Crofton Academy

Curriculum Information

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THE CURRICULUM AT CROFTON ACADEMY

VISION AND AIMS

At Crofton Academy every individual will be cared for, supported and challenged to maximise their potential in order to create a feeling of self-worth and ambition.  This aspirational journey will allow each member of our community to develop individually within an ethos of respect, enjoyment, sense of belonging and provide a foundation for lifelong learning. Our core values of care, aspire, succeed are at the heart of everything we do.  We set high expectations to ensure that every pupil excels across all aspects of academy life.

INTENT

We believe that every pupil at Crofton Academy, irrespective of their starting point, are entitled to broad and balanced curriculum that will enable them to continue their learning journey post-16 and beyond. We endeavour to give the opportunity for every pupil to make excellent progress as well as developing the independent learning skills they need for the future, such as how to learn independently, how to manage information, how to manage and work with people and how to be good, active citizens. Indeed our intent is to work with pupils on their spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development. Pupils will be literate and numerate; we have high expectations of their behaviour and achievement, alongside ensuring that pupils know how to be ready to learn, how to respect themselves and others and how to be safe.

We teach a broad and balanced curriculum across pupils’ five year learning journey to fully prepare our pupils for further study and the working world. The curriculum is broad, balanced and includes a range of vocational options to meet the needs of all pupils. The latest destination information that we have for 2018 leavers stands at 96%.  

A Five Year Journey : Key Stage 3 Curriculum & Key Stage 4 Curriculum

In many aspects of our work, our pupils are taken on a five year journey with us. However in some subjects option choices take place and so a Key Stage 3 (KS3) and Key Stage 4 (KS4) curriculum is naturally created. We have made some changes to the organisation of our curriculum and these changes are shown in the table below:

Year 7 start dateKey stage 3Option ChoicesKey stage 4Year 11 leave date
Sept 2016Y7 & 8In Y8Y9, 10 & 11July 2021
Sept 2017Y7 & 8In Y8Y9, 10 & 11July 2022
Sept 2018Y7, 8 & 9 term 1In Y8Y9, 10 & 11July 2023
Sept 2019Y7, 8 & 9In  Y9Y10 & 11July 2024
Sept 2020Y7, 8 & 9In Y9Y10 & 11July 2025

Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Pupils who joined Year 7 before September 2019)

Our KS3 curriculum is designed enable pupils to achieve a deep understanding of a range of skills and knowledge from a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, encompassing those set out in the National Curriculum. The planning of the curriculum is such that enables pupils to know how the learning is connected to long term objectives, other subjects and the wider curriculum.  Pupils learn essential knowledge built around a ‘learning journey’ and ‘Big Ideas’ to ensure they have a deep understanding across a range of subjects.  This encourages pupils to focus on deeper learning to ensure real understanding of key concepts. Each Big Idea topic accompanies a planned learning journey with clear statements setting out what pupils need to know, understand and do to reach their aspirational target grade.

The National Curriculum content is carefully tracked to ensure that pupils have covered all areas of non-statutory KS4 subjects by the end of Year 8. There are also many opportunities built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded. Indeed teachers continue to develop pedagogy, particularly related to metacognition, so that pupils can remember and recall information from a deep understanding of their learning. The learning in KS3 provides a platform for pupils to be able to access the next stage in their learning journey, as well as learning for their future and becoming positive citizens within their community.

Pupils have the opportunity to study a range of creative and performance related subjects, enabling us to identify any gifted and talented pupils, and allowing pupils to discover and embrace what can become lifelong personal interests and talents. 

In Year 8 pupils choose four subjects to continue to study in depth. This enables teachers to plan transition, creative Year 9 units of work that allow pupils to fully engage in the breadth and depth of these subjects before beginning the KS4 course. This is a deliberate action to engage pupils and enable pupils to really enjoy their subject and learn the depth of their subject over a three year course.  The curriculum model allows pupils to choose four subjects in addition to the core Maths, English, Science, PE, Computing, Active Studies (RE) and Values lessons.  These gateway courses are not externally examined but lay the foundations for KS4.  In Year 9, pupils are able to move between subjects within option blocks thereby ensuring that they are satisfied with their option choices.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Pupils who joined Year 7 in September 2019 or later)

Our KS3 curriculum is designed enable pupils to achieve a deep understanding of a range of skills and knowledge from a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, encompassing those set out in the National Curriculum. The planning of the curriculum is such that enables pupils to know how the learning is connected to long term objectives, other subjects and the wider curriculum.  Pupils learn essential knowledge built around a ‘learning journey’ and ‘Big Ideas’ to ensure they have a deep understanding across a range of subjects.  This encourages pupils to focus on deeper learning to ensure real understanding of key concepts. Each Big Idea topic accompanies a planned learning journey with clear statements setting out what pupils need to know, understand and do to reach their aspirational target grade.

The National curriculum content is carefully tracked to ensure that pupils have covered all areas of non-statutory KS4 subjects by the end of Year 9.There are also many opportunities built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded. Indeed teachers continue to develop pedagogy, particularly related to metacognition, so that pupils can remember and recall information from a deep understanding of their learning. The learning in KS3 provides a platform for pupils to be able to access the next stage in their learning journey, as well as learning for their future and becoming positive citizens within their community.

Pupils have the opportunity to study a range of creative and performance related subjects, enabling us to identify any gifted and talented pupils, and allowing pupils to discover and embrace what can become lifelong personal interests and talents. 

The curriculum option model for Year 9 (2021-2022) is under review.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum (current model)

The options process provides pupils with the opportunity to build on their strengths, equip them with the necessary skills and experiences to further their career aspirations and prepare them for future career development and the world of work. Options are structured in such a way to allow pupils a free choice, but pupils are guided to subjects that build on their strengths and talents as well as prepare them for any future career aspirations. This is through our Values curriculum and the options process. Indeed all pupils have equal access to subjects and pupils are offered a range of both GCSE and vocational options. This is designed to offer stretch and challenge, equity of delivery and to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that provides the flexibility needed to maximise outcomes, keep post-16 choices wide and improve life chances for all pupils.

All pupils will study English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science (either Triple Science or Combined Science, Physical Education*, Values* (PSHCE) and Religious Education*.  (*=none examined)

The majority of pupils must choose one subject from a choice of Triple Science, History, Geography, Computer Science or MFL. Pupils are encouraged to choose the English Baccalaureate Suite of qualifications (by choosing History or Geography and a Modern Foreign Language).

Pupils then choose a further three qualifications from a suite of GCSE and BTEC vocational options.

VALUES CURRICULUM

At school we work hard to make sure that all pupils understand how to get the best out of their time with us. It’s crucial that pupils are safe, respected, responsible and ready to learn. It’s also vital that alongside working with pupils for exam success, we also prepare them for their futures. Indeed we want to support pupils to be able to contribute positively to society and to find success and happiness in the choices that they make. Our ‘Values’ work underpins this. It’s about attitudes and behaviours.

In this lesson pupils will follow a five year programme that incorporates: traditional PSHE; Careers and Progression Guidance; Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education and Fundamental British Values work. It will also embed with pupils the Crofton Core Values of: communication, collaboration, co-operation, resilience, respect and responsibility. This will support pupils to learn how to appropriately debate, and guide them to be able to make their own informed decisions. Indeed it will support pupils in their development – teaching them how to build strong, positive relationships and providing opportunities and experiences to learn about our world.

SEND PROVISION

We have a personalised provision for all our pupils including those with SEND. This includes our Achieve Program which focusses on thinking skills, social skills and emotional skills. These three branches are taught and developed together with the aim to build on the skills that pupils can draw upon to succeed, not only in all lessons in school but also beyond school life and in future employment.

IMPLEMENTATION

The academy believes that a carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built.  The curriculum is designed and implemented in such a way that it builds on prior knowledge and prepares pupils for the next stage in their education. This is complimented by the academy’s ’10 steps to outstanding’ teaching and learning philosophy.  This ensures that lessons are engaging and suitably differentiated so that pupil spend the large majority of time in lesson working independently at their level of ability.

Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning.  Subject leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics.  Teachers plan learning that allows pupils to embed and recall knowledge through techniques such as interleaving of topics and spaced practice.  This builds firm foundations for progression to the next level and exam success.

IMPACT

Our curriculum:

BEHAVIOUR FOR LEARNING

The Academy is inclusive and ambitious for all. We have high expectations of all pupils and provide opportunity for pupils to learn what is expected of them morally. Our Behaviour Policy ensures that pupils learn that actions have consequences and they can accept and appreciate differences between people. Whilst pupils gain knowledge through KS3 and KS4, we also want them to become learners who are enquiring, enthusiastic, engaged and mannerly. Pupils will develop high expectations of themselves and embed our key principles at the academy: Ready. Respect. Safe.

OUR CURRICULUM AND FUTURE PROGRESSION

Careers Education, Advice and Impartial Guidance is a key part of our curriculum. Throughout Year 7 – Year 11 pupils are supported through focussed lessons, options support and explicit guidance to consider their futures, be aspirational and to recognise the opportunities post-16 and beyond. Parents/carers are very much informed and pupils have many opportunities to explore different choices.

Our timetable runs over two weeks that includes a total of 50 lessons:

5 Year Personalised Pathway
YEAR7891011
English77889
Maths77788
Science66799
PE44322
Values22222
RE/Active Studies1111
History34
Geography34
MFL54
ICT222
Art/Graphics/Textiles22
Music22
Drama22
Technology43
Option A555
Option B555
Option C555
Option D555
TOTAL5050505050

Setting (Bubbles presently used due to Covid 19)

Eng
Math
Sci
Hist
Geog
MFL
IT
Drama
Mus
Art
Tech
PE
RE
Other
Option
Subject
Y7SetMixed AbilitySetMixed AbilitySet by ability in PEN/A
Y8SetSetSetMixed AbilitySet by ability in PEN/A
Y9SetSetMixed AbilityMixed AbilitySet by ability in PEMixed Ability
Y10SetSetMixed AbilityMixed AbilitySet by ability in PEMixed Ability
Y11SetSetMixed AbilityMixed AbilitySet by ability in PEMixed Ability

ASSESSMENT AND REPORTS

All pupils will be set a minimum target step that we expect them to achieve based on their KS2 SATs.  Pupils are also set an aspirational target step that they are expected to strive towards.

The Academy has introduced learning journeys at KS3 across all subjects.  The learning journeys are shared with pupils.  As a result, pupils are engaged in their learning and know which step they are working at and what they need to do to improve. The steps on the Learning Journey link to targets and so is one strategy to allow pupils and staff to monitor progress.

Regular, low stakes, testing ensure that pupils embed knowledge into their long term memory.

Pupils are assessed by a combination of peer, self and teacher assessments.  Summative assessment will take place at least once per half term, linked to the Learning Journey steps.

Following each assessment, incisive intervention to fill gaps in knowledge means that pupils make rapid progress.

Parents/carers receive reports three times per year.  The reports will indicate the progress that pupils have made towards their target grade and an indication of their behaviour and attitude to learning.​

CURRICULUM REVIEW​

Curriculum implementation will be reviewed and quality assured through line management, light touch and lesson observations.

The curriculum delivered in each subject will reviewed annually by subject leaders to ensure the sequence of delivery allows pupils to build on their knowledge and that pupils are sufficiently stretched and challenged.

The curriculum hours and subjects offered will be analysed by the senior leadership team and governors on an annual basis.

CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT

All GCSEs are now graded on a scale of 1-9. Grade 9 is the highest grade and Grade 1 is the lowest. At present the BTEC courses are graded using Pass, Merit and Distinction, but this may change in the future.

Grades 4 and 5 are a grade C. A grade 4 is a standard pass and a grade 5 is a good pass.

New GCSE GradesLegacy GCSE Grades
9A**
8A*
7A
6B
5B/C
4C/D
3D
2E
1F/G

TARGET SETTING Y7-Y11

All pupils will be set a minimum target step that we expect them to achieve based on their KS2 SATs.  Pupils are also set an aspirational target step that they are expected to strive towards. The targets are designed to challenge each pupil to reach their full potential and to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve the very best grade they can at GCSE. It is possible that some pupils will achieve beyond their expected grade. These high aspirations and drive for success are something that we encourage and as a result, the targets will be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure each pupil achieves their full potential.

KEY STAGE 3 ASSESSMENT

 In order to help pupils to understand what they know and can do, we have introduced in Year 7 and Year 8 a series of ‘steps’ for each subject. These ‘steps’ allow staff and pupils to work on the necessary knowledge and skills to enable progression towards targets. Indeed to bring our system in line with the GCSE grading system, all pupils in Year 7 and 8 are assessed using ‘steps’ on a scale of 1-9. The ‘steps’ are linked to the skills, knowledge and understanding taught  in Year 7 and Year 8, for each pupil to reach the same grade at GCSE at the end of Year 11. This means that if a pupil’s minimum target grade is a grade 6, they usually should be working at (or close to) a ‘current step’ 6 in Year 7 and Year 8. A child’s current steps therefore shows if they are on track to achieve their targets.

These ‘steps’ are linked to specific subjects and topics and form the basis of a Learning Journey. These are shared with pupils at the beginning of each unit of work. When a unit of work has been taught, pupils will be assessed against the ‘steps’. This enables pupils to celebrate what they can do and also to clearly see what needs to be learnt or practised. At this stage, time will be spent in lessons on ‘therapy’ – tasks and learning designed to personalise learning and enable pupils to progress.

From September 2021 we will also introduce ‘steps’ for Year 9.

Please see our Learning Journeys.

KEY STAGE 4

In Year 10 and Year 11 pupils are assessed through a range of strategies including:

Similar to Year 7-9, pupils will be provided with structured success criteria to enable them to understand what they know and can do, alongside the next steps to ensure better understanding and progression. Assessment will guide pupils to undertake tasks that will focus on their areas of need, so personalising their learning and supporting progress.

REPORTS

Parents/carers will receive regular reports regarding their children’s progress. In both Year 7 and Year 8, parents/carers receive reports three times per year. The reports show the target steps, current step, behaviour and attitude to learning. The current step is not just based on the assessed piece of work at the end of a unit, but encompasses: other low stake testing; verbal responses in class; book work in class; homework and other formative assessments.  In Year 9 the initial report does not show current grades, as pupils will not have started GCSE courses. Once KS4 courses do begin reports will contain each pupil’s target grade, current grade, behaviour and attitude to learning.

From September 2021 Year 9 will receive a similar report to Year 7 and Year 8, as they will be assessed using steps.

As an Academy, we place greater emphasis on pupils’ final grade, while ensuring they are on track throughout the year. These reports are our most important form of communication with parents and will sometimes raise questions regarding a pupil’s progress. We strongly encourage parents to read the reports carefully and if the report raises questions, to contact either the subject leader or, if it is across a number of subjects, the Year Leader.

ADDITIONAL CURRICULUM LINKS

Careers Programme

Values Programme