Curriculum

In science pupils are being given complex tasks that challenge them to extend their thinking.

Ofsted Report 2017

Our Curriculum

Brixham College offers students a broad and balanced curriculum matched to the needs of the individual, giving students a wide choice of subjects throughout their time here. All students have access to the full curriculum, irrespective of gender, SEND, ethnicity, academic ability, social or cultural background.

The curriculum meets statutory requirements.

Our curriculum, encapsulates students’ whole learning experience during their time in school and is underpinned by the core belief of “Success in Learning leads to Success in Life”.

Our Curriculum Intent

Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which enables all to be successful learners and prepares them for success in life.  Our curriculum is designed to provide students with the core knowledge they need for success in education and in life, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person and the talents of the individual and to allow all students to become active and economically self-sufficient citizens.

By drawing on the best that has been thought, said and done in each subject, our curriculum enables students to appreciate and participate in the full richness of the human experience, developing positive lifelong values.

The curriculum as a core academic curriculum is founded on these key principles:

  1. We have high expectations for all and believe that all students have a right to learn what is in our curriculum; we have a duty to ensure that all students are taught the whole of it.
  2. We want all students to achieve a deep understanding of the knowledge specified in the curriculum for each year, and teaching should endeavour to secure this for all students.
  3. We will not constantly amend the curriculum: while we should make occasional adjustments in the light of feedback and experience, we will aim for stability, so that teachers can develop expertise and leadership.
  4. We want all students to get off to a flying start when they join us. Our curriculum will ensure continuity between primary, secondary and post-16 phases, so that our curriculum complements the work being done in other places to support student progress, ensuring continuous improvement for all.
  5. Our curriculum is intended as a concise specification of knowledge and content to be taught and learned; it is for faculties and teachers to decide how to teach and bring it to life, developing both mastery and character in our students.

Our Curriculum Implementation

At KS3, we deliver a traditional curriculum, the majority of students’ study one language either Spanish or French. We provide extra time in English and Maths for one ‘catch-up’ class in both Years 7 & 8, reducing (but not removing) the time they receive in Computing and Languages. All students have access to the widest possible curriculum, covering Values, Art, DT, English, French/Spanish, Geography, History, Computer Studies, Maths, Music, PE, Philosophy and Ethics and Science.

KS3 is delivered over 3 years to facilitate deeper learning and mastery.  Our KS3 curriculum is important to student’s future success as it is the bridge between childhood learning and the mature study of a young adult. It is a time of both physical and emotional growth, when our students begin to define their own discrete identities and aspirations.  This enables students to make the right choice for them regarding GCSE options.

KS4 is delivered over 2 years.  All students are expected to choose one EBACC subject within these options (although individual requests from students and parents may be agreed where particular learning needs suggest this is not beneficial to the student) and all are encouraged and have the opportunity to take a language and a humanity in order to complete the full EBACC. All students study statutory, PSHEE and PE.

Students are set within English, Maths, Science across all years

The development of students’ personal and social skills and their spiritual and cultural development are nurtured specifically through our Values Education curriculum, The Edge and assemblies, as well as permeating the whole curriculum, both formal and implicit.

Our Options Process

All students have 3 free choices in their options. As well as their preferred choices listed in preference order, they make reserve choices. The exact curriculum offer is generated from their choices, and then students are allocated according to the priority given. Wherever possible within acceptable class sizes, all students will be allocated subjects from their preferred choices and first reserve – if further reserves are needed then the student and parent will receive further contact and explanation.

Once allocations are published, we deal with any appeals in order of receipt. Students can ask to change options up to the end of the first half-term in Year 10.

Our Alternative curriculum

In some individual cases, student, parents and teachers agree that a student needs a different curriculum in order to enjoy and achieve. This is organised on an individual basis, so precedent should not be used as an indication of availability. Alternative measures may include: extra support within lessons, opting for one less subject and instead receiving supported study time, application to external programmes of study.

Our Values Led Education

Whilst academic success is very important, at Brixham College we believe that there is more to a good education.  As well as ensuring our students succeed in exams, we aim to develop our values of high expectations, knowledge, character, leadership and continued improvement.  Throughout their time at Brixham College students are expected to contribute to our community and to society.  We want students to try things they cannot do, to persist in the face of difficulty and to become resilient in overcoming obstacles. To approach life with a growth mindset and a can-do attitude.

To achieve this, we provide a breadth of opportunities and experiences which seek to help our students become confident, well-rounded and ambitious young adults.  Our curriculum and co-curriculum is overflowing with opportunities to try something new and develop new skills.  In addition to our very wide range of additional activities, our students enjoy trips abroad or various residential, university visits, talks by inspirational speakers, as well as countless opportunities to collaborate with their peers from other schools across the region.

We are incredibly proud to deliver a Values Education, an education that challenges, inspires and excites our students and prepares them for success in learning and success in life.

Our Curriculum Delivery

The curriculum in each subject can be accessed via the links specific to the year group. Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and you will see differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subjects. The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time, and we are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers within the same subject to meet together. Further subject specialism is provided through collaboration with external advisory and training bodies, including teaching school alliances.

As a mastery curriculum our students study fewer topics in greater depth, with the expectation that students secure knowledge and revisit misconceptions or gaps in learning. Key Stage 3 provides students with the time and space to gain this secure understanding. In our lessons you will typically see all students grappling with the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for students who need it.  Rather than moving on to new content, our higher attainers are expected to produce work of greater depth, flair and ambition.

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. We use the principles underpinning the Ambitious Classroom to develop our teaching:

  1. Planning – All students should be fully engaged in learning through exciting lessons that are planned for progress and behaviour.
  2. Resources – resources must be inspiring, updated regularly and go beyond the walls of the classroom and incorporate the latest technologies.
  3. Differentiation – must be a three tiered Challenge and reach all students – allowing them to achieve.
  4. Students Progress – Students must engage fully in lessons and be rewarded for achieving
  5. HPA – HPA students must be well planned for, rewarded and inspired to achieve.
  6. Assessment – assessment must be meaningful, well planned and designed to inform planning for future lessons
  7. Questioning – Questioning must allow all students to reflect, think hard, analyse and create more questions.
  8. Progress tracking – student’s progress must be tracked and recorded to show progress and intervention
  9. Rewards – students must be rewarded regularly for effort and attainment through Class charts.
  10. Stretch and challenge – stretch and challenge must be personalised and for all students irrespective of ability. Home Learning should be used to stretch and challenge the most able.
  11. Marking and feedback – Must be regular, meaningful and dedicated improvement time must allow students to address misconceptions. Linear progression must be demonstrated in books.
  12. Home learning – must be set every week and allow students to explore topics in greater depth for both pre and post learning. Students must be given opportunities to submit Home Learning through differing formats.

In order to allow the mastery approach to be effective (i.e. students learn what they are expected to in the year they are expected to), early catch up is essential: we aim to promptly identify and support students who start secondary school without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics so that they can access the full curriculum.

Everything from which students learn in school – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the co-curricular provision and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – are to be seen as part of the curriculum.  Our Values Education is delivered through the curriculum in this broadest sense.

The Impact of our curriculum

Values are the most important part of education to us at Brixham College.  All who work here share our values and understand the importance of creating opportunities to develop values with students and this is the foundation of success in learning and life.  Get this right and the rest will follow whether that be academic excellence or the ability to be a productive, happy, resilient member of society.

The impact of our curriculum can be measured through several accountability measures but what is more important is what our students are like, what contribution will they make and what impact will they have as individuals in the community.  This is the most important measure of our success and impact of our curriculum.

Accountability Measures

  • Outcomes for students
  • Progress and attainment data for current year groups
  • Destinations data.
  • Attendance data.
  • Behaviour data
  • Engagement in enrichment activities.
  • Student Voice.
  • Progress towards the Gatsby benchmarks.

 

 

 

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