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Curriculum

The curriculum in the Co-operation Phase (Year 5 - Year 8) at Almondbury Community School  is based on the development of key skills and knowledge.

Year 5 & 6 

Numeracy: Our numeracy planning has clear progression from year to year. To allow consistency and improved progress, Big Maths as a support for planning has been introduced. The scheme was introduced in April 2012 and gives clear steps and support for teaching and learning mental and written mathematics strategies.

Topic: Every 8 weeks a new topic theme is introduced, combining learning objectives from the National Curriculum to develop knowledge and skills. Where possible this is done in a cross curricular approach to enhance links between Science, Art, DT, History and Geography.

There are also three whole school themes where everyone studies one aspect of a theme and share the learning with each other.

Other areas: Some subjects are taught discretely. R.E follows the Kirklees scheme and policy. PSHCE follows the SEAL programme. MFL, Physcial Education & Music are  taught exclusively by specialist teachers.

Year 7 & 8

From Year 7 pupils take a common curriculum of 30 periods, as shown here:

1 period each of :Music, ICT, R.E and Personal and Social Education (4)                                              

2 periods each of :Art, Physical Education, History, Geography, Technology (10)

3 periods each of :MFL and Science (6)

5 periods each of :Maths and English (10)

The curriculum is further enriched by event days and an events week at the end of the school year. These involve all pupils and staff in an impressive array of activities and experiences which enrich learning and encourage pupils’ social, spiritual, cultural and moral development.

For 20 minutes every day, form tutors, assisted by support staff, use reflection time to focus on individual learning and progress, discuss current affairs and read. 

Personal skills (PSHCERE/Citizenship):

It is the aim of the school to promote the personal and social development of all its pupils and for pupils to be effective citizens. Personal Skills (PSHCERE) is concerned with qualities and attitudes, knowledge and understanding and abilities and skills in relation to oneself and others. As such it is an integral part of all aspects of school life, inside and outside the classroom. All teachers are involved in encouraging effective personal and social development, and the whole curriculum aims to promote this.

Art:

Pupils are offered two lessons of Art in both year 7 and 8 after which they have the option of following an Art and Design Course at GCSE level.

Pupils are given the opportunity to learn a variety of Artistic skills and techniques including drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, mixed-media techniques, clay and 3D work. Throughout the two years, cultural knowledge and art historical awareness is extended to provide inspiration and context for their artistic work. Pupils increase confidence, learn to value their own independent ideas and choices resulting in increased creativity.

Pupils are encouraged to consider the relevance of creative thought and artistic aptitude in future careers in the Arts and Cultural sector and beyond.

English:

English will be studied over 5 periods a week and will build on the skills developed in year 6, ensuring pupils become confident and articulate learners.

Pupils will study a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays during the course of the year. Throughout the year pupils will also be given opportunities to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills through drama and other activities to promote confidence and key skills.

There will be half-termly assessments as well as end-of-year tests to demonstrate the pupils reading and writing skills. All assessments will be set as exams in order to enhance pupils’ confidence in exam procedure as well as developing successful exam techniques.

Geography:

Physical and Human Geography is taught via a topic based curriculum. Each topic spans the breadth of geographical themes and builds a detailed knowledge of the world. Through geography, pupils explore the various physical processes which shape our world and develop knowledge of the landscapes and their unique features which result from these processes. We also explore our place in this world and explore the ways human activity both affects and is affected by the natural world.

Pupils are encouraged to investigate issues themselves and explore their environment. Thinking skills and enquiry are central to our work.  Homework challenges are set regularly to give pupils the opportunity to develop as independent learners. These skills are developed through our teaching and pupils are encouraged to be critical thinkers. Questioning, researching, observing, presenting, concluding and evaluating are core skills in Geography.

Literacy and communication is central to the study of Geography and pupils will learn how to use literacy and communication skills to express their knowledge and understanding of key places and processes. We aim to develop descriptive writing, persuasive writing and non-chronological report writing. Pupils will build on the skills learned in year 5 and 6 to become confident and articulate learners.

History:

History in years 7 and 8 is designed to engage students in key historical eras and events. The course not only aims to bring history alive in the classroom , but aims to put pupils at the centre of their learning. Using a variety of sources pupils will recieve the foundation knowledge and skills needed to make a smooth transition to GCSE. The broad topics cover a wide spectrum including monarchs and government, daily life of the poor and daily life of the wealthy. Pupils will build and in-depth knowledge of these key historical periods.

Mathematics:

The curriculum at Key Stage 3 is designed to:

  • Build on calculation methods and Maths knowledge from KS2
  • Develop mathematical reasoning, so students can apply their skills in real life
  • Increase expertise so that students learn to solve problems

All students have four lessons of Maths each week.  Students are placed in sets by the end of September in year 7.  The setting is reviewed regularly.  We are constantly striving to keep our curriculum up to date and topical as well as engaging for students. Homework is set each week and is generally consolidation questions based on the topics covered in lessons.  It should last 20-30 minutes.  All students receive a revision guide and workbook in year 7 and have access to mathswatchrevision website.

Equipment:

All students are expected to have a pen, pencil and ruler for each lesson.  Investment in a protractor, a pair of compasses and scientific calculator is desirable.

Help and Support:

We encourage all students to ask their class teacher for help, however, students are welcome to attend the drop- sessions in the library Monday to Thursday at 3pm -4pm.

Music:

In Year 7 pupils study the elements of music: rhythm, harmony and texture throughout different styles of music. Pupils demonstrate their understanding of the elements of music through performance, composition, listening and appraising. Pupils are assessed at the end of each topic. In Year 8, pupils learn about different styles and genres of music – from Classical music through to later music such as Blues and Popular music. They also learn about the purpose of music, how it can help tell a story and explore television and film music.

Science:

The dedicated Science department strives to provide the opportunities to pupils to become the dedicated successful learner and nurture inquisitive minds. We offer a bespoke course matched to the AQA Key Stage 3 Science syllabus. The Collins Student Books that we use to support the course have been approved by AQA so help the pupils to make a smooth transition from Key Stage 3 to their GCSE work. We aim to prepare students for the step up to GCSE with maths and literacy skills integrated throughout the course to help consolidate and develop their skills. Pupils in year 7 have three Science lesson per week and pupils in year 8 have four Science lessons per week. 

Technology:

KS3 pupils are taught in rotation with the technology department.  They have three lessons per week.  The pupils will develop skills in the following areas:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Computing
  • IT skills

The pupils learn how to produce videos; use graphic software to create animations; produce games using Scratch and develop skills in using spreadsheets and PowerPoint.