The rationale for the curriculum delivered in the Trust’s Academies is articulated through its Mission Statement and the Northworthy Pledges. Together, these form a statement of intent, defining an ambitious programme of curriculum provision which extends beyond the confines of the classroom and the normal school day.
Responsibilities for curriculum implementation are shared between the Trustee Board and the Headteacher and Local Governing Body of each individual Academy. Part Two of the Curriculum Policy deals with those areas of responsibility which are determined at Academy level.
Teaching staff are arranged into 9 faculties.
Subject areas are allocated to faculties as shown below:
Each faculty is led by a Learning Director (LD). The job description for the role can be found in the appendices. Each faculty has a Deputy Learning Director (DLD) who has additional responsibilities to support the LD. The job description for the role can also be found in the appendices.
It is the responsibility of Learning Directors to ensure that the subject knowledge of teaching staff in their faculty is current, relevant and at a sufficient level of depth to be able to meet the learning needs of all ability groups in their classes. Where teachers are asked to teach outside their subject area, appropriate provision should be made by the LD to ensure that they are properly supported. Systems to evaluate the quality of education (such a lesson observation, work scrutiny and student voice) should consider the impact of teachers’ subject knowledge on the effectiveness of learning and teaching.
The performance management process and faculty / whole school CPD time are used to develop subject knowledge, and should respond to changes in curriculum content or identified development needs for individual teachers and/or whole teams.
The curriculum structure varies by year group and is designed and sequenced by the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher (Quality of Education) to enable all students to have a broad and ambitious curriculum, which allows pupils to be supported in building their knowledge and applying their knowledge as skills throughout their journey at Lees Brook.
All year groups are split into two bands (X Band and Y Band). In each band all students have equal access to all the subjects and the opportunities that arise from them.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, all students have lessons in the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign Languages (French and German) and Humanities (Geography, History and RE). Their curriculum is also made up of lessons from Design and Technology, Performing Arts (Dance and Drama), Expressive Arts (Music and Art), Physical Education, Computing and PSHE which includes citizenship, careers information, advice and guidance as well as social, moral, cultural and health education.
Moving through years 7 to 9 students begin to select subjects to study in more depth in order to build upon their knowledge and apply them in skills, so that they are ready for the next stage of education. Key Stage 3 curriculum maps, for all subjects, can be found on the school’s website and a copy can be found in the appendices.
The allocation of periods per subject per fortnight is set out below:
All Year 7 students have one specific library lesson a fortnight out of the English allocation and one specific numeracy lesson a fortnight out of the Maths allocation.
In Languages all pupils study the basics of French and German which allows them to study one of these in more depth moving on through the school. An identified group of students who require additional support in literacy will only study one of these languages and will have additional literacy lessons instead of the second language.
All Year 7 pupils have the opportunity to study the four Expressive and Performing Arts subjects. They do this on a half yearly rotation. Technology is also delivered as a rotation through the different areas within the subject. All pupils have access to two hours of Physical Education a week.
All Year 8 students have one specific library lesson a fortnight out of the English allocation and from Sept 2020 will have one numeracy lesson a fortnight out of an additional lesson given to the Maths allocation.
In Languages all pupils have two lessons a week studying either French or German based on their achievement and aptitude. All pupils in Year 8 have one lesson a week studying each of the Expressive and Performing Arts subjects. Technology is also delivered as a rotation through the different areas within the subject. All pupils have access to two hours of Physical Education a week.
In Year 9 students are given a limited option in order to build on the knowledge and skills they require to for their next stage in education. EBacc subjects are given more time per fortnight and pupils are able to study Expressive and Performing Arts in more depth for the subject(s) they opt for. Within Technology pupils choose two subjects area that they wish to study in more depth, rather than a rotation of everything. All pupils continue to study Physical Education, Religious Studies and PSHE.
In the spring of Year 9, students select four subjects in addition to the core curriculum that they will follow in Key Stage 4.
There are two pathways:
1) A traditional EBacc pathway that students choose a Humanities subject, a Language subject and two other choices. Students are recommended this pathway if they have displayed the academic ability to cope with studying these options from Key Stage 3 and if they are planning to study A Levels or Level 3 qualifications in the future.
2) This pathway allows students to choose at least one EBacc subject in addition to the core offer and then three other choices. This pathway is recommended to students who may want to study more vocational and technical subjects and will support them better when planning for their next stage in education, employment or training.
Each option block will have 5 lessons a fortnight. In addition to the school based options students are supported if they successively apply for the Young Apprentice in Engineering scheme delivered by Rolls Royce. This is where pupils are educated at Rolls Royce PLC, one day a week, in their Learning Development Centre achieving work based engineering qualifications that will support their progression onto a full apprenticeship at Rolls Royce.
The 2019-2020 options form can be found in the appendices.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, all pupils follow examination courses. They continue to study the core subjects of English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Combined Science at GCSE level. The majority of the 2019-2020 cohort of Year 11 pupils will also study GCSE Religious Studies. In addition, all pupils continue to have two hours of lessons in Physical Education per week.
All pupils in Key Stage 4 are given the opportunity to talk to a professional Careers Adviser. The Work Experience Programme gives all pupils the chance to take up a one week placement with a local employer in Year 10.
Students choose to study further examination courses from a wide range of subjects that include traditional academic subjects, vocational and technical courses as shown below. Courses are reviewed annually and new courses may be added or removed.
PSHE is taught through a combination of drop down sessions and through subjects that have clear links to topics that need to be covered. Drop down sessions happen once a half term for Year 10 and Year 11 students.
The allocation of periods per subject and current curriculum arrangements for each KS4 year group are below:
Key Stage 5 – The Skills Academy
The Skills Academy 6th Form is an inclusive provision for students from 16-19. It offers a wide range of pre-vocational programmes Entry 3 to Level 2 and vocational technical qualifications Level 2 and Level 3 (current courses and qualifications can be found in the appendices). Eligibility is dependent on the programme requested. The requirements for individual qualifications are given below.
Entry / Level 1 course entry requirements
There are no specific entry requirements for these programmes. Places are awarded on the completion of an interview.
*If students do not achieve the levels above they will be subject to an interview and practical assessment to determine suitability.
Students who achieve below grade 4 at GCSE English and/or GCSE Maths are required to continue studying these courses until a grade 4 is achieved. Provision is made to facilitate this; students receive six lessons per fortnight for both GCSE Maths and GCSE English. Students who achieve grade 4 and above are not required to continue studying Maths and English, however, these students will be requested to complete their qualification programme hours by undertaking work experience in their chosen vocational area.
Students who are working below the attainment needed to achieve a GCSE Maths and/or GCSE English grade will study a Functional Skills qualification or Entry Level qualification in Maths and/or English for six hours per fortnight per subject.
All students are provided with the pastoral care and support required to successfully complete their Key Stage 5 studies. Assistance is offered with apprenticeship and employment applicants or any other appropriate progression pathways.
Lees Brook Hall (LBH) is a personalised curriculum for students at threat of permanent exclusion from main stream education. The curriculum/provision has been designed for pupils to re-integrate back in to the mainstream school as quickly as possible. Parents, pupils and staff are involved in the review process.
Pupils receive additional support during their time in LBH to provide every opportunity for them to achieve and return back in to the main school or as part of LBH. Pupils in LBH benefit from a personalised curriculum and a significantly reduced class size.
Key Stage 3 pupils have lessons in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. Their curriculum also includes a personalised PSHE programme, Physical Education and Expressive and Performing Arts lessons.
All Key Stage 4 pupils study for a GCSE in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Combined Science. In addition pupils are able to study for a qualification or have training towards a qualification that will prepare them for the next stage in their education. All pupils have a personalised PSHE programme that includes careers guidance.
The LBH personalised timetable agreement sheet can be found in the appendices.
The choice of examination board and specification is the responsibility of the headteacher, taking advice from the respective Learning Director. The decision to adopt a board / specification is taken in the best interests of the Academy’s student cohort, and it is therefore recognised that the needs of the cohort will differ from Academy to Academy. Any proposed change of examination board or specification is discussed by the Trust’s Executive Team to consider the potential benefits of increasing consistency across Academies in the subject area involved.
The examination boards and specifications currently in use for Key Stage 4 pupils at Lees Brook Community School can be found on the Key Stage 4 curriculum maps for each subject, links to these can be found on the school website or a copy can be found in the appendices.
The examination boards and specifications currently in use for Key Stage 5 pupils at Lees Brook Community School are:
Learning Directors for each faculty are responsible for reviewing and developing their curriculum in order to make sure it is clear what the end points are for pupils and whether these are being achieved. Learning Directors along with the DLD are responsible for planning appropriate sequences of learning within the faculties and this is evidence within their curriculum maps and medium term plans. These are reviewed annually.
Learning Directors, DLD and SLT links are responsible for monitoring that teachers are sequencing individual lessons to support learners build their knowledge and skills.
Where appropriate curriculum teams should work with each other to ensure coherent delivery of cross-curricular themes and it is the responsibility of Learning Directors to provide opportunities for this to be planned into their curriculum maps and schemes of work.
Personal Development Curriculum
The Assistant Headteacher responsible for Personal Development and the Director of Citizenship/PSHE work with the Heads of Year, Form tutors and PSHE teaching staff to plan the delivery of the personal development curriculum. This covers the PSHE lessons, drop down days, assemblies, tutor group periods and extra-curricular/enrichment opportunities. Learning Directors are responsible for ensuring that when the opportunity arises elements of the personal development curriculum are included into their own faculty schemes of work or enrichment programmes.
PSHE/Citizenship curriculum maps can be found on the school’s website and are included in the appendices.
All students from Year 7 to Year 11 are given targets based on GCSE grades (9-1) using the Trust Target Setting Policy. The targets are specific to each of subject areas and uses validated national data to produce a minimum expected target. Target grades are regularly reviewed using teacher assessments and on- going student progress at Lees Brook.
Assessment at Key Stage 3
Parents will receive termly reports that will indicate how their youngster is progressing towards these academic targets, with early intervention put in place if pupils start to consistently fall below expectations. Pupils receive whether they are above target (A), on target (O), below target (B) or significantly below target (SB). Subject evenings are held for each year group during the year for consultation with class teachers. In addition, parent/form tutor evenings are held to in order to report how youngsters are progressing personally and socially, as well as getting the overview of academic progress.
Assessment at Key Stage 4
Parents will receive termly reports that will indicate how their youngster is progressing towards these academic targets, with intervention being put in place if pupils start to consistently fall below expectations. Pupils receive GCSE predictions based on teacher assessments and on-going pupil progress. Pupils and parents also receive termly ‘Raising Achievement Proforma’ (RAP) sheets that indicate what knowledge, skills and understanding they are secure and not secure with. Two subject evenings are held for each year group during the year for consultation with class teachers.
Tracking of assessment data
Each faculty records key assessment data for each subject they have in order to help them plan for future lessons, inform reporting and plan for any required intervention. Data is collated within subject tracking systems and reported three times a year onto the school data system; this is uploaded onto SISRA Analytics. All teachers are expected to use SISRA Analytics to monitor the overall performance of their groups, as well as individual pupils to inform appropriate classroom interventions.
Quality assurance of assessment decisions takes place within faculty teams through internal standardisation and moderation and entering progress grades with a colleague. Learning Directors are responsible that this process is monitored and that it is reliable and valid.
The assessment calendar for reporting data can be found below:
Points of transition
Primary – secondary transition
Our strong transition programme for Year 6 pupils includes:
• regular contact with our partner primary schools, both at Lees Brook and in the partner primary schools.
• Involvement in the city wide information event regarding transition.
• Junior Links evenings, where Year 6 pupils attend Lees Brook to take part in a programme of delivered lessons for 4 weeks across the whole curriculum delivered by Lees Brook staff
• three Induction Days when Year 6 pupils come to Lees Brook and take part in lessons
with their new tutor group.
Learning Directors and DLD are responsible for ensuring that they have an awareness of what pupils have learned at key stage 2 and use this to plan their curriculum for Year 7.
KS3 – KS4 transition
Throughout Key Stage 3 students receive appropriate careers education, advice, guidance and opportunities to make informed choices about the options they would like to take in Key Stage 4. An options information evening is held for pupils and parents in which local Post 16 providers are invited in addition to class teachers being available to consult with.
Lees Brook endeavours to provide all students with their first choices of options subjects, however there may be occasions when students choose a combination that does not fit within the curriculum structure. In this instance the issue and possible solutions will be discussed by the timetable manager or a member of SLT with the pupil and parents. The school also reserves the right to cancel a course if there are not sufficient pupil numbers or staffing to make a viable class.
Transition to post-16
All Key Stage 4 students have an extensive programme of careers education, advice and guidance throughout their time at Lees Brook as part of a commitment to implement the Gatsby Benchmarks. A list of all the careers opportunities can be found in the appendices.
All Key Stage 4 students are given two opportunities within Lees Brook to attend a careers fair and Post 16 information evenings. All students are made aware of the opportunities and open days/evenings available at all local post 16 providers and given support in the application process through their tutor groups. Students in Year 11 are able to attend A-Level taster days and vocational qualification taster sessions within the Trust’s Post 16 offer.
All year 12 students attend an induction day before the year 13 students return to The Skills Academy.