Curriculum Vision and Intent
Our curriculum intent flows from that of our Trust. The BCAT Way Curriculum states that:
“We believe in providing a broad educational experience and a balanced curriculum. Particular attention is given to those subjects that are proven to aid future success, often the traditional academic disciplines, but the experience of our pupils will embrace technical subjects, arts, languages, health, sport and humanities in line with our aim of producing rounded individuals”.
Our Academy curriculum vision is to “provide EVERY student the opportunity to acquire academic excellence and those skills, qualities and experiences that develop well-rounded, successful and happy members of modern society”.
- We deliver an ambitious and rich curriculum for EVERY student.
- A 5 Year curriculum design approach for most subjects providing a logically sequenced educational journey.
- We follow the full National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 (KS3) to give our students the broadest and best start to their secondary education.
- Drama, Dance, Food, DT and Music are taught weekly as distinct subjects at KS3.
- All students are taught two languages (Spanish and French) weekly as distinct subjects at KS3.
- We believe in personalisation and choice, so we offer one of the broadest ranges of KS4 GCSE option subjects in the Borough.
- Students are encouraged, but not forced to take EBacc subjects, resulting in significantly more students choosing these subjects, compared to National average
- All students acquire academic, subject specific vocabulary. They can talk confidently, accurately and publicly about what they have learnt.
- The ‘Academy Literacy Strategy’ ensures that this is a core strand running through the curriculum
- All students, at every stage, acquire and retain the knowledge they need to succeed and to move forward to the next stage including progression to higher education.
- We have a ‘Teach to the Top’ mantra, where challenge is always present and differentiation ensures all students have the scaffolding and support to ‘Access the Top’
- EVERY student has access to the full ambitious curriculum. We do not reduce, narrow or restrict the curriculum for any learners.
- We pride ourselves on an extremely rich ‘wider curriculum’ including extracurricular; electives; trips and visits; values; oracy to increase our students’ ‘Cultural Capital’ to ensure all students are equipped with the knowledge, skills and experiences to become good citizens and lifelong learners.
- We base our curriculum design and implementation on proven educational research methods.
Implementing our Principles
- Each subject develops a long-term plan that explicitly lays out the knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire in order to achieve excellence. This content builds cumulatively in terms of its breadth and depth.
- Each subject clearly identifies the ‘end points’ that are necessary to become excellent in this subject and enable students to progress to the next steps and higher education.
- A range of formative and summative assessment strategies are used to ‘test’ these end points.
- Regular retrieval practice, interleaving and low stakes testing is built into the curriculum to help students form durable long-term memories.
- CPD maintains an unrelenting focus on improving and evolving the curriculum, and ensures that all teachers are developing their subject pedagogical knowledge.
- Students are explicitly taught strategies for knowledge acquisition (memorisation, revision, self-testing etc.) to support students in self-regulating their own learning of the core knowledge.
- Homework is planned into the curriculum across all subjects. It provides students with the opportunity to practise, memorise, retrieve, extend upon or apply the knowledge that they have been taught in lessons, or provides the opportunity to act on feedback to improve a piece of work.
Our Wider Curriculum
- PREP is a compulsory ‘Independent Study’ sessions which runs for all students on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 4pm. Students gain an additional hour per week. Tutors support students with homework, reading, revision and research and students may utilise their Trust laptops at these times.
- Student Laptops BCAT provides every learner with a new, powerful laptop when they join the Academy. This is used at home and at school (at directed times). It is also used during PREP (see above)
- Enrichment Electives Students in Years 9 and 10 choose a taught elective for 1 hour per week. Options include Duke of Edinburgh, Home Language GCSE, Sports Leaders, Harpur Trust Art Competition, MIndfulness
- Official Voice 21 partner school for Oracy Students are trained how to discuss and articulate effectively through our ‘Oracy Programme’ delivered by Ms Turney and the English Department. Students are given opportunities in public speaking as part of this initiative
- Inspirational Trips and Experiences We believe that learning should be inspirational both inside and outside the classroom. This is why we plan an extra ‘trip or experience’ per subject per year for each student. These include trips to Kew Gardens; Shakespeare’s home; Video Conferences; visiting orchestras and much more!
- Extracurricular Programme Our extensive club timetable boasts 50 different clubs this year and the list is growing all the time. Clubs are at lunchtime and after school and are all free and voluntary. Students can extend their Maths skills; play sports for fun or competitively; enhance their chess master skills; audition for the next Academy play or fly rockets! The range of clubs is awesome!
- Values and Character Education Students are taught explicitly about our 6 core values of Honesty, Compassion, Respect, Community, Determination and Responsibility. In addition students have numerous opportunities to develop their character for example as Anne Frank or Knife Crime Ambassadors or perhaps as members of the student formed ‘Humankind Group’ which strives for equality for all.
- Duke of Edinburgh Award We became an official DofE school during COVID lockdown in 2020 and have gone from strength to strength. Starting with 40 students who have just completed their Bronze Expedition against every adversity, we now have 150 more students pursuing their Bronze award and we will be offering Silver Award in Year 10 and Silver and Gold in the Sixth Form.