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Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

Years 7 to 9 (Key Stage 3)

KS3 pupils are set in Mathematics and Science. They are placed in communication groups based on their Key Stage 2 test results in English, Computing, RE, Geography and History.  These subjects follow a literacy based curriculum for some groups in Years 7 and 8.  KS3 pupils will study either French or Spanish, depending on prior learning.  They will be set broadly into ability sets and this will dictate the setting of the practical subject groups; PE, Drama, Technology, Art, Music & Dance.

Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4)

KS4 pupils are set in core subjects. During Year 9, parents, pupils and teachers decide which courses pupils in Years 10 and 11 shall follow. A broad and balanced curriculum is still applied but certain course options are decided, in line with National Curriculum regulations.  Studying a language in KS4, either Spanish or French, is offered to the HA pupils.  These pupils will study a language as an additional GCSE with slightly less curriculum time being allocated to Maths and English.  We encourage all students to study either History or Geography at GCSE, but provide alternative options for those students for whom this would prove too great an academic challenge.

All KS4 pupils must study:

ENGLISH: A two year course in English Language and Literature

MATHEMATICS: A two year course equivalent to one GCSE.

SCIENCE: A two year course for Double Award Science which results in 2 x GCSEs.

At least one further EBAC subject: Either History, Geography or Computer Science.

PE is also taught as part of the core curriculum.

Pupils then have the opportunity to choose a further two GCSEs to create a personalised curriculum which matches their skills and abilities.  Subjects currently on offer are:

Music, Drama, History, Engineering, BTEC Sport, GCSE PE Food Technology, ICT, Geography, Business, Art, Health & Social Care and Computing.

Character Programme

The Westwood Academy Character Programme is taught daily and is comprised of the following elements:

Character programme

Learning skills

These are taught through the core elements: Leadership, Oracy, Resilience, Initiative and Communication.

Building resilience and promoting the health, mental wellbeing and affirming positive lifestyle choices

These elements are taught through a well-being programme which include the following

  • My Life, My Health, My Mind
  • Kindness, Respect and Living without harm

Careers

The Careers Element is taught through our ‘Inspiring Futures’ programme.

Academic Mentoring Programme

This is planned in at various points in the programme for the progress of pupils to be monitored and supported using current progress plans.

Spiritual, Moral, Social Cultural

We offer a full programme of KS3 Lessons and a KS Mentor Programme. Delivered by A specialist RE teacher Philosophy & Ethics is taught as a discreet subject within the Character Programme.  The school celebrates the diversity of beliefs and values of its pupils.  We encourage an open exchange and sharing of viewpoints to enhance mutual respect and give opportunity for personal reflection to assist the pupils to arrive at their own standpoint on moral and religious issues.  Parents do have the right to withdraw their children from Philosophy & Ethics if they wish to by writing to the Head Teacher.

Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE)

The PSHE programme is delivered as part of our Character Programme and is taught in discrete lessons by our experienced team of mentors. We take this element of a pupil’s education very seriously and believe strongly, that the development of the whole child is important to the future success of our pupils.

Our Programme of Study for PSHE education and Key stage3, 4 and 5 is constructed around the National PSHE Association guidelines and identifies the key concepts, skills and attributes that are developed through PSHE education. The Programme fulfils the statutory responsibility to safeguard pupils, support their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

The PSHE programme of study includes three core themes:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Living in the Wider World

Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)

There is a programme of Relationship and Sex Education throughout the school as part of the Character Programme and the Science curriculum.  The course takes account of pupil’s emotional and physical development and is set in the context of caring and stable relationships.

Parents, who wish to withdraw a pupil from any part of the Sex Education other than statutory requirements for the National Curriculum, must make the request in writing to the Head Teacher.

The Pride Agenda

Every Pupil will know and be practiced in the basic classroom expectations and the elements of P.R.I.D.E., Pride, Respect, Independence, Determination and Excellence. These are core pupil qualities and behaviours for learning that underpin all lessons. All lessons are planned to develop these learner qualities alongside the acquisition of knowledge and skills. At each assessment point pupils will receive and assessment of their progress in P.R.I.D.E.

Years 12 and 13 (Post-16)

We offer tailored post 16 provision to meet the needs of our students by working in partnership with other schools. In this way we can ensure that a broad range of courses are available. The teaching of courses both academic and vocational is shared between staff at the schools. 

Specific entry requirements will be discussed with individual pupils. Mentoring, careers guidance and entitlement sessions are held each week, allowing the progress of each pupil to be carefully monitored, and regular discussions take place between tutors and pupils about entry to higher education, apprenticeships or employment.  In addition, our careers adviser is available in school as required. A detailed prospectus for Post-16 is published each year and is made available to those Year 11 pupils who are interested in entering the sixth form the following year.