Our Curriculum Intent
All pupils leave Ark Victoria with broad and diverse academic knowledge and skills, regardless of starting points. Our curriculum enables pupils to make connections across themes and concepts, building their vocabulary and understanding, across and within subject disciplines. It also develops pupils’ ambition and independence, as well as fostering resilience and kindness. This leads to our pupils becoming respectful, curious citizens with a strong moral purpose.
Our culture which enables learning and teaching to flourish and the curriculum to be effectively delivered. We adopt a warm/strict approach to establish calm, purpose and order. We achieve this through the consistency of expectations, showing care and compassion and using explicit signature strategies to secure positive behaviour.
Our Curriculum Pillars
Our curriculum design follows six core principles:
- Resilient Readers: We understand that pupils need to be effective readers in order to be successful in life. We give all pupils frequent opportunities to read confidently and fluently, as well as strategies and support to securely access the full curriculum and read at or above their chronological reading age.
- High quality teaching: Our teachers are passionate experts in their subjects and age-appropriate pedagogy, with an excellent understanding of their curriculum content and the learning journey for pupils.
- Knowledge rich curriculum: Our curriculum design enables pupils to make strong progress in each subject through the explicit teaching of core disciplinary concepts and knowledge. The curriculum is sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before.
- High ambition: Teachers’ expectations are high for every child, and curriculum adaptation and judicious interventions ensure that all pupils make good progress. Teachers work hard to ensure access to the full curriculum for all pupils through appropriate support and scaffolding, rather than narrowing the offer. Clear careers and pathways guidance helps pupils understand the opportunities that school, qualifications and a university education will afford them.
- Diverse and inclusive: our curriculum is consciously inclusive and seeks to support pupils of all backgrounds, experiences, and protected characteristics to access and enjoy our aspirational content. An authentic and truthful study of each subject celebrates and acknowledges that diverse bodies of people have made our disciplines what they are. We recognise the importance of developing and valuing our learners’ voices; our focus on oracy helps our pupils develop confidence to express their views and build on the contributions of others.
- Strong character and enrichment: our curriculum builds pupils’ understanding of themselves as learners, as well as the importance of values and virtues in living a fulfilled and happy life. We share ‘world wisdom’ to help build cultural capital, so that our learners can take part in the great conversations of humankind. Pupils develop their passions and interests through our student experience curriculum and enrichment programme.
Curriculum Programmes at Ark Victoria
We follow the National Curriculum at all key stages; all our curriculum programmes are linked to the National Curriculum. We use Ark Complete Curriculum Programmes (CCPs) to capture the subject content, sequence of teaching, assessment, classroom delivery resources and required teacher CPD for the following subjects:
- Maths Mastery, AC+ (All-through)
- Read Write Inc.
- English Mastery, AC+
- Science Mastery, AC+ (All-through)
- Geography Mastery, AC+
- School Music Programme, Ark Schools
These curriculum programmes are used as a starting point for curriculum planning. Our staff use their intellectual preparation and co-planning time to adapt these curricula to ensure they meet the needs of the learners in our context, that there is sufficient rigour and challenge and that adaptations to the curriculum allow all students to access and make progress. Specific adaptations for SEND students are made, to run alongside interventions and where necessary inclass support, so that SEND students are included in the ambitious curriculum aims. EHCPs and pupil passports are used to support curriculum adaptations and staff receive training from the Inclusion team on how to effectively adapt the curriculum.
Assessment Aligned Frameworks (AAFs) are in place for the following subjects:
- Computer Science
Subjects agree on a common subject content, sequence and assessment protocols; Subject Network Leads oversee the network agreed curriculum design. Curricula developed by Ark Victoria staff The following subjects have curricula which have been developed by colleagues at Ark Victoria through consulting specifications, attending CPD and working collaboratively:
- Art and design
- Design Technology
- Business studies (KS4 only)
- Creative I Media (KS4 only)
- History (Primary only)
- Geography (Primary only)
- Computing (Primary only)
- MFL (Primary only)
Our staff use their intellectual preparation and co-planning time to adapt and resource these curricula to ensuring they meet the needs of the learners in our context, that there is sufficient rigour and challenge and that adaptations to the curriculum allow all students to access and make progress.
In addition to the above curricula, there is an alternative pathway for a small number of students identified with special educational needs (this happens on a needs basis and not necessarily every year). These students follow the usual KS3 curriculum and then within the Options process, are able to follow the Prince’s Trust Award to gain important employability and life skills, alongside core GCSEs in English, maths and science, another GCSE option of their choice and functional skills English, entry level science and maths. These students will receive additional support to ensure they access an appropriate pathway post-16. and functional skills English, entry level science and maths. These students will receive additional support to ensure they access an appropriate pathway post-16.
Impact & Assessment
At Ark Victoria, we believe that effective assessment provides useful information to improve teaching and learning. Our rigorous progress and target setting model supports this. We provide children with regular feedback on their learning so that they understand what they need to do better. This allows us to base our lesson plans on a detailed knowledge of each pupil. We also give parents/carers regular reports on their child’s progress, so that teachers, children and parents/carers are all working together to raise standards for all our children.
The aims and objectives of assessment in our academy are:
- To enable our children to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their learning
- To help our children understand what they need to do next to improve their learning
- To allow teachers to plan learning that accurately reflects the needs of each child
- To provide regular information for parents/carers that enables them to support their child’s learning
- To provide the Headteacher and governors with information that allows them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the academy
- To help us to plan highly effective learning opportunities