intellectual study and focusing on traditional learning. We believe that this is the best way to equip our students for university, and/or the professions and careers they eventually choose. We are determined that our students will compete on equal terms with students coming from the most privileged backgrounds. In an ever-competitive global community we have provided an academic curriculum that gives your child the best possible chance to succeed whilst ensuring that they have the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and express themselves through expressive arts.

The three main elements in the curriculum to address pupils’ are academic, personal and social development.

Progress 8

Character Development

Alongside the core academic curriculum, all pupils take part in form activities that support the nurturing of what we perceive to be important personal virtues:

Courage      

Acting with bravery in fearful situations

Justice     

Acting with fairness towards others by honouring rights & responsibilities

Honesty      

Being truthful & sincere

Compassion     

Exhibiting care & concern

Self-discipline       

The ability to control one's feelings & overcome one's weaknesses

Gratitude       

Feeling & expressing thanks for benefits

Humility      

Estimating oneself within reasonable limits

Service      

A humble generosity of time, thought & spirit

Commitment      

A determined & gracious resolve in the face of challenges

Charity      

A giving heart, a generous way of viewing others & caring for their needs

Character development is continued through the academy’s rich comprehensive enrichment programme which includes sport, cultural, creative and other activities. This helps them develop key personal skills and aptitudes such as communication, leadership, team work, and problem-solving that are so sought after by today’s top universities and employers.

Additionally, the academy runs a number of ‘Drop-Down’ days where external agencies are welcomed to the academy to deliver sessions that include advice regarding career choices and mock interviews. We also take utilise these days to support the delivery of PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)

Reading

There can be no under-estimation of how important it is for students to be able to read well and the impact that this can have on their engagement with the curriculum and future academic attainment and success which is why every student will have 25 minutes of ‘DEAR’ time (Drop Everything And Read), each day, to support improved reading and foster a love for books. The World Literacy Foundation note; “reading that takes place outside the classroom is vastly beneficial, but children don’t get nearly enough of it.” We therefore encourage students to read stories that interest and engage them and that they will continue to enjoy at home. We would ask families to support this by asking our students about what they are reading and ensuring that they have reading opportunities at home.

We also provide additional curriculum time for students with reading ages that are well below their chronological age. During these lessons student will complete the ‘Fresh Start’ phonics programme a highly regarded course that is proven to rapidly improve a child’s ability to read.

Faculties

The delivery of the entire range of subject areas and student support is the responsibility of one of seven faculties, with each faculty taking responsibility for its subject provision.

Our faculties are:

  • Faculty of English Language and English Literature
  • Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (Physical Education and Food & Nutrition)
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Faculty of Science and Innovation (Chemistry, Physics and Biology)
  • Faculty of Humanities (Including Geography, History, and Religious Education)
  • Faculty of Creative and Performing Arts (Art, Drama and Music)
  • Faculty of Enhanced Provision (SEND, reading and inclusion)

 

Educational Excellence and Academic Rigour

Academic subjects leading to the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) are at the core of our curriculum. Subjects include English, Mathematics, Sciences, Languages, Humanities, and Arts. The content is driven by the syllabus and specification of national examinations.

There is the opportunity for additional literacy and numeracy lessons for pupils for whom the EBacc may not be appropriate, these students will also have the chance to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award, at Key Stage 4 however all pupils are expected to pursue a curriculum with a strong academic core. We believe that educational excellence can only be guaranteed when what is studied is tailored to each individual student.

To support our students in making sure that they make healthy lifestyle choices and to give them the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to their physical and emotional well-being our Key Stage 3 students are all required to take part in Health and Nutrition Lessons.

Most students can study towards the EBacc. The English Baccalaureate – though not a qualification in itself – is a measure of success in core academic subjects; specifically English, Mathematics, History or Geography, the sciences and a language. These are subjects most likely to be required or preferred for entry to university degree courses and ones that will open vast opportunities in the future. The top universities in the country are grouped together in an organisation called the Russell Group. There are 24 of them. These universities like to see that students have a broad range of subjects and would want students to achieve at least a ‘C’ or above or grade 5 in most of the EBacc subject areas.

The award is highly regarded and certifies the academic credentials of the students that achieve it. The EBacc is also a method by which an Academy or school is judged. It will be one on four performance measures used from 2016. Whilst it is not compulsory, Ofsted will take it into account when inspecting the Academy. The measure shows where students have gained a C grade or equivalent in the following: Mathematics, English Language or Literature, Geography or History, a Modern Foreign Language (MFL) and two GCSE Science subjects.

For more information regarding the EBacc or our curriculum offer please feel free to contact our Vice Principal Mr. D. Richards -  d.richards@arkboulton.org