The Leigh Academy aims to ensure that all students gain a wide and extensive knowledge base which combined with co curricular opportunities build students cultural capital. We have a curriculum that is broad and balanced ‘Opening Minds to Success’ through delivery of the ‘Healthy Minds’ programme ensuring that the IB learning profiles are fully embedded through the Key Stages. Students become resilient learners and are well prepared and successful in the next stage of their education or career pathway. Our curriculum is structured in to the 3 Key Stages to achieve these aims in the following way:
- Key Stage 3 (Year 7, 8 and 9): The Middle Years Programme (MYP)
- Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11): GCSE and equivalent qualifications
- Key Stage 5 (Year 12 and 13): The IBCP, A-Levels and BTEC qualifications
Key Stage 3
As an IB World School, the MYP curriculum we implement at Key Stage 3 seeks to develop enquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The MYP is designed to teach students in Key Stage 3 to become independent learners, who can discover the links between subjects and the real world. The MYP emphasises the study of 8 subject groups:
- Language Acquisition
- Language and Literature
- Individuals and Societies
- Physical and Health Education
The MYP places great emphasis on international-mindedness, interdisciplinary learning and service to others. The programme also offers opportunities to be actively involved in the community and promotes environmental responsibility in an ever changing global society.
In Year 8, students choose 2 subjects to study in depth through Year 9. This is a deliberate action to further engage students and enable them to really enjoy their subject whilst learning the depth of the content over a three-year course. The curriculum model allows students to choose 2 subjects in addition to the core maths, English, science, PE, computing and Healthy Minds lessons taking place within the MYP framework. This approach helps lay the foundations for study at KS4, with the GCSE curriculum choices taking place in Module 3 of Year 9.
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Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 at The Leigh Academy is a 2-year programme of study in line with DFE expectations. When making their choices, pupils are guided to follow one of our Baccalaureate pathways. At Key Stage 4, all pupils study a core curriculum comprising the following subjects;
- Physical Education
- Information Computing Technology
There are two Baccalaureate pathways at The Leigh which consist of the following:
- The EBacc Pathway – The English Baccalaureate groups together a range of qualifications identified by the Government as a measure of a pupil’s performance. In addition to the core curriculum of English, maths and science, pupils choosing to follow this pathway are required to study a foreign language and either history, geography or computer science.
- The LeighBacc Pathway – The LeighBacc enables pupils to study a combination of traditional GCSE subjects alongside vocational subjects. This pathway is unique to The Leigh Academy and is tailored for those pupils who would enjoy some of the EBacc subjects but not study them all. For example, a LeighBacc Pathway pupil may choose to study a foreign language but not wish to study either history or geography.
Key Stage 5
Post-16 is a thriving aspect of the life of The Leigh Academy, led by a dedicated team of staff, all sharing the same determination to open doors for the young adults in our care. We believe that our role is to help our pupils to become the best versions of themselves that they can be and, in so doing, to ensure that they are ready to enter further education, an apprenticeship or employment. Key Stage 5 at The Leigh Academy is a two-year programme. Applicants to Post-16 are given guidance meetings to help them choose the pathway upon which they will pursue Level 3 courses. We provide a choice of 35 courses of study on four distinct pathways:
- Academic Pathway – a combination of A levels and/or IB Diploma courses
- Vocational Pathway – a combination of vocational qualifications, such as BTECs
- Mixed Academic and Vocational Pathway – a combination of A levels, IB Diploma courses and vocational qualifications
- International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) Pathway – a suite of one double or two single qualifications or one single vocational qualification, two IB Diploma courses and a Core Programme of Personal and Professional Skills, Language Development, Service Learning and Reflective Project
The implementation of the curriculum content will focus around ensuring that all students are active learners being taught by staff with strong subject knowledge. The focus this year will be on ensuring that knowledge retrieval is at the heart of all lessons and that there is interleaving evident in all schemes of work. It is essential that greater emphasis and importance is given to disciplined literacy with learning areas and staff taking responsibility for developing the reading, writing and oracy of learners. Assessment must be carefully crafted in order to ensure students are well challenged on their prior learning and that they fill any gaps in their prior knowledge. Effective and immediate feedback through conferencing is an important factor in ensuring students improve their work, learn from every experience and are reflective in their learning. Feedback should be motivating, manageable and meaningful. Greater focus needs to be given to ensure more students achieve higher grades in KS4 vocational courses in particular.
The curriculum will make a positive impact on the outcomes of every child. We will know that this is true as we are delivering a high standard of education, quality assured through qualitative and quantitative measures. Leaders at all levels review learning, talk with our students and provide feedback to move practice forward. The impact of the school’s curriculum is measured through several means:
- Outcomes for students across all key stages and groups
- EHCP Objectives
- Progress and attainment data for current year groups
- Destinations data
- Attendance and participation data
- Behaviour logs
- Engagement in enrichment activities
- Stakeholder feedback
- Progress towards the Gatsby benchmarks.