Our Curriculum Intent
At The Axholme Academy, our ‘5 year learning journey’ is designed to ensure that every learner is ready and able to go beyond expectations. This vision underpins three pillars upon which our curriculum is constructed, these are:
Pillar 1: Ready to Learn (RtL)
The Axholme Academy has Disruption Free lessons and our students are Ready to Learn. Our classrooms are spaces where learning can always take place because our approach is binary - students are either Ready to Learn or they are not. Three universal principles underpin our approach:
- Every student has the right to learn without disruption.
- Every teacher has the right to teach without disruption.
- Students are either Ready to Learn or they are not.
Our Ready to Learn strategies maximise the amount of curriculum time available for teachers to teach and for students to learn.
Pillar 2: Able to Learn (AtL)
The Axholme Academy provides Quality First Teaching to ensure our students are Able to Learn. We believe that students are Able to Learn when:
- The curriculum and lessons are well sequenced, structured and delivered.
- Students think hard about their learning within and beyond the classroom.
- Students are Ready to Learn.
All lessons are designed using our ‘AtL Lesson Cycle’. This structure ensures that learning is introduced in small chunks, modelled using worked examples, scaffolded to develop confidence and practiced to develop independence. Our approach to lesson planning and delivery has been informed by Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction an evidence based approach proven to help students know more and be able to do more.
‘Memory is the residue of thought’ (Daniel T. Willingham). Our 6Rs independent learning framework encourages students to think hard about their learning to make it stick and consists of:
- REVIEW what has been learned to identify gaps
- RESTRUCTURE information by producing revision materials
- RETRIEVE information from memory by self-quizzing
- REVISIT learning that hasn’t been retained over time
- REPEAT steps 2 and 3 until learning has been retained
- REFLECT on their effectiveness as a learner and plan for improvement
Our Independent Learning Journey (linked below) illustrates how the 6Rs are used in conjunction with Independent Learning Planners, Retrieval Point Assessments, Strengths & Gaps Reports and Reflection Workbooks to ensure that all learners are Key Stage 4 ready before making the transition between our KS3 and KS4 curricular.
Pillar 3: Wider Curriculum Pledge:
Our wider curriculum provides all students with a range of experiences to equip them with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Our pledge encourages students to be:
Through the consistent high quality delivery of these curriculum pillars, our students develop the knowledge, skills and cultural capital to go ‘beyond expectations’ in education and life.
What is distinctive about our KS3 curriculum?
The first three years of our learning journey are designed to help students become Key Stage 4 Ready by developing their:
- Intrinsic motivation through the use of reflective approaches and the 'Ambitious' strand of our Pledge.
- Metacognition and self-regulation skills contained within our 6Rs framework and restorative approaches
- Cultural capital via our Wider Curriculum Pledge
Students who require additional support to fully engage with our curriculum benefit from early intervention such as SEN support, Literacy support, Pastoral support or Ready to Learn & Able to Learn therapies.
Curriculum Breadth and Balance
The breadth, balance and ambition of our curriculum are 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.
- Students study practical and creative subjects for 30% of their time in KS3. All students study a practical or creative qualification during KS4.
Our strong academic core 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 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.
Our Local Context
Our curriculum is designed to help all of our students thrive by:
- Providing wider opportunities and experiences that are difficult to access in our local communities.
- Developing independent learning skills early, enabling students to get the most out of every learning opportunity.
- Ensuring that every student reads regularly and widely.
- Raising aspirations, enabling students to make informed choices and equipping them for their next steps through our wider careers program.
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.