For us it means that students should have every opportunity to build on their learning from primary school and develop further knowledge and understanding of core subjects. It is also a time to discover new interests, skills and talents which they have time to develop and refine. As such we want our curriculum offer to be a greenhouse rather than a hot-house so that our students can flourish, feel successful and achieve highly.
In addition to this the curriculum serves a broader purpose. Much of modern life is dictated by algorithms; providing us with more of what we know and like. Part of the job of the curriculum is to break this and introduce pupils to new ideas, concepts and tastes.
In the wake of the removal of levels we made the most of our academy freedoms and completely re-designed our KS3 curriculum. Our KS3 is designed by subject specialists who have considered the specific knowledge that children should access in that subject and the sequence in which it should be taught so that it can be best understood, retained and used in deeper thinking.
We are fully committed to a 3 year Key Stage 3 that aims to develop skilful leaners who are ready to take on the challenge of a new era of GCSEs and paves the way for success at GCSE rather than covering repetitive content. Starting from Year 7 we have a programme of study that is designed to furnish our students with the knowledge and skills they will need to have mastered by the end of Year 9 in order to be successful in their GCSE studies while nurturing an appreciation of the subject.
When it comes to GCSE our students have a balance of compulsory study and choice. At present students do not follow pathways but are free to choose within the parameters of the timetable and DfE expectations around those subjects which best suit their aspirations and their areas of skill.
Similarly at Sixth Form students have a wide choice of A level subjects and are encouraged to research which options will best enable them to fulfil their ambitions and to keep doors open to their futures.
I am again blessed and feeling very humble… Heart of England never fails our child or us as parents.