The curriculum

At John Smeaton Academy we take great pride in ensuring that our students are fully prepared for life beyond the end of their compulsory secondary education. To this end, we constantly strive to achieve the following in terms of our curriculum:

  • Our curriculum is designed and organised to ensure that students are constantly learning and consolidating knowledge in a coherent structure so that it is retained year on year;
  • Our curriculum is designed to be inspiring and engaging for students so that they develop a passion and enthusiasm for learning not just in the classroom, but beyond;
  • Our curriculum ensures that students are routinely exposed to challenging and difficult concepts and ideas where they are required to apply the knowledge they have acquired to different and challenging contexts;
  • Our curriculum develops the skills of independence and autonomy so that students are not over reliant on the support of others, including their teachers;
  • We place the development of literacy and numeracy at the centre of our work so that students have a mastery of the key skills needed to be successful in further education and employment.

John Smeaton Academy Curriculum Intent

At John Smeaton Academy we are determined to ensure that our students always enjoy learning, make excellent progress and attain outstanding results. We know that achievements do not happen by chance, but by highly reflective, carefully planned and implemented strategies that exist within a culture of mutual respect.

The trust’s Positive Discipline system, in place in all our 11-16 mainstream academy, gives rise to an outstanding climate for learning where students feel safe and are able to engage fully in the awe and wonder of their lessons. Within each lesson, students also experience the ‘Purple Zone’ which is a period in the lesson where they work independently on challenging content that support their ability to develop resilience and assists in the crafting of the skillset which is needed to be successful in rigorous external examinations. Ultimately, we are seeking for students to ‘Secure the Gift of Choice’, the Gift of Choice being their ability to choose their next steps at any point in their future rather than having avenues closed off to them as a result of a poor skillset or qualification suite.

  • Our curriculum is designed to instil exceptional standards equipping our students with ambitious standards required to ‘Secure the Gift of Choice’.
  • Our curriculum is designed to remove barriers so students can maximise progress and access appropriate challenge.
  • Our curriculum builds resilience by ensuring that students are routinely exposed to challenging and difficult concepts and ideas. Where they are required to apply the knowledge, they have acquired to
    different and challenging contexts.
  • Our curriculum is designed to deliver awe and wonder to promote creativity in the classroom; to inspire and engage the students so that they develop a passion and enthusiasm for learning not just in the classroom, but beyond.
  • Our curriculum develops the skills necessary to fulfil individual potential; developing independence and autonomy so that students are not over reliant on the support of others, including their teachers.

GORSE Code

Forensic Reading

As they spend their time with us our children and young adults will establish a coastal shelf of knowledge, vocabulary, understanding, phraseology and experience that forms a basis for success in difficult examinations and the challenges of adult life beyond their time with us. Forensic Reading will expose students to challenging, complex and academic texts which will not only develop students’ vocabulary but also their ability to appreciate what makes a great writer.

Purple Zone

Students will be routinely exposed to challenging or difficult concepts which requires them to think and apply their prior knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. Purple Zone is designed so that students struggle with difficult concepts from which they will learn more.

 

The use and extension of Purple Zone activities is deep-rooted in our work. Purple Zone work is formally linked to the process of assessment, linked in its own right to Iterative Assessment.

Curriculum/Rubric Mapping

Students experience a well organised and coherent curriculum which has been planned meticulously by expert professionals so that learning develops lesson by lesson, year by year.

 

The curriculum maps detail for each subject the knowledge to be taught, when it will be taught and how it might best be taught. Curriculum maps also directly link to homework and Iterative Assessments.

Iterative Assessment

Iterative Assessment is the process of assessing the accumulation of knowledge over time. We do not focus solely on what has been taught most recently, instead, we assess students in terms of current and prior learning.

 

Students will be regularly tested against the knowledge that has been delivered through the curriculum. The curriculum is driven through a detailed professional understanding of the curriculum and examination rubric.

Positive Discipline

Positive Discipline is the foundation stone upon which all success is built. Positive Discipline is an established aspect of student life at John Smeaton Academy and allows professionals, students and parents to drive a culture of high aspiration and achievement as behaviour around the academy and in lessons is exemplary.

 

Positive Discipline creates a culture of autonomy where students can become responsible for their own learning.

 

Curriculum Structure

We have 5 periods of 60 minutes every day making 25 periods in the week. There is a form period of 40 minutes at the beginning of every morning and a floating Positive Discipline lesson that takes place during a different period every week where students spend the lesson with their form teachers.

On five days for KS3 and three days for KS4 each year, the academy has days completely dedicated to cover the parts of PHSCEE/RSHE that cannot be delivered through other lessons, weekly assemblies or tutor time sessions. These are known as Be Smart days and often involve specialist outside agencies and inspirational guest speakers. These lessons cover curriculum content covering relationships, sex education, health education, bullying, citizenship, economic wellbeing and careers. For more information please see the PSHCEE Curriculum Overview at the bottom of this web page: https://www.johnsmeatonacademy.org.uk/academy-information/personal-development/

Years 7, 8 and 9

The Key Stage 3 curriculum model is based upon a 25-period timetable, split into two bands, A and B. Students study a wide range of subjects including the CORE subjects (English, Mathematics, and Science), humanities, languages and the arts. In Year 7, all students study either French or Spanish and from Year 8 onwards students have the option to study Mandarin as their chosen language.

 

Year 7
Subject Number of Hours
English 3
Forensic Reading 1
Mathematics 4
Science 3
History 2
Geography 2
Spanish or French 2
PE 2
RE 1
ICT 1
Drama 1
Music 1
Art 1
Technology Rotation 1

 

Year 8
Subject Number of Hours
English 3
Forensic Reading 1
Mathematics 4
Science 3
History 2
Geography 2
Spanish, French or Mandarin 2
PE 2
RE 1
ICT 1
Drama 1
Music 1
Art 1
Technology Rotation 1

 

Year 9
Subject Number of Hours
English 3
Forensic Reading 1
Mathematics 4
Science 4
History 2
Geography 2
MFL (Spanish, Mandarin) 3
PE 1
RE 1
ICT 1
Drama 1
Music 1
Art & Technology Rotation 1

Years 10 and 11

The Key Stage 4 curriculum model is based upon a 25-period timetable split into two bands, A and B. Students study the CORE subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Language and CORE PE), one humanities subject (History or Geography) and two further option subjects. Both humanities subjects can be studied if the student wishes to choose them.

Core Subjects
Subject Number of Hours
English 4
Mathematics 4
Science 4
Core PE 1
French or Spanish 3

 

Core Option
Subject Number of Hours
History/Geography 3

 

Option Subjects
Subject Number of Hours
Drama 3
Religious Studies 3
Computer Science 3
Photography 3
Art 3
Textiles 3
Food Technology 3
Geography 3
Music 3
Sport 3
Health & Social Care 3

As parents and carers you can see the topics and skills your child is currently working on and also what they will be going onto explore next. If you require any further clarification on how to support your child with these topics please contact Curriculum Leaders by sending an email to [email protected] or by telephoning the academy on 0113 8313900