Curriculum at Berwick Academy
Our curriculum philosophy reflects our belief that every young person has the right to a broad, stimulating and enriching education. We are highly ambitious for the young people of Berwick Academy, in their academic, technical and vocational studies. Equally, we expect high levels of commitment from our students. We recognise that we must aim to educate the ‘whole child’ so that students can flourish in employment and further education with a sound social, moral and cultural foundation. We aim to aim to equip all students to be good citizens who are able to contribute positively to their local and wider communities. Our philosophy reflects our core values of Friendship, Learning and Respect.
We believe that knowledge is empowering and can be transformational for our young people, in education and in life. Our knowledge-rich curriculum reflects our conviction that every student has the right to access challenging subject content, regardless of background or starting point. The design of our curriculum is based in the science of learning, which shows that subject content must be revisited often to make sure that knowledge sticks. We give students a strong foundation of knowledge to help them thrive in their chosen pathway and increase their cultural capital. We recognise that this curriculum, and our responsibility to our students, extends beyond the classroom.
Reading and Disciplinary Literacy
Reading and vocabulary are central to our curriculum. There is a proven correlation between literacy and career potential, health and wellbeing and we have a duty to help students achieve the highest possible literacy levels. At Berwick, every teacher is a teacher of reading and oracy. As we undertake curriculum development, we are in the process of adopting the ‘Read, Think, Write’ approach, giving students the strategies they need to break down and engage effectively with challenging texts. Disciplinary literacy is an integral part of each subject; teachers use high quality vocabulary instruction to help students to increase their bank of complex and technical words.
Teacher as the Expert
We recognise the teacher as the expert in their classroom. Curriculum leaders and teachers work together within faculties and across the school in order to transmit and embed the knowledge and values of our community. In addition to subject content, all teachers will support students in the development of intellectual curiosity, independence and resilience. Excellent curriculum design is a process of ongoing development and our curriculum will continue to be refined and adapted to meet the needs of our students. We will take an evidence-based approach to all curriculum strategy.
The Role of the Learner
The curriculum exists in service of the student, but we recognise the responsibilities of learners too. All students are educated in ‘The Berwick Way’, which is to work hard with humility, diligence and attention to detail. We proactively teach students what this means and support them in developing these behaviours, which we recognise can take time. We expect our students to demonstrate personal responsibility as a stakeholder in their education and a member of our learning community.
To summarise, the key elements of our curriculum are:
- Empowering students to achieve excellence in academic, technical and vocational pathways through the provision of a knowledge-rich curriculum.
- Giving students a firm moral, social and cultural foundation that will help them to be active and engaged citizens.
- Providing students with the cultural and critical literacy skills to forge a successful career and engage fully and critically in society.
- Recognising teachers as experts in their domains, and facilitating collaborative working to share best practice and embed our knowledge and values.
Supporting our young people to show commitment to our educational philosophy and engage fully with ‘The Berwick Way’.
Our school day, lessons and timetable
The Academy operates a two week (25 hours per week, 50 hours per cycle) timetable with five one- hour lessons per day. All the core and foundation subjects that form the National Curriculum are taught in Year 9.
In Year 9, students are placed in teaching groups according to a combination of factors including attainment in English, Mathematics and Science.
During Year 9 a booklet is published with details of all the courses that will be available in Key Stage Four (Years 10 and 11).
|Time allocation Year 9 (per 2 weeks)||Hours|
|Design & Technology||2|
|IT & Computing||2|
Year 9 students choose their GCSE options at the beginning of the calendar year. An options booklet and open evening is provided to help them make their choice. Due to the constraints of the timetable and the need to demonstrate a balanced and appropriate curriculum at Key Stage Four, students may be required to choose between options which both fall in the same options block. The school has designed these blocks to ensure that, whatever a child’s options choices, they are not prevented from following an A Level course of study as a result of a failure to select the appropriate course of study at GCSE.
In addition to the core subjects shown above, students are provided with lessons to support their spiritual, physical and personal development. The remainder of a student’s timetable is taken up by four options choices. The majority of our students enter the Sixth Form after Year 11. We have an open entry policy and all students are advised about the most appropriate courses to study.
|Curriculum Statements of Intent|
|Design & Technology|
|Health & Social Care|
|Hospitality and Catering|