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Creative & Vocational

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Creative & Vocational

Welcome to the Creative & Vocational Learning Faculty

Our faculty includes subjects that are more practical in nature which provide students with the opportunity to experience learning outside the classroom and obtain key skills associated with the world of work.

Subjects include:

  • Art
  • Business
  • Drama
  • Health & Social Care
  • ICT
  • Music

Art

ART CURRICULUM STATEMENT

We believe at Spires Academy that Art is a subject that can help us to understand and give meaning to the world in which we live. Art affects and influences all of us and as such is an extremely valuable subject. 

We support our students to aspire through their learning experiences to standards of excellence intellectually, practically, and aesthetically. The curriculum we provide is rich in skills and knowledge. Through our curriculum, we aim to provide students with an experience that is exciting and to ensure that our students combine practical skills with creative thinking, developing highly valuable and transferrable skills for future careers and life. 

In KS3 students will develop their skills and understanding with progressive complexity and sophistication, so that they are able to make informed choices and work with increasing independence into Key Stages 4. 

We support students in learning to co-operate and negotiate and be able to share good practice and learn from others. We actively promote looking at the work of others, celebrating other cultures and encouraging diversity.  All units of work link with contextual themes involving various cultures and civilizations from around the world. They lead to a greater understanding of different ways of life and a respect for cultures that are very different from our own; how they can enrich our own lives.  

spires ethos: respect, responsibility and resilience

In Art we develop respect by: 

  • Art frequently requires all pupils to work in pairs, groups, or teams. Pupil often work collaboratively requiring cooperation and communication linking to Spires core values. 
  • Honouring work means honouring everyone’s work. Including your own. 
  • Encouraging art means encouraging everyone’s art. Including your own. 
  • Applauding creativity and self-expression means applauding everyone’s creativity and self-expression. 
  • Enter and exit the art room in a consistent, quiet manner 
  • Respecting classroom environment and material 

 In Art we develop responsibility by: 

  • To encourage over time, students to make their own choices from a variety of artistic mediums. 
  • Gradually releases responsibility, giving students their independence in creating. Students are artists and the classroom is their studio 
  •  Encouraging students moving around the room with purpose, focused and productive. 
  • At key stage 4 the use of one drive for students to keep them in the loop about their work. After some thinking about their choices, students go to one drive page and complete a “Project Plan”.  
  • The teacher is a facilitator and guide of these various artistic endeavours. The teacher language towards the students is like that of a coach: asking questions and pointing to physical practices that need refinement. 
  • Students have ownership of work and are truly interested and invested in their art projects. Art that is created from the meaningful context of young artists’ lives enhances relevancy and authenticity. Students who maintain control over their work are invested and have incentives to take risks. Resulting artwork is often powerful and profound.
  • Classrooms are highly structured studio environments with clearly delineated expectations for self-directed learning in choices of varied workspaces. Available tools and art materials are introduced to students who can then access and arrange these materials independently to initiate and explore their artwork.  

 In Art we develop resilience by:

  • With an ethos of ‘trying’ and not being afraid to make ‘mistakes,’ but recognising these and learning resilience and ways to move forward.
  • Build confident self-managers and team-workers, who are willing to take risks and keep an open-mind about new ideas and techniques. 

whole school intent: inclusive

In Art we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by: 

  • To educate through a range of teaching strategies which are accessible for all our learners 
  • Rigorous and sequential planning allowing skills to be scaffolding and extended·    
  • A wide range of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic resources are used throughout lessons i.e. PowerPoints, handouts, visual teacher/student practical examples, video clips, practical demonstrations etc.·   
  • Modelling of techniques and levels – through teacher and student led demos/example work 
  • Regular intervention support for all students regardless of ability to access 
  • Building confidence in students – through praise, recognition of effort, rewards·   
  • Regular use of key vocabulary and building and support of this through use of word banks, teacher usage, and support sheets etc. 
  • Building enjoyment and engagement of the subject through stimulating and inviting environment, planning etc.         
  • Creating an atmosphere of independence and encouraging students through positivity and engagement with the subject to want to engage with the subject outside of lessons. 

Tier 2 Vocabulary

Tier 3 Vocabulary

whole school intent: focused

In Art we identify powerful knowledge and having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content.

By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each unit, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference.

We share this with students and their families using Knowledge Organisers:

Year 7 Art Knowledge Organiser

Year 8 Art Knowledge Organiser

Year 9 Art Knowledge Organiser

Year 10 Art Knowledge Organiser

Year 11 Art Knowledge Organiser

whole school intent: sequenced

In Art we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall. 

Art 5-year Curriculum Map

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: coherent

In Art we ensure our curriculum is coherent using 5 Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the students at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

Our Big Ideas are:

  • ARTISTS PRACTICE - Select and use specialist tools, techniques, and processes effectively. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functional properties of media when considering appropriate media to develop desired effects. Explore a range of techniques and processes from relevant artists to further extend their own developing practise and ideas.
  • YOU ARE AN ARTIST - Reflect on work throughout the process of making to consider what is working effectively and how to take their project work further to best effect. Recognise where improvements and developments can be made, wherever possible making these to evolve their work.
  • ART DOES NOT HAPPEN IN A VACUUM. CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING - Analyse the work of past and present artists to develop their understanding. Understand the relationship between context of artwork on the influence of subject, process, media, and effects achieved. Understand movements and developments in Art, the impact on individuals, society and artwork following.
  • ARTISTS ASK QUESTIONS - Questioning deepens the process of learning and promotes imagination and problem-solving. It satisfies curiosity and helps increase creativity in a learning environment. Art questioning is critical to support meaningful discussions.
  • ARTISTS INFLUENCE AND ARE INFLUENCED - To understand that artist’s work is influenced by many different factors; from culture to politics, surroundings, family, upbringing, the list is endless. All of these and more have such an influence in most art works.  Artists are influenced by life.  Students will learn like most artists to talk about their influences and what inspires them to create such beautiful art. 

ks4 Qualifications

BTEC Tech Award in Art and Design Practice

Component 1: Generating Ideas in Art and Design  Component 2: Develop Practical Skills in Art and Design   Component 3: Responding to a Client Brief 

Aim: Investigate art and design practice to inform generation and communication of ideas.

Aim: develop practical skills through exploration of specialist materials, techniques, and processes.

Aim: develop a response to a client brief and produce an art and design work.  
Assessment: internally assessed assignments  Assessment: internally assessed assignments Assessment: scenario-based external synoptic assessment where students will apply their knowledge and practical skills to the creation of an art or design piece of work in response to a client brief. 
Weighting 30%  Weighting 30%  Weighting 40%

 

AQA GCSE Art and Design (8201) Art, craft and design 

Component 1: Portfolio  Component 2: Externally set assignment 
A portfolio that in total shows explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives. It must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions and a selection of further work undertaken during the student’s course of study.  Students respond to their chosen starting point from an externally set assignment paper relating to their subject title, evidencing coverage of all four assessment objectives. 
No time limit. Preparatory period followed by 10 hours of supervised time  
96 marks 96 marks 
60% of GCSE  40% of GCSE 

enrichment opportunities

  • Providing opportunities to experience the work of other artists through trips and workshops.        
  • Exploring appropriate materials to enrich learning such as topic stimulus i.e. novels, documentaries, practical technique clips etc.          
  • Encourage students to engage in TV programmes/series and films that can deepen their understanding of art and artists and its impact on world around them.          
  • Encouraging students to contribute to the life of the school and the community through art exhibitions and display. 
  • Establishing cross curricular links.        
  • They develop their spiritual, social, moral, and cultural understanding when are introduced to the work of great Artists and experience wonder and awe at the achievements of these great works of art. They also experience great admiration and respect for their peers’ work when they see the level of achievement and progress. Pupils understand that this standard of work does not happen immediately but requires endurance     
  • Promoting an ethos of engagement with art outside of lessons – encouraging students to develop artwork outside of lesson time.   
  • Organise the artworks of students and help them develop their art portfolios  

progression routes

Art can be used as a steppingstone to further courses and careers in Art and also Design.

Careers where Art and Design is important include Interior:

  • 3D, Product and Graphic Design,
  • Animation,
  • Architecture,
  • Children’s Book Illustration,
  • Textiles & Fashion Design,
  • Gallery Education,
  • Art Therapy,
  • Set or Costume Design.

Students can go on to study Art at A Level, or vocational alternatives. Apprenticeships in Art and Design pathways are also now a viable career option. 

Business

BUSINESS CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Young people of today need to be prepared for the real working world. Business Enterprise prepares them for the economic, digital, fast-paced world they live in.  Business students at Spires learn how products and business systems work, the skills that businesses require to thrive and explore the IT skills within digital technologies that business rely on. Students learn and develop these skills with an understanding as to how they will help improve the world around them. 

Creativity and enterprise are both key elements when learning about Business. Business Studies draws, develops and implements a range of different disciplines, including mathematics, science, engineering, geography and art. The subject embeds high quality literacy skills through analysis and evaluation techniques. 

spires ethos: respect, responsibility and resilience

In Business, we develop respect by: 

  • Listening to each other’s opinions 
  • Listening to business presentations from fellow students 
  • Giving constructive feedback to our peers 

In Business, we develop responsibility by: 

  • Researching potential ideas and their associated costs/responsibilities 
  • Presenting our business ideas to others 
  • Meeting deadlines  

In Business, we develop resilience by: 

  • Having a “can do” approach 
  • Not giving up on the first go 
  • Trying your best 
  • Practising exam skills 
  • Learning from your mistakes 
  • Responding positively to feedback from fellow students 

Whole school intent: inclusive

In Business, we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by:

  • Scaffold by personalising the learning based on individual student need 
  • Students are given the opportunity to create their own business idea as part of their course. 
  • Students have the opportunity to visit a local business
  • Explicitly teaching Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary to develop students’ literacy and academic confidence.

Tier 2 Vocabulary

Tier 3 Vocabulary

whole school intent: focused

In Business, we identify powerful knowledge and having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content. 

By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each unit, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference. 

Year 10 Business Knowledge Organiser

Year 11 Business Knowledge Organiser

whole school Intent: sequenced

In Business, we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall. 

Year 10 Curriculum Map

Year 11 Curriculum Map

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: coherent

In Business, we ensure our curriculum is coherent by the use of Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the students at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

Our Big Ideas are:

  • Organisational Structure 
  • Market Research 
  • The Business Environment 
  • Finance 
  • Marketing 
  • Professional Development 

ks4 qualifications

BTEC Tech Award Enterprise (Starting 2022) 

Component 1 (Pearson-Set Controlled Assessment) – 30%  Component 2 (Pearson-Set Controlled Assessment) – 30% Component 3 Marketing and Finance Exam – 40% 

Learning Outcome A: Understand how and why enterprises and entrepreneurs are successful:

  • A1 Size and features of SMEs 
  • A2 Markets, sectors, models and industries in which enterprises operate 
  • A3 Aims and activities of enterprises 
  • A4 Skills and characteristics of entrepreneurs 

Learning Outcome A: Choose an idea and produce a plan for a micro-enterprise idea 

  • A1 Choosing ideas for a micro-enterprise 
  • A2 Plan for a micro-enterprise 
  • Marketing activities 
  • Financial documents and statements 
  • Financial planning and forecasting 

Learning Outcome B: Understand customer needs and competitor behaviour through market research

  • B1 Market research methods 
  • B2 Understanding customer needs 
  • B3 Understanding competitor behaviour B4 Suitability of market research methods 

Learning Outcome B: Present a plan for the micro-enterprise idea to meet specific requirements

  • B1 Production of presentation 
  • B2 Delivery of presentation 

Learning Outcome C: Understand how the outcomes of situational analyses may affect enterprises 

  • C1 PEST (Political, Economic, Social, Technological) analysis 
  • C2 SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis 

Learning Outcome C: Review the presentation of the micro-enterprise idea to meet specific requirements

  • C1 Review of presentation 

ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Students have the opportunity to visit local businesses to see in-person how these businesses operate and to gain networking opportunities for future careers and qualifications. 

progression routes

The course offers students many options after they leave Year 11. Students can use the qualification to go on to do A-levels at other sixth-form centres. Alternatively, students can study a Level 3 BTEC course at college or use the qualification to access apprenticeship opportunities within many sectors of business such as marketing and accounting. The course gives students the opportunity to practice and perfect skills such as presentation and interpreting data, which are skills that are highly sought after by employers and colleges.

Drama

DRAMA CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Drama at Spires Academy is the expression and exploration of personal, cultural and social worlds through role and situation that engages, entertains and challenges. Drama is for ALL students and forms part of the Key Stage 3 Curriculum. Students create meaning as drama makers, performers and audiences as they enjoy and analyse their own and others’ stories and points of view. Drama at Spires Academy engages, inspires and enriches all students, exciting the imagination and encourage students to reach their creative and expressive potential. 

spires ethos: respect, responsibility and resilience

In Drama we develop respect by: 

  • Listening to each other’s opinions 
  • Working as a team learning to work with the ideas of others with as much enthusiasm as we would with our own 

In Drama we develop responsibility by: 

  • Rehearsing and practising sensibly  
  • Attending clubs regularly  
  • Performing in events 
  • Valuing and taking care of the expensive lighting and sound equipment provided by the school 

In Drama we develop resilience by: 

  • Working to and achieving deadlines 
  • Being brave enough to present our performance work to others 
  • Delivering the ‘show must go on’ value of performance 
  • Being able to receive and act on productive criticism 

whole school intent: inclusive

In Drama we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by: 

  • Scaffolding by personalising the learning based on individual student need 
  • All pupils are given opportunities whatever their age, ethnicity, attainment and background to engage in Drama activities. Clubs are free. 
  • Drama Clubs are open to all students 
  • Being responsive to students' performance ability and interests, and having an ability to draw that out to help a student find their own performance strengths 
  • Explicitly teaching Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary to develop students’ literacy and academic confidence.

Tier 2 Vocabulary

Tier 3 Vocabulary

whole school intent: focused

In Drama we identify powerful knowledge and having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content. For example, the English curriculum and the History Curriculum. 

By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each unit, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference.

Year 7 Drama Knowledge Organiser

Year 8 Drama Knowledge Organiser

Year 9 Drama Knowledge Organiser

Year 10 Drama Knowledge Organiser

Year 11 Drama Knowledge Organiser

whole school intent: sequenced

In Drama we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall.

Drama Curriculum Map

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: coherent

In Drama we ensure our curriculum is coherent by the use of 5 Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the students at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

Our Big Ideas are: 

  • Controlled Voices are Powerful - The development of confidence, concentration and vocal expression to engage an audience. To be able to control one’s voice in groupwork allowing others the space to express their ideas.
  • Precise Movements are Convincing - The development of non-verbal communication to accurately communicate emotion and meaning. The development of physical expression to create and communicate characters. The development of special awareness to be able to engage an audience.
  • Characters with Status and Emotion are Engaging - The development of naturalistic acting techniques to be able to accurately portray characters in the actin space that are believable and engaging in their humanity.
  • The Audience must be Remembered - The development of an understanding of the role of the audience in performance. What the audience needs from a performance to be educated and entertained whilst vicariously living through the character’s plight, be it on stage or in front of the camera.
  • Influences can Inspire - Develop a knowledge of key practitioners that have influenced the methods used to create Drama and a strong performance.

ks4 qualifications

BTEC Tech Award Performing Arts 

COMPONENT 1: Exploring the Performing Arts  COMPONENT 2: Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts  COMPONENT 3: Responding to a Brief 
Students will develop their understanding of the performing arts by examining the work of performing arts professionals and the processes used to create performance.   Students will develop performing or design skills and techniques. Students will take part in workshops and classes where they will develop technical, practical and interpretative skills through the rehearsal and performance process.  

Students will be given a brief that outlines the performance and design requirements and asks students to consider their target audience and to start the creative process by using the stimulus included in the brief. Working as part of a group, students will develop their ideas for a workshop performance and apply their skills and techniques to communicate their creative intentions to their audience.  

Learning Outcomes A  

Investigate how professional performance or production work is created  

Learning Outcomes A Use rehearsal or production/design processes.   

Learning Outcomes B  

Demonstrate understanding of the skills, techniques and approaches used by professionals to create performance/production work. 

Learning Outcomes B Apply skills and techniques in performance or realisation. 

enrichment opportunities

Students have the opportunity to attend the following clubs: 

  • KS3 Drama Club 
  • KS4 Drama Club 
  • National Theatre Connections Performance 
  • School Productions 

Opportunities to perform at Spires Academy and via partnership work with other schools.  Learners selected to participate in the National Theatre Connections Programme will have the opportunity to perform in the Brighton Dome and if selected, at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank 

progression routes

Students studying Performing Arts can progress to Level 3 qualifications in performing arts or production arts, which look at skills and techniques in more detail. Alternatively, students may want to progress to other Level 3 vocational or academic subject areas. Performing Arts has transferable qualities, for example communication skills, confidence and teamwork, which will be valuable in many industries.

Health & social care

health & social care CURRICULUM STATEMENT

The BTEC Technical Award in Health and Social Care is a vocational qualification which takes an engaging, practical, and inspiring approach to learning and assessment.  The course ensures students develop foundation knowledge of human lifespan development from infancy to older adulthood.  It also equips students with a sound specialist and realistic understanding of how to meet the needs of individuals using services and specialist equipment, whilst challenging stereotypes and discrimination.  The study of care values is at the heart of Health and Social Care which develops skills such as empathy, compassion, commitment, tolerance, and empowerment. 

The curriculum within Health and Social Care supports the ethos within the school as the subject is inclusive, balanced, and relevant to the needs of students and employers. The curriculum challenges students to think abstractly, keep focused, work collaboratively and problem solve to develop curiosity and the desire for knowledge. 

The course is designed so that the components build upon each other as the students grow in confidence. This allows students to embed their knowledge whilst giving opportunities to put into practice what they have learned. This ensures they develop their technical skills, which they can apply to real life scenarios through activities within the classroom and outside of school within the local community. 

spires ethos: respect, responsibility and resilience

In Health and Social Care, we develop respect by:

  • Listening to each other’s opinions and experiences. 
  • Embracing our differences. 
  • Challenging discrimination. 

In Health and Social Care, we develop responsibility by:

  • Being willing to support each other in class. 
  • Being positive in our approach to study. 
  • Being punctual and reliable. 

In Health and Social Care, we develop resilience by:

  • Trying our best. 
  • Learning from our mistakes. 
  • Challenging ourselves. 

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: inclusive

In Health and Social Care, we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by:  

  • Scaffolding by personalising the learning based on individual student need 

Tier 2 Vocabulary

Tier 3 Vocabulary

All Health and Social Care students are given opportunities to work with outside agencies and establishments and engage with guest speakers such as:

  • Age UK 
  • Meadow View Residential Home 
  • Dementia Friends 
  • NHS Emergency Services (Paramedics/nurses) 

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: focused

In Health and Social Care, we identify powerful knowledge and having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content. 

 By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each Component, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference. 

Component 1 Knowledge Organiser (Year 10)

Component 3 Knowledge Organiser (Year 11)

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: sequenced

In Health and Social Care, we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall. 

Year 10 Curriculum Map

Year 11 Curriculum Map

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: coherent

In Health and Social Care, we ensure our curriculum is coherent using 5 Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the students at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

Our Big Ideas are:

  • Human Lifespan Development: Exploring growth and development over the human lifespan and recognising different factors that can affect our growth and development.
  • Major life events: Exploring expected and unexpected life events that may occur during our lifetime.
  • Health and Social Care Services: Identifying different health and social care services available for individuals with specific needs.
  • Health and Social Care Values: Understanding the core care values relating to the health and social care sector.
  • Factors that affect health and wellbeing: Understanding how health and wellbeing is a combination of physical health and social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Interpreting health indicators: Measuring physiological health and interpreting data.
  • Person centred health and wellbeing improvement plans: Creating health and wellbeing improvement plans.

ks4 qualifications

BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Technical Award in Health and Social Care 2022 

 

Component 1: Human Lifespan Development  Component 2: Health and Social Care Services and Values  Component 3: Health and Wellbeing 

 Non-exam internal assessment 

Non-exam internal assessment External Assessment

Approximately 6 hours of supervised assessment 

Task 1 = 1.5 hours 

Task 2 = 2 hours 

Task 3a = 1 hour 

Task 3b = 2 hours 

5 tasks 

Approximately 6 hours of supervised assessment 

2 hours 

enrichment opportunities

Working with and supportive of students from St Nicholas School, which is a school for students aged 4 – 19 with complex educational needs. Activities include planning day trips and events within the school setting. 

Forging relationships with older adults at care settings such as Age UK Margate and Meadow View Residential Home for people living with Dementia. 

Opportunities to attend lunchtime first aid club, CPR and Defibrillator training. 

Adult Nursing Taster Days at Canterbury Christchurch University 

Medical Fayre at Canterbury Christchurch University (Medway Campus) 

progression routes

There are strong opportunities for post-16 progression in this important sector. 

Students who successfully complete BTEC Technical Award in Health and Social Care can go on to study at Level 3, Extended Certificate or Diploma.  This is a pathway to study at degree level to specialise in nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, social work, or other careers in health and/or social care. 

 About 3 million people work in health and social care. Health care roles include doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, and healthcare assistants, while social care roles include care assistants, occupational therapists, counsellors, and administrators. Together, they account for one in ten of all paid jobs in the UK. Demand for both health and social care is likely to rise, so they will continue to play a key role in UK society and the demand for people to carry out these vital roles will increase. Study of this sector at Key Stage 4 will complement GCSE study through providing an opportunity for practical application alongside conceptual study.  


ICT

Ict CURRICULUM STATEMENT

At Spires Academy, students can explore a variety of computer programmes used in business and the creative sector and learn the importance of e-safety with the rise of cyber-crime in society. We aim to educate students to be successful, ethical, and effective problem-solvers and life-long learners who will contribute positively to the economic well-being of whatever path they may choose in life. It is important to the department to equip our students and prepare them to tackle complex 21st Century challenges.  

spires ethos: respect, responsibility and resilience

In ICT we develop respect by: 

  • Asking the students to respect themselves by respecting all computer equipment. 

In ICT we develop responsibility by: 

  • Becoming responsible users of the digital technology. 

In ICT we develop resilience by: 

  • Having a “can do” attitude. 
  • Not giving up when they are having problems with their codes. 
  • Trying hard in lesson. 
  • Learning to program using different programming languages. 
  • Learning from their mistakes. 

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: inclusive

In ICT we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by:  

  • Scaffold by personalising the learning based on individual student needs
  • All students should be taught to: 
    • Develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology 
    • Develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills 
    • Understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity, and how to identify and report a range of concerns. 
  • Explicitly teaching vocabulary to develop students’ literacy and academic confidence.

Tier 2 Vocabulary

Tier 3 Vocabulary

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: focused

  • In ICT we identify powerful knowledge and having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content. 
  • Equips students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. 
  • ICT has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. 
  • The core of computing is computer science, in which students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. 
  • Students are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. 
  • It ensures that students become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Year 7 ICT Knowledge Organiser

Year 8 ICT Knowledge Organiser

Year 9 ICT Knowledge Organiser

Year 10 ICT Knowledge Organiser

Year 11 ICT Knowledge Organiser

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: sequenced

In ICT we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall. 

KS3 (Years 7, 8 & 9) Computing is delivered through 1x 50-minute lesson per week.  We deliver an in-house curriculum that covers the new national curriculum specification for computing, including a range of different programming environments such as Scratch, Python, Flowol and Pivot animation. Students use a range of resources including those made available on Edmodo site now replaced by Google classroom site and develop skills and understanding that prepare them to progress to GCSE ICT as we are not delivering a GCSE in Computer Science at the moment. We also use Teach-ICT website.  Students will also cover all elements of e-safety and learn how to stay safe online.

Big Ideas in the Curriculum

Year 7 Curriculum Plan

Year 8 Curriculum Plan

Year 9 Curriculum Plan

Year 10 Curriculum Plan

Year 11 Curriculum Plan

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: coherent

In ICT we ensure our curriculum is coherent by the use of 5 Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the students at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

 Our Big Ideas are: 

  • Digital Literacy – The ability to competently use information and digital platforms in all areas of life, both professionally and personally. 
  • Computational Thinking – The ability to combine computer science centric, problem-solving skills to create algorithmic solutions to problems.
  • Programming – The ability to create computer programs using high level languages using universal concepts such us iteration, selection and sequencing. 
  • Data and information – The ability to discern between data and information and use data analysis on raw data to transform it into information.
  • Computer Systems and Networks – The ability to recognise and identify physical hardware, its purpose and how the various components of a computer system interact with each other.
  • E-safety – Being able to safely and responsibly use technology to ensure yourself and others are safeguarded from online harm.

ks4 qualifications

OCR Cambridge Nationals L1/L2 (J836) 

Cambridge National ICT is delivered through 3 x 50 minute lessons per week. The National award course allows students to be creative in the development of spreadsheet products and project-based learning. Learning is supported by a wide range of practical activities, ensuring that a variety of activities is offered to suit every type of learner. The course is taught through three components: 

  • IT in the digital world  
  • Data manipulation using spreadsheets  
  • Using Augmented Reality to present information  

enrichment opportunities

Opportunities to use Flowol, Scratch and Python 

progression routes

Students who successfully complete OCR Cambridge Nationals L1/L2 can go on to have a career in information technology as IT Project Management, Technical Support and Cyber Security. The BTEC Technical Award in Digital Information Technology will provide students with the opportunity to apply academic knowledge to everyday, and work, contexts. Giving students a great starting point for academic or vocational post-16 studies, and for future employment. 

Music

music CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Music is for all.  At Spires Academy this means that all students, regardless of background or ability, receive a high quality, broad and balanced music education.Students develop skills in performing, composing, improvising, listening, and evaluating. They acquire powerful knowledge of great composers and musicians, including Saint-Saens, Debussy, Louis Armstrong, and modern artists. To experience a rounded music education, students explore African Drumming, Gamelan Music, Programme Music, Reggae amongst others. Each topic is carefully spiralled to ensure that skills are revisited and developed throughout their musical education. 

spires ethos: respect, responsibility and resilience

In Music we develop respect by: 

  • Listening to each other’s opinions 
  • Using equipment sensibly 

In Music we develop responsibility by: 

  • Rehearsing and practising sensibly  
  • Attending clubs and ensembles regularly  
  • Performing in concerts and events 

In Music we develop resilience by: 

  • Having a “can do” approach 
  • Not giving up on the first go 
  • Trying your best  
  • Learning a musical instrument 
  • Learning from your mistakes 

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: inclusive

In Music we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by: 

  • Scaffold by personalising the learning based on individual student need
  •  All pupils are given opportunities whatever their age, ethnicity, attainment and background to engage in music activities. Clubs are free. 
  • Music Academy is open to all students 
  • Students embrace every musical style and genre of music. 
  • Being responsive to young people’s musicality and interests, and having an ability to draw that out to help a young person find their musical voice 
  • Explicitly teaching vocabulary to develop students’ literacy and academic confidence.

Tier 2 Vocabulary

Tier 3 Vocabulary

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: focused

In Music we identify powerful knowledge that were having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content. 

By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each unit, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference. 

We share this with students and their families using Knowledge Organisers: 

Year 7 Music Knowledge Organiser

Year 8 Music Knowledge Organiser

Year 9 Music Knowledge Organiser

Year 10 Music Knowledge Organiser

Year 11 Music Knowledge Organiser

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: sequenced

In Music we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall.

Music Curriculum Map

WHOLE SCHOOL INTENT: coherent

In Music we ensure our curriculum is coherent by the use of the Big Ideas  that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the students at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

Our Big Ideas are: 

  • Everyone Can Sing - Singing is good for the mind, body and soul. When groups come together to sing, this can be a powerful sound as well as enjoyable. We can all express ourselves through the power of song.
  • Composing Develops Creativity - Our students need to be creative, to think freely and bend the rules. Creatively composing can explore a student’s wildest ideas. The nature of creatively composing can be transferred to problem solving in other subjects.
  • The Music Industry is the largest growing industry in the UK - Artists, mathematicians, business students and ICT students could all consider a career in the music industry. Music companies need logos, accountants, business plans and someone to keep the social media and websites up and running. Exploring pathways into the music industry is fascinating.
  • Performance Builds confidence - Everyone one day has to go for that important interview. College, University and job interviews need us to present our best selves. Learning how to be confident is a vital skill students can acquire by performing music.
  • Music from different cultures helps us to understand the wider world - Students at Spires are taught to have an appreciation of music outside of their normal experiences. This allows them to understand how and why other types of music are created and heard.
  • Music Production is a digitally creative outlet - Here at Spires Academy, the students are able to work and develop their music on state-of-the-art computers and create music for film, media and video games. Students are also given the opportunity to use the recording studio to record their own songs.
  • Listening enriches the music to give deeper meaning- students are exposed to a wide range of listening material ranging from the Classical greats such as Beethoven and Mozart. Students get to question the creativity and musical interpretations of Schoenberg, Cage and Debussy. This gives students a deeper understanding of the way in which music has evolved over time. It gives them the opportunity to question what they like, challenge new genres and expand their own listening playlists. Spires teaches students how to articulate their own opinions about different musical styles and artists.  

ks4 qualifications

BTEC Tech Award in Music Practice (2022)

Component 1 Exploring Music Products and Styles  Component 2 Music Skills Development  Component 3 Responding to a Brief 
Internally assessed Internally assessed  Externally assessed 
In this component, students develop their understanding of different types of music products and the techniques used to create them. Students explore how musical elements, technology and other resources are used in the creation, production and performance of music. Students practically explore the key features of different styles of music and music theory and apply their knowledge and understanding to developing your own creative work. Developing musical skills and techniques enables students to consider their aptitude and enjoyment for music, helping them to make informed decisions about what they will study in the future. This component will help them to progress to Level 3 qualifications in music or music technology, which look at skills and techniques in more detail. Alternatively, students may want to progress to other Level 3 vocational or academic subject areas. This component will support their development of transferable skills which will support their advancement in education and employment.  Presenting music for a set brief is a key element of post-16 music qualifications and this component will enable students to establish solid foundations to help them progress to further Level 2 or Level 3 courses. Students will also develop skills in self-management, communication and presentation, which are vital to any future course of study.  
Features explored:  
  • Performing stylistically accurate cover versions.  
  • Creating original music using existing stylistic frameworks and traits. 
  •  Stylistic use of a DAW and associated hardware to create an original piece of music from a given starting point 

The biggest help you can give your child is by ensuring they listen widely to as many styles of music as they can, go to music concerts and watch live music concerts on television.

enrichment opportunities

Students can attend the following clubs: 

  • Music Tech Club 
  • Guitar Club 
  • Piano Club 
  • Samba Club 

Music Academy is by audition only and run by the Singing Coach. Opportunities to perform locally include The Beaney, Sturry Parish events, concerts and events. 

EKST Big Sing gives students who wouldn’t normally perform the chance to engage in singing across the 7-school partnership. Performance opportunities include the regional Kent Teacher of the Year Award. 

Thanet Music Festival provides students with the opportunity to showcase their musical skills and talents to a wide audience. 

progression routes

Students who successfully complete BTEC Music Practice can go on to study music at A Level. A good degree in Music can open up career pathways in: Career pathways in Education, Broadcasting, Record Companies, Sound Engineering, Copyright Law, Events Management.