Curriculum

Curriculum

The school has again this year, continued to refine its approach to student grouping and curriculum organisation to further support individual student progress and to develop a curriculum fit for purpose.

Education Village Academy Trust – Haughton Academy

Curriculum 2015 / 2016

The arrangements support appropriately targeted challenge and learning methodologies to accelerate the learning of all students, and enable access to achieve a broader range of skills and qualifications, including the English Baccalaureate and Progress 8 measures, appropriate to student aspirations and disposition. Our academy status has allowed us to modify the curriculum for specific groups of lower ability students to better meet their specific needs.

To recognise the importance of Maths and English for student progression beyond school and for school accountability measures, additional time has been allocated to these subjects in the curriculum. In addition, whole school strategies are being introduced to develop literacy and numeracy across all subjects whenever possible.

To ensure breadth and to maximise student progress, an additional option subject is now studied during an extended key stage 4.

These arrangements are facilitated by a two-week school timetable, where students have 48 x one hour lessons per fortnight, and an additional 20 minute tutorial / registration period each morning.

Additionally, the introduction of our vertically grouped ‘Challenge’ session for students in years7, 8 and 9 seeks to support the development of Personal Learning and Thinking skills and the 6Rs (Resilience, Reflection, Resourcefulness, Reasoning, Responsibility and Respectfulness). This is further supported through Project Based Learning during Challenge Time and our annual Project Week.

Key Stage Arrangements

Since September 2013, our key stage 3 curriculum has been reduced to two years, although it still remains broad and balanced with a combination of national curriculum core and foundation subjects, an accelerated reading programme to foster improved literacy and reading skills, and a new ‘Challenge’ session.

Since September 2013, our students have begun their key stage 4 courses from the start of year 9. Year 11 students, our final legacy cohort, will complete their two year key stage 4 courses during this academic year.

Why begin key stage 4 at Year 9?

This was a careful and deliberate decision, taken to meet the needs of our students. It involved:

Careful reflection on the success, and sometimes the barriers to success, experienced at our school.

Research of alternative curriculum models used in other schools.

Monitoring of education research and the review processes of relevant government departments and other agencies.

Findings from the work undertaken as part of the Darlington Economic Strategy.

Consultation with students who have experienced life at key stage 3 and key stage 4.

Consultation with staff.

Careful consideration of how best to ensure our students achieve to the highest level they possibly can.

A desire to ensure every student can engage with a curriculum which motivates them to succeed.

A desire to ensure every student has the opportunity to follow a broad curriculum to help meet their needs in a constantly changing global economy and an increasingly technological world.

What lessons did we learn and what have we done to address them?

Students and staff told us that progress was sometimes not as good as it should have been in year 9 in some areas because students ‘weren’t taking this subject next year!’ By bringing options in to year 8 other schools have seen improvements here. Our older students saw this as a good way forward too.

Our older students supported the idea of starting key stage 4 in year 9 - they felt it would give extra time to build up skills, knowledge and confidence for examinations and help to ensure that controlled assessments (coursework) were completed to a high standard. In fact, for this reason, we already started key stage 4 learning in year 9 in several subjects where this was possible. As we further considered that high grades seem to be becoming more important to employers, colleges and universities in their selection processes, then extending this approach to all subject areas seemed quite logical. It should indeed help all students to learn in a deep and meaningful way over a longer period, allowing them to achieve and hopefully exceed their targets across their whole curriculum. From a school perspective, this also seems to fit with developments in current performance accountability.

Our older students would have welcomed the opportunity to have studied a fourth option subject to broaden their curriculum or allow them to follow another interest they had. Beginning key stage 4 in year 9 allows us to do just that. It may also provide an opportunity for some students to do some volunteering or non-accredited activities, or receive extra help in some subjects, depending upon circumstances.

Student Grouping

Key Stage 3

The school is using student entry and attainment data, and progress information to group students into ‘Pathway’ bands and sets.

‘Blue Pathway’ students are those whose trajectory, facilitated by appropriate and challenging teaching and learning, should see them achieving the highest grades and being most suitable candidates for the Baccalaureate route at key stage 4.

‘Yellow Pathway’ students may choose to follow the Baccalaureate route, or subjects from the Baccalaureate cluster, at key stage 4, but are more likely, based on their progress at this point, to follow a more diverse range of subjects including vocational courses. Teaching / learning methodology is likely to be more supportive with this group of students, but will still include the challenge of striving for target levels.

‘Green pathway’ students are those students whose identified specific academic, social or emotional needs and / or progress require a more personalised provision with a curriculum and learning styles best suited to their needs. Students on the green pathway have increased literacy and numeracy content in their curriculum and are not required to study a modern foreign language.

Both year groups in key stage three are split into bands, ‘East’ and ‘West’, which are, for this year, further sub-divided into teaching sets / groups. ‘East’ band comprises blue pathway sets and ‘West’ band comprises mainly Yellow pathway sets (the numbers of sub-bands and sets will vary from year to year due to the size and academic profile of the year group cohort). This allows for movement between sets as pupils’ progress dictates – no child should ever be placed in a system where they have no opportunity to exceed statistical expectations.

The blue and yellow pathway groups relate to the timetable sets as follows:

Blue pathway groupsYellow pathways groupsGreen pathway group
E1: 7B1(Set 1), 7B2(Set 2)

E2: 7B3(Set 3), 7B4(Set 4)
7Y1(Set 5), 7Y2(Set 6)

7Y3(Set 7)
Combined Y7 and Y8 group
8B1(Set 1), 8B2(Set 2)8B3(Set 3), 8Y1(Set 4), 8Y2(Set 5)

English and maths are able to ‘fine-set’ within this framework to varying degrees across the key stage to allow for anomalies in progress and the different aptitudes of students.

A small, green pathway group exists alongside these groups. This group is made up from students from year 7 and 8 who require a more supportive, nurturing learning environment.

Key Stage 4

The key stage 4 curriculum is structured to allow for grouping by ability across all core and foundation subjects. This supports teaching staff in their aim to set the correct level of challenge for individuals in all subjects they study. This is extended to entitlement subjects (i.e. option subjects) where possible, depending on the restrictions imposed by the options blocking process. The option blocks are derived from the best-fit model of student option choices; we believe this approach is important to provide a ‘true’ options process, rather than a restricted selection from prescribed blocks. Foreign languages, history and geography become available in multiple option blocks allowing for full access to the English Baccalaureate and Progress 8 measure for all students, with additional options to facilitate breadth and motivate the individual through interest, career aspiration or aptitude. A range of GCSE and BTEC courses are available.

Once again, a small green pathway group exists in year 9, 10 and 11. These students have their core and foundation subjects as a class but are able to access option subjects or intervention / support as needed.

Alternative Provision

A small number of students have their very specific needs met through highly personalised, alternative curriculum provision, usually away from the school environment. This is used when a student’s condition (medical or emotional) requires that learning away from school is most appropriate, or where a history of disaffection with school and the curriculum offered, despite the application of integration strategies and in-school personalisation, indicates that alternative approaches are needed.

Curriculum Structure

The curriculum models for each year group are shown on the next few pages. Subject codes are explained at the end of each key stage section. The nominal number of students per teaching group (at the time of producing this report) and the hours per fortnight studied are shown on these diagrams.


Key Stage 3

Year 7 Curriculum Model:

Year 8 Curriculum Model:

Key to subject codes at key stage 3:

Ac – Accelerated Reader

Ar – Art

Da – Drama

Dt – Design and Technology

En – English

Fr – French

Gg – Geography

Hi – History

It – Information and Communication Technology

Ma - Maths

Mu – Music

Pe – Physical Education

Sc - Science

Sp – Spanish

Re- Religious Education


Key Stage 4

Year 9 Curriculum Model:


Year 10 Curriculum model:


Year 11 Curriculum model:

Key to subject codes at key stage 4:

Ar – GCSE Art

Bs – BTEC Business Studies

Cm – BTEC Creative Media

Co – GCSE Computing

Df – GCSE DT: Food Technology

Dr – GCSE DT: Resistant Materials

Dx – GCSE DT: Textiles Technology

Eg – BTEC Engineering

En – GCSE English

Fr – GCSE French

Gg – GCSE Geography

Hc – BTEC Health and Social Care

It – GCSE Information and Communication Technology

Hi – GCSE History

Ma – GCSE Maths

Mu – GCSE Music

Pa – BTEC Performing Arts

Pe – Core Physical Education

Ph – GCSE Personal, Social and Health Education (including Citizenship and Careers)

Ps – GCSE PE studies

Re – GCSE Religious Education

So – GCSE Sociology

Sc – GCSE Science

Sp – GCSE Spanish

If anybody has any further queries about the curriculum on offer at Haughton Academy please get in touch with Paul Bartle (Assistant Headteacher) - pbartle@educationvillage.org.uk