At Abbeyfield School, our curriculum is broad so that pupils can experience a range of opportunities across the curriculum; balanced as it prevents pupils from narrowing down their options too early; relevant to the demands of a rapidly-changing world; and personalised to ensure that the level and type of work are suited to the ability and learning style of each individual pupil.
We believe these curriculum principles will stand our pupils in good stead, at each transition point, for a bright and aspirant future where their talents and experience can result in excellent outcomes.
We encourage classroom teachers to take risks in their teaching and plan and deliver lessons that account for all pupils’ starting points whilst also meeting the requirements of the national curriculum and developing a joy of learning and passion for individual subjects.
At Abbeyfield School, pupils will:
- Experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum;
- Be literate and numerate;
- Have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement;
- Build their character;
- Develop their cultural, social, moral, mental and physical development;
- Secure foundations for progression.
Pupils experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum
Our school curriculum helps pupils to achieve high standards and make excellent progress. At KS3, the curriculum is broad and pupils learn essential knowledge built around our DSME curriculum 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. At KS4, the courses are carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited and this undoubtedly prepares pupils for external examinations at the end of the course. For those pupils who require alternative provision, we plan an individualised programme of study through our School within a School setting.
Be literate and numerate
The development of pupil language and oracy is at the forefront of our curriculum as we understand how vital it is for our pupils to build confidence in communication skills not only for their time in school but also to prepare them for working life. We ensure pupils have opportunities in all subjects to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view and to develop their formality of language to ensure they can have the confidence to speak to different audiences. Numeracy skills are embedded across the curriculum. Our school ensures that pupils are literate and numerate enabling them to flourish, thrive and access the next stage of their education, employment or training.
Have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement
Abbeyfield School is inclusive and ambitious for all; we have high expectations of all pupils. Our behaviour policy ensured that pupils learn that actions have consequences and they can accept and appreciate difference between people. Whilst students gain knowledge through KS3 and KS4, we also want them to become learners who are enquiring, enthusiastic, engaged and mannerly.
We are committed to improving the life chances and aspirations of pupils. Our character education is embedded within our tutor programme as well as our lessons. With a focus on the 5 pillars of building character through leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication, we ensure that pupils have access to a wider curriculum which provides numerous opportunities in sport, creativity, performing, world of work, volunteering and membership.
Develop their cultural, social, moral, mental and physical development
At Abbeyfield School, we pride ourselves on delivering a curriculum which incorporates SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural). To ensure that they are fully prepared for life in modern Britain, pupils are able to envision ‘The Bigger Picture’ and show that learning is linked to the real world and experiences. Pupils are encouraged to take part in a range of sporting, cultural and charitable activities. Links with local and national business enrich the curriculum offer and help to contextualise learning. We are proud to be a Thrive Hub School, ensuring that there is a greater focus on child mental health and wellbeing.
Secure foundations for progression.
It is our intention that our pupils have secure foundations for progression into further education and apprenticeships. Over the course of five years, pupils receive a rigorous and bespoke curriculum which exposes pupils to a range of voices and experiences.
Key Stage Three Curriculum Year 7 -9
At Key Stage Three (KS3), students study the traditional academic subjects: Maths, English, Science, Languages and Humanities and alongside these we offer a healthy mixture of Arts and Technology subjects. PE, Drama, and Music are taught as distinct subjects and students follow a carousel of Technology lessons enabling them to study Food and Nutrition, Textiles and Product Design throughout the year. Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHEE) is taught every fortnight to all KS3 and 4 students and covers important topics that support our students in becoming good, responsible citizens as well as modules on ‘keeping yourself safe’ which incorporates topics such as internet safety. We also recognise that students flourish when given an individualised curriculum and that traditional routes of study do not always met the needs of all pupils. We therefore offer an intervention class (BEAMs) classroom which offers students additional support during the transition between Primary and Secondary school setting.
Key Stage Four Curriculum Year 10 and 11
KS4 pupils all continue their study of the traditional academic subjects at GCSE: Maths, English and Science and one other traditional subject (e.g. History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages or Computer Science) and of course PE to ensure that good physical health is encouraged. Pupils also have two other free choices to make from a wide range of Arts, Design and Technology and contemporary subjects.
For some students, this programme of study is not appropriate for their educational needs so we create a personalised GCSE package that is more suitable for ensuring their success at Key Stage Four.
The curriculum is built around subjects that complement one another. This includes a range of facilitating and specialist subjects alongside the Extended Project, Core Maths or Further Maths. We aim to give pupils a sense of control over their Sixth Form programme, enabling a broad education, offering wide choice and essential skills for a rapidly changing world. We deliver A Level and BTEC subjects that we have the ability to teach to a high standard in order to ensure that the pupil experience is full and rewarding. Pupil’s timetables are supplemented with recognised independent study for which pupils are guided through and provided work for as well as PSHE sessions during which pupils are guided and supported in the decision making and preparation for next steps be it University or Apprenticeships.
At Abbeyfield School, our curriculum will:
- Ensure that the sequence of learning builds on previous knowledge whilst supporting future progression.
- Lead to qualifications that are of worth for employers and for entry to further and higher education.
- Enable all pupils to fulfil their potential.
- Meet the needs of pupils of all abilities at our school.
- Allow pupils to acquire an appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures.
- Prepare pupils to compete in the global economy.
- Prepare pupils to make informed choices at the end of KS3, KS4 and beyond.
- Help students develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to question and argue rationally.
The Curriculum beyond the Classroom
In addition to what happens in the classroom, other key elements of our curriculum delivery include:
- A vast programme of trips which include UK, foreign, day and residential
- Numerous visitors come into school to present to students e.g. authors, Poets and local Politicians
- A careers programme which includes visits to colleges and universities and a careers fair
- In-school performances
- A tutor-time programme focused on personal development
- A mentoring programme which includes a buddy scheme for reluctant readers
- Advocating for the vulnerable in our communities through raising awareness of issues and participating in fundraising events.