The curriculum is at the heart of our Academy’s purpose and it reflects our core values of Respect, Resilience and Excellence. We recognise that improving educational outcomes is the biggest way we can positively impact on all our students’ futures including those with SEN and the disadvantaged.
As well as our curriculum equipping our students with qualifications to progress in education and a child’s intellectual development, it will include social and emotional development, citizenship and responsibility.
We will strive to deliver a curriculum that is coherently designed, sequenced and implemented, that is predominately but not exclusively knowledge based and is built on a foundation of strong pedagogy. Our curriculum must develop a child’s love of lifelong learning, of fascination and wonder, and enable them to be excellent in all they do.
We intend our curriculum to be ambitious, challenging and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with SEND, the knowledge and cultural literacy and capital they need to succeed in life.
Our curriculum will be coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.
We intend that we will have the same academic, technical or vocational ambitions for all learners. They will study the full curriculum in KS3. In KS4 students will be offered the opportunity to specialise and to increase the depth of learning in some subjects.
We intend our curriculum to challenge children of all abilities, it will be sequenced and delivered using our pedagogical principles to allow subject knowledge to be linked into schemata.
The curriculum will be planned and implemented using subject curriculum maps, Schemes of Learning and Knowledge Organisers, teachers will plan individual lessons based on the class they are teaching. We aim for all subjects to be delivered by subject specialists.
To support students in their ability to acquire new knowledge and develop skills, we have implemented a learning sequence that supports students in securing, understanding and retaining new knowledge underpinned by Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2012). Recall and retrieval activities are used to support well-researched practices which move learning from short- to long-term memory.
Lessons are sequenced to build on prior knowledge and begin with a “Do Now” asking pupils to recall knowledge from a previous lesson. By regularly revisiting prior learning, students are able to more quickly remember knowledge and apply skills, meaning that their learning is accelerated. Supporting this, each lesson contains new learning delivered through high-quality explanations and modelling, understanding is checked using a range of questioning techniques.
This direct instruction ensures all students receive the correct information they need to rapidly make progress in the following tasks and questions. Feedback is provided is a range of ways ensuring all students receive quality guidance to improve in future tasks.
Colchester Academy uses high quality summative assessments which allow pupils to demonstrate their growing understanding of their subjects and teachers to assess the impact of their teaching. These summative assessments are typically taken twice per term, enabling teachers to focus on formative assessment from lesson to lesson.
Our formative assessments are designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject. This means that in lessons pupils are quizzed on prior knowledge in order to embed this knowledge in their long-term memory. This frees up their working memory to attend to current learning. We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing. Knowledge organisers provide students with key information in each subject, enabling them to develop their understanding of key concepts outside of their lessons.
Learners are ready for the next stage of education, employment or training. Where relevant, they gain qualifications that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intention of their course of study. They read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension.