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.
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
The development of Character is fundamental to this. We have four pillars.
- Moral Virtue – Tolerance, Respect, Honesty, Integrity and Dignity
- Intellectual Virtue – Curiosity, Consciousness and Focus
- Civic Virtue – Neighbourliness and Community spirit
- Performance Virtue – Perseverance, Resilience & grit, Motivation & ambition, Drive, Confidence and Optimism
This is underpinned by developing:
- Knowledge & Understanding – the big ideas that shape the world
- Skills – eg literacy, numeracy and thinking skills
- Attitudes & Attributes – eg determined, confident, enterprising, adaptable
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.
We believe the curriculum in our Academy should be:
- Broad and balanced – our students should be able to develop intellectually, creatively, socially and physically
- 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 should leave us 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 students 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
- Parent View
- Quality and Excellence Marks and Awards
- Safeguarding audit