The Curriculum

Curriculum Overviews

At The Morley Academy we take great pride in ensuring that all of our students are fully prepared for life beyond the end of their compulsory secondary education. To this end, we constantly strive to achieve the following in terms of our curriculum:

  • Our curriculum is designed and organised to ensure that students are constantly learning and consolidating knowledge in a coherent structure so that it is retained year on year;

  • Our curriculum is designed to be inspiring and engaging for students so that they develop a passion and enthusiasm for learning not just in the classroom, but beyond;

  • Our curriculum ensures that student are routinely exposed to challenging and difficult concepts and ideas where they are required to apply the knowledge they have acquired to different and challenging contexts;

  • Our curriculum develops the skills of independence and autonomy so that students are not over reliant on the support of others, including their teachers;

  • We place the development of literacy and numeracy at the centre of our work so that students have a mastery of the key skills needed to be successful in further education and employment.

Through the implementation of our curriculum we instil the values and skills of Responsibility, Resilience, Retention, Reflection and Reading.

Responsibility We believe in all of our students and their ability to exceed their expectations. Central to this is the drive to create students that are committed, resilient and inspired through self-directed learning, actively acquiring and mastering, the knowledge and skills required for future success.

This will ensure that all students are not only prepared for adult life but that they will also have a love for learning beyond school.

Positive Discipline embeds the characteristic of responsibility across the academy.

Resilience We know that success comes from hard work, high levels of engagement and determination. We operate a ‘no excuses’ culture which requires all students to ‘think big’ and believe that they can achieve beyond what they even considered possible.

We expect students to demonstrate the qualities of grit, determination and confidence in everything that they do so that when they are faced with a significant challenge that they have the confidence and skills to overcome it.

Purple Zone is one of our key drivers to develop student’s resilience.

Retention To ensure that our students excel in their academic studies we place a heavy emphasis on students mastering the key skills and knowledge across the full range of curriculum concepts and content. The retention of knowledge is driven through the spiral curriculum which is coherently mapped and results in prior learning being regularly revisited and tested against.

Our responsibility as teachers is to ‘interrupt the forgetting’. This is achieved through coherently planned curriculum, highly effective teaching and iterative assessment.

Reflection We believe that highly successful students are also highly reflective. The learn from their mistakes and make changes as a result.

Students will receive frequent feedback from their teachers and will act upon this feedback accordingly through Green for Growth.

Reading Our view is that for many of our students that reading is not a routine part of their experience and we believe that this is a loss. We believe that the promotion of reading, a love of finding out new ideas and experiencing new worlds is central to the development of informed adults who establish a passion for lifelong learning and an enhanced level of vocabulary. We also want our students to enjoy reading and also to challenge their understanding of how great writers write. We want students to become more critical, more informed and more confident and to be in a position in the future where they can participate in debate and discussion in an incisive and articulate manner.

Forensic Reading is an essential part of ensuring that students, teachers and parents have reading as part of their routine educational experience.

Yearly

Art
Business
Computer Science and ICT
Design & Technology
Drama
English
Ethics, Philosophy & Religion
Food & Cookery
Geography
Health and Social Care
History
Mathematics
Media
MFL
Music
PE
Science

Termly

Art
Business
Computer Science and ICT
Design & Technology
Drama
English
Ethics, Philosophy & Religion
Food & Cookery
Geography
Health and Social Care
History
Mathematics
Media
MFL
Music
PE
Science

Our Drivers for Improvement

Forensic Reading

As they spend their time with us our children and young adults will establish a costal shelf of knowledge, vocabulary, understanding, phraseology and experience that forms a basis for success in difficult examinations and the challenges of adult life beyond their time with us. Forensic Reading will expose students to challenging, complex and academic texts which will not only develop students’ vocabulary but also their ability to appreciate what makes a great writer.

Purple Zone

Students will be routinely exposed to challenging or difficult concepts which requires them to think and apply their prior knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. Purple Zone is designed so that students struggle with difficult concepts from which they will learn more.

The use and extension of Purple Zone activities is deep-routed in our work. Purple Zone work is formally linked to the process of assessment, linked in its own right to Iterative Assessment.

Curriculum/Rubric Mapping

Students experience a well organised and coherent curriculum which has been planned meticulously by expert professionals so that learning develops lesson by lesson, year by year.

The curriculum maps detail for each subject the knowledge to be taught, when it will be taught and how it might best be taught. Curriculum maps also directly link to homework and Iterative Assessments.

Iterative Assessment

Iterative Assessment is the process of assessing the accumulation of knowledge over time. We do not focus solely on what has been taught most recently, instead, we assess students in terms of current and prior learning.

Students will be regularly tested against the knowledge that has been delivered through the curriculum. The curriculum is driven through a detailed professional understanding of the curriculum and examination rubric.

Positive Discipline

Positive Discipline in the foundation stone upon which all success is built. Positive Discipline is an established aspect of student life at The Morley Academy and allows professionals, students and parents to drive a culture of high aspiration and achievement as behaviour around the academy and in lessons is exemplary.

Positive Discipline creates a culture of autonomy where students can become responsible for their own learning.

Curriculum Structure

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.
On three days each year the Academy has break-down days to cover the parts of PHSCEE that cannot be delivered through other lessons, assemblies or form time. 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.

Years 7 and 8

The Year 7 and 8 curriculum structure is split into two evenly balanced bands. Each band contains five forms and subjects are taught in four blocks. The first block is setted according to mathematical ability and students will be taught Mathematics, Science, ICT and Music in this block. The second block is setted according to ability in English and students will be taught English, History, Geography, Ethics and Forensic Reading in this block. Forensic reading is a new subject to students this year and focusses on how to interpret the written word and how this affects the construction of fiction, essays and reports. The third block is PE and Technology and the fourth block is setted according to ability in languages and contains either Spanish or French and then Art and Drama.

Year 7
Subject Number of Hours
English 4
Mathematics 3
Science 3
PE 2
Geography 2
History 2
French/Spanish 2
Forensic Reading 1
Art 1
Drama 1
Music 1
Computing/IT 1
Ethics, Philosophy and Religion 1
Technology 1
Year 8
Subject Number of Hours
English 4
Mathematics 3
Science 3
PE 2
Geography 2
History 2
French/Spanish 2
Forensic Reading 1
Art 1
Drama 1
Music 1
Computing/IT 1
Ethics, Philosophy and Religion 1
Technology 1

Years 9, 10 and 11

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. All students will study English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science and Core PE. Students 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: Business Studies, Media Studies, Sports Studies, Health and Social Care, Childcare, Photography and Statistics. For students who may require additional support we provide a bespoke service depending on the needs of the learners in each year group. This can, for example, sometimes take the form of students being provided with additional English and Mathematics.

Core Subjects

Subject Number of Hours
English* 4
Mathematics 4
Science 4
Core PE 1

*Students will study Forensic Reading through English lessons.

Core Option (one option)

Subject Number of Hours
History 3
Geography 3

Option Subjects (three options)

Subject Number of Hours
Art 3
Drama 3
Ethics, Philosophy and Religion 3
French 3
Geography 3
German 3
Health and Social Care 3
History 3
ICT 3
Media 3
Statistics 3
Photography 3
Business 3
Early Years 3
Spanish 3
Sport 3
Creative Crafts 3
Food and Cookery 3
Textiles 3