Our curriculum is underpinned by our core values of being:

Bold… committed to academic excellence in history with pupils who are self-reflective and able to set their own targets for improvement within the subject

Ambitious…history pupils who are inquisitive and aspirational, constantly striving to improve their own knowledge and skills

Collaborative…history pupils who work together to both support and challenge, enabling and driving the learning of everyone within the group

Kind…. Respecting each other’s opinions, being able to provide feedback in a way that helps improve the learning of others

The Humanities Faculty, aims to develop and embed the Humanities habits. These consist of both character and learning habits which are as follows. Character habits: respectful, responsible and aspiration. Learning habits: hard working, inquisitive and resilient. These habits are referenced and reinforced  consistently throughout Humanities lessons to ensure that pupils develop the positive habits which are needed for life after Balaam Wood Academy

History

The History curriculum at Balaam Wood is designed to facilitate a love of enquiry in our pupils which will enable them to develop into inquisitive historians and life-long learners. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics which provide a narrative of British history from the Roman period up to modern day, thus developing the cultural capital of our pupils and ensuring that they have an understanding of Britain’s place in the world and its current cultural, political, social and economic climate.

There is also a focus on the development of Birmingham from the Medieval period up the modern day, a theme which is revisited across key stage 3. This is aimed at developing our pupils’ sense of identity as well as respect for others both within and outside of the school community.

Within their history lessons pupils at Balaam Wood are encouraged to reflect on their own work as well as that of other pupils, setting targets for their own development. Pupils will be given regular opportunities to both peer and self-assess work completed by themselves and others. This will ensure that our pupils become independent and self-motivated, constantly striving to improve, thus preparing them for the next steps of their journey when they leave Balaam Wood.


Geography

We believe in offering a broad and balanced Geography Curriculum at King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy, to give our pupils the knowledge, skills and confidence to become successful in the 21st Century World, whatever their chosen path.

We will:

  • Provide a Geography Curriculum that aims to inspire pupils and develop curiosity about the world the live in
  • Deliver the National Curriculum at KS3, building upon previous learning and pupils’ current knowledge and understanding
  • Make lessons engaging to encourage pupils to study Geography at KS4
  • Our curriculum will follow the National curriculum as a baseline and will take a Philosophical approach to build on the pupil’s previous experience of the subject and develop further subject knowledge & skills in relevant and ever-changing topics within Geography
  • In the context of the school our Geography curriculum will allow them to be inquisitive, think critically, challenge views and give our pupils their own voice allowing them to become bold and confident  
  • Extends pupils’ experiences and awareness to the wider world
  • Provide a safe & stimulating environment for them to ask questions and give them the skills to be kind, respectful and understand the views of others
  • Encourage pupils to think in new ways about their own contexts of the world
  • Deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes
  • Develop key Geographical skills, literacy skills, mathematical skills, problems solving skills and interpersonal/social skills which have cross curricular links and will support them throughout their lives
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to work independently and collaboratively
  • Give them the experience of fieldwork and allow them to create memories which will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
  • Use a range of teaching strategies and tailor our Curriculum to the needs of different groups of pupils including challenge and support
  • Develop ambition for their future career opportunities that may link to our subject


Religious Education

We intend to deliver a rich and challenging Religious Studies curriculum which is holistic in nature, guided by over-arching themes and the needs of our pupils. The purpose of the RS curriculum at King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy is to develop our learners own thinking and understanding of the world’s main religions.  The subject explores significant theological concepts as part of developing pupil’s wider religious, theological and cultural literacy.  The Curriculum is designed to challenge superficial understandings of reality by introducing “different” ways of interpreting the world around us.

Our aim is to develop pupils who are open-minded, strive for academic excellence and have a love for learning. The curriculum is designed in line with the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus for RE, following the 24 dispositions and promoting social, moral, spiritual and cultural development throughout. The KS3 course consists of carefully selected topics that allow for a real breadth of study ranging from Judaism to Metaphysics and Ethics. Introducing pupils to key philosophers such as St. Thomas Aquinas, Descartes and Plato in the KS3 course develops the pupils’ cultural capital and allows them a taste for Philosophy and Ethics alongside Religion. We view the curriculum as a journey and each topic carefully links to the wider curriculum that leads on to the KS4 course, core themes feature over and over such as beliefs and practices, existence of God and good and evil. This allows for greater depth as each topic can be linked back to our ‘overall picture’, it also prepares pupils for the KS4 course. For those who do not opt for GCSE RS the skills developed through critical thinking, debate, discussion, evaluation and extended writing are all transferable to higher level study of most subjects.


Languages

The Language curriculum at Balaam Wood is designed to facilitate a love of enquiry in our pupils which will enable them to develop functional skills in modern foreign languages and become life-long learners. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics

Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment…the ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.

The functional skills that my pupils bring to the classroom, particularly in ICT, now make it possible for them to work on more relevant topics in languages lessons and to have much greater opportunities for independent learning.


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