Curriculum

 

Curriculum Intent

Mission

The MISSION of Trinity Academy is to provide a Christian-ethos school of character that is for the whole community. 

Character Education

We build good character. We learn about good character, why it matters and how to develop it. 

Curriculum Excellence

We are determined to achieve a personal best. We provide a broad, ambitious curriculum that ensures excellent student learning, progress and future destinations. 

Community Engagement

We serve with gratitude. We use our gifts to benefit our community and environment. 

Aims

In light of this, we aim to provide a curriculum that:

  • places a high value on knowledge;
  • seeks to develop strong character in line with our core virtues of love, wisdom, fairness, self-control, courage, humility and integrity;
  • supports the local and wider community by creating knowledgeable and responsible citizens who use their unique gifts in the service of others.

Learning transforms us. This is why we educate: to transform the students we serve, so that they in turn can have a transformative impact on the people around them.

Strategic Intent

In order to realise these aims, the curriculum is designed so that students:

  • have access to a diverse and accessible curriculum;
  • have opportunities to develop academic knowledge and skills alongside creativity and the confidence to express themselves clearly;
  • are guided and prepared to access a wide variety of different careers in line with their interests and abilities;
  • have opportunities to develop key employability and enterprise skills both inside and outside of lessons;
  • develop cultural capital allowing them to be proactive and informed citizens with a comprehensive understanding of the thoughts, beliefs and customs of other people groups;
  • develop a lifelong love of learning, particularly within their areas of interest;
  • are able to articulate what they believe and why they believe it, while maintaining positive relationships and dialogue with people whose thoughts, opinions and lifestyle choice are different to their own;
  • develop wisdom, defined as knowledge rightly applied.

Principles

The curriculum is knowledge-rich, built using the following guiding principles:

  • Unifying ideas – We can’t teach everything. Instead, each subject emphasises a small number of “big ideas”. These are selected as the most significant and important within the subject area. As a Christian ethos school we choose to present students with, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” Philippians. 4:8;
  • Broad and balanced – From the start of Year 7, we aim to provide students as broad a curriculum as possible, while also providing sufficient curriculum time for an age-appropriate depth of study. The curriculum should promote the intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative, emotional and physical development of each child. The creative and performing arts are just as important to this end as are the language arts, sciences and humanities;
  • Relevant – By making the curriculum relevant to each student we foster intrinsic motivation, helping our students love learning. The curriculum is shaped so that students develop local and cultural knowledge, and see how what they are learning helps prepare them for the future. Substantial choice is available, but only after students have had sufficient exposure to a broad range of subjects;
  • Coherent and cohesive – In order to truly learn, students need to make connections between new information and what they already know. In turn, they can apply this knowledge to certain tasks and develop skill. The development of both understanding and skills is known as expertise. The curriculum is designed to be vertically coherent and cohesive. As students progress through a subject area they build upon pre-existing knowledge and concepts on a carefully planned and structured route. It is also horizontally coherent and cohesive as subjects work together to plan the curriculum so that shared concepts and capabilities are made explicit and taught in a logical order.
  • Rigorous – The curriculum is knowledge-rich and students recognise that the facts and ideas central to a subject area are a pre-requisite for true understanding.
  • Challenging – Students are unashamedly ‘made to think’. Students are exposed on a daily basis to an appropriate level of challenge which requires them to work in the struggle zone. Teachers adapt their lessons through regular checks for understanding to ensure that tasks are pitched correctly. The goal of good teaching is mastery. The majority of students need to be able to understand and apply the new knowledge before the next topic is introduced.

 

The Curriculum

In line with our curriculum principles, the curriculum we offer to students is both broad and balanced. It is delivered over 25, 60-minute periods.  

In line with our duties laid out in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, we take every step to ensure that all students are able to access the full scope of the curriculum. Every year, we check the distribution of SEND students across the options subjects to ensure fair representation. Our SEND team work closely with students, parents and teachers to ensure that SEND students are able to access the same material as their peers. 

Year 7 and 8

The curriculum includes:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), French in Year 7 and German for some students in Year 8
  • Humanities – History, Geography and Religious Education
  • Performing Arts – Drama, Dance and Music
  • Creative Arts – Art, Food Technology and Technology
  • ICT
  • Physical Education
  • PSHE

For students who have a reading age significantly below their chronological age, additional support is provided in the form of literacy and the Lexia programme in tutor time.

Year 9

In Year 9, in order to provide students with an increasing depth across a broad range of subjects, students make their first set of option choices. The vast majority take an arts subject (89%) and from 2022, all students will be expected to take an arts subject in Year 9.  Four additional courses are also offered for students to try – Media Studies, Health and Social Care, Business Studies and Textiles.

This means that all students take:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • 3 x Humanities (Geography, History and Religious Education)
  • 1 x Art (Drama, Music, Hospitality and Catering, Technology, Art, Textiles)
  • Physical education (students choose from Dance, Sports Studies or Core PE)
  • 2 further options depending on student interest (typically a language or a second arts subject)

Further details and information can be found in our curriculum guide that is shared with students in our spring options and careers events. The guide can be found below.

This year our options evening falls on Tuesday 1st February, 2022. 

Years 10-11

Before students progress into Year 10, they confirm their final option choices. Students choose between either Geography or History, and continue with 2 further options subjects. 

All students take:

  • English Language and English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Combined Science (one set of students take separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • Either Geography or History
  • Religious Studies
  • Physical education (students choose from Dance, Sports Studies or Core PE)
  • 2 further options (typically including at least one language or arts subject)

In three courses we offer both GCSE and vocational routes depending on an individual student's interests and aptitude. These are:

  • GCSE Business Studies or Enterprise and Marketing
  • GCSE Computer Science or Creative IMedia
  • GCSE Technology or BTEC Engineering

Year 12-13

Approximately half of our students stay with us in sixth form to make the most of the wide range of courses available. Students appreciate the more academic and independent nature of sixth form study which is balanced with the individual attention and support only a sixth form can provide.

For further details of the courses on offer, please look at our prospectus here .

For additional information on the curriculum please contact Mr D Bedford, Vice Principal. Email: dbedford@trinityacademy.org.uk