As part of Turner Schools we have a curriculum-driven school improvement approach, believing that what we teach – and how we teach it – is central to ensuring that our pupils overcome our context of coastal isolation and any other barriers they may face, ranging from disadvantage to illiteracy.
At Folkestone Academy our goal is to enable our students to become confident, ambitious, and successful.
Our knowledge-led and research-informed curriculum has been developed to achieve this.
Breadth and depth: We aim to ensure that our students are exposed to the best that has been thought and known. Our curriculum is fully compliant with the National Curriculum whilst at the same time exploring subjects in more depth and breadth where possible. We use a combination of original resources alongside those that are tried and tested , such as ARK’s English and Maths Mastery curriculum, and Read Write Inc’s Fresh Start.
Reading and writing: Our curriculum, indeed our timetable at KS3, has been developed to ensure that every pupil is supported to reach their chronological reading age and to improve it if they are already there. This means vocabulary and spelling are explicitly taught, that ‘read-alouds’ feature in most subjects and that extended writing is increasingly expected as children progress throughout the school. We use a variety of approaches including Read Write Inc (a phonics-based approach), Accelerated Reading, Mastery programmes, “Drop Everything and Read” and close reading.
Overarching concepts, key constructs and driving questions:
An overarching concept (or concepts) scaffold the curriculum, teaching and assessment for each year. For example, in Year 7 History the overarching concepts are civilisation and chronology. The key constructs are the essential building blocks of teaching in the subject from term to term: these are the foundational knowledge sequenced in a logical order to ensure thorough understanding. From these overarching concepts and key constructs, driving questions are created to form the basis of learning sequences of one or more lessons.
All pupils are issued with these essential guides to each element of the curriculum. Knowledge Organisers support learning in class and further study and revision out of class, providing the essential information and ideas in one easy-to-reference place. Below are Knowledge Organisers for Year 7, 8 and 9:
Our curriculum is structured by formal subjects, and each subject’s curriculum is sequenced according to subject-specific protocols. Our curriculum is sequenced to ensure that all our children progress in their subjects in a logical, sustained and supported manner. Knowledge is revisited regularly so that it is remembered and learned. Cross-curricular links are embedded between subjects, so that children build in confidence through coherently planned modules. For example, English, Art, Drama, History and Music modules are sequenced where possible so that they support and extend in turn (children study matched Shakespearean texts in drama and English, each year). Links are colour-coded in the curriculum map, demonstrating how our teaching embeds and interleaves essential learning.
Barriers to learning:
We plan in order to address barriers to learning and misconceptions, such as competence at multiplication tables, understanding of key words (eg government, left wing/right wing) or a lack of equipment or of learning habits. We address cultural capital through our curriculum planning.
SMSC and Enrichment:
We plan through our curriculum for gaps in our childrens’ understanding of spiritual, moral, social, and cultural aspects of life and the wider world. Awareness of context is supported through our curriculum sequencing.
Assessment occurs weekly, in class and at home, through short knowledge organiser tests, assessment for learning and a variety of tasks and activities. Teachers identify and re-teach key misconceptions every two weeks. There are three formal, summative assessment points each year which assess all of the knowledge and skills to date. Assessment at all times informs our curriculum development, design and the progress of our children. Low-stakes quizzing takes place regularly with the aim of securing knowledge and building confidence.
A Sustainable Curriculum:
Our KS3 curriculum is a reflective process that is ongoing. Review of the curriculum occurs throughout each term, and the curriculum is adapted for effectiveness and best practice shared and celebrated. Our assessments inform our curriculum development. Our Trust CEO is a curriculum expert, having advised successive government administrations on curriculum, and she – personally – directs our curriculum development and review.
Turner Free School / Folkestone Grammar School for Girls Matched Curriculum
In Science we are participating in a pilot matched curriculum at KS3, which allows for comparative learning between the schools. We are also developing our own bespoke KS3 curriculum that runs alongside this.
Department for Education Curriculum Fund Pilot – with Pimlico Academy (graded Outstanding by OFSTED)
We are proud to have participated in the curriculum pilots in History and Geography developed by Future Academies, in conjunction with the Department for Education. This pilot continues until Christmas 2019 in History across Key Stages 2 & 3.
How much time do we allow for teaching our curriculum at KS3, KS4 and Post 16?
We provide a two week timetable across a broad range of subjects, in a three year curriculum at KS3. Subject allocations are as follows, per week. All students study all of the subjects, with the exception of a targeted group of students with reading ages that are significantly below their chronological age, who are withdrawn from MFL for personalised, small group reading support through the Read Write Inc programme and other approaches.
All students study a minimum of eight subjects, including English language and English Literature, Maths and Double Science. Increasing numbers of students take subjects in the EBACC pathway.
|English||Maths||Science dbl||History||Geography||MFL||IT||Art / design||Drama||Music Perf / Tech||Core PE||PSHRE|
|Hours per fortnight||9||8||9||5||5||5||2||5||5||5||3||1|
|Hours per fortnight||5||5||5||5||5||5||5|
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Click on link below to explore the content of our Key Stage 3 Curriculum content:
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Our curriculum offer for Years 10 and 11 is both diverse and balanced whilst supporting our vision ‘to equip all students with the knowledge to lead and skills to succeed’. Our students follow a two year GCSE / BTEC pathway which builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the three year Key Stage 3.
All students follow a core curriculum of English (Language and Literature), Mathematics and Combined Science (Biology, Physics and Chemistry) as well as being asked to select either Geography or History. Physical Education, which is not assessed, completes the core foundation of studies on their timetable. In addition to this students are required to choose three additional subjects. In making their selections students should seek a balance of subjects that will provide a broad and interesting curriculum, as well as ensuring they are well prepared for the next stage of their life post 16. These will be from a list of subjects presented in blocks.
Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning throughout Key Stage 4. In order to be successful and fulfil their potential, students will be required to undertake study outside of lesson time. Throughout the Key Stage students will be required to take regular tests and assessments to help them be aware of their own progress as well as essential preparation for the terminal examinations they will sit at the end of Year 11 The link below gives details of subjects . Please note the options blocking is for 2018. Details of the new options process for Year 9 students will follow in September 2019
Click on the link below to explore subjects in more detail: