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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
  • Child Development
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Film Studies
  • Health & Social Care
  • ICT
  • Music

Art

ART CURRICULUM STATEMENT 

At Spires Academy, we believe that Art, above all, should be a creative and inspiring subject. Our students study a wide range of historic and modern artists and are immersed in a variety of works from Giacometti, Van Gogh, Dali, Warhol, Basquet and Mr Brainwash, to name just a few.

We aim to provide our students with the knowledge of ground-breaking Art mediums and careers available to them. It is important to include in our lessons, life skills such as oracy, which is used in the analysis of various works of Art and helps them describe and explain within their own lives. Other ways in which we inspire in Art is through our links to great cultural capital such as using our partners in local Art colleges, Universities and Galleries to give the students immersive Art experiences.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful knowledge in Art

  • Understanding the unique qualities of different materials and processes and be able to exploit these within the studio and practical activities.
  • To engage with the contemporary in Art – in doing so, seeing beyond the analytical and realistic and considering /exploring the conceptual.
  • How to question visual language and support opinions with credible examples and responses.
  • An understanding of the main Art theories and Formal elements used within Art.
  • Explore key Art pieces and develop skills in analysing and expressing opinions using artistic terminology and vocabulary.

Students will also develop resilience.  Art does not deliver instant results like some aspects of modern life can do. It teaches our students that hard work and failures can become good and satisfying results in the end.

Curriculum Features

  • Students will learn some new and more advanced skills and techniques through exploration into different mediums.
  • As they form Art portfolios for assessment, the curriculum structure aims to widen, improve and refine students’ skills.
  • We develop the use of visual language by seeing, understanding, questioning and practising.
  • Confidence is developed in oracy, while forming opinions and an understanding of Art and Design throughout history and in today’s society.
  • The Art curriculum is critical and contextual at its core. Artists, craftspeople and designers are used to underpin practical tasks to support, develop and allow students to question.
  • Pupils investigate ideas through visual language and the fundamental formal elements used to develop Art and Design pieces.
  • Techniques, materials and ideas are explored alongside Artist research.
  • The ability to draw underpins much of what we do at Spires Academy, this also strengthens the pupils’ confidence.

Curriculum enrichment

Opportunities through:

  • East Kent Schools Together
  • Turner Contemporary Gallery and TATE for cultural capital
  • Kent University, Canterbury School of Visual Arts and University of Creative Arts to help support and run immersive Art experiences and further education needs

Art and Design Curriculum Map

BTEC Tech Award in Art Specification

Business

BUSINESS CURRICULUM STATEMENT

All businesses need enterprising employees to push their organisations forward, to have ideas and initiatives to prompt growth, and to ensure that businesses survive in this fast-changing world.  Enterprise skills provide a fantastic progression pathway into a number of roles in an organisation and are transferable into all businesses.  Spires Academy offers the Business and Enterprise course as it prepares students for the competitive world of employment.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful Knowledge in Business

  • Students will develop their technical skills, such as market research skills, planning, promotional and financial skills using realistic work scenarios, and personal skills, through a practical and skills-based approach to learning and assessment.
  • Students will have the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on the knowledge, understanding and skills required to research, plan, pitch and review an enterprise idea.
  • Students will develop a variety of key skills that show ability in planning an enterprise activity, including market research, planning, carrying out financial transactions, communication and problem solving.
  • Students will develop knowledge that strengthens effective use of skills, such as the features and characteristics of enterprises and entrepreneurs, and the internal and external factors that can affect the performance of an enterprise
  • Students are able to learn respect through a learning environment that fosters equality and cooperation, as opposed to competition.
  • Students are able to learn resilience through encountering difficult and challenging situations such as pitching to a panel of judges and receiving constructive feedback.
  • Students learn responsibility through strict deadlines for all tasks set. Responsibility is also learned through group work and presentations which count towards final grades.

Curriculum Features

Students will:

  • examine different local enterprises to develop their knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of enterprises and the skills needed by entrepreneurs
  • select an idea for a micro-enterprise activity to plan and pitch. They will pitch their business plan for their idea to an audience using feedback to review their plan and pitch
  • explore different promotional methods used by enterprises and the factors that influence how enterprises identify and target their market
  • explore financial documents and how to use them to monitor and improve the performance of an enterprise in order to make decisions and recommend strategies for success

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Students have the opportunity to take part in a ‘Business of Enterprise’ competition run by ‘Education Business Partnership National’.
  • Students are invited to take part in a Dragon’s Den style competition at Canterbury Christ Church University in partnership with East Kent Schools together.

 

Business Curriculum Map

BTEC Tech Award in Business Specification (Year 11)

Child Development

CHILD DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM STATEMENT

The early years sector focuses on the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years. In the UK, there are approximately 2 million childcare places for children aged under five and many different types of early years settings, ranging from childminders and nannies, to nurseries, crèches and preschools. Knowledge of child development is also important in a variety of healthcare roles such as paediatricians, psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.  Spires Academy is proud to prepare students to work in this sector by offering this course.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful Knowledge in Child Development

This subject gives learners the opportunity to develop applied knowledge and understanding of child development and growth up to the age of five, how children learn through play and how meeting the needs of individual children will support their development, play and learning.  In a practical learning environment, students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and technical skills in the following areas:

  • the characteristics of children’s development from birth up to five years
  • factors that affect growth and development
  • the importance of play
  • how play promotes children’s learning and development
  • reasons why children may need support
  • child-friendly environments to support play, learning and development in children from birth to five years old
  • supporting all children to learn and develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and adapting activities to support children’s play, learning and development

Students will develop:

  • their sense of responsibility when meeting the needs of all children
  • respect for all individuals regardless of circumstance and their right to be treated fairly

Curriculum Features

Component 1

Students will develop knowledge and understanding of children’s growth and development across five areas of development – physical, intellectual, communication and language, social, and emotional.  They will develop transferable skills, such as research skills and written communication skills.

Component 2

Students will look at the different stages of play that children experience between birth and five years old and how play can be structured by adults to encourage and influence learning.  They will develop the theoretical and practical skills to plan activities that encourage children to learn and develop. Being confident in planning and carrying out play activities that benefit children’s learning and development is a highly regarded skill in the early years sector.

Component 3

Students will investigate how a child learns and develops and adapt activities to support the inclusion of all children in play for learning and development.  They will learn how to work with and plan activities for children with individual needs.

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Visits from parents of children with learning difficulties and disabilities
  • Visiting play groups / nurseries and outdoor play areas

Child Development Curriculum Map

BTEC Tech Award in Child Development Specification

Dance

DANCE CURRICULUM STATEMENT

The performing arts are a major part of the creative and cultural industries in the UK. Overall, the industry contributes £3.5 billion to the UK economy. There are 5,480 businesses and 101,593 people working in the performing arts sector.  For this reason, we believe it to be an important choice for students at Spires Academy to open up this area of employment.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful Knowledge in Dance

The subject gives students the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:

  • development of key skills that prove your aptitude in Performing Arts, such as reproducing repertoire or responding to stimuli
  • process that underpins effective ways of working in the Performing Arts, such as development of ideas, rehearsal and performance
  • attitudes that are considered most important in the Performing Arts, including personal management and communication
  • knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as roles, responsibilities, performance disciplines and styles.

Students will develop:

  • resilience through audition practice in preparation for job interviews
  • respect of each other’s creative voices
  • responsibility when working as a team to develop performanceCurriculum Features

Component 1

Students will broaden their knowledge through observing existing repertoire and by learning about the approaches of practitioners and how they create and influence performance material. It will give students an understanding of practitioners’ work and the processes and practices that contribute to a range of performance styles.

Component 2

Students will communicate intentions to an audience. They will take part in workshops and classes where they will develop technical, practical and interpretative skills through the rehearsal and performance process.

Component 3

The opportunity to respond to a brief. Students will be given a brief that outlines the performance and design requirements and asks them to consider their target audience and to start the creative process by using the given stimulus.

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Dance Academies
  • Workshops with visiting artists and companies e.g. Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company, Rosie Kay Dance Company, Motion Alpha Dance Company. Stop Gap Dance Company
  • Performance opportunities both in school and externally at The Marlowe Theatre, The Leas Cliff Hall, The Gulbenkian, The Brook Theatre
  • Other opportunities include working with Matthew Bourne, The Marlowe Dance Company and The Gulbenkian Dance Company
  • Leading workshops and performances within the community e.g. local Primary Schools such as Hoath Primary School, St Eanswyth’s Primary School

Dance Curriculum Map

BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts (Dance) Specification

Drama

DRAMA CURRICULUM STATEMENT

At Spires Academy, we believe that Drama is underpinned by the moral, intellectual, civic and performance virtues which enables students to develop character in a creative and explorative manner.  Oracy is a key factor within the Drama curriculum as students are asked to assess each other’s work using subject specific vocabulary. The repetition of such a task allows our students to become confident communicators that will equip them with transferable skills in preparation for the world of work.

The essence of Drama is to develop the students’ understanding and knowledge of subject specific techniques as well as nurture students’ confidence, communication, cooperation, concentration and performance skills; through the exploration of a broad range of PSHE issues and themes. Students also explore a range of theatre styles and practitioners in preparation for the BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts (Acting). As well as devising their own performance material, students look at scripted plays and scene extracts alongside the work of theatre practitioners.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful Knowledge in Drama

Students will develop their knowledge of how to use and create work using the following conventions:

  • Techniques (Split Scene, Thought Tracking, Freeze Frame, Conscience Alley, Montage)
  • Movement (Proxemics, marking the moment, physical theatre, slow motion, ritualistic movement)
  • Voice (narration as characters, volume and projection, accent and dialect, applying voice to a character, vocal sound)
  • Characterisation (contrasting characters, status and background, naturalistic/non-naturalistic techniques)

Students will also develop:

  • respect towards each other during the rehearsals and performance
  • responsibility for their own actions and their group performances
  • resilience will be taught by providing and receiving peer feedback on performance

Curriculum Features

The Drama curriculum is structured based on the components and concepts required by the BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts Acting and filtered down to all years.  The components are: Exploring the Performing Arts, Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts and Responding to a Brief.  This means that students:

  • understand the requirements of being an actor across a range of performances and performance styles by observing existing repertoire and learning about the approaches of practitioners, and how they create and influence performance material
  • develop their performing skills and techniques by taking part in workshops and classes where you will develop technical, practical and interpretative skills through the rehearsal and performance process. Students will work from existing performing arts repertoire, applying relevant skills and techniques to reproduce performance of the work.
  • will be given a brief that outlines the performance requirements and that asks them to consider a target audience and to start the creative process by using the given stimulus included in the brief. Working as part of a group, students will develop ideas for a workshop performance and apply their skills and techniques to communicate their creative intentions to an audience.

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Theatre trips to develop a broader understanding of theatre styles, practitioners and repertoire.
  • Access to recordings of live theatre performances.
  • Acting Academy for the more gifted students.
  • Part of the RSC Associate Schools Programme.
  • Opportunity to perform in the two whole school productions each year.

Drama Curriculum Map

Film Studies 

FILM STUDIES CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Film Studies aims to draw on learners' enthusiasm for film and introduce them to a wide variety of cinematic experiences through films which have been important in the development of film and film technology. Students develop their knowledge of US mainstream film by studying one film from the 1950s and one film from the later 70s and 80s, thus looking at two stages in Hollywood's development. In addition, they will be studying recent films including US independent film and films from Europe, UK, South Africa and Australia.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful knowledge in Film Studies

  • Students develop a lifelong love of cinema and are willing to take risks and be adventurous in their own film viewing.
  • Cultural capital with a view to critically acclaimed films and concepts relating to film.
  • Students that are confident to respect and discuss films both verbally and in writing.
  • Students who have a deeper respect of other time periods, other cultures/attitudes/viewpoints.
  • Ability to critique classic and modern films using selective film vocabulary with confidence
  • Understand critically claimed films that they would otherwise not watch.
  • Students who have useful life skills and resilience that will enable them to take their next steps, either in higher education or the world of work.

Curriculum Features

  • Analysis of a wide range of Films ranging from 1950s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” to present day films such as "Attack the Block”.  
  • Theoretical framework which includes mise-en-scene, cinematography, sound and editing.
  • Research, planning and production of a shooting script in a specific genre.

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Trip to BBC London
  • Trips to the cinema

 

Film Studies Curriculum Map

GCSE Film Studies Specification

Health & Social Care

HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE CURRICULUM STATEMENT

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 nearly 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.  Individuals working in the health and social care industry have a positive impact on the people they care for and make a massive contribution to the communities we live in. The Health and Social Care course provides a practical, real-world approach to learning and develops specific knowledge and skills learners need to work successfully in the care industry. Spires Academy is proud to prepare students to work in this sector by offering this course.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

a) Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve

b) Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives

c) Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful knowledge in Health & Social Care

  • In the first year students will follow a foundation programme.  Students will develop their own communication skills and understand how they are used effectively in health and social care.  This will form the framework of knowledge and skills that support future learning
  • Skills and processes, such as interpreting data to assess an individual’s health and designing a plan to improve health and wellbeing
  • Attitudes, namely the care values that are vitally important in the sector, and the opportunity to practise applying them
  • Skills processes and attitudes, including human growth and development, health and social care services, and factors affecting people’s health and wellbeing.

Students will develop:

  • Respect by interacting with individuals of different life stages and applying communication skills
  • Resilience by developing strategies to relate real life situations to examination questions
  • Responsibility by managing their time and deadlines throughout the course

Curriculum features

As they prepare for their BTEC Level 2 Technical Award, the curriculum structure aims to improve student retention of knowledge through internal assessments designed to relate to achievement of application of the conceptual underpinning for the sector through realistic tasks and activities.  This style of assessment promotes deep learning through ensuring the connection between knowledge and practice.

Curriculum enrichment

  • Debating and discussing important issues relating to health and social care.
  • Frequent visits to Age UK to form relationships with older adults and developing essential communication skills.
  • Arranging activities within school for service users with complex needs in order to demonstrate care values in practice.

Health & Social Care Curriculum Map

BTEC Tech Award in Health & Social Care Specification

ICT

ICT CURRICULUM STATEMENT

At Spires Academy, students have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of computer programmes used in business and the creative sector and learn the importance of e-safety and the rise of cyber-crime in society.  In our fast-paced, online world, there are many exciting opportunities in information technology, requiring a broad range of skills, such as literacy, numeracy, technical, creativity, problem solving and team working skills. We aim to provide a practical, real-world approach to learning and develop the specific knowledge and skills students need to work successfully in the industry.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful Knowledge in ICT

  • The ability to abstract and decompose a problem to produce a solution through thorough investigation.
  • An understanding of how the hardware within a computer functions, removing the ‘black box’ nature of technology.
  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
  • Analyse problems in computational terms and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
  • Evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
  • Students are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

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.

Curriculum Features

  • 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.

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Opportunities to use Flowol, Scratch and Python

 

ICT Curriculum Map

TEC Information and Creative Technology Specification

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 study a wide range of great composers and musicians, including Saint-Saens, Debussy, Louis Armstrong and modern artists. In order to experience a rounded music education, students explore African Drumming, Gamelan Music, Programme Music, Reggae amongst others. Singing is at the heart of every foundation lesson to embed a singing culture, building on prior experience. Singing is also vital for well-being and mental health. Students are taught BTEC Tech Award in Music. They follow this pathway as it is a practically led course which suits the practical nature of students at Spires Academy. By following the BTEC route, students develop a deeper insight into music from the 1960s to present day. Ensemble and composition skills are built upon at this stage in their learning journey.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful Knowledge in Music

  • Build personal skills that students can draw upon to succeed, not only in music lessons, but also beyond school life and in future employment.
  • The life skills that are developed are an integral part of the development of the subject specific skills, as well as creating well-rounded individuals.
  • Problem solving, perseverance, diligence, teamwork, time management, organisation, responsibility, cultural history, listening skills, confidence, social skills, discipline, self-evaluation, interpersonal skills, sense of achievement.
  • Opportunities are embedded for students to be able to hone and develop the practical aspects of performance and composition, but equally important is the ability to understand how the development of life skills, such as confidence, self-awareness, perseverance and discipline give them a holistic experience that they can take beyond their musical studies.

Curriculum Features

  • Key concepts and skills required by the end of the current BTEC Music requirements are fed down into schemes of work from the start of the learning journey.
  • Raises expectations and standards to develop respect and resilience in the music classroom.
  • Ensures musical knowledge is understood both practically and theoretically.
  • Students study a variety of musical genres, (historical and cultural) and explore, develop and refine their musical skills.
  • A Musical Futures approach is adopted to help promote a more practical, responsible approach where appropriate.
  • Focus on performing, composing and listening skills, students will build on these concepts, enabling them to build and advance their knowledge and skill set further as they progress through their learning journey.

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Music Academy
  • Spires’ Folk Group
  • EKST Singers Programme
  • Music Tech Club
  • Subsidised peripatetic tuition for students studying BTEC Music and Music Academy members

 

Music Curriculum Map

BTEC Tech Award in Music Specification