Curriculum Policy

 

  1. Introduction
  • Koru Independent AP Academy is a learning environment at the heart of its community. We promote care and respect and expect high standards in all aspects of Academy life.
  • Our aim is to meet the needs of young people by preparing them for adult and working life in the 21st century.

1.3 The educational vision and curriculum design for Koru Independent AP Academy recognises that:

  • The world of work for our young people will be very different to the world of today
  • The pace of change is increasing, hence the importance for flexibility.
  • Young people have, and will have increasingly, greater access to information and learning material independently of school.
  • The current curriculum defined in subject terms is not always well suited to equipping every young person with the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need for a fulfilling adult life.
  • Curriculum delivery should involve a greater use of adults other than teachers. These could include support staff, graduates, artists, sports people and people from industry and business to support curriculum delivery.

Koru’s curriculum policy is based on the following aims, to:

  • Have students at its heart, putting their interests above those of the institution.
  • Have a curriculum that is fit for purpose, offering differentiation and personalisation.
  • Be a centre of excellence in learning and teaching.
  • Prepare all students for a successful adult and working life in a 21st century global society.
  • First achieve and then exceed national standards in achievement, attainment and progression.
  • Be committed to excellence and continuous improvement.
  • Value vocational and academic routes equally.
  • Nurture the talents of all and celebrate success.
  • Work with schools to ease transition.
  • Involve the community.
  • Involve parents/carers.
  • Be in a learning environment that is above all else inspiring.
  1. Curriculum Aims

2.1 The curriculum should inspire and challenge all learners and prepare them for the future. The academy’s aim is to develop a coherent curriculum that builds on young people’s experiences in the mainstream school and that helps all young people to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.

2.2 Specifically, the curriculum should help young people to:

  • Achieve high standards and make good progress.
  • Enable those not achieving age-related expectations to narrow the gap and catch up with their peers.
  • Move towards enabling students to more easily progress based on ability not age and to be able to enter students for public examinations when they are ready rather than dictated by age.
  • Have and be able to use high quality personal, learning and thinking skills (plots) and become independent learners.
  • Have and be able to use high quality functional skills, including key literacy, numeracy and ICT skills.
  • Be challenged and stretched to achieve their potential.
  • Enjoy and be committed to learning.
  • Value their learning outside of the curriculum and relate to the taught curriculum.
  1. The curriculum outcomes

3.1 Our curriculum will:

  • Lead to qualifications that are of worth for employers and for entry to College or Apprenticeships.
  • Fulfil statutory requirements.
  • Enable students to fulfil their potential.
  • Meet the needs of young people of all abilities at the academy.
  • Provide equal access for all students to a full range of learning experiences beyond statutory guidelines.
  • Prepare students to make informed and appropriate choices at the end of KS3, KS4 and beyond.
  • Help students develop lively, enquiring minds, an ability to question and argue rationally and an ability to apply themselves to tasks and physical skills.
  • Include the following characteristics: breadth, balance, relevance, differentiation, progression, continuity and coherence.
  • Ensure continuity and progression within the academy and between phases of education, increasing students’ choice during their academy career.
  • Foster teaching styles which will offer and encourage a variety of relevant learning opportunities.
  • Help students to use language and number effectively.
  • Help students develop personal moral values, respect for religious values and tolerance of other races’ beliefs and ways of life.
  • Help students understand the world in which they live.
  • Develop a specific curriculum for key stage 3 (years 7 and 8) which will focus on the core skills of numeracy and literacy and develop the personal, learning and thinking skills of all students. This curriculum will also enable young people who have previously found access to mainstream school difficult, to re-engage with mainstream education and remain there.
  • Design a key stage 4 curriculum which meets the needs of students, parents and wider society.
  • Benefit other secondary and schools in the area.
  1. Roles and responsibilities

4.1 The Head Teacher will ensure that:

  • All statutory elements of the curriculum, and those subjects which the academy chooses to offer, have aims and objectives which reflect the aims of the academy and indicate how the needs of individual students will be met. This will include how the subject will be taught and assessed.
  • The amount of time provided for teaching the curriculum is adequate and is reviewed by the Management Board annually.
  • Where appropriate, the individual needs of some students are met by permanent or temporary disapplication from the national curriculum.
  • The procedures for assessment meet all legal requirements and students and their parents/carers receive information to show how much progress the students are making and what is required to help them improve.
  • The Board of Governors is fully involved in decision making processes that relate to the breadth and balance of the curriculum.
  • The Board of Governors is advised on statutory targets in order to make informed decisions.

4.2 The Board of Governors will ensure that:

  • It considers the advice of the Head Teacher when approving this curriculum policy and when setting statutory and non-statutory targets.
  • Progress towards annual statutory targets is monitored.
  • It contributes to decision making about the curriculum.

4.3 Deputy Head Teacher KS3, KS4 and will ensure that:

  • they have an oversight of curriculum structure and delivery within their key stage
  • Detailed and up-to-date schemes of learning are in place for the delivery of courses within their key stage.
  • Schemes of learning are monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Levels of attainment and rates of progression are discussed with teachers on a regular basis and that actions are taken where necessary to improve these.
  • Long term planning is in place for all courses. Such schemes of learning will be designed using the academy pro-forma and will contain curriculum detail on: context, expectations, and key skills, learning objectives, learning outcomes, learning activities, differentiation and resources.
  • Schemes of learning encourage progression at least in line with national standards.
  • There is consistency in terms of curriculum delivery. Schemes of learning should be in place and be used by all staff delivering a particular course.
  • Appropriate awarding bodies and courses are selected so that they best meet the learning needs of our students.
  • where necessary an appropriate combination of qualifications or alternative qualifications can be offered which best suit the needs of learners
  • Assessment is appropriate to the course and the students following particular courses. There should be consistency of approach towards assessment.
  • They keep the Head Teacher informed of proposed changes to curriculum delivery.
  • Student performance data is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that any necessary changes in terms of curriculum delivery are planned and carried out in a timely fashion.
  • They share best practice with other colleagues in terms of curriculum design and delivery.
  • Oversee CPD needs with regard to curriculum planning and delivery within their area of responsibility.

    Teaching staff and learning support staff will:

  • Ensure that the academy curriculum is implemented in accordance with this policy.
  • Keep up to date with developments in their subjects.
  • Have access to, and be able to interpret, data on each student to inform the design of the curriculum in order that it best meets the needs of each cohort of students.
  • Participate in high quality professional development, working with other teachers to develop their skills in understanding the learning needs of their students and how best to address those needs and engage them.
  • Work in partnership with other agencies to provide an appropriate range of curriculum opportunities.

Students will:

  • Be treated as partners in their learning, contributing to the design of the curriculum.
  • Have their individual needs addressed, both within the academy and extending beyond the classroom into the family and community through a curriculum which offers breadth, support and challenge.
  • Be given additional support if they start to fall behind in their learning, helping them get back on track quickly.
  • Receive co-ordinated support to enable them to make the appropriate curriculum choices at key stage 5.

Parents and carers will:

  • Be consulted about their children’s learning and in planning their future education.
  • Be confident that their child is receiving a high quality education that is designed to meet their learning needs and which will equip them with the skills they need to thrive throughout their lives.
  • Be informed about the curriculum on offer and understand the rationale behind it.

Monitoring, evaluation and review

5.1 The Board of Governors will receive an annual report from the Head Teacher on:

  • The standards reached in each subject compared with national and local benchmarks
  • The standards achieved at the end of each key stage taking into account any important variations between groups of students, subjects, courses and trends over time, compared with national and local benchmarks.
  • The number of students for whom the curriculum was misapplied and the arrangements which were made.

5.2 The Head Teacher will review this policy at least once a year and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the academy.

Appendix A:

Teaching groups, class sizes and grouping by ability:

In years 7, 8 and 9 students are placed on our Engagement Programme and study a thematic curriculum for 25 periods a week alongside their other subjects including Maths, English, Science, Technology, ICT, Music and PE.

It builds on the students’ experiences at mainstream school and develops them to meet the demands of the Secondary Curriculum. It is a literacy rich curriculum and we have drawn heavily on the expectations and content of the Literacy/English programmes of study. However, the Engagement Programme is designed to be engaging and exciting. We have planned ‘memorable events’ for each term to stimulate and kick-start each project. Each project will be assessed thoroughly and students will be show how these skills and experiences map across to other curriculum areas.

In years 10-11 class sizes average 8 for all students.

The academy day starts at 9.00am and ends at 2.30pm and consists of 4 60 minute lessons split by two breaks one at 10.30 am (15 mins) and one at 11.45 am (15 mins), 12.45 (45mins).

Years 7, 8 and 9 students have the following number of periods per subject per week:

 

ASDAN Beliefs and Values 15 hrs per week
ENGLISH 4 hrs per week
MATHS 4 hrs per week
PHSE 2 hrs per week
PE/TEAM BUILDING 4 hrs per week

 

Year 10 students have the following number of periods per subject per week:

 

ENGLISH 8 hrs per week
MATHS 8 hrs per week
SCIENCE 2 hrs per week
OPTION (Art) 3 hrs per week
PHSE 2
PE/FITNESS 2

 

NOTE: A small group of students have a personalised timetable that includes a more concentrated focus on core subjects to improve their literacy and numeracy.

Year 11 students have the following number of periods per subject per week:

 

ENGLISH 8 hrs per week
MATHS 8 hrs per week
SCIENCE 2 hrs per week
OPTION (Art) 3 hrs per week
PHSE 2
PE/FITNESS 2

 

NOTE: A small group of students have a personalised timetable that includes a more concentrated focus on core subjects to improve their literacy and numeracy.