Our Curriculum Vision
We believe that all students at King’s Lynn Academy are entitled to experience a vibrant, challenging, relevant, engaging and appropriate curriculum across their five years at KLA. In designing our curriculum, we take careful note of all statutory expectations and guidance from the Department for Education, as well as taking very special care to ensure that what we teach, how we teach and the demands we make of our students reflect the ethos, culture and core values of our academy.
• All of our subject departments have completely reviewed their Key Stage 3 curriculum, building on research and Ofsted guidance about what we teach, ensuring deep coverage of key knowledge needed to create solid foundations for further study, as well as a thorough grounding in each discipline, should a student decide not to study that subject beyond Year 9.
• Lessons will supported by continuous low-stakes assessment which gives students the chance to show off what they have learnt. Using simple recall tasks and quizzes at the start and end of lessons, students will be reviewing their knowledge frequently, building on a spirally-designed curriculum which allows for frequent revisiting and memorisation.
• Knowledge learnt in both lesson and homework forms the basis of regular assessment. We believe this knowledge will give our students both the cultural capital and the academic underpinning they require to make them excellent learners at GCSE and beyond.
This curriculum rationale formed part of our 2018-19 review of curriculum effectiveness and appropriateness. It reflects our determination that all students, regardless of background or prior attainment, share an entitlement to study a broad curriculum grounded in academic rigour. It also takes cognisance of the fact that new GCSE specifications contain significantly more content and are much more challenging, and that our students must be supported to attain as highly as possible in these. Finally, our curriculum must nurture a lifelong love of learning, and prepare students for the world that they will face when they leave school, including developing employability skills.
For the avoidance of doubt the following principles underpin our proposed curriculum for following a full review of the curriculum undertaken by Eastern Multi-Academy Trust;
• That most students are supported to study the full suite of EBacc subjects throughout their time at KLA. Where necessary, individual students may be disapplied from either or both of humanities or MFL subjects, but this will only be done where there is a clear need. Our expectation is that by 2020 70% of our students will take GCSE in all elements of the EBacc. Currently 2% of pupils leave with this important clutch of qualifications, underlining why this change is so necessary.
• We place great weight on the importance of creativity in our curriculum, and all students must be allowed sufficient time to study art, music, drama, catering and design technology in KS3 to make sure that they are allowed time to develop their skills in these areas. We will continue to work in close partnership with vocational partners, including the local FE College, to do all that we can to offer appropriate vocational access at KS4.
• We believe that the perception of the ‘divide’ between Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 has become an unwelcome and unnecessary one. Our recent rewriting of curriculum programmes of study for all subjects has made clear to us that teaching and learning at KS3 needs to properly link to the demands of GCSE study, and this has been central in our thinking. In addition, we are acutely aware of the need to ‘raise our game’ in planning learning pathways in Year 7, to ensure we properly challenge and build on students’ success at primary school. These points have led to us devising programmes of study for all subjects that are designed as single five year programmes, rather than two separate key stages. What is crucial in our model is that sufficient Guided Learning Hours (GLH) are given to foundation subjects in KS3 to allow for meaningful study that provides a solid basis for making option choices.
For any further information about our curriculum please contact Phil Bugg - Vice Principal