‘Ambition, reading and cultural capital’
At King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy, we have designed our curriculum, with our pupils’ whole learning experience at the centre. Developing our pupils to become confident, well-rounded individuals is a hallmark of a Balaam Wood education.
We have developed an ambitious curriculum that provides a broad, balanced and knowledge rich education carefully planned to allow all our pupils to develop the essential personal qualities and skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in the 21st century both academically and socially. We want to prepare them for whatever career they choose at the highest possible level.
Our culture is one of high standards; for pupil behaviour, learning and quality of teaching.
We are committed to being ambitious for all our pupils and we place reading, cultural capital and a love of knowledge at the centre of our curriculum thinking.
We are proud of our curriculum and the experiences we offer in the classroom, in form time sessions and through enrichment opportunities. We believe that all pupils deserve to learn the very best of what has been thought and said in all their subjects and we are committed to making that happen. Our approach to teaching and learning is informed by research and a commitment to high expectations. It is crucial all our teachers are subject specialists and have clarity about the value of their subject, why and how they teach it.
We consider our curriculum having three key areas:
All three areas are underpinned by our core values that BACK up all that we do:
Be Bold… committed to academic excellence
Be Ambitious…for all pupils
Be Collaborative…learning involves working together
Be Kind…. Respecting each other and the diverse experiences of everyone in our community and allowing others to achieve to their full potential
We believe in offering a wide range of subjects and it is our intention that our curriculum develops resilience, confidence, self-esteem and a thirst for learning amongst our pupils. We offer a balance between traditional academic subjects and the more creative, practical subjects. Our provision in each key stage ensures that pupils are fully prepared for the next stage of their education and lives.
Our intent is that our curriculum:
Our curriculum vision has been developed through a commitment to research, reading and looking closely at the needs of our pupils as well as looking beyond our school; we are on a curriculum journey and strive for the best for our pupils in their development of knowledge.
We have developed a comprehensive and thought-provoking curriculum across all subjects. Expert teachers have carefully considered the precise knowledge that pupils need to know to be successful.
The curriculum has been coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills. Subject-specific curriculum content is mapped in long-term plans and the plans for each subject make clear what pupils are learning and the knowledge and skills to be gained. Thoughtful consideration is given to the purposeful selection and sequencing of knowledge and how each unit of work and each lesson builds on prior learning. Our faculty and subject leaders regularly review and adapt their sequencing of lessons to ensure that pupils are appropriately supported and challenged.
In our curriculum planning we ensure our teachers have expert subject knowledge and are able to:
We are proud that our curriculum is taught by specialist teachers with a strong knowledge and passion for their subject. We want our pupils to be ambitious and resilient and know how to learn for themselves. We expect teachers to encourage, support and guide pupils, and we expect pupils to take responsibility for their own learning and to be able to work both independently and collaboratively, to enjoy challenges and to persevere when they find things hard.
We have thought hard about how we structure our curriculum. The school operates a 50-period two-week timetable (25 periods per week). There are 5 periods per day (4 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon), each of which lasts for one hour.
There is a 20-minute break in the morning between periods 2 and 3. Lunchtime will be 50 minutes from September allowing for enrichment and time for reading and staff reflection.
Each morning there is a 20-minute form time; this is an opportunity for an assembly, personal development session, reading and a focus on our values.
In Key Stage 3 pupils follow the National Curriculum and study a broad and balanced range of subjects over three years. Lessons are planned carefully to ensure it reflects the school context and builds cultural capital. Learning is sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on previous learning and allows for time and a greater depth of study and understanding in all subjects.
Pupils study the following core subjects: English, maths and science, history, geography, religious education, French, PE, art, music, drama, design and technology (pupils have a carousel of resistant materials, food, textiles and graphics) and personal development.
The personal development curriculum follows the three core areas of: health and wellbeing and British values, Relationships, living in the wider world.
In Key stage 4 pupils continue to study a strong core of compulsory academic subjects which gives pupils the relevant skills and qualifications to successfully progress into post 16 pathways. This approach based on academic rigour includes a focus on the core of English, maths, science, humanities and where appropriate French. This is complimented by an extensive range of options at KS4, including: art, textiles, drama, sport, design and technology subjects including Food and DT, ICT and a vocational Asdan course.
We are excited to share with you our timetable of Enrichment activities on offer to our pupils. Some activities will have limited spaces so signing up quickly is strongly recommended. All pupils will need to return a completed consent form to reception to attend our afterschool Enrichment Activities.
BCFC Strike a Change and KICKS will require a separate consent form as they are led by an external provider.