Curriculum

Northern Education Trust, Kirk Balk Academy

Curriculum Statement



Kirk Balk Academy - Curriculum

We firmly believe that all children, irrespective of their starting point, are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum. To that end, we are delighted to offer an innovative and knowledge rich curriculum, which enables any student within Northern Education Trust to fulfil their potential and develop the all-important skills and qualities, which will serve them well in later life. The curriculum is designed to give all students the opportunity to develop as enquiring individuals who feel valued and respected, so that they, in turn, learn to value those around them.


Overview Statement

This policy sets out the academy's aims, principles and procedures for the delivery of the curriculum at Northern Education Trust - Kirk Balk Academy. It reflects the values and philosophy of Northern Education Trust (NET) and it gives a framework for staff, both teaching and non-teaching, to provide engaging learning opportunities for all of our learners. This policy is intended to be used in conjunction with the Learning Journeys for each subject area which detail the learning experience for students in each year group. The curriculum in each Northern Education Trust Academy is an extended curriculum which is personalised for each learner to meet his/her needs. Flexibility in the curriculum allows for adaptations to be made that are responsive to the needs of both individuals and groups of students as they progress through our Academy.


Principles

Northern Education Trust seeks to support our students by offering a curriculum that is broad and balanced and appropriate to the students' ages, abilities and aptitudes. Northern Education Trust values its freedom to make decisions relating to the curriculum, utilising the National Curriculum, the professionalism of its staff and educational best practice to inform appropriate decisions. Our curriculum includes various extra-curricular activities that are organised in order to enrich our students' experiences as well as the 'hidden curriculum' - what the students learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave.

Our curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and that enable personal growth and development. We want our students to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while at the same time develop their knowledge and skills in order to achieve their true potential. Accordingly, Northern Education Trust - Kirk Balk Academy provides an educational environment which is caring, friendly, well-structured, positive and academically challenging for each individual student.


What we value

Below are the features of our students that we value significantly, upon which we have based our curriculum. These are not in any order of importance as we value all of these features equally.

  • We value our students' uniqueness. We listen to the views of individual students and we promote respect for other cultures and religions.
  • We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
  • We value the importance of each person in our community and we organise our curriculum to promote inclusion, co-operation and understanding among all members of our community.
  • We value the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each student in our school for who they are and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We want to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all our students.
  • We value the individual needs of all of our students and we will strive to meet them.
  • We value our students' environment. We want to teach our students, through our curriculum, how we should take care of the world, not only for ourselves but also for future generations.

Our aims are that:

  • All students have access to a broad, balanced and coherent curriculum that supports learning
  • A strong core curriculum ensures that basic skills are embedded so that students are able to access the wider curriculum
  • An extended curriculum ensures all students have access to catch-up, extension and enrichment
  • The curriculum is personalised and inclusive and meets the needs of individual students at every Key Stage


Focusing on English and Maths

English and Maths are at the heart of success in learning. We place great emphasis on these subject areas and provide additional support to students when they need it. This includes encouraging reading and numeracy skills. We want students to be enthusiastic readers as a springboard to achievement in the curriculum but also as a source of pleasure.


Supporting Each Student's Learning

The curriculum will have different learning blocks which will be finely tailored to ensure each student has a programme of learning which engages them and sets goals which they will be motivated to achieve. We will track and monitor each student's progress to make sure they are doing their best so that we can provide any additional support that is needed.


Effective and Exciting Lessons

We are aiming to make all lessons outstanding. Teachers will plan and prepare effectively and make lessons as engaging as possible using the very best practice. There will be opportunities, through the design of our new building, to model excellent teaching and learning and to show how students can actively drive their own learning.


SEN

Northern Education Trust - Kirk Balk Academy aims to provide an inclusive education ensuring that we meet all students' individual needs and that educational provision is tailored to help students overcome their barriers to learning.


Progress Mentoring

Students' progress is rigorously monitored and a programme of intervention lessons for each year group is designed by the Academy Leadership Team and the appropriate Learning Manager. Subject leaders and teachers commit to delivering support through these intervention lessons in order to ensure that all students make progress towards, and even beyond, their subject targets.



Structure

During Years 7 and 8, students will study a broad and balanced curriculum which includes English, Maths and Science. Students will also study a range of expressive arts subjects, geography, history, religious education through the Life programme, computer science, reading/literacy, technology subjects, a modern foreign language and physical education. We believe that this broad and balanced curriculum allows students to fully develop their literacy and numeracy skills as well as developing their inquiring and creative minds.

Subject

Lessons

Time in Hours

English

4

4hr

Maths

4

4hr

Science

4

4hr

History

2

2hr

Geography

2

2hr

D&T - Food, Res Mat, computing

2

2hr

PE

2

2hr

Life

1

1hr

MFL and/or accelerated reader

2

2hr

Arts - Art and Performing Arts

2

2hr

Total

25

Students will start studying GCSE or equivalent courses in Year 9. These will include English Language, English Literature, mathematics, science (which includes physics, chemistry and biology). Students will also study physical education and the Life programme (Non-examination).

During Years 9 to 11, students will also study a variety of Guided Pathway subjects.

In December 2010, the Government introduced the English Baccalaureate or EBacc for short. This is not a qualification in its own right but a suite of qualifications that are gathered together under the same umbrella. At Northern Education Trust, we fully support the entitlement that students are able to study this group of qualifications. To achieve the full EBacc students must achieve a GCSE grade 5 or higher in one English, mathematics, two sciences, geography or history and a modern foreign language. These subjects in addition to English, maths and science will be studied over three years and examined at the end of Year 11.

To allow students to spread the examination load across, and help them achieve a balance in their studies, up to two non-EBacc subjects can be studied and taken at the end of Year 10. This early entry option also helps students prepare for the further examinations that they will take at the end of Year 11 and can often be a real turning point in a student's education. Our highly flexible Year 9, 10 and 11 curriculum allows us to create personalised guided pathways for our students.


Year 9

Subject

Lessons

Time in Hours

English

5

5hr

Maths

4

4hr

Science

4

4hr

PE

2

2hr

LIFE

1

1hr

Guide Pathway Subjects - 3 lessons (3 hrs)

History

Music

Art

Geography

Catering

Health & Social Care

Design and Technology

Computer Science

Child Development

Sport

Business Studies

Dance

Performing Arts


Year 10

Subject

Lessons

Time in Hours

English

5

5hr

Maths

4

4hr

Science

4

4hr

PE

1

1hr

LIFE

1

1hr

Guide Pathway Subjects - 2 or 4 lessons (2/4 hrs)

History

Music

Art

Geography

Catering

Health & Social Care

Design and Technology

Computer Science

Child Development

Sport

Business Studies

Dance

Performing Arts

Spanish


Year 11

Subject

Lessons

Time in Hours

English

5

5hr

Maths

5

5hr

Science

6

6hr

PE

1

1hr

Guide Pathway Subjects - 3 lessons (2/3 hrs)

History

Music

Art

Performing Arts

Catering

Health & Social Care

Spanish

Computer Science

Child Development

Sport

Business Studies


This, along with the permanent, supernumerary subject specialist directors of English, maths, science, humanities, modern foreign languages, computer science and the arts, who work across all the academies within the Northern Education Trust (NET), are key to helping teachers add the maximum value that we can to a child's education.

Alongside these important subject specialists, we also deploy specialists in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Attendance: regular attendance is critical to a child's success.

Throughout Y10 and Y11 there will also be further opportunities to have additional time allocated for GSCE English and/or mathematics. We do this in the full knowledge that further and higher education, as well as many employment opportunities, require students to have attained at least a strong pass which is considered to be a GCSE grade 5 or higher in English Language or Literature and maths.


Sharing Good Practice and Expertise

Subject expertise, staffing, planning, and resources are shared across all academies within Northern Education Trust. We use common assessments and examination boards that then allows for moderation and quality assurance to take place within each individual academy and across our family schools.




Religious Education/SMSC

As part of our commitment to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC), students study religious education within the academy's Life programme. In addition to specific content delivered through the Life programme, students also experience SMSC across other curriculum areas. Life lessons also promote students' personal, social, health and citizenship (PSHCE) development and understanding.


British Values

Northern Education Trust - Kirk Balk Academy promotes 'British Values' through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through each academy's curriculum and supports the development of the 'whole child'. We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all staff and provide a model of behaviour for our students.

'British Values' have been identified as:


Democracy

The principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within each school community, for instance, elections being held for Student Voice president and vice-presidents. The principles of democracy are explored in History and Religious Education (within Life) as well as in Tutor Groups and assemblies. Student Voice ensures that our students exercise their democratic rights and feel part of big decisions within our academies. All Tutor Groups have representatives as a key link to Student Voice ambassadors.


Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern classrooms, schools, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students learn the values and reasons behind the laws that govern and protect us. They learn about the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

Our students learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Our staff are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment within each academy and beyond. An environment of this type enables students to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.


Individual Liberty

We encourage students to become good and valued citizens. Our academies do this by supporting each student to become as independent as possible. Each academy has a strong culture of giving time and energy to voluntary work and charity fundraising.

Northern Education Trust academies invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. Our academies offer a range of enrichment activities which students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.


Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is at the core of academy life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around any of our academies and within their classrooms.

We value the importance of facilitating opportunities for every academy to be part of the community as the students, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.


Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

Our academies serve multi-faith communities where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. Our assemblies help all students to find out about themselves and others; linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. We place great emphasis on providing opportunities to participate in events and celebrations to broaden all students' experiences and awareness of others.

In our academies, we believe that tolerance of different faiths and beliefs are best gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum as well as the routines of daily life at every academy, we strive to not only learn about but also to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.


Radicalisation and Extremism

We believe and actively supports the view that all students should be protected from radicalisation and extremism. Our approach to this is in line with the Government's CONTEST (the counter terrorist strategy) and PREVENT (stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism) strategies.

Radicalisation is defined as "a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social or religious ideals and aspirations that (1) reject or undermine the status quo or (2) reject and /or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice."

Extremism is defined as "Vocal, or active opposition to fundamental British Values including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs."

Our 100% commitment to safeguarding student welfare means we are vigilant to monitoring vulnerability to radicalisation including:

  • Family tensions
  • Sense of isolation
  • Migration
  • Distance from cultural heritage
  • Experience of racism or discrimination
  • Feeling of failure

We are committed to educating students with regard to their engagement and acceptance with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We aim to support our students in developing and demonstrating skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.


Educate Against Hate

Messages of hate can take many forms. Extremist groups use them to recruit young people. Parents can find information to aid understanding the issues and protect their children via the website: educateagainsthate.com


Personalisation Through Setting

As part of our commitment to ensuring that every student has the best possible chance of success, we personalise the learning provision for every student in the core subjects of English, maths and science by placing each student in a learning group that is appropriate to their ability. Every student will be stretched, challenged and supported through this personalisation of the curriculum. Flexibility in the curriculum allows for adaptations to be made that are responsive to the needs of both individuals and groups of students as they progress through our academies.


Enrichment

The curriculum within all NET academies is an extended one. Students are provided with opportunities to add depth to their learning and develop personal skills through a rich and varied enrichment programme. Students will have the chance to enjoy new experiences and consolidate their timetabled learning through this programme. Further detailed information on the opportunities available to students can be found in the academy's Enrichment Brochure.




The Timetable

At Kirk Balk Academy a one-week timetable is followed, each day has 5 periods of 60 minutes making 25 periods per week.


The School Day

The school day begins at 8.25am and is made up of five one hour lessons and a 15 minute form period every day.

Break (20 minutes) is between form period and period 3.

Lunch (30 minutes) is between periods 4 and 5.

The academy day formally finishes at 2:30pm for most students although we have an extensive extra-curricular programme which runs every night from 2:30pm onwards. Students in Y11 have additional intervention and revision every night between 2:30pm and 3:30pm.

Full details can be found here -> http://kirkbalkacademy.org/parents/school-day



Individual subject links:



Click to download a copy of our curriculum policy- > NET Kirk Balk - Curriculum Policy - 2018-2019 V2


For more information on any aspect of our curriculum please contact Mr R Whitfield (Vice Principal) or Mr D Buckely (Head of Academy).