Curriculum Intent: Academy
Our ambitious curriculum is designed to provide every Stanground pupil with the opportunity of being happy, successful and confident. They will acquire the knowledge, skills, and values that are the foundation for their long-term success, as well as the academic qualifications necessary to access the appropriate next steps in education and eventually employment. Our curriculum extends beyond our own timetable and supports our pupils’ development as responsible citizens, while providing enriching opportunities for cultural, sporting and artistic growth to promote social inclusion and mobility.
Our Curriculum planning is clear, sequenced and spiral in nature. Planning prioritises the importance of threshold concepts, knowledge retrieval and low-stakes testing based on up-to- date educational research. Pupils learn consistently across all five years of their secondary education and are supported to attain highly in national exams, with results at or above national average. The knowledge acquired in both the classroom and beyond is the focus of regular assessment, which informs future learning. We believe that this knowledge gives our pupils the academic underpinning they require to make them exceptional learners at all key stages and beyond. Teaching is clear. Planning ensures that it consistently builds on previous learning, with retention and unsupported recall, prioritised to ensure secure progress for all students, including those who are disadvantaged or have additional needs. Assessment is used judiciously to check how secure pupils’ cumulative knowledge and understanding is. Low-stakes testing accurately informs teacher judgements of progress, with longer-term recall examined more formally. All assessment is used formatively, and information from assessment informs the reflection that teachers employ in their evaluation of the success of their teaching.
In Key Stage 3 we have a broad and balanced, knowledge-rich curriculum which follows the national guidance and gives our pupils a strong academic grounding in preparation for EBACC centred Level 2 public examinations.
During Years 10-11 we offer a high-quality curriculum, organised over two years to ensure our pupils achieve their life goals and experience in-depth learning of academic and vocational subjects. Option choices allow for all pupils to add important subjects from the realms of the arts, technical and physical subjects to their core academic entitlement.
Our curriculum has subject-specific knowledge at its heart, and we look to the academic disciplines for guidance on the most powerful knowledge to teach “the best that has been thought and said” (Matthew Arnold). We also seek to learn from research about how this knowledge can be retained in long-term memory, so that every child can reach their full potential and achieve excellent outcomes.
In Key Stage 5 we offer a broad range of academic and vocational qualifications. This study leads to higher Education, Apprenticeships or advanced employment. Our 6th form is not just about academic work, our students are actively involved in a high quality enrichment programme as well as being involved in the community through local charity work and work experience.
Our citizenship curriculum provides students with skills necessary to be Happy, Success and confident citizens . The Academy has a comprehensive PSHE curriculum which engages with external agencies and providers to give an insight to students to the opportunities available locally and further afield. The tutor programme discusses issues such as bullying and how it has changed through the application of social media and develops pupil's understanding and what is socially acceptable. Pupils look at all forms of discrimination and understand how this can impact the world around them. Pupils have support with the Academy’s own LGBTQ + group, while also openly supporting social issues close to pupil's hearts.
The Academy works in collaboration with Neaco to support young people with little or no experience of university to explore the world of higher education. Neaco works with pupils from years 9 to 13 to improve their understanding and preparedness for higher education, while increasing their ambition and passion for higher education. Opportunities are provided for collaborative work with local universities, day visits and support for applications to higher education.
The Academy has in place a comprehensive careers guidance programme that includes a one- on-one interview with a level 3 careers advisor for all students in years 10 and 11, that offers impartial advice on next steps in education and apprenticeship opportunities. All pupils in year 10 complete a two week work experience placement, that offers them an insight into the world of work. To support students, we invest in Unifrog, which is an online platform that offers impartial advice and supports young people in the decision making process regarding further education and employment.
We have an active Academy student council, there are representatives from each year group, with two head students appointed from the 6th form. This offers opportunities for student voice to be shared with staff including the Principal.
Through our tutor time, weekly assemblies and careers weeks, we enhance subject lessons and extracurricular offer with a structured PSHE and CEIAG programme
Pupils are offered the opportunity and encouraged to participate actively in their house charity, which is chosen by students and linked to their house. This provides them with opportunity for them to better understand both local and national challenges, while supporting their beneficiary and improving their organisational and communication skills.
We work closely with DHL to offer students opportunities for team building, interview experience and work experience with an industry leading company. This has included a residential project led by DHL and supported by the Academy and Trust.
Our Extra Curriculum provides the students at Stanground with the opportunity and experience to develop life-long learning skills which will help equip them with skills to be happy, success and confident. A key driver to enable this is the Stanground Pride Award. Students develop their experience in five key personality traits which the Academy firmly believes support the development of the whole individual.
Stanground Pride focuses on participation, resilience, independence, diversity and excellence. Students develop their experience in each of these areas and can achieve a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award. To achieve this Award students are exposed to a vast number of opportunities, which include representing the Academy in sporting or musical events, examples of these include: playing in the Academy’s Football, Netball, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics or Cross Country teams. Students can also take part in Academy musical performances and shows such as Alice in Wonderland. Students gain experience of different cultures and religions through exposure to our PSHE programme and have the opportunity to visit cultural experiences such as the Tate Modern or Victoria and Albert museums. Students can also travel abroad on organised Academy experiences to gain greater experience of the wider-world, these include sports tours to Holland, ski trip to Courmayeur in Italy and German Christmas market.
Through our House system students develop working relationships with a range of age groups, and are provided with the opportunity to take on roles of responsibility through charity coordinators, form representatives, sports captains, student council and keep safe champions. The supportive and engaging pastoral system aims to improve the social mobility of our students by helping to develop communication skills and experiences which are important to life chances. The House system ensures every student is known by a key individual within the Academy. The culture of the House being your family, is vital to helping students be happy, successful and confident.
All students understand the importance of gaining experience outside of their comfort zone and take advantage of opportunities to participate in the National Citizen Service as well as the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Skills that students develop in these areas not only help them to be successful inside the classroom but outside it too. At Stanground we understand how vital the next journey is and why all students in Year 10 complete a two-week work experience. students are guided and supported to help shape their future career aspirations.
Links with our local community are important, and this is demonstrated by the partnerships n the community. Students have the opportunity to complete a Level 3 Sports Coaching course, while developing their footballing skills. Students also apply these taught skills in local primary schools providing opportunities to younger children. Students also have the opportunity to gain employment through an apprenticeship, at the end of the course. Stanground Sports are another community club that partners the Academy and our continued relationship means we have been able to develop advanced facilities and equipment which the community and students have access to.
The Academy extends its links to Rutland Water where students are provided with the opportunity to sail in boats refurbishes and rebuilt by students of the Academy or take part in riding the Academies mountain bikes around the peninsula and cooking a meal. Life experiences are regularly provided for all students at the Academy.