The curriculum is the principle means by which the aims of the school are achieved. It includes all of the lessons, activities and experiences planned and delivered by the school within the timetable and outside of lessons. Our ‘Big Picture of the Curriculum’ attempts to capture this and is displayed throughout the Academy.
Through the curriculum we aim to help pupils to develop their full potential academically, spiritually, physically and emotionally with the aspiration to make a full and positive contribution to the society in which they live.
Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:
- Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
- Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
- Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society
This is underpinned by developing:
- Knowledge & Understanding – the big ideas that shape the world and knowledge of these that is taught to be remembered, not merely encountered.
- Skills – eg literacy, numeracy, oracy and thinking skills
- Attitudes & Attributes – eg determined, confident, enterprising, adaptable
To enable our students to become successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve, we will:
- Produce clear curriculum maps that plan learning that is sequenced and relevant
- Provide focused feedback either written or verbal
- Ensure students have mastered the basics of communication. (literacy, oracy and numeracy)
- Provide opportunities for reflection and review and teach learners to become self-evaluative
- Ensure secure knowledge acquisition as a foundation for progress and higher order thinking
- Provide an entitlement to study an academic core of English, Maths, Science, Humanities (History/Geography) and a Modern Foreign Language
- Develop the talents of the individual
- Promote excellence and enjoyment
To enable our students to become confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives we will:
- Provide a planned lifeskills course to develop understanding of: Careers & Finance; My health and My life; My Mind; Oracy; Sex and Relationships, esafety and leadership.
- Assist in developing secure values and established spiritual and ethical beliefs
- Provide the knowledge about the impact of diet and exercise on physical and mental health so that they can make positive choices in their daily lives
- Build mental and emotional well-being by developing confidence, resilience and empathy
- Ensure they know how to find information and support to keep them safe and well.
- Promote positive relationships based on trust and mutual respect
To enable our students to become responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society we will:
- Build character and nurture the ethical, intellectual, social and emotional development of our students
- Have high expectations for behaviour and conduct
- Encourage independence, teamwork and trustworthiness.
- Foster a respect for themselves and their environment
- Encourage an active interest in the community and provide opportunities to make a positive contribution to the school community
- The skills needed to be both active and economically self- sufficient
- Develop an ambitious outlook for their future lives
We believe the curriculum in our Academy should be:
- Broad and balanced – our students should be able to develop intellectually, creatively, socially and physically, to build cultural capital and understanding
- Inclusive, boost self-esteem and raise aspiration – it should motivate and develop students as rounded citizens
- Relevant and prepare students for the future – all students should develop good literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills and be equipped with the knowledge, skills and understanding to achieve as highly as possible
Spires Academy students will be well prepared for further study or employment in the Global marketplace.
As an Academy we do not have to follow the National Curriculum but have chosen to base our curriculum largely on it.
The Academy provides a range of learning opportunities including but not limited to:
- Academic Lessons
- The Lifeskills Programme
- The Academy Programme – developing talent across a range of disciplines
- Partnerships such as East Kent Schools Together (EKST)
- International experiences including hosting visitors from a wide range of countries
The Academic curriculum is currently delivered through a two week timetable of 28 lessons, each lasting for 100 minutes.
In Year 7 and 8 subjects studied enable students to experience, practice and develop a wide range of knowledge, attitudes and understanding. All students have a comprehensive education that allows them to develop personal strengths and talents.
The lessons consist of:
- Ethics (RE)
- Food and nutrition
- Design Technology
In English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and French students are set according to student needs and abilities.
In Year 9 they continue to follow a strong core entitlement but can opt for areas of strength. This enables student to fully prepare themselves for the increasingly demanding GCSE qualifications. We are developing a rich options framework incorporating high quality academic and vocational qualifications.
There is a core curriculum of:
- English Language
- English literature
- Science (Dual Certificate)
- History or geography
- PE (non examined)
Within the option blocks we have courses in:
- Separate sciences
- Health & Social Care
- Performing Arts
We also have opportunities to gain experience in:
- Hair and Beauty
Dependent on their academic ability students will be guided to a pathway, all high ability students are expected to study the full Ebacc. The decision is taken in consultation with students and parents. Future career interests are taken into consideration.
The Lifeskills programme is taught across all year groups and includes:
- Financial Awareness – understanding money and how to manage your finances
- Sex & Relationships
- Personal Health and wellbeing
- Drug and Alcohol awareness
- Character Education
- British Values
- Spiritual, Moral & Social and Cultural Education
It is a fundamental part of our curriculum and enjoyed by our students.
Students who require extra support will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of interventions including both academic and pastoral.
The impact is measured in a variety of ways. This includes:
- National Performance Data
- Progress and Attainment measures
- Exclusion figures
- Destination data
- Academy impact measures
- Internal assessments three times a year
- Healthy lifestyle choices
- Pupil Attitude to School Survey
- Quality and Excellence Marks and Awards
- Safeguarding audit