We have 5 periods of 60 minutes every day making 25 periods in the week. There is a form period of 20 minutes at the beginning of every morning and a floating positive discipline lesson that takes place during a different period every week where students spend the lesson with their form teachers. Break (25 minutes) is between periods 2 and 3 and lunch (40 minutes) is between periods 3 and 4. The Academy day starts at 8.45am and finishes at 3.10pm. On 3 days each year the Academy has break-down days to cover the parts of PHSCEE that cannot be delivered through other lessons. These are known as Be Smart days and involve outside agencies and guest speakers and cover issues such as drugs, bullying and careers. All students will attend at least one assembly each week that has a religious or moral theme.
Year 7 is a transitional year so many lessons are taught in form groups. History, Geography, Art, Drama, ICT, Music and Ethics, Philosophy and Religion are all taught in form groups. Students are put into sets according to ability for English, Mathematics and Science in 2 equivalent bands (with 6 forms in each band). Technology (Resistant Materials, Food and Textiles) and PE are taught in 4 equivalent bands (with 3 forms in each band). Students also take a Modern Foreign Language which is one of French or Spanish and this will depend on the form they are in.
Year 8 are still taught in form groups for Geography, History, Art, Drama, Music and Ethics. They are now put into sets in ICT as well as the core subjects. Students take their GCSE course options at the end of year 8.
Students now begin their GCSE courses. Some subjects begin the GCSE Specification immediately whilst others use Year 9 as a foundation year to prepare for GCSE. It is possible that students may be entered for their examinations in Year 10, however this will only happen if there is a natural extension of the course for year 11 or a student is likely to achieve an A*so to not enter them would hold them back (Year 10 entries are rare). All students will take English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science and PE. They are then allowed to choose 4 optional subjects. Students choose either History or Geography and are encouraged where possible to study a language. New subjects available to them at this stage are: Economics, Business Studies, Media Studies, Sports Studies, Health and Social Care, Childcare and Statistics. For our level 1 learners we offer a separate provision where they can be supported with their various needs, however they still take all the core subjects and a small number of other courses appropriate to their needs and abilities.
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The academy is very proud of its enrichment program and more information can be found on individual department pages. Sometimes this can, however, lead to GCSE qualifications. We have had students gaining qualifications in Japanese, Cantonese, Polish and Arabic in recent years.