Our students experience a curriculum focused on challenge, engagement and aspiration. They study a range of subjects aimed at preparing each and every one of them for their next steps in education, training or employment. Our formal curriculum is very much in line with the National Curriculum and enables students to choose from a range of subjects/qualifications at Key Stages 4 and 5 that match their individual aptitudes, abilities, skills and aspirations. Options information for 2017 can be found here. We also offer a great deal of opportunity for students to become involved in a wide range of enrichment activities including joining one of our many clubs/teams/groups, partaking in one of many trips and visits or becoming involved in how the Academy is run by joining the Student Council. Throughout students gain the opportunity to develop a set of skills and attributes which will support them in their studies, careers and life in general.
We are committed to continually improving the quality of teaching in the Academy. We pride ourselves on our high calibre professionals teaching their specialist subjects. We have an equally committed and high quality support staff who very much reinforce the work carried out by our teachers and without whom we could not operate at the standards we are now reaching. All staff are totally committed to providing our students with the very best educational experience both inside and outside the classroom environment. They all adhere to a detailed and individualised staff training programme that runs throughout the academic year and are, like the students, encouraged to be ambitious and to aim to reach their full potential. A comprehensive whole academy staff appraisal process is in place whilst teaching and learning is rigorously monitored and scrutinised by a specialist team led by a highly experienced Vice-Principal.
We value and actively promote the role of Literacy - the ability to understand and use language in reading, writing and communication - as a core life and learning skill. All our staff are teachers of Literacy and their shared responsibility is reflected in all Schemes of Learning. Literacy is highlighted in our Marking Policy with teachers using the same codes to point out errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Pupils in Key Stage 3 take part in "Accelerated Reader" - an individualised reading programme which sets personalised targets for each pupil thus making sure their comprehension skills are strong enough to tackle the challenges of GCSE work. Additional support is provided through a "Fresh Start" programme through small groups to develop phonics, comprehension and writing skills so students can more fully engage with the secondary curriculum.
We are also committed to raising the standards of numeracy of all of our students so they develop the ability to use skills effectively in all areas of the curriculum and the skills necessary to cope confidently with the demands of further education, employment and adult life. All subjects are aware of the need to link numeracy to their curriculum and when students are covering numeracy they put a triangle containing an "N" next to the work. During tutor time all groups cover numeracy skills once a week, these also contain financial topics so that the students get an appreciation of the importance of their Numeracy skills.
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