Curriculum Overview

Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy

Curriculum

Our Curriculum offer is good, it meets the needs of all our students and is one of the key factors supporting the increase in standards in both achievement and progress for all key stages.

The current curriculum models in operation (2016/17) are: KS3 - Click Here KS4 - Click Here  P16 - Click Here

The curriculum is reviewed annually in order to respond both to the needs of our learners and to new strategic thinking (including EBACC and Progress 8). It ensures that our students are able to experience a suitable breadth, depth and balance of learning experiences, so leading to a collection of qualifications which are substantial in terms of quality and value.  Both GCSEs and Technical Awards form part of the offer and students are guided onto appropriate pathways suited to their individual needs.  In addition, there are individual personalised programmes in place to enable identified students to remain both in the academy and in education.

Raising standards in the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science is at the heart of our curriculum offer, with 40 – 47% of the taught week being dedicated to learning in these areas between the ages of 11 and 16.  This is resulting in cohorts of students progressing from a below average KS2 Points Score on entry to gaining broadly national average grade C outcomes!

Whilst our curriculum offer is driving forward standards in core subjects, it has also allowed our learners to succeed in other areas too.  Our standards continue to rise in the core subjects of Maths and English. Trends show that English exceeds National Averages in both attainment and progress with Maths improving rapidly and approaching National Averages. Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum is addressed through our RWCM (Reading Writing Communication Maths) strands. All curriculum areas and tutor teams are involved in the development of Literacy Skills. This is a whole academy approach with our areas of focus and intended outcomes shown here - Click Here. All curriculum areas are also involved in promoting basic functional numeracy. Specific departments are undertaking work to ensure that relevant appropriate mathematics skills are delivered to support learning in their subject areas - Click Here - for Maths areas of focus and intended outcomes. We offer a broad, balanced curriculum at KS4 which ensures that Post 16 progression routes are accessible. 

We work in collaboration with Dimensions Training Solutions to offer work ready qualifications in the Hair and Beauty sector. These are delivered in industry standard facilities.

We offer a thriving Post-16 curriculum, which has been judged as good by Ofsted, offering courses at Levels 1, 2 and 3.  Students are able to study vocational programmes at L1 and L2, along with GCSE English and Maths.  At Level 3, students can study A Levels and Applied General qualifications, including vocational BTECs. Any combination of these Level 3 courses can be studied together. 

In light of recent changes, the academy has further developed its curriculum provision across key stages. From September 2014 the KS4 curriculum has been developed to ensure that all students can access subjects to meet the requirements of Progress 8. This is detailed in the booklet below showing that all students have access to the core subjects of English and Maths in "Bucket 1". The EBacc subjects; Science, Humanities and MFL in "Bucket 2" and then a range of other subjects including Technology, Creative and Technical Awards in "Bucket 3". 


From September 2013, many changes have been implemented at Post 16 in order to meet the requirements of the Raising of the Participation Age. All Programmes of Study are now constructed to ensure the minimum number of hours are covered and new provision has been introduced to enable all Individual Learning Programmes to meet these requirements. All students are on meaningful pathways with a core subject identified in the case of Vocational Programmes, as well as enrichment, work experience and Personal Development time all contributing to the number of hours in the Programme of Study.

Details of the curriculum offer / programmes of study for Years 7, 8 & 9 can be found in the attached documents. Year 7 Click Here Year 8 - Click Here Year 9 - Click Here 

Details of the curriculum offer/programmes of study for Key Stage 4 students can be found in the attached documents. Year 9 Learning Routes 2015 (current year 11) - Click Here Year 9 Learning Routes 2016 (current year 10) - Click Here

Assessment of the Curriculum

Key Stage 3 Assessment
A new "assessment without levels" has been introduced across the Trust. This is based upon a a system of strands and stages. All subject areas are working on assessing work based upon assessment descriptors written by groups of teachers employed by the Trust. 

For examples of the assessment descriptors for each subject please click the links below:

Art
Computing
Drama
English
Food Technology 
French 
Geography
History
Maths
Music
PE
Religious Studies
Science
Spanish 
Technology

Reporting System
A new reporting system has been introduced at Key Stage 3 by Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) and parent / guardians familiar with the normal format will notice significant changes.
Under the new system teachers put in assessed marks using a mark scheme made up of strands and stages. Strands and stages are different in different subjects. The new reports have the structure as below. 

How to read KS3 Reports

Stages& Targets

As you may be aware, we have changed our KS3 assessment structure from National Curriculum Levels to ‘Stages’. This is designed to work more closely with the new Numeric GCSE grades (9-1).  The numbers allocated to the Stages indicate the GCSE grade a student is working towards.

For example, if a student is on a Stage 6 at the end of Year 9, this means that they are on track to achieve a Grade 6 (equivalent to a high B) at GCSE.

Expected progress is one stage per year, so if a student is on Stage 3 by the end of Year 7, they are on track to achieve a Stage 5 by the end of Year 9, and therefore on track to achieve a Grade 5 at GCSE in Year 11.

A student’s KS3 (end of Year 9) stage target is the same number as their GCSE grade target

Reports

The reporting has changed along with the Stages. Shown below is an example of a student’s History report. You will get one similar for each subject taken. On the front page of your report, there is also an overview of all subjects put together, alongside 1-9 grades in Behaviour, Effort and Homework.


 

At Key Stage 4, assessment of the curriculum is largely dictated by the assessment criteria and methods of the qualifications which make up the curriculum offer. The majority of subjects still retain the A* to G grades of the GCSEs (or the equivalent Technical Awards) but in 2015 the grading of English, English Literature and Maths changed to the new 9-1 scale. Other subjects will convert to this scaling in 2016 and 2017. Data collections at four points during each academic year allow the Academy to monitor progress towards targets, to praise and reward and to initiate interventions. Progress and attainment data is shared with carers and students at each point. It is expected that the majority of Key Stage 4 students will progress by three whole Levels from Key Stage Two.

At Post 16, assessment of the curriculum is also largely dictated by the assessment criteria and methods of the qualifications which make up the curriculum offer. A Levels are assessed using the standard A* to E grades (or the equivalent Applied General Qualifications). As at other Key Stages, data collections at four points during each academic year allow the Academy to monitor progress towards targets, to praise and reward and to initiate interventions. Progress and attainment data is shared with carers and students at each point. The Academy uses the nationally recognised ALPS system to generate expected progress grades from a student’s GCSE average point score.

In addition to subject knowledge, skills and understanding we believe that every curriculum area has an important part to play in the development of the aspects of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC)

Each curriculum area has looked at how they are developing these aspects and there is a link to an SMSC guide on the 10 main curriculum area pages. English, Maths, Science, ICT, technology, Humanities, Creative Arts, MFL, PE and FOAL. 

In addition to this aspects of SMSC are developed through the PSHE / CPD programme and a number of alternative curriculum days which are detailed on the Applied Learning page. 

Reflections

Hemsworth’s Reflections programme involves a weekly video on an issue that can get students thinking about the world or about themselves. It is shown to all students weekly, in a registration period. Lots of research has shown that the more students experience thinking about the world around them, the better they can get at discussing issues, which helps both GCSE English and at interviews for Post 16 opportunities. Thinking about issues also contributes to the Academy’s goal of students becoming more Responsible Citizens.

The most successful videos so far are one about Capital Punishment (over 2,500 views) and a one about Westminster scandals (over 1200 views in the first two days).

There are currently over 40 videos available for students to watch on the YouTube site, and all have hyperlink resources for students who want to investigate an issue further. Some are even light-hearted to give students a break from the serious ones, and most of the videos have soundtracks to widen their musical knowledge too.- Click Here 

For Post 16 courses visit the UCAS website for more information. Enter academy postcode WF9 4AB, enter post 16 courses, click search, click search provider details to see information about the Academy Post 16 provision, click search course details to see details of all courses available. Alternatively a full course guide which identifies what is taught and how it is assessed is available to view or download on the Post 16 section of the website. Should you require any further information please contact our Post 16 on 01977 624220.

Any additional information can be provided by contacting the Academy on reception@hemsworthacademy.org and placing curriculum enquiry in the header.