Curriculum Overview


Curriculum Statement

Intent

At Montgomery Academy we believe that the curriculum should focus on the Character, Culture and Currency that we should provide for our children. Our learners are to be equipped with the British values, skills, knowledge and understanding to become confident and competent individuals who are able to take responsibility for their own life and learning as they move through our Academy towards further and higher education and the world of work. The curriculum is much more than the subjects that we teach and we strive to ensure that the Montgomery Academy Curriculum:

  • gives opportunity for students to develop a lifelong love of reading and a thirst for knowledge
  • provides a range of learning experiences of the highest possible standards, is rich and varied and challenges, inspires and motivates
  • suits individual needs and addresses personal learning objectives and unequal starting points, through differentiated programmes of study in each subject
  • enables students to fulfil their potential to the highest possible standards irrespective of their intellectual development, background, age, gender, disabilities, culture or race, ensuring appropriate continuity and progression
  • teaches students about democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
  • fulfils the legal requirements of the National Curriculum
  • includes Religious Education, except where parents/carers choose to withdraw students
  • facilitates the development of cross-curricular elements including numeracy, sex education, citizenship, work-related learning, enterprise and environmental awareness
  • provides a range of additional opportunities to expand their personal interests and experience, as well as their social and cultural awareness including physical education enrichment through sports teams and clubs, performance and drama productions, local and national educational visits, house events and competitions
  • enables students to develop their resilience, self-esteem, self-discipline and self-motivation through self-assessment and evaluation
  • is experienced in a safe, caring and cared-for environment

Equipped with this document, Curriculum Area teams develop and extend these themes and statements within their Programmes of Study and Schemes of Work.

Students are actively encouraged to become independent learners and take responsibility for their own personal development. Pupils are also set homework in each subject on a regular basis to develop skills such as organisation, time management and research as well as to supplement the learning that takes place in school.

We also strongly encourage parents to be part of their child’s learning journey and support their child by attending parents’ evenings and other school events. The Expressions App enables parents to track their son/daughter’s achievements, behaviour and attendance. Parents also receive a report after each assessment cycle outlining whether their son/daughter is on track to achieve their potential.

Implementation

Lower School

Years 7 and 8 have a curriculum in which all students study English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, RE, Computing, Physical Education, Design Technology, Music, Art, Drama and PSHE. The vast majority also study French with a small number of students receiving additional literacy support. Pupils are set into groups, according to their ability where possible, so that lessons are matched to the needs of each individual pupil.

Pupils with a Special Educational Need are supported through our SEND department based in the specially resourced Student Support Centre (SSC).

Each pupil in Year 7 and 8 is assigned a progress tutor who is responsible for their general well-being within school. Tutor time occurs at the start of each school day with a wide range of activities that occur during this time including: literacy, numeracy, silent reading, equipment checks and current affairs quizzes. We also hold a formal assembly once a week to celebrate our achievements or to discuss important topical issues.

 

Year Group

Year 7

Year 8

English

4

4

Maths

4

4

Science

2

3

French/Literacy

2 or 2Lit or SSC

2 or 2Lit or SSC

Geography

2

2

History

2

2

RE

1

1 (Assembly Hall)

Computing

1

1

DT

1

1

Expressive Arts

2

2

PE

2

2

PSHE

1

1

Reading

1

 

 

During the Spring term in Year 8 students are invited to choose their option subjects, ready to begin studying towards GCSE courses in Year 9. Students are guided through this process in several ways. This includes: information assemblies, taster sessions, options evening, tutor activities and an individual options interview. At Montgomery we have found that allowing our students to make this very important decision in Year 8 challenges them to think about possible careers paths, becoming more motivated. It also enables them to develop a passion for these subjects and spend the time needed to learn these subjects in the depth required to be successful at GCSE and beyond.

 

Upper School

In Years 9, 10 and 11 students will be studying towards their GCSE and Vocational qualifications. For these year groups the curriculum consists of their three personal option subjects alongside the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education and RE/PSHE. The PSHE curriculum has been developed following the National PSHE Association guidance.

The core curriculum and free options choices ensure students achieve a progress 8 enabled curriculum. English Language and Literature, Mathematics and at least two facilitating science subjects occupy five of the subject allocations. Students then study either Geography, History, French or Computer Science and a further two option choices from a range of traditional GCSE and BTEC/vocational courses.

Through monthly progress meetings student’s progress is closely monitored. Where underachievement is identified a variety of interventions are put in place. This may be small group teaching, SEN support, invitations to tutor time / afterschool / Holiday sessions or a referral to the school’s Life Coach.

We expect students to be committed to themselves and their own learning and to be actively, positively involved within the greater school community. There is a strong, high profile, Student Leadership Team and students in year 10 and 11 are encouraged to apply for a position within the team. Peer mentoring (which is certificated) is just one of the responsibilities of the Student Leaders. Students are encouraged to develop good study habits, to think for themselves, engage in their own learning and to have high aspirations. As part of this students can make use of the library and ICT facilities both before and after school. These are staffed facilities where support and advice can be sought when needed.

A full careers education programme includes PSHE sessions, aspiration assemblies, workshops with providers, drop-ins at lunchtimes from colleges, external providers holding mock interviews with our entire year 10 cohort and each year a careers market place with almost 30 providers. All year 10 students visit the local Sixth Form College for a raising aspiration workshop. Time is also given to completing application forms for post GCSE courses. In 2018 the National Speakers for Schools programme provided two opportunities to our students with presentations on the Arts and Finance. Our dedicated team give individualised careers advice to students choosing options and then further up school to guide college application processes. All disadvantaged students have one to one interviews with our careers advisor to support them with future choices and application processes.

A bespoke alternative curriculum with fewer subjects and including work placement opportunities is offered to a small number of students that the traditional option choices are not appropriate for.

Year Group

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

English

4

4

5

Maths

4

4

4

Science

5

6

6

PE

2

1

1 or Intervention*

Option 1

3

3

3

Option 2

3

3

3

Option 3

3

3

3

PSHE

1

1

 

 

* Intervention in mathematics, English or science if students are not on track.

Impact

As the context of the Academy changes we review and adapt the curriculum to ensure it is appropriate for the demands of work and further education whilst also keeping it relevant to the students in our Academy. Curriculum review has identified a need to reintroduce some more vocational courses to appeal to all groups of students the Academy serves. We have been careful to ensure the vast number of students can follow a progress 8 enabled curriculum whilst still pursuing subjects that they enjoy. Our three year GCSE allows students to have this discipline choice sooner and be able to develop depth in studying these subjects across three years.

From the biggest secondary school in Blackpool the percentage leaving school and not moving into further study, employment or training was 0.4% in 2017 (awaiting official 2018 data) with 91% completing further education courses and the others accessing work based learning or apprenticeships.

 

Important documents to be viewed in conjunction with this policy are:

  • School Prospectus
  • School policies (marking, target setting, assessment, homework)
  • Year 8 Options brochure
  • Course outlines and independent study guides
  • Assessment and topic schedules linked to schemes of work

Important annual events explaining the curriculum to parents/carers further are:

  • Year 7 information evening
  • Options evening year 8 parents
  • Options interviews for year 8 students (and parents)
  • Careers market place years 9-11
  • Year 11 examination preparation events
  • Whole school open evening in October
  • College open evenings
  • Sixth form and college study days
  • Annual student reports and parents’ evenings