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I.I.I.

INTENT
IMPLEMENTATION &
IMPACT

INTENT

Our intention is to ensure students make outstanding progress and that the curriculum removes any potential barriers to learning.  We want students to be able to follow their own interests and use their talents to the full and have designed a curriculum to enable this to happen.  We are ambitious for our students and ensure they have the knowledge and skills that will make them successful, not only in school, but in life.  To this end, in addition to the wide range of academic subjects, students across the school take part in a parallel curriculum called TA Character.  This is a scheme that looks to develop the character education of our students with particular focus on our 5 main virtues of Pride, Resilience, Creativity, Ambition and Respect.  We recently gained the Kite Mark from the Association of Character Education for our work in this area.

It is our intention to ensure students have secure foundations for progression into Higher and Further education and Apprenticeships. From Year 7, students receive careers information with a clear focus on the Gatsby benchmarks.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Students at The Thomas Aveling School follow a very broad and balanced curriculum.  The Arts, Sport and Personal Development are valued highly.

Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning. Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics. Teachers plan learning that allows students to embed and recall knowledge through techniques such as interleaving of topics and spaced practice. This builds firm foundations for progression to the next level and exam success.

The TA10 is a charter that guides teachers on what great teaching and learning looks like and students will be exposed to elements of this throughout their lessons.

Extensive and appropriate support and challenge are embedded into our provision, ensuring at Key Stage 3 that students are emotionally ready to make excellent progress through our Horizons programme, and at Key Stage 4 that students are prepared for life after school through our alternative curriculum for selected students.

KS3

At Key Stage 3 (KS3), the curriculum is broad, and students learn essential knowledge to ensure they have a deep understanding across a range of subjects. There are many opportunities built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve previous learning, so that knowledge is fully embedded. Many students have a clear idea of subjects they like the most and those they like the least by the end of Year 8 and offering some choice at this stage engages students as partners in their learning and leads to improved outcomes. We therefore ask students to spend more time on 4 chosen areas of interest in Year 9. These courses aim to develop a mastery of the skills required to complete a subject in Key Stage 4 (KS4).

The curriculum delivered in each subject is reviewed annually by Subject Leaders to ensure the sequence of delivery allows students to build on their knowledge, and that students are sufficiently stretched and challenged.

KS4

At Key Stage 4 (KS4), the courses are carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited, and this undoubtedly prepares students for success in external examinations at the end of the course.  In almost all subjects, students make more than expected progress from their Key Stage 2 starting points (Progress 8).

We have an extended Key Stage 4 to allow students to choose subjects they have a greater interest in, but by our restriction of “allowed combinations” students will usually study at least 1 EBACC option, a creative subject, and a practical subject in our wide option offer.   Each year, approximately half of the year study Geography, a similar proportion will study History and a smaller, but still significant, group will study one of the 3 languages we offer with excellent results.  The proportion taking the full suite of EBACC subjects has steadily increased.  We also offer an alternative curriculum that meets the needs of those children who need a little extra support in their studies, while still allowing them to follow a curriculum offering that has high aspirations of them.  All students can choose from the full array of academic and vocational subjects.

The Key Stage 4 curriculum has a variety of academic and vocational qualifications for students to choose from, to allow them to develop a wide range of skills necessary to be successful in a rapidly changing world.  Students can swap their subjects at the start of Year 9 within each option block to ensure they are happy to complete the examined courses in Year 10 and Year 11.  Many students combine one vocational subject with their academic choices.  Students will usually complete their compulsory education by gaining 9 qualifications (GCSEs and Vocational).

Over the course of 5 years, students receive a rigorous and bespoke aspirations programme that exposes them to a huge range of voices and experiences.

KS5

We are very pleased with our wide offer of vocational and academic qualifications in the Sixth Form – all at Level 3.  Over half of each cohort of Year 11s stay with us to complete further study before applying for university or higher-level apprenticeships and professions.  Those unable to stay with us, or who already know the career they want, are supported in their applications to local colleges and apprenticeships.

In addition to carefully constructed and challenging curricula plans, students also gain much needed assessment practice in dedicated “assessment lessons” for each subject, which are in addition to the taught lessons.  PSHE lessons continue with a focus on next steps and being able to be a contributing member of society.

We have recently introduced the EPQ to further enhance our offer and add extra challenge for our most able students.

 

IMPACT

Our students are ambitious and aspirational and ready to take their next steps.  Nearly all students (over 98%) complete Key Stage 4 and engage in further education (usually staying in our Sixth Form), apprenticeships, or training, very few are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) at the point of leaving us.  Over 70% of Sixth Form students go on to competitive universities, and nearly all others gain high quality jobs or apprenticeships.

Progress (as measured by Progress 8) is positive for the cohort as a whole and above national figures for ALL groups at Key Stage 4.

In addition, we also see the impact of the wider curriculum by the number of opportunities offered and taken up by students.  These include Bronze, Silver and (first time in 2019) Gold, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, sports teams, arts clubs, various musical opportunities, coding clubs and various trips far and near to generate an understanding of their position in the world and a further enjoyment of learning.

KS3 DAY
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KEYSTAGE 3
DAY

CURRICULUM FOR KEYSTAGE 3: YEARS 7, 8

Across the first two years of a student’s life at Thomas Aveling, they will study a wide range of subjects from the core of English, Maths and Science to Modern Foreign Languages, Humanities and Creative and Performing Arts.  Our full programme of Sports, Dance and Personal, Social and Health Education along with Careers education and guidance ensures students become more aware of their place in the world and the opportunities it offers.

In addition, we encourage, and pay for, children to have private music lessons in school in a variety of instruments, as well as taking part in choirs and other ensembles.

Tutor time, where a significant amount of the Character Education Syllabus is followed, is 20 minutes long followed by five 1 hour lessons each day.

The table below shows the current distribution of periods per subject across the 50-period, two-week timetable.

CORE SUBJECTS

English

Mathematics

Science

YEAR 7

7

7

6

YEAR 8

7

7

6

FOUNDATION SUBJECTS

Art & Design

Dance

Design Tech, Graphics & Food

Drama

Geography

History

I.T.

MFL

Music 

P.E.

P.S.H.E

Religious Studies

YEAR 7

2

1

4

1

4

3

3

5

1

4

1

1

YEAR 8

3

1

3

1

3

4

2

5

2

4

1

1

(French, Italian or Spanish) 

KS3 SUBJECTS

KEYSTAGE 3
SUBJECTS

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KS3 REVISION SUPPORT
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CURRICULUM FOR KEYSTAGE 4: YEARS 9, 10 AND 11

In Year 9, students spend more time on 4 chosen areas of interest in addition to the core offer of English Language and Literature, Science and Mathematics. These courses aim to develop a mastery of the skills required to complete a subject in Key Stage 4. At Key Stage 4, the courses are carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited, and this undoubtedly prepares students for success in external examinations at the end of the course.

We have an extended Key Stage 4 to allow students to choose subjects they have a greater interest in, but by our restriction of “allowed combinations” students will usually study at least 1 EBACC option, a creative subject, and a practical subject in our wide option offer.   Each year approximately half of the year study Geography, a similar proportion will study History and a smaller, but still significant, group will study one of the 3 languages we offer with excellent results – increasing each year to nearly 50% in 2022.  The proportion taking the full suite of EBACC subjects has steadily increased, as has the proportion of students taking “triple” Science.  We also offer an alternative curriculum that meets the needs of those children who need a little extra support in their studies while allowing them to still follow a curriculum offering that has high aspirations of them.  All students can choose from the full array of academic and vocational subjects.

The Key Stage 4 curriculum has a variety of academic and vocational qualifications for students to choose from to allow them to develop a wide range of skills necessary to be successful in a rapidly changing world.  Many students combine one vocational subject with their academic choices.  Students will usually complete their compulsory education by gaining 9 qualifications (GCSE and Vocational).

By studying a diverse range of subjects, we ensure students have a vast range of progression options open to them.  A more intensive careers programme including university visits, a range of outside speakers and our own bespoke careers fair ensure all students have plans in place for their next steps.

Core Subjects

English

Mathematics

Science

Year 11

9

 8

9

Year 10

8

7

9

Year 9

7

7

8

GCSE Options

Art & Design

Business Studies

Computer Science

Dance

Design & Technology

Food Prep & Nutrition

French

Geography

Graphics

History

Italian

Media Studies

Music

P.E. (GCSE)

Photography

Textiles

Spanish

Vocational Options

Creative Computing

Health & Social Care

Performing Arts

Sport Science

(CORE*)

Religious Studies

P.S.H.E* 

P.E*

OPTION SUBJECTS

All have 5 lessons a fortnight in all 3 years 

Year 11

Year 10

Year 9

-

1

3

2

1

3

2

1

3

KEYSTAGE 4
SUBJECTS

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KS4 REVISION SUPPORT
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KEYSTAGE 4
DAY

KS4 SUBJECTS
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ASSESTMENT

STUDENT
ASSESSMENT

 

PRINCIPLES

The purpose of assessment is to provide useful feedback to act upon.

Every subject has a set of departmental Assessment Principles, which they follow, that provide guidance on areas such as the frequency of assessment and feedback, teacher comments and guidance, opportunities for self and peer assessment and reflection and improvement,

Assessment can be formative (ongoing) and summative (at the end of term or topic).

 

OBJECTIVES

Feedback should be a continuous process which takes place throughout the sequence of learning. Feedback should be timely and regular and using a range of different methods.

 

Teachers provide regular opportunities to close identified gaps. Learners need to know what they are expected to do to make further improvements.

Teachers provide opportunities for directed improvement and reflection time in lessons as appropriate. Regular testing and retrieval of information should form part of the assessment process. Teachers use feedback to evaluate lessons and curriculum and inform the planning of subsequent work. The outcomes of assessment are recorded and shared regularly with stakeholders. The purpose of all assessment is to provide regular useful feedback to inform teaching and learning, letting students know if they are on target, and expose any gaps that need addressing.

 

INTERVENTIONS

Teachers, middle and senior leaders track and monitor the outcomes of regular assessment to plan interventions to support learners. We make good use of the information provided by assessment to let students know if they are on track, what their strengths, weaknesses and gaps are, and how to move on and improve.

 

The school ensures planned and inbuilt formative assessment including knowledge organisers and regular retrieval practice, and summative assessment during Assessment Weeks. The outcomes from this range of assessments are communicated to students and parents via progress grades on Insight. 

KS3

Students in KS3 study a broad range of subjects, which are assessed regularly in class using both low stakes quizzing and retrieval practice, end of topic tests, and more formal Assessment Weeks three times per year. Assessment for Years 7 and 8 are related to measuring progress and reported as Below/In-Line/Good/Exceptional.

KS4

 

Students in KS4 study a range of option choice subjects, which are assessed regularly in class during both low stakes testing quizzing and retrieval practice, past paper exam style questions, end of unit tests, and more formal Assessment Weeks three times per year, as well as more formal examination experience at the end of Years 9, 10 and during Year 11 Mocks and Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs). Assessment for Years 9 to 11 is linked and related to published course specification and examination criteria, to provide useful feedback on attainment in KS4 grades such as 9-1 or vocational pass/merit/distinction. 

 

KS5

Students in KS5 follow a similar assessment regime to those in KS4 with the addition of assessment lessons once per fortnight for each of their subjects.  These allow for them to practise their exam technique, become more accustomed to the assessment criteria of their subjects and to complete questions under timed conditions.  These pieces of work are assessed by the teacher and feedback is given.

HOMEWORK

HOMEWORK

Homework is an important part of learning, helping to embed and extend knowledge and understanding, and promote independent study skills. Homework is set frequently, appropriately, and regularly across the school. Surveys show that those that complete regular homework achieve more highly, and so we want to encourage our students to complete relevant, meaningful homework and get into good habits of independent learning and research, and meeting deadlines for them.

OUR AIMS FOR HOMEWORK

  • To encourage students to develop the skills, confidence, self-discipline, independence, and motivation needed to study effectively on their own.  This is vital given the importance for students in the future of life-long learning and adaptability.

  • To consolidate and reinforce skills and understanding of knowledge developed at school, including time management.

  • To extend school learning, for example through additional reading and research.

  • To revise independently to prepare for assessments

  • To sustain the involvement of parents and carers in the management of students’ learning and to keep them informed about the work students are doing.

  • To challenge and raise student performance.

  • To manage particular demands, such as course work and revision for public examinations.

FREQUENCY & DURATION OF HOMEWORK

When setting homework, the quality of the activity is far more important than the precise amount of time.  The following times provide a guide only:

KS3 

Years 7 and 8 should receive 20 – 45 minutes per subject per fortnight.

KS4

Year 9 should receive 30 – 60 minutes per subject per fortnight.

Years 10 and 11 should receive 30 – 70 minutes per subject per fortnight. This can include research work and revision for assessments, as well as completion and improvement of vocational learning.

KS5

Years 12 – 13 should receive up to four hours per day dependent on individual programmes (to include study periods).

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