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Curriculum Intent

At The Axholme Academy, students develop the skills and knowledge to excel during our ambitious ‘5 year learning journey’ enabling them thrive post-16. We achieve this by securing high levels of engagement through quality first teaching, reflective approaches and a caring, supportive culture. We adapt the content, sequencing, breadth and balance of our ‘5 year learning journey’ based on students’ progress, aspirations and evidence based research. We are proud of our students' academic progress and personal development and strive to constantly improve our provision to maximise their learning.

The academy curriculum is adapted to reflect our local context in a number of subjects, for example:

  • In RE students use local newspapers to find, display and explain evidence for religion in the local area.Students then move on to looking at the keywords 'Believe Religion and Sacred.' The course then looks at key Chrisitan beliefs through the 10 Commandments, and the words and actions of Jesus. This prepares the students for a unit of work, which compares the local religion with those we don't find in our local area.

  • In History students learn about archaeological finds in pre-Norman North Lincolnshire, experiences of Hull and Humberside in World War 2 and study a module on Medieval Lincolnshire. Students also learn about the Normans including the Domesday Book locally as well as the impact of Norman rule in the local area.

  • Our PSHCE programme uses the outcomes from the Adolescent Lifestyle Survey (ALS) every 3 years to inform future planning and ensure that the curriculum responds to local needs. Examples of responses to the ALS include:

    • Students are advised about how to access sexual health advice via local clinics

    • Rural isolation makes the use of online gaming platforms prevalent. We therefore teach students about the risks of online gaming, with an emphasis on social gambling

  • In Art students study the work of local artists such as David Hockney, Andrew Goldsworthy and Henry Moore to gain an insight to their inspiration, have access to their work and ultimately gain an understanding of how they interpret our own locality. We also provide a variety of enrichment opportunities where students are able to see a range of the artists' work in situ and engage with the landscape and events that shaped the work.

When students join the academy in Year 7, we baseline assess their literacy, numeracy, growth mindset and resilience, and monitor their organisational skills. Our curriculum has been designed to provide early intervention for these areas through:

  • Supporting students with missing equipment, uniform and independent learning tasks for the first ½ term of Year 7 instead of applying sanctions.

  • Discrete Study skills lessons in Year 7.

  • Literacy early intervention programme.

  • English and maths catch up provision.

  • Study Skills Awareness Programme where organisational skills remain a barrier to learning.

  • A Y7/8 Transition Group which provides a more gradual KS2/3 transition for students with the greatest needs.

The breadth, balance and ambition of our curriculum is demonstrated by:

  • All national curriculum subjects are taught by subject specialists.

  • Approximately 30% of students study a GCSE only KS4 curriculum. The remaining students study one of three vocational options in addition to their GCSEs.

  • Our belief that students are adequately prepared and mature enough to make informed option choices when they reach the Spring term of Year 9. We have therefore maintained a 3 year KS3, although Humanities and Technology options begin during the Summer term to ensure that students remain fully engaged in their learning once options have been confirmed.

  • Our strong academic core, which is evidenced by:

    • All students are entered for Maths, English Language and English Literature.

    • Above national average entries for some of the most challenging GCSE qualifications including Separate Sciences, Computer Science and French.

    • Over 90% of students entered for a Humanities option (GCSE History, GCSE Geography or GCSE RE).

    • Year on year increase in Ebacc entries which are in line with the national average.

    • GCSE and non-GCSE entries are in line with national averages.

    • Additional curriculum time is allocated to help our middle/low ability students to achieve at least standard passes in English, Maths and Science.

  • Students are taught in ability groups in Maths, Science and Languages; and mixed ability groups in other subjects as below:

    • G/R/O/W/S mixed ability groups in KS3 are configured to ensure that there isn’t a significant spread of ability - they are partially mixed ability rather than fully mixed. Partially-mixed ability groups are used in subjects where students of all abilities cover the same topics and content.

    • Ability setting is used in subjects where students learn different topics depending on their ability.

  • Curriculum time:

    • Students study the three core subjects for over 40% of their time in KS3. This increases to at least 50% in KS4.

    • Up to 70% of curriculum time is allocated to Ebacc subjects in KS3. This increases to 80% in KS4.

    • More curriculum time is given to improving the Literacy skills of students who require additional support across key stages 3 and 4.

    • Students study practical and creative subjects for 30% of their time in KS3. All students study a practical or creative qualification during KS4.

  • The school day:

    • Begins at 8.25am followed by 5 one hour lessons. This encourages a punctual and productive start to the day. We believe that one hour lessons work across our practical, creative and academic subjects to interleave, introduce and embed subject content.

    • Students have a daily 30 minute tutor period immediately after lunch time. This is used by tutors to challenge poor conduct and to deliver elements of our PSHCE programme in horizontal tutor groups and via a weekly assembly.

    • Period 6 is used for small group tuition and runs from 3pm on three days per week.

Through the implementation of our curriculum we aim to develop the following skills and qualities to help students be successful, safe and healthy:

  • Numeracy, literacy and digital literacy - Literacy is taught as a discrete subject for all students at KS3 and for students with the largest gap between their chronological and reading ages in KS4. ICT is a core subject at both key stages to ensure that students are empowered to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world.

  • Independent learning and study skills - Study skills are included in Schemes of Work as a component of our Embedding Learning Model. We run a range of study skills workshops for students and parents throughout the year.

  • Reflection, resilience and empathy - We develop these skills through a range of restorative practices, reflection activities and environmental projects.

  • Emotional health and wellbeing - We encourage staff and students to be mindful and actively seek out ways to help manage workloads and stress levels. We believe that encouraging students to take responsibility, be organised and plan for the future helps reduce stress. When concerns are raised or persist, we use early intervention, personalised and multi-agency approaches.

  • Employability skills - Meeting Gatsby’s ‘Good Career Guidance benchmarks’ demonstrates our commitment to providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice and guidance.

Further distinguishing features of our curriculum are:

  • Many aspects of our structures and support are personalised to individual needs, as below:

    • Curriculum content and time - the amount of time students study MFL and Literacy is determined by their literacy levels. Additional time is allocated to Literacy if students would otherwise struggle to access the rest of the curriculum.

    • Transition group - approximately 5% of our lowest ability Year 7 & 8 students are taught in our Transition group. This provision ensures a more gradual transition by exposing students to fewer teachers, fewer rooms and a primary style thematic delivery.

    • Progress / BfL Quadrants - we closely monitor student engagement and progress. Students are grouped into one of four quadrants ½ termly. Personalised interventions and support are then used to help students embed excellent learning behaviours and make strong academic progress.

  • Cultural capital - our wider curriculum is designed to provide students with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We run a range of extra-curricular trips and visits, which are mapped and monitored to ensure that all students, particularly the most disadvantaged, are able to participate.