Intent

Our vision is to deliver an authentic education for the 21st century for young people from the age of 11 -18. The aim of our curriculum is to ensure that all students develop a passion for learning and achieve high levels of academic success in a broad range of subjects. We believe that our curriculum should equip our young people with the knowledge and skills required to play an active and successful role in today’s highly competitive and fast-changing world.

Whilst our curriculum allows for the development of the knowledge, skills and qualifications required for success in the globalised world of today, it also aims to encourage creativity, celebrate diversity and link with the cultural experiences and employment opportunities of our local community.

Wykham Park Academy’s curriculum aims to:

  • Ensure a broad curriculum coverage
  • Develop an ambitious, knowledge-rich curriculum through both single discipline and transdisciplinary learning
  • Ensure that knowledge acquisition is enhanced through being applied to real-life situations and problems
  • Ensure that all learning is challenging and engaging
  • Develop transferrable future skills through the application of knowledge into actions for success.
  • Ensure high rates of progress for all students.
  • Promote teacher planning that is integral to the success of the curriculum and also manageable.

Wykham Park Academy shares a common philosophy with other schools in the Aspirations Trust. There are three guiding principles that all Aspirations Academies adhere to, which are therefore central to our curriculum planning. These are:

  • Self-worth
  • Engagement
  • Purpose

We will also ensure that the following Core Principles clearly feature in every element of the academy’s curriculum planning.

  • High Expectations – Being the very best you can be in your school and community
  • Opportunity – Matching your interests with activities that will help you to leave school well-rounded and confident
  • Challenge – Making your learning exciting and relevant to the real world
  • Talent Development – Enhancing your natural strengths and abilities so you thrive in school and beyond
  • Innovation and Enterprise – Supporting your creativity by encouraging you to ask ‘Why?’ and ‘Why not?’
  • Makers and Creators – Being a creator, not just a consumer, of technology in our digital world
  • Global – Having the cultural awareness needed to communicate in our interconnected world
  • Employability – Equipping you with the skills and abilities you’ll need to excel in our ever-changing world
  • With Big Dreams and Hard Work – Aspirations means to dream about the future while being inspired in the present to reach those dreams.

Our curriculum has been developed to meet the needs of students so that they have both embodied and institutional cultural capital with Employability and Future Skills as the centerpiece of our educational provision. We see these skills as being:

  • Resilience
  • Cross-cultural competency
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creative and adaptive thinking
  • Cognitive load management
  • Sense-making
  • Media literacy
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Productivity and accountability

 

The No Limits Curriculum chart

 

Implementation of the curriculum

At Wykham Park Academy, we view curriculum implementation as the provision, design and pedagogic practices which lead to successful impact upon students’ achievement.  For the intent and implementation for individual subjects, as well as detail of knowledge and concepts, and associated skill delivery and assessment please see subject pages.

Our curriculum is designed as a 3-year Key Stage 3 and 2-year Key stage 4, which we believe provides students with the time and space to gain secure understanding of a broad and coherent knowledge and skills base. As an academy, we follow the national curriculum, with personal development   (which includes PSHE, RSE and careers and economic education) and RE/Ethics being delivered through drop down days and during mentor time.  ICT/computing being delivered through assignments in Y7 and Y8 ATL lessons, and in dedicated timetabled lessons.

Through curriculum provision, our subject leaders plan sequenced units of learning which build a secure and substantive, powerful knowledge.  Curriculum provision is mapped across the year and between the year groups, and is planned for progression, challenge and coherence. The provision is mapped for powerful knowledge (Mary Myatt) and for development of skills, both subject-specific and metacognitive.

Through lesson delivery, our teachers plan lessons which are sequenced and coherent within the planned provision across the year. Lessons build on prior learning and provide challenge to deepen understanding alongside cumulative knowledge. As an Academy which utilises research evidence to inform practice, we have garnered information from a variety of sources such as the Education Endowment Foundation, as well as integrated approaches from Doug Lemov – Teach like a Champion strategies, the Accelerated Learning Cycle and Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction via Tom Sherrington, to develop our pedagogic practice. We focus upon 5 key practices during our lessons, they are: challenge, questioning, engagement, AfL, scaffolding, to secure this best practice. As a result, you will see in our lessons: a recap of prior learning; sharing of the big picture and learning intentions; guided practice, which ensures that new material is presented in small steps with student practice, with modelling of concepts and for metacognition, as well as high levels of questioning and strategies to facilitate an alteration in long term memory to secure retention for later application; independent practice of high challenge and applied knowledge and skills, which is monitored, questioned and scaffolded for difficult tasks; and a review and reflect period for consolidation and assessment. Students’ books will show evidence of levels of challenge, high quality provision, which meets the aims of the curriculum and demonstrates progress over time. Pupils with SEND and disadvantaged students will encounter the same challenging content and skill development, with our teachers to personalise support to meet their needs as necessary.

Through skill development, as an academy we are committed to developing the skills that students will need to be successful for the next stage of their education of employment and beyond.  Therefore, we explicitly teach skills development in relation to futures skills in the No Limits Curriculum in Year 7, Year 8 and  Year 12, plus subject specific skills as identified by subject teams.  We believe that in order to develop individuals to be successful in the 21st century, students need to develop the ability to build on their curiosity; to become creative, resilient and independent self-regulatory learners and that metacognitive skill development is key, as embodied in the futures skills.  As well as the No limits future skills in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 12, we are placing a lens over the skills that 1. facilitate an alteration in long term memory – memorization – to become more effective at retaining key concepts in order to be more able to apply knowledge, 2. respond to modelling which is focused upon metacognitive narratives/thinking linking to cues, to develop critical thinking practices and 3. plan, monitor and evaluate skills to be able to assess their learning in order to become more resilient and self-regulatory learners.

Through homework, our students will be confident independent learners, who are curious and ambitious in their independent study of subjects. They are set challenging homework that consolidate learning and further develops the skills taught in subjects, focuses on the development of literacy and numeracy skills and encourages their independent learning. Year 7 to Year 10 are set reading tasks every week that challenge students and prepare them for the demands of reading at GCSE level. They also set creative projects that develop their love of learning and promote the development of a range of skills. Year 9, 10 and 11 students will be set subject homework tasks every week that support students in developing necessary examination skills and secure their knowledge of the subjects studied. All students in Years 7-11 will also complete Hegarty Maths tasks every week to ensure they are further embed key concepts in their long-term memory.

Through assessment, our assessments are regular, rigorous and robust.  We moderate in departments after each data capture for each year group, for both professional development purposes and accuracy of assessment.  Assessments are used to check understanding and to plan for next steps in terms of intervention and teaching, and are subsequently scrutinsed by departments and SLT. Our assessments are based on cumulative knowledge, in that knowledge or skills from previous units of learning are assessed in later assessments, and cumulative in themselves.

Through professional development, our staff body participates in professional development which is based around universal, targeted and specialist provision. Our professional development universal offer is through Collaborative Learning Communities (CLC) and peer coaching triads. CLC groups are led by peers, the topics are driven by the staff body who also choose which sessions they go to (a carousel model with a number of topics or become expert in one topic throughout the year). We are focused on the development of pedagogic practices of: metacognition and modelling; challenge and thinking hard; memorisation; collaborative learning. Members of staff conduct peer drop-ins and coaching based on the strategy being worked on so that we develop excellent practice. We are also working in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University on a Co-Enquiry group to drive forward peer and coaching approaches to professional development. Targeted professional development occurs through coaching after monitoring practices but also occurs during department meetings. This is where expert subject knowledge is developed in relation to the curriculum. Here expert practice is shared, which is both outward and inward looking, moderation activities are facilitated, subject specific gaps are identified, and a focus upon collaborative planning occurs. These sessions are regularly scheduled for teams of staff. Subject specific expert knowledge focuses upon the next sessions in the units of learning, best approaches, common misconceptions, key language development and associated assessments and ensures progression across the curriculum. Iris video tool is a key part in developing professional expertise at Wykham Park.

Through personal development– our teachers deliver RSE, economic careers and guidance education, Physical health and mental well-being and British values.  We deliver content and skills through a weekly mentor time session and over 5 dedicated drop-down days focusing on these areas in depth (however, during the covid pandemic, this will be delivered through drop everything and teach personal development /ethics).  During mentor time we use the PIXL resources focusing upon well-being, them and us, orate and LORIC.  RE/Ethics is mapped into personal development days and drop-down days.  The delivery is an integrated approach with outside speakers, visits out, students’ participation and parental engagement.  Our careers education is fully compliant with Gatsby benchmark expectations, as exemplified by our performance on the compass self-audit tool (see employability section on the website).

Through enrichment, we believe that both embodied and institutionalized cultural capital are fundamental to the curriculum.  We recognise the formal curriculum in securing institutional cultural capital or currency, but we ensure that students, regardless of ability or disadvantage, are developing their embodied cultural capital through a variety of experiences which are both related directly to the subject and integrated into planning units of learning, as well as whole school activities from Aspirations weeks to work experience to Duke of Edinburgh to visits abroad.  We believe this is an entitlement and we track those who participate in those activities on offer and analyse by gender, pupils with SEND and disadvantaged students. Opportunity for further extracurricular activity happens regularly during the week after school, as list of which can be found at the end of this document.

Impact

At Wykham Park Academy, we believe that a well thought out curriculum, which meets the needs of all students, should lead to at least good results reflecting what has been learned.

The impact of the curriculum is evaluated through the following measures:

  • The percentage of students who achieve at least expected academic progress and high levels of attainment in national assessments and examinations (GCSE and GCE A level)
  • Progress and attainment of current students
  • Reading Test data
  • ‘Cultural Capital’ for disadvantaged and students with SEND
  • The range of high level 21st century skills developed by students
  • Destinations data – The percentage of students entering employment or higher levels of study
  • The percentage of learning that is challenging and engaging
  • Attendance data
  • The percentage of students engaging in enrichment activities
  • Student Voice

 

Curriculum Content

The curriculum incorporates the national curriculum 2014 statutory requirements and Department of Education guidance. Supplementary, the curriculum of the school reflects the local context and development needs of students.

Presently, Aspirations Academies Trust has introduced an exciting and creative curriculum which means the way the curriculum is implemented is two-fold:

  1. The ‘No limits: Curriculum for success in the 21st century’ is being developed and will be introduced in all Aspirations Academies in September 2019, initially in Years 4, 7 and 12. The intention is that the main features of this curriculum will eventually inform a common curriculum approach from the ages of 4 to 18. The expectation is that each academy will follow the collective curriculum outlines and philosophy whilst also putting its own personal and local stamp on their own curriculum which meets the needs of their particular body of students. The shared, collective curriculum will enable sufficient commonality of subjects, topics and assignments to enable cross-Trust moderation and raising of standards.
  2. Currently in the other year groups (not 4, 7 and 12) the curriculum is unique to each academy. In the primary phase there is some commonality in that the focus is on English, maths and the Aspirations (creative) curriculum, whilst in the secondary phase there has been a move towards using the same GCSE and A level subject specifications in order to drive the curriculum across all year groups. The National Curriculum forms the basis of the curriculum plan in all Aspirations Academies. The knowledge and skills development required in each subject are carefully sequenced and mapped out within each year group and across each Key stage. As a Multi-Academy Trust that educates children from the age of 2 to 18, we also ensure that there is clear sequencing and progression of knowledge and skills between each Key Stage so there is a clear progression pathway.

 

NO LIMITS Y7 and Y8

In order to ensure the development of a curriculum that ensures a depth of knowledge, the application of knowledge and the development of future skills, the central feature of the ‘No Limits’ model is the development of a curriculum that fully embraces both single-discipline learning (CORE) and trans-discipline learning (APPLIED). Both have a place in the curriculum. The CORE learning sessions occur both as regular timetabled single-discipline learning sessions as well as during the ATL assignment sessions as specific knowledge workshops. The APPLIED Trans-discipline Learning (ATL) assignments combine several subjects and run from 3 to 11 weeks in length for at least 2 hours most days for up to 6 hours a week. These assignments are designed to apply CORE learning to real-world situations across different domains to ensure student learning is relevant, engaging and challenging. The curriculum structure:

  • Core learning (single discipline subjects): English, Maths, Science (single sciences), Computer Science, MFL, Art and Design, Geography, History.
  • Transdisciplinary learning: Incorporating a combination of the following subjects: English, Maths, Science (single sciences), Computer Science, Citizenship, MFL, Art and Design, Geography, History.
  • Performance: PE*, Music, Drama and Dance
  • Assessment, Presentation and Personal Education (APP) weeks: The presentation of high quality transdisciplinary subject assignment, assessment of all core subjects, PSHEE*, sex education*, food education*, citizenship* and Religious Education.

 

ATL Model diagram

 

Key Stage 3 – Single disciplinary Subjects

 Compulsory national curriculum subjects are:

For details of these courses please see subject pages – hyperlinked above

Typical hours per week for Y7 and Y8

Example of a regular timetable

Key Stage 4 for details of these courses please see subject pages – hyperlinked below

Subjects Hours per week
English 5
Maths 4
Science combined / separate 4/7
MFL French / Spanish 3
PE 1
3 Options from 3
art, computer science, drama, history, PE, business studies, geography, media studies, music, DT, food, travel and Tourism

 

Sixth Form for details of these courses please see subject pages – hyperlinked below

Subjects Hours per week
Biology, chemistry, physics 4
English literature and language, literature 4
Maths, further maths 4
Geography, history 4
Psychology, sociology, law 4
Computer science, engineering 4
Health and social care 4
Art /photography 4
Performing Arts 4
ATL/AED (Y12) 5
EPQ (y13) 2

 

Extracurricular

For a full range of our extra-curricular provision please follow link here.

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