At Southmoor Academy, our core values of aspire, achieve, enjoy are at the heart of everything we do. We set high expectations to ensure that every pupil excels across all aspects of school life.
Our intention is to ensure pupils make outstanding progress and that the curriculum removes any potential barriers to learning.
The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all learners (including pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), EAL (English as Additional Language), most able pupils, and those eligible for the pupil premium.
We want our pupils to leave with knowledge and skills which will not only create excellent life opportunities but will also prepare them exceptionally well for life beyond the academy.
At Southmoor Academy, pupils will:
Pupils experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum
Our academy curriculum helps pupils to achieve high standards and make excellent progress. At KS3, the curriculum is designed in a way to ensure that pupils develop a deep understanding across a range of subjects and aligns fully with the National Curriculum. There are many opportunities built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded. The curriculum is enriched to extend pupils’ education beyond their main course of study and ensures that the pupils build the cultural capital they need to become successful and well-educated citizens.
At KS4 and KS5, the courses are carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited, and this undoubtedly prepares pupils for external examinations at the end of the course.
Pupils will be literate and numerate
The development of pupil language and oracy is at the forefront of our curriculum as we understand how vital it is for our pupils to build confidence in communication skills, not only for their time in school but also to prepare them for working life. We ensure pupils have opportunities in all subjects to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view and to develop their formality of language to ensure they can have the confidence to speak to different audiences. Numeracy skills are embedded across the curriculum. Pupils who arrive with below expected maths skills are quickly caught up through expert teaching and incisive intervention. The academy ensures that pupils are literate and numerate, enabling them to flourish, thrive and access the next stage of their education, employment, or training. All pupils are expected to read widely and access a diverse range of high quality and aspirational texts through carefully planned curriculum planning.
Pupils will have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement
The academy is inclusive and ambitious for all. We have high expectations of all pupils and provide opportunities for pupils to learn what is expected of them morally. Our behaviour policy ensures that pupils learn that actions have consequences, and they can accept and appreciate differences between people.
Whilst students gain knowledge through KS3 and KS4, we also want them to become learners who are enquiring, enthusiastic, engaged, and polite. Pupils will develop high expectations of themselves and embed our key principles at the academy: Ready. Respectful. Safe.
Pupils will build their character
At the academy, we are totally committed to improving the life chances and aspirations of pupils. With a focus on the 5 pillars of building character and resilience, we ensure pupils have access to a wider curriculum which provides numerous opportunities in sport, creativity, performing, world of work/enterprise, and volunteering. An extensive enrichment programme supports the development of pupils into well rounded citizens.
Pupils will develop their cultural, moral, social, mental, and physical development
At Southmoor Academy, we pride ourselves on delivering a broad and balanced curriculum. RSHE, PSCHE and SMSC are delivered through a dedicated Personal Development lesson and enrichment activities.
We have the Mental Health Bronze Award, we are reapplying for the Anti-Bullying Silver Award and aiming to achieve the SMSC Quality Mark.
Pupils are encouraged to take part in a range of sporting, cultural and charitable activities.
The academy is partnered with South Tyneside MHST (Mental Health Support Team). Mental Health Support Teams work with schools to tackle the challenges children and young people experience, by helping them to feel more resilient, arming them with techniques to look after themselves and strategies to help them cope better with life’s difficulties. Pupils have access to an MHST practitioner and the Listening Ear service (Sunderland MIND) in school.
Pupils will secure foundations for progression
It is our intention at the academy to ensure pupils have secure foundations for progression into further education and apprenticeships. From Year 7, pupils receive careers information with a clear focus on the Gatsby benchmarks and this is supported through drop-down days, careers fairs, work experience week and a focused careers week for every subject area. Over the course of 7 years, pupils receive a rigorous and bespoke aspirations programme that exposes our pupils to a vast range of voices and experiences and is fully compliant with the Gatsby benchmarks. The academy has achieved the ‘Quality in Careers Standard’ ‘fully meeting the standard incorporating the Gatsby Benchmarks’ award.
SEND and Disadvantaged Pupils
Southmoor Academy is committed to improving outcomes for SEND and disadvantaged pupils and those in alternative provision. We ensure every child can thrive and be well prepared for adult life.
Southmoor Academy believes that a carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built. The curriculum is designed and implemented in such a way that it builds on prior knowledge and prepares pupils for the next stage in their education.
We ensure that lessons are engaging and suitably scaffolded so that all pupils can access the curriculum content and can spend most of the time in lessons working independently at their level of ability.
Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning. Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics. Teachers plan learning that allows pupils to embed and recall knowledge through techniques such as interleaving of topics and spaced practice. This builds firm foundations for progression to the next level and exam success.
Key Stage 3
At KS3 the curriculum is designed around ‘Big Ideas / Key Concepts’. This encourages pupils to focus on deeper learning to ensure real understanding of key concepts. Each big idea topic has a planned learning journey with clear statements setting out what pupils need to know, understand, and do to reach their aspirational target grade.
Lesson planning incorporates connect, content and consolidation activities which allow pupils to develop a range of skills which they can apply across all subject areas to help them with the challenge of the curriculum. The national curriculum content is carefully aligned to ensure that pupils have covered all areas of the statutory subjects by the end of KS3.
Key Stage 4
In Year 9, pupils choose 4 subjects to study at KS4. The curriculum model allows students to choose 4 subjects in addition to the core Maths, English, Science, PE, and Personal Development lessons.
Options are structured in such a way to allow pupils a free choice. This ensures equity of delivery, with all pupils having equal access to subjects. The options are designed to stretch and challenge pupils and to meet the demands of the local labour market. Pupils are offered a mixture of practical and academic subjects from all areas of the curriculum. This gives every pupil a broad and balanced curriculum, but still offers a flexibility to maximise the outcomes achieved by everyone.
This model also maintains the widest possible choice for progression routes Post 16 as every pupil will have a greater range of subjects from which to choose future opportunities for education and training.
Key Stage 5
At KS5, the courses are meticulously planned, and content is regularly reviewed to ensure we continue to meet our curriculum aims. The curriculum coverage is provided through schemes of work, lesson planning, homework, extended independent work, and enrichment activities.
Our curriculum is planned to enable all students to develop knowledge, understanding and wide range of transferable skills that promote and encourage a willingness to apply themselves to new challenges both across the curriculum and independently; they will develop a natural sense of curiosity and a drive to question, argue and persuade and there is an encouragement of creativity and risk taking.
Throughout our programmes of study, every attempt is made to make explicit links to careers and the world of work. In addition to subject specific links, we aim to explicitly reinforce the skills and aptitudes which employers say are important in the workplace:
- Staying positive
- Problem solving
- Aiming high
This, undoubtedly, prepares pupils for external examinations at the end of the course and beyond into the world of post 18 education, training, and employment.
At Southmoor Academy, our curriculum will:
- ensure that the sequence of learning builds on previous knowledge whilst supporting future progression.
- ensure pupils know more, remember more, do more, and go further.
- ensure pupils make at least the expected progress with some making better than expected progress to achieve excellence.
- lead to qualifications that are of worth for employers and for entry to further and higher education.
- enable all pupils to fulfil their potential.
- meet the needs of pupils of all abilities at the academy.
- allow pupils to acquire appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures.
- prepare pupils to make informed choices at the end of KS3, KS4 and beyond.
- help students develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to question and argue rationally.
Curriculum Equality and Diversity
At Southmoor Academy, equity and diversity is promoted through a fully inclusive curriculum. This is achieved by:
- The promotion of equality of opportunity.
- The teaching of Fundamental British Values and respect throughout the curriculum.
- Challenging discrimination and stereotypes in all areas of the curriculum.
- Monitoring the curriculum and personal development provision to ensure that it is representative of a diverse range of cultures.
- Ensuring that the curriculum is planned and delivered in such a way that all pupils can access the core knowledge and make rapid and sustained progress.
- Close gaps in attainment and progress between all pupils and groups of pupils disadvantaged, Cared for Children, SEND (Special Education Needs and Disability) and pupils from minority ethnic groups.
Key Stage 3
- At KS3, in Years 8 and 9, pupils are divided into an A and B half. Pupils are set by ability in the core subjects and are taught in streamed but more mixed ability groups in the foundation subjects. Pupils in Year 7 are taught in mixed ability groups for all subjects.
- Average pupils per class is 26
- All lessons are 1 hour in length and there are 29 lessons per week.
- SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural), British Values and PSHE are delivered through a dedicated Personal Development once per week. They are also embedded into the curriculum and delivered through all subjects.
||Periods per week|
|Year 7||Year 8||Year 9|
|Personal Development / RE||1||1||1|
||Periods per week|
|Year 7||Year 8||Year 9|
Key Stage 4
At KS4 core subjects are set by ability. Option groups are mixed ability with some setting if there is more than one group in an option block.
All lessons are 1 hour in length and there are 29 lessons per week.
SMSC, British Values and PSHE are embedded into the curriculum.
||Periods per week|
|Year 10||Year 11|
|Option Subject 1 (History or Geography)||2.5||2.5|
|Option Subject 2||2.5||2.5|
|Option Subject 3||2.5||2.5|
|Option Subject 4||2.5||2.5|
Key Stage 4 Option Subjects
|French||Health & Social Care||Photography|
|Computer Science||Enterprise & Marketing||Music|
All pupils will be set a minimum target that we expect them to achieve based on their KS2 (Key Stage 2) SATs (statutory primary assessments) and / or CAT4 and predicted FFT Targets.
We have introduced learning journeys at KS3 across all subjects. The learning journeys are shared with parents and pupils. As a result, pupils are engaged in their learning and know which step they are working at and what they need to do to improve.
Regular, low stakes, testing ensures that pupils embed knowledge into their long-term memory.
Pupils are assessed by a combination of peer, self, and teacher assessments. Formative assessment, questioning, regular low stakes testing, takes place in the classroom which ensures pupils embed knowledge into their long-term memory.
Summative assessment will take place at least twice per year.
Following each assessment, incisive intervention to fill gaps in knowledge means that pupils make rapid progress.
Parents receive an annual written report and interim data reports at key assessment points throughout the year. The annual written report will indicate the general progress that a pupil has made, brief details of achievements, highlighting strengths and development needs, an attendance record and an indication of their behaviour and attitude to learning. Interim data reports will indicate the grade a pupil has achieved in the most recent summative assessments / exams and their target grade.
Curriculum implementation will be reviewed, and quality assured through line management and lesson observations.
The curriculum delivered in each subject will be reviewed annually by subject leaders to ensure the sequence of delivery allows pupils to build on their knowledge and that pupils are sufficiently stretched and challenged.
The curriculum hours and subjects offered will be analysed by the senior leadership team and governors on an annual basis.
Parents and pupils will have the opportunity to review the curriculum content and delivery through parent and pupil surveys.
Our School Curriculum Menu
For detailed information on what each subject has to offer at every level of our curriculum, please select from the subject menu.
Our Sixth Form Curriculum
How does the Sixth Form at Southmoor Academy meet the 16-19 study programme requirements (Key Stage 5)?
Section 1: Study programmes
Our study programmes offer students breadth and depth, without limiting their options for future study or work. All of our young people gain real experience and knowledge of the workplace, which enhances their employability skills.
Our 16 to 19 study programmes are designed to provide students with a structured and challenging learning programme that supports their development and progression in line with their career plans.
Our study programmes are individually tailored but combine the elements below:
- substantial qualifications that stretch students and prepare them for education at the next level or for employment
- English and maths where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4
- work experience to give students the opportunity to develop their career choices and to apply their skills in real working conditions
- other non-qualification activity to develop students’ character, broader skills, attitudes and confidence, and to support progression
Every study programme has a core aim which recorded in the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) and school census. The core aim for most students is one substantial academic, qualification which prepares the student for further education or employment.
The core aim is agreed between the student and the education provider at enrolment. It will generally remain unchanged during the year, although exceptions may be made where, for example, a student:
- finds they have made the wrong programme choice and transfers to an alternative programme, or
- transfers to a traineeship after an initial period of vocational training or employability support
Most study programmes consist of 6 planned hours per week.
Students with special educational needs and/or disabilities
Most young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are capable of sustained employment with the right preparation and support. As such, our study programme principles apply equally to students with SEND. The SEND Code of Practice sets out the general responsibilities of post-16 providers for young people with SEND, both with and without an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
We take particular care to tailor study programmes to the individual aspirations and needs of students with SEND, in discussion with the student. Where students have an EHC plan, we involve the SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) where appropriate. Students with SEND may face more barriers to gaining employment than their peers. Work experience is therefore be a particularly important element of their study programme to build their skills and confidence – all students undertake at least employer contact/experience. We follow the SEND Code of Practice which sets out the general responsibilities of post-16 providers for young people with SEND, both with and without an EHC plan – delivering quality first teaching.
Section 2: Broad programme characteristics
A level courses
Our students are expected to follow a minimum of three A levels, or equivalent, which count as substantial qualifications. A level study programmes also include non-qualification activity such as tutorials, work experience, personal or study skills, and support students to progress to employment or HE.
The full range of courses we offer for study can be found here.
Section 3: Delivering study programmes
English and maths
All students aged 16 to 19 studying 150 hours or more, who do not hold at least a GCSE grade 4, are required to study English and maths as part of their study programme in each academic year.
All full-time 16 to 19 year old students starting a new study programme with us, with a GCSE grade 3 in English and/or maths, continue to study towards a GCSE.
Students with prior attainment of GCSE grade 2 or below are also offered the option of studying towards level 2 Functional Skills.
Level 3 mathematics qualifications
We offer a range of level 3 mathematics qualifications (AS/A level Maths, Further Maths and Core Maths).The focus of core mathematics qualifications is on problem solving, reasoning and the practical application of mathematics and statistics. There is increasing interest in this subject.
How does the Sixth Form at Southmoor Academy meet the 16-19 study programme requirements (Key Stage 5)?
Example of activities
Work experience is a key component of 16 to 19 study programmes. The term work experience refers to all forms of work-related activity including work tasters, running a student enterprise, participation in social action, volunteering or a work placement taken with an external employer. It aims to give young people the opportunity to develop their career choices, get a first taste of work, and develop those critical employability skills needed for real working conditions. All students are expected to undertake work experience or work-related training as part of their study programme, and for some students it is undertaking in their core aim of the study programme (H&S Care).
This approach is consistent with the Gatsby Benchmarks for good careers guidance.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, provider engagement with employers and their ability to offer students placements has been restricted. We have worked with local employers and have planned work placement opportunities appropriately where it is safe to do so; we have also provided other forms of employer contact, on-site work experience and work-related activities.
|Youth social action
We encourage our students to participate in youth social action. Our programmes involve young people taking practical action in the service of others to create positive change.
Our programmes are:
Youth-led – led, owned and shaped by young people’s needs, ideas and decision making
Socially impactful – have clear and intended benefits to a community, cause or social problem
Challenging – stretching and ambitious as well as enjoyable and enabling
Embedded – accessible to all, and well-integrated to existing pathways to become a habit for life
We participate in activities such as volunteering, campaigning, fundraising, and mentoring – in which the activity has a ‘double benefit’, to both the young people participating and the community they are serving.
|Other non-qualification activity
All students are expected to take part in other meaningful non-qualification activity alongside work experience. This should take account of their needs and career plans, as well as preparation for adult life more generally. Our Personal Development programme provides:
activities to develop confidence, character and resilience
group work to develop team working, communications skills, leadership and problem solving – skills that employers often say are lacking in school and college leavers
tutorials and seminars (including careers education)
life skills, such as: the ability to travel independently, how to cook and eat healthily, stay safe, personal finance, or preparation for adult or university life
|National Citizen Service (NCS)
NCS is a government-backed, part-residential youth programme, which develops the skills and confidence of young people. Young people work in diverse teams of 12 to 15, building skills for work and life, taking on exciting challenges, meeting people from different backgrounds and contributing to their local area. National independent evaluations have consistently shown the positive impact the programme has on young people, particularly on team working, leadership, resilience, and wellbeing and anxiety reduction.
NCS offers an autumn programme aimed at 16 and 17 year old students. Most providers deliver this during term time and agree a programme, which complements the non-qualification element of the study programme by offering students further opportunities to develop character, skills, attitudes and confidence. Participants will also develop a social action project, which they will put into action in their community.
NCS is managed locally and providers can tailor activities and materials to suit the student cohort and deliver the programme at a time that best meets their needs.
There is no cost to a school or college to get involved and a young person will pay no more than £50 to take part, with bursaries also available. However, as NCS is government funded, the hours the student spends on the programme must not be recorded as planned hours.
|Duke of Edinburgh Award
We also offer the Duke of Edinburgh programme. Develops the skills and confidence of young people. Young people work in diverse teams of 12 to 15, building skills for work and life, taking on exciting challenges, meeting people from different backgrounds and contributing to their local area. National independent evaluations have consistently shown the positive impact the programme has on young people, particularly on team working, leadership, resilience, and wellbeing and anxiety reduction.
Our Academy Trust Curriculum Intent
Our curriculum intent describes the core values we please in every subject and runs as a guiding values throughout all of our teaching. Students are encouraged to learn and understand these values so that they may better understand that school works for them and is in their best interests. By understanding this we hope that students will gain confidence in their learning and ultimately aspire to achieve their full potential.