Our Curriculum Structure
We are a Catholic college that is aspiring for academic excellence and we continually reinforce our vision with the phrase, ‘Only the best will do.’
Our college mission statement, like the “Declaration of Independence”, clearly sets out to state we are a community that always strives to be a place where equality, human rights and self-determination is at the core of our Christian Catholic Community. We believe in a curriculum that supports all students from Year 7 through to Year 14 and not Year 7 to 11.
In October 2018, the review of the curriculum began to take place at Archbishop Beck Catholic College. This involved key stakeholders being invited to take part in a programme of development. It was an opportunity for staff, students and governors to have a voice in how we remodel the curriculum, which would have an impact on our learners and would be ambitious and inspiring. Quantitative research was undertaken through a ‘Learning Characteristics Questionnaire’ and a wide range of working parties formulated to establish the vision that each of our stakeholders had. From these deep, thought-provoking discussions, we were able to rationalise and ratify a curriculum that was fully inclusive to all learners. The thrust of that model has been the learning characteristics that would enable learners to thrive and make progress.
Our curriculum is built upon the foundations of learning characteristics that the College community believes to be fundamentally important to have a successful learning journey. The attributes identified; always give your best, motivated, resilient, confident, respectful and positive were deemed to be qualities that would influence ones learning experience here at the College.
With these core values in mind, we endeavoured to design a curriculum model that would embed these learning characteristics into a curriculum that had ‘breadth and depth’ and ultimately enable our learners to flourish in their learning. At the heart of the curriculum model is our Archbishop Beck student. We recognise that our curriculum must seek to develop a broad range of skills, tailored to each learner in order that they can be successful in the varied journeys they aspire to embark on. This is in line with the context of our college and supporting the educational provision that our learners are entitled to. Therefore, we will be offering a wide range of enrichment opportunities to support their interests and prepare them to become valued citizens in our community and the wider society.
Our KS3 curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9 offers learners a wide range of subjects. During this time, learners will have opportunities not only to enhance learning skills and knowledge but undertake enquiry-based, problem solving and decision-making activities. KS3 learners will have the scope to develop the broad curriculum skills and capabilities in greater depth. To facilitate the richness of the curriculum design further, all learners will undertake cultural capital experiences in every subject area alongside bespoke careers experiences in each year group. These fundamental practices allow learners to demonstrate a diverse range of skills in a wide range of subjects.
Year 7 learners will undertake a transition programme in all subject curriculum areas when they begin Archbishop Beck Catholic College in the new academic year. A ‘Nurture Group’ has been formulated for some of our more vulnerable learners to support them both academically and emotionally as they venture into our secondary setting. Some of our learners are entitled to be a part of the ‘Catch up Literacy’ and/or ‘Catch up Numeracy’ programme if they did not achieve the expected standard in their KS2 assessments. This is co-ordinated carefully with Subject Leaders and our SEND Co-ordinator. KS3 will build on the fundamentals of KS2 and prepare learners for KS4.
The KS4 curriculum in Years 10 and 11 offers a breadth of subjects. Our Options process at the end of Year 9 is based on the interests, abilities and aptitude of learners. They are supported at an individual level to help them choose the subjects that are appropriate for them and their destinations post-16. We offer a range of GCSE and Vocational qualifications and adapt these every year to meet the needs of the learners.
All learners have the opportunity to complete the full English Baccalaureate suite of subjects. Consequently, the College will provide guided learner choice at KS4, whilst building on the strengths and interests of the individual and maintaining breadth and balance, which is built on the intent for their aspirations for the future and is ultimately equitable for the learner. All students will study GCSE’s in: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Religious Education, Trilogy Science, PE/Dance or general PE.
Our KS5 curriculum is fully inclusive, students can follow academic routes, vocational routes, or a combination of both to ensure progression into Higher Education, Russell Group, Higher Apprenticeships, Further Education or relevant employment. A full RE programme is incorporated into the students study programme, and supported with external visits and external delivery on the college site. Students follow an enrichment programme to support their vocational studies or Higher/Further Education application.
Students are also involved in a ‘work inspiration’ programme that includes guest speakers, employability interviews and a bespoke week’s work placement in their preferred area of interest. There are elite sporting academies in basketball, dance, football and mixed martial arts, in which students can follow academic/vocational programmes, and outside of the curriculum receive focussed coaching and competitive fixtures.
Statement of Intent
The curriculum at Archbishop Beck permeates all that we do both in and outside the classroom. We offer numerous opportunities and activities beyond the academic curriculum which are aimed at ensuring physical, social and mental wellbeing for all. Learners have a right to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which enables them to be challenged and make progress. It recognises that all learners are unique and may require a diverse range of pedagogical and metacognitive experiences to support them in their learning journey. We implore teachers to use vocabulary for a range of purposes and contexts to enable learners to enhance and develop their vocabulary repertoire, which is further advocated through the ‘Valiant Vocabulary’ boards in each classroom. Oracy plays an important role in instilling confidence and self-esteem amongst our learners and they are regularly posed questions individually and collectively within groups to encourage and embark in dialogue that is meaningful. This allows our learners to express themselves freely, maturely and with conviction.
The curriculum and its delivery also reflect our Catholic ethos, vision and values. The curriculum disperses time proportionally to the weighting and demands of each subject area. The procedures and level of assessments are in line with our intent in providing a balanced curriculum. They enable us to inform learners, parents/carers of how much progress learners are making and what is required to help them improve.
Our SEND department also provide individualised programmes of support, for learners who require additional provision. Teaching Assistants are deployed across the College to further assist learners within the learning environment. Some learners are entitled to 1:1 support.
The governing body have been decisive throughout the processes that relate to Archbishop Beck Catholic College having a broad and balanced curriculum.They fully endorse the ethos of ‘Only the best will do’ throughout the College community.
Method of Implementation
The KS3 curriculum model is outlined below, each lesson is a duration of 50 minutes and learners have 6 lessons per day, 30 lessons over the course of the week.
|Year 7||Lessons||Year 8||Lessons||Year 9||Lessons|
|Art and Design||1||Art and Design||1||Art and Design||1|
|Design Technology||2||Design Technology||2||Design Technology||2|
All students at KS4 will study English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, PE/Dance and RE. All students at KS4 will be able to access the full suite of English Baccalaureate subjects. All students at KS4 will receive appropriate advice and guidance to ensure they are supported fully in making the most suitable options. The outcome of the KS4 curriculum is learners will be obtaining a wide range of GCSE’s to Vocational Qualifications over the course of the two years, which have been built on the foundations delivered during the course of KS3.