Curriculum

Intent

We believe that every learner is entitled to an enriching, varied and personalised education; delivered through a broad and balanced curriculum that provides challenge, irrespective of need, starting point or background.  Our commitment to maximising the potential of every child; teaching them the skills they need to be successful and nurturing a desire to be a lifelong learner, will prepare them for whichever career path they choose to follow.  At Leigh Academy Blackheath (LAB) we inspire our learners to go beyond what they are taught and seek what they do not yet know.

At LAB, learning is not confined to a traditional classroom environment.  We cultivate a climate for learning where all learners can effectively create, communicate, collaborate and use critical thinking and problem solving at anytime and anywhere, supported through our use of digital technology.  We place equal importance in the development of effective learning skills and positive attitudes as we do in the acquisition of subject-specific knowledge and skill mastery. Our aim is to ensure all our learners realise their full potential during their time in full-time education.  

By developing depth of knowledge and establishing learning skills at KS3 we ensure students are ready to embark on the academic rigour of a KS4 curriculum and examinations.  To achieve this our KS3 curriculum is three years in length and delivered through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) framework and the development of the IB learner profile attributes.

Our taught curriculum is constructed to promote collaborative, cross-curricular and phase learning whenever and wherever possible, with co-curricular opportunities providing a rich range of experiences for students to employ their learnt skills, building character and resilience.  All learning opportunities reflect professional business approaches with ‘real-life’ projects, delivered through project based learning; giving students valuable insight into working for a client, as part of a team or to a deadline.

The key elements which underpin our philosophy on curriculum are:

  • Access for all
  • Development of basic skills and the acquisition and mastery of specialist digital skills
  • The development of creative thinking and problem solving within all aspects of the learning process.

 

Implementation 

Our taught curriculum is delivered in one hour blocks, with 24 lessons per week.  Students study a full range of subjects at Key Stage 3, including: English, Maths, Science, Spanish, History, Geography, RE, Art, DT, Music, Drama, Computing and PE.  Learning is supported by a weekly lesson entitled LAB Learner, which supports the IB MYP approaches to learning, SMSC and PSHE tutor time curriculum.

LAB places great importance on the development of reading skills and has a 1 hour daily reading expectation for all students.  This includes 5 minute silent reading at the start of every lesson, with progress monitored and tracked through the accelerated reader programme.  Students who are not secondary ready when they join the academy undertake a programme of additional learning opportunities to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.

At LAB, we create a learning climate that allows all of our pupils to make consistent progress such that they will excel, personally and professionally, in their future lives.  To achieve this, we are guided by the framework of principles for teaching and learning set out below.

Reviewing material:

  • Engaging students in cumulative retrieval practice through regular, low-stakes quizzing;

Sequencing concepts: 

  • Presenting new material using small steps;
  • Having students engage critically with inquiry-based questions once their conceptual understanding is secure;

Questioning: 

  • Employing a range of differentiated questioning techniques to check for understanding;

Stages of practice:

  • Being explicit about what we want pupils to do, setting out the key steps (with worked examples) that pupils will have to repeat in order to complete a task successfully;
  • Having pupils engage in extended independent thinking and practice on a regular basis;
  • Obtaining a high success rate which meets the needs of all learners;

High expectations:

  • Delivering academically-challenging content that exposes students to the best of what has been thought and said;
  • Supporting students in the self-managing of uniform, punctuality, equipment and conduct in line with the behaviour policy;
  • Supporting students in the development of strong communication skills appropriate to a scholarly learning environment; 
  • Promoting academic honesty as part of a learner profile that develops personal honesty and the responsible use of information technology.

Although many of these features would be expected to appear in most lessons, it is important to note that we are not prescriptive about either the structure of lessons or the forms these principles might take. Instead, we recognise the diverse approaches employed by different teachers and subject areas across the academy, and know that a varied diet of experience is healthy and beneficial for our broad range of learners. Our staff are expected to regularly engage in evidence-informed professional development in ways which enhance their individual expertise, flair and creativity.

Through our structure of internal formative assessments students are required to regularly recall core knowledge.  Bi-annual LAT assessments provide opportunities to apply what they have learnt through extended tasks, and for teachers to review progress by reviewing and moderating work collaboratively with other practitioners and trust academies.

Impact 

The impact of our curriculum will be evident in the outcomes of LAT assessments and the comparison of LAB results against other trust academies and educational institutions delivering the IB MYP globally.  Minimal difference between the achievement and progress levels of vulnerable groups with other students will provide powerful evidence of a strong taught curriculum.

Analysis of the number of students participating in co-curricular activities and community projects, combined with the levels of attendance, punctuality and positive behaviour for learning records, will indicate the level of student engagement with learning and the total curriculum.  Positive attitudes to learning and respect for the academy and the wider community will be a key indicator of the success of our curriculum intent and implementation.

 

Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Yr 7, 8 & 9)

Core Learning

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • History
  • Geography
  • RE
  • Art
  • Design and Technology
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Sport
  • Digital Technology

Wider Learning

  • Work Related Learning
  • LAB Learning
  • Community

 

IB Education

At Leigh Academy Blackheath we follow the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme and are working towards being an IB recognised Academy.

 

Through our values at Leigh Academy Blackheath we demonstrate the MYP vision and values:

Respect

The MYP teaches students self-respect, respect for others and respect for their communities and the environment.

Integrity

Through both conceptual and debatable questions integrity is both modelled and encouraged.

Ambition

The MYP encourages students to think and act ambitiously, thinking beyond their daily lives. Assessments are designed to encourage students to show the depth of their understanding.

Scholarship

MYP is an engaging and challenging curriculum that puts students at the centre of their learning, through the IB Learner Profile. It encourages students to be responsible for and active in their learning.

Resilience

Many of the IB Learner Profile traits develop resilience in learning. Reflection is valued and students are constantly challenged to improve and always produce the best work that they can.

Proposed Key Stage 4 Curriculum (Years 10 & 11)
The Key Stage 4 curriculum is arranged into 3 pathways: L, A, B.

PathwayLAB
Core compulsory subjectsEnglish Language
English Literature
Maths
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Games (core)
RE
English Language
English Literature
Maths
Combined Science 1
Combined Science 2
Game (core)
RE
English Language
English Literature
Maths
Combined Science 1
Combined Science 2
Game (core)
RE
Option AHistory or
Geography
History or
Geography
History or
Maths
Option BFrench or
Spanish
English or
Maths
English or
Maths
Open option C & D (Select 2)Art
Business
Drama
Music
Photography
Media
Film
Food
Product Design
Sociology
BTEC Health & Social Care
BTEC Business
PE
Psychology
Statistics
Geography
History
Computer Science
French
Spanish

Art
Business
Drama
Music
Photography
Media
Film
Food
Product Design
Sociology
BTEC Health & Social Care
BTEC Business
PE
Statistics
Geography
French
Spanish
Art
Business
Drama
Music
Photography
Media
Film
Food
Product Design
Sociology
BTEC Health & Social Care
BTEC Business
PE
Wider LearningWork related learning
Community