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Curriculum

Academy 360 has revised its curriculum to address the needs of all pupils whose education has been disrupted by closure due to COVID – 19.  We will continue to follow government guidance, together with DfE, Ofqual, Ofsted and of any other relevant external body who provide guidance to schools or monitors standards. 

The intent of these revised priorities is to keep children safe whilst minimising the impact of closure, limit disruption to learning, close gaps and ensuring that all young people achieve their academic potential. Our intent:

A curriculum that is flexible in its delivery. The future for the delivery of learning is uncertain. We acknowledge that there may be extended periods when individuals, small groups, year groups, phases or entire cohort may not be able to access school premises for due to illness, isolation, or closure, thus preventing children being educated on site.  In response to this risk, we have prepared: 

An effective digital strategy developed to promote a tiered approach in response to the scale of potential disruption caused by the pandemic. So far, a high proportion of students have accessed our Remote Learning platform throughout closure with some requiring this since re-opening in September 2020.  We recognise that there is no substitute to young ro replace a teacher, our tiered approach has enabled us to minimise disruption to learning whilst reviewing our curriculum to re-engage students and plan a robust recovery. 

We embrace digital technology and recognise its role in promoting good teaching and learning.  We are determined to ensure that our learners make rapid progress whether on site, at home or accessing a blended curriculum diet.  Our detailed contingency plans allow us to respond both confidently and efficiently to the challenges presented. 

Raising Standards of Literacy and Communication remain a key priority at Academy 360 irrespective of age, phases or additional need.  Our rigorous Catch-Up strategy focusses on vital development skills, literacy and communication, thus enabling young people to access a broad and balanced experience. 

Addressing Wellbeing – the Social and Emotional needs of all pupils.  Effective PSHE and welfare support are central to Academy 360’s ethos for all learners.  We recognise that our school community has a range of needs and we have a moral obligation to ensure that children are well supported.  In addition, our skilled safeguarding and welfare team work in partnership with external organisations to ensure that young people have access to timely interventions that allow them to learn and develop well.  Out curriculum harnesses independence, resilience and is highly aspirational, preparing our students for the 21st century world of work and equipping them with the necessary skills to be good citizens who make a valuable contribution to their community and beyond.  

Strong focus on high academic achievement at all key stages. The curriculum is ambitious whilst supporting the development of basic skills, delivered through a broad and balanced experience for all learners. Robust assessment drives good teaching and learning allowing young people to succeed within our All-Through school. We demonstrate an unwavering commitment to to ensure that our students are ready for the next phase of learning at Academy 360 and beyond. Academy 360 follows national guidance for statutory assessments in Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6 and Y11to ensure that all learners realise their potential. 

High impact intervention will be used to address ‘lost learning’ and support professionals to close gaps using timely assessment to inform planning.  In response to the current challenge presented by the pandemic we have extended the school day for KS2 and KS4 students and provide a host of targeted interventions for all key stages, both within curriculum hours and beyond. Crucially, all intervention is carefully coordinated, strategically deployed and bespoke to individual need.  We are confident that our model will deliver.

Challenging inequalities. All learners at Academy 360 engage in cultural experiences  embracing heritage, language customs and traditions, thus enriching the curriculum and developing their understanding of the 21st century global community.  We are proud to offer opportunities across all key stages to accelerate social and emotional development and support aspirational career choices.

A broad and balanced curriculum that encourages all learners to develop as informed, astute, confident and responsible citizens. The curriculum enables students to develop talents and interests; to research; to explore opinions; to debate; to consider alternative viewpoints; to develop ideas and concepts and raise awareness of the ever-changing world we live.

Secondary School Teaching and Learning @A360

Inevitable Progress @ A360 

In September 2020 we adopted an innovative and highly effective approach to teaching and learning that is termed ‘Inevitable Progress @ A360’.  It is a mindset that means whatever challenges students present, we can find a way to overcome these and make progress inevitable. It involves a series of T&L approaches that are used across all year groups and subject areas with the Three Storey Intellect being the most important of these.

Three Storey Intellect

The Three Storey Intellect is represented by a diagram of a building that is organised into three storeys. Within each storey, ‘learning words’ are provided that relate to the different learning processes that take place in the classroom. Across all subject areas, these are the words that we use to talk about learning and this helps our students to make connections between their learning in each different subject.

The Three Storey Intellect breaks down into the following:

1st Storey – Gathering – These words relate to more straightforward learning tasks where students are ‘gathering’ together the key information.

2nd Storey – Processing – These words relate to learning tasks where students are undertaking task to make sense of the information already ‘gathered’.

3rd Storey – Applying – These words relate to learning tasks where students need to take the information ‘gathered’ and ‘processed’, ‘applying’ it in new situations.

Using the Three Storey Intellect to help us, we encourage students and staff to think more consciously about the learning process and the way in which the various elements of this fit together.  We understand the importance of ensuring firm foundations for future learning that link to the ‘gathering’ stage of the Three Storey Intellect.  As well as this, we also look to move students up to the second and third storeys whenever it is possible, ensuring that the more challenging thinking and learning at these storeys is taking place.

We plan to meet the needs of our students by using consistent scaffolding, supporting all students to make progress at each storey of our building. Staff deliberately plan to gradually reduce and finally remove the scaffolding creating independent students. 

Inevitable Progress in Developing Literacy Skills

Our school curriculum and linked approach to teaching and learning places enormous importance on supporting our students to develop excellent literacy skills and we recognise that these are vital to support them to achieve their full potential.  The ability to read is crucial to students in being able to unlock learning in all subject areas and we foster a love for reading during the time that our students spend with us.  In addition to this, we have a structured approach to the development of reading skills that students learn across subject areas and which then supports them to be able to extract meaning for themselves from increasingly challenging texts.

 

Thinking Hats and Thinking Maps - Secondary Approach To Supporting IP@A360

Inevitable Progress @ A360 is a two-year journey that is designed to support students to think more deeply and with greater independence. During the course of the 2020/21 academic year we will continue to build these skills in our students through the launch of Thinking Hats and Thinking Maps.

Thinking Hats

Students develop the strategy of using the six Thinking Hats (based on the research of Edward De Bono). By using the six hats, students are encouraged to think about different aspects of the issue as each hat relates to a different kind of thinking:

Blue Hat – Planning and organising ideas.

Red Hat – Emotions and how you feel.

White Hat – Facts and the information that you know.

Yellow Hat – Benefits relating to the issue being considered.

Black Hat – Problems relating to the issue being considered.

Green Hat – New ideas and creative thinking.

Thinking Maps

Having observed excellent learning in several different schools, we have chosen to train our staff and students in using the eight Thinking Maps developed by the American academic David Hyerle. These Thinking Maps act as ‘visual organisers’ and are a consistent and effective way of students organising their thinking about any issue, in any curriculum area.

Each of the six maps to be implemented are outlined below:

Circle Map – Defining in Context – Putting down on the page the information that you already know (or think you know) about the subject.

Bubble Map – Describing with Adjectives – Identifying the adjectives that best describe the different aspects of the subject you are thinking about.

Double Bubble Map – Comparing and Contrasting – Considering the similarities and differences between two people, places, events, etc that you wish to compare.

Flow Map – Sequencing and Ordering – Organising a series of ideas into the right or best sequence and understanding how they link together.

Multi Flow Map – Causes and Effects – Used to identify the different factors that might cause something to happen and the range of possible effects of this.

Tree Map – Classifying and Grouping – A range of people, places, events, etc are organised into different groups depending on the way that they relate to one another.

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