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In This Section

Curriculum Summary

The curriculum provision is central to achieving the Academy mission. Enabling students to achieve their full potential, become responsible citizens contributing to society, respecting the rights of others and enjoying the social, spiritual and cultural heritage of our society.

We understand the taught curriculum is the core of provision but not the totality. We provide rich opportunities for high quality learning both within and outside the classroom.

We make appropriate provision for every student. This is shown in our extensive inclusion support, alternative opportunities and challenge for the more able as recognised in the Ofsted annual review 2016/17.  We are fully aware of the impact of ‘all ability’ intake from September 2013 and have a setting arrangement to challenge the most able while maintaining our outstanding support to narrow the gap for those who may be struggling.

We ensure all students secure core skills of literacy and numeracy as other subjects depend on these skills, as will future educational and employment opportunities. This is reflected in the curriculum time and support dedicated to these subjects. There is an extensive programme to develop literacy through all areas of the curriculum.

We recognise that students also require a broad and balanced education to become informed citizens and to enjoy the artistic cultural and aesthetic opportunities that lead to a fulfilling life sharing modern British values. Therefore, all students enjoy the humanities, the arts, a modern language and Design Technology. There are numerous extra-curricular clubs, events and trips.

We want our students to be safe and healthy adults and to appreciate the spiritual and moral aspects of life including an appreciation of the values of democracy, the rule of law, respect and equality for all whatever their background or belief.  All students partake in RE, PE, Food Technology and a PSHE programme. There is a programme of school assemblies, speakers and extra-curricular events. We dedicate time to actively preventing radicalisation.

We want our students to have core ICT skills and appropriate vocational opportunities that will enable them to progress to employment, further or higher education. We are proud to have won the TES Enterprise School of the year in 2016. We are developing our resources to teach Computer Science and now offer this option in Year 9, 10 and Year 11.

Foundation curriculum and Core Lesson Allocation 2017-18

Years 7 and 8

 Year   English   Literacy   Maths   Science   Humanities   MFL   Arts   PE   DT   PSHE 
7 7 1 7 7 8 5 5 4 3 2
8 7 1 7 7 8 5 5 4 5 2

 

The GCSE Years 

Years 9, 10 and 11

Lesson allocations based on a 25 period week:

 English   Maths   Science   PE   Option   Option   Option   PSHE 
8 8 9 3 5 5 5 2
 

There is flexibility within each subject area to offer the correct level of challenge and support for each student.

English: Language and Literature GCSE awards.

Maths: Single GCSE award with Additional Mathematics option for the most able.

Science: Triple, Double (Additional) and Single (Core) Science at GCSE appropriate to the individual student.

Other Options: Currently there are 27 option choices on offer including all DT specialisms, Engineering and a wide range of Business and ICT courses.

We have moved to starting GCSE courses in year and the Year 9 students simply have four options with the same choices as above. Covered over a 3 year period ensures that pupils gain the correct depth of knowledge and understanding of subject areas and allows a student to access all entitlement areas of Arts, Humanities, Physical education, Languages and Technology during KS4.

The main GCSE options available are: Maths & Additional Maths, English & English Literature, Core Additional & Further Science, Physics, Chemistry & Biology, Business, Business & Economics, ICT, Computer Science, Creative Technology, Art, Child Development, French, Drama, Geography, History, Graphics, Textiles, Food Technology, Engineering, Music, RE, PE and Resistant Materials. These are updated every year.

Setting

The Highcrest Academy operates setting. Setting allows students to be in the most appropriate set in each subject. Therefore the same student could be in Set 1 for Maths, Set 3 for Science and Set 6 for English. 

In Form groups and whole school activities such as ‘Suspended Timetable Days’ pupils are in mixed ability groups. In the Arts and KS3 Technology pupils are not set. Students are set in other areas.

We will set quickly in Year 7 based on all the information we have on the pupils not just Banding Test scores. We do not stream pupils according to their original band. In Year 7 timetable restraints require setting to take place over half-year groups, ie two higher sets, two middle sets and two lower sets.

Curriculum Extension and Alternative Provision

In addition to the BTEC options above, individual timetables are sometimes prepared using providers such as Aylesbury Motor Project, ToolShed and the Wycombe Skills Centre. Some students have been supported in transferring to the UTC in Aylesbury.

There are many extensions of the standard curriculum. The school excels at ‘Young Enterprise’ and groups have reached national and European finals in several recent years. We are the TES Enterprise School of the year in 2016. A Summer School for transition students has taken place over the past four years, developing and growing each year. We are a Technology Specialist School and have a relationship with the Bosch Group. We operate an extensive mentoring and activity programme with the multinational Johnson and Johnson Group. Individual students have provision under the Student Engagement Programme which utilises contact with the local Skill Centre.

We have a Duke of Edinburgh award extra-curricular group in KS4 and will be expanding this for pupils in KS3.

In addition to the above a large number of clubs and activities run every week including sports teams, Drama productions and Music tuition. In the Sixth Form Highcrest hosts the prestigious ‘Westminster to Wycombe’ debate.

There are many school excursions throughout the year. In 2017-18 major visits planned or proposed are: WW1 Battlefields (History) in February, Disneyland (Drama) in March, Krakow, Poland (Sixth form). We also have a variety of trips to local educational sites such as Bletchley Park (IT) and the Wycombe Law Courts.  We are always conscious of costs and will support access through a Governors Fund where possible.

The Sixth Form

The Sixth Form curriculum caters for a wide range of learners and includes courses at GCSE, BTEC L2, BTEC L3 and A Level.

The specific subjects on offer are decided in the new year after a survey of the current Year 11 cohort.  This is done to ensure our curriculum is tailored to both their needs and their requirements.  Examples of subjects on offer include A Level Maths, English, History, Biology, Psychology and at BTEC L3 Health & Social Care, Business and PE.

Students who have failed to achieve a 4 in both English and Maths at GCSE level will have the opportunity to retake their exam in either November or in the following summer exam period.

Students are encouraged to take 3 or 4 subjects in Year 12 and 3 in Year 13, though in certain cases students can take a 4th subject.