Learning at Braunton Academy
CURRICULUM STATEMENT – Overview
The curriculum, in its full sense, comprises all the opportunities for learning provided by our Academy. It includes the formal programme of lessons in the timetable, the rich extracurricular activity programme and the positive climate of values, relationships, attitudes, and style of behaviour promoted in our school community.
Our shared key principles provide a coherence to our curriculum. They are at the heart of our approach to teaching and learning and they are integral to the way that we challenge, support and guide our students as they progress academically, socially and personally during their time at the academy.
THE CURRICULUM AIM – Aspire and Achieve
Our core aim is to provide the students at Braunton Academy with a curriculum which offers them a rich learning experience which will help to develop their personal, social and academic skills for a happy and prosperous future in the modern world. We have high expectations of all our students in all aspects of their learning and encourage them to fulfil our school motto of "Aspire and Achieve".
To achieve this, we provide:
A curriculum that builds on the learning of KS1 and KS2 through close transition liaison.
A wide variety of subjects for students to study in our three-year Key Stage 3 programme.
A Key Stage 4 curriculum that supports individual pathways of learning across a broad range of subjects.
Well-constructed schemes of work that provide depth and rigour in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding in each subject.
A formative and summative assessment programme that informs teaching and learning and student progress.
A wide range of curriculum enrichment activities and extra-curricular opportunities.
Opportunities for students to develop independence, resilience and perseverance through our daily Independent Study programme.
A focus on the personal, learning and thinking skills required for students to transfer ‘soft skills’ across the curriculum.
An explicit focus on the literacy and numeracy demands placed on students across the curriculum.
Support and guidance for students of all abilities and backgrounds throughout their education with us through our pastoral structures, ALN support and wider curriculum.
A clear and coherent programme of personal, social, health and economic education.
Key Stage 3: Years 7 - 9
The programme of study in Key Stage 3 is designed to provide students with challenging and stimulating knowledge, skills and understanding in all the National Curriculum subject areas. Subject leaders have identified key constructs for study and have designed schemes of work in which these constructs are revisited in new contexts year on year. The ‘mastering’ of these constructs provides the basis for formative assessments throughout the Key Stage.
English – Mathematics - Science - History - Geography - Beliefs and Values - French - German - Design & Technology
Art & Design - Drama - Music - Computing - Physical Education - PSHEE
Students are taught in all-ability groups in Key Stage 3, except in Mathematics. There is some setting in Science in Year 9 within two bands.
Key Stage 4 (GCSE and Equivalent Courses): Years 10 - 11
At KS4 the Academy is able to offer a good range of GCSE or equivalent courses. Where possible and appropriate, some students engage in vocational studies at Petroc College or extended work-related learning as part of their KS4 programme. A full programme of Careers, Advice and Guidance is provided for students before they make their choices for KS4 Pathways in line with their future education and career aspirations. Most students will study 9 GCSE subjects with some able mathematicians studying 10 GCSEs.
English Language GCSE - English Literature GCSE - Mathematics GCSE – Triple Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) or Combined Sciences (Synergy) – Core Physical Education – Core Religious Education - PSHEE.
Geography GCSE - History GCSE - Religious Studies GCSE - Physical Education GCSE - Art & Design GCSE - Drama GCSE - Music GCSE - French GCSE - German GCSE - Design & Technology GCSE - Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE - Computer Science GCSE - Health and Social Care OCR National Level 2 - Business and Enterprise OCR National Level 2 - Statistics GCSE.
Students are set in Mathematics and Science and one high attaining group is identified in English. Decisions about sets are made using assessment data which is regularly reviewed.
Several students also pursue additional GCSEs either independently or through extra-curricular courses. Recently, these courses have included: Spanish, Polish, Italian and Additional Mathematics.
The Formal Curriculum
Our formal curriculum is delivered using the three elements of the 21st Century Trivium model. Lessons and home learning will focus on the delivery of the subject grammar by the teacher; the exploration of the new learning by the students supported by the teacher in the dialectic phase of the learning and then the independent, rhetoric, phase in which students demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding. This equips our students with the ability to think about and apply their learning in a range of new and challenging contexts.
We operate a mastery curriculum model at KS3 with key concepts in each subject having been identified by subject teams. Progress towards the mastery of these concepts is tracked through both formative and summative assessments. The key concepts are those that are integral to success in each subject at GCSE and beyond. In this sense our curriculum is a five-year model with students building and refining their grasp of the key concepts year on year.
We encourage our students to actively be able aware of the significance of developing a range of personal, learning and thinking skills in their formal curriculum. They are encouraged to become good team-workers, active participators, creative thinkers, self-managers, reflective learners and independent enquirers. The last three are all key components of daily Independent Study which takes place in period 6.
Independent Study (Period 6)
“Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish you feed him for life.”
The above maxim is our guiding principle for our Independent Study period each day. Our commitment is to help students to develop the skills and attributes of an independent learner and thinker so that they can best face the challenges with which they are presented. This curriculum initiative promotes the following outcomes:
Opportunities for students to plan and manage their own learning and to complete that work independently.
Time for reflection on the lessons of the day to identify strengths and weaknesses.
Opportunities for cognitive and meta-cognitive thinking.
Development of a regular reading habit.
Valuable revision and learning time.
A time for quietness to promote well-being.
Opportunities for bespoke interventions to take place in the school day.
Strategies for effective learning are embedded across the curriculum and can applied independently by students in this study period.