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Curriculum Aims

The Brunel Academy: Curriculum Aims

 

As an Academy, we believe that everyone needs the same four things to thrive.  Our vision is a strong community where everyone has a good place to learn, a purpose and good people around them.  In order to benefit from this, individuals must participate.  We do this through high quality teaching and learning based on effective relationships that enable the achievement of life skills and meaningful qualifications.

 

The Brunel Academy curriculum meets the needs of each SEMH student.  Students, as individuals, are at the heart of everything we do and our aim is to support them in developing confidence, resilience and self esteem whilst also developing their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know with increasing fluency and independence.   Our curriculum is designed to give students the cultural capital and transformational knowledge and skills to take advantage of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.   

 

At The Brunel Academy, we aim to support the development of:

  • Responsible citizens who can positively contribute to society.

  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.

  • Successful learners who make good progress and achieve more than they thought possible.

 

In order to achieve our vision and be successful in our aims, our curriculum is organised in such a way that not only do students learn academic content but we also support them to develop personally through embedding a spiritual, moral, social and cultural ethos.

 

Strategic Intent

 

To develop a curriculum that:

  • The curriculum meets the needs of each SEMH student, developing their knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know with increasing fluency and independence.  

  • The curriculum is designed to give students the cultural capital and transformational knowledge and skills to take advantage of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.   

  • Students study a ‘specialised’ curriculum that reflects the academy’s local context by addressing the ‘cumulative dysfluency’ they arrive with.  

  • The curriculum sets out the aims of the programme of education and is coherently planned and appropriately sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.  It sets out the structure for those aims to be implemented and includes that which is to be gained at each stage. It enables the evaluation of students’ knowledge and understanding against those expectations. 

 

Underlying Curriculum Principles

 

  • Knowledge and skills are closely interconnected.  

  • Learning and performance should not be confused and progress should be the focus. 

  • People learn new knowledge when new concepts are connected in their minds with what they already learned.  

  • The curriculum must provide a map that directs what knowledge and skills should be taught and when it should be taught.  This should also allow some flexibility for teachers to respond to the differing needs of their classes.

  • The curriculum must be taught in a coherent and step-by-step sequence that allows for the incremental development of knowledge and skills within each subject/topic.  

  • The correlation between vocabulary size and life chances is as firm as any correlation in educational research. New tier two and tier three vocabulary should be incorporated into curriculum planning.

 

Implementation

 

  • Joint Professional Development programme in place: outcome focused, evidence informed. 

  • Subject teachers write and update Long-Term Plans that clearly map out the curriculum across the relevant key stages, so that the knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire each academic year is made explicit.  This knowledge builds cumulatively in terms of its breadth and depth.

  • Subject teachers maintain an unrelenting focus on the concepts that are central to the mastery of their subject.  

  • The resources support the intent of a coherently planned curriculum, sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.

  • The work given to students is demanding and matches the aims of the curriculum in being coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge.

  • Teachers ensure that their own speaking, listening, writing and reading of English support students in developing their language and vocabulary well.

  • Literacy and maths are prioritised, particularly at KS3, with the aim of ensuring access to a broad and rich curriculum as soon as possible.

  • Staff have been trained in the basics of Read Write Inc Fresh Start and students learn to decode text through systematic synthetic phonics and develop into fluent, confident readers.  

  • Reading is prioritised to enable students to access the full curriculum offer. 

  • Staff incorporate the Academy Fortnightly Literacy Focus into their lessons and feedback better enabling students to fill the gaps in their knowledge and ensure fluency of the basics.

  • In maths, curriculum time is provided for students to recall what they have learned with fluency and automaticity and regular retrieval and spaced practice are built in to ensure that students can remember previously gained understanding of facts, concepts and procedures necessary for subsequent mathematical activities.

  • Where appropriate, strategies are in place (e.g. Personalised Learning Checklists) that support students in self-regulating their learning of the curriculum.

  • Homework is planned into the curriculum and consistently applied across subject areas. 

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