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Curriculum

Curriculum 2020-2021

We are proud of our school and the community it serves. Our ambition is for students to make their mark in the world whilst sustaining strong associations to their heritage; consequently, removing any sense of geographical disadvantage.

At Co-op Academy Swinton our core values of show you care, be yourself, always, do what matters most and succeed together are at the heart of everything we do. We set high expectations to ensure that every student excels across all aspects of academy life.

If you home-schooled your child and anything was possible, what would you want their educational experience to be? That was the starting point when reviewing our curriculum, drawing together all members of our school staff, both teaching and non-teaching. We deliberated with purpose and passion, and a desire to provide the best education possible for our students.

We believe that the breadth and quality of the curriculum is central to the ongoing achievement, progress and motivation of our students. Our curriculum is innovative, challenging and fulfilling to enable each student to achieve their full potential.

Linking curriculum research with the principles we applied for our teaching and learning approach (Rosenshine’s principles of instruction) has created clarity amongst our staff to design and deliver a curriculum that ensures a deeper understanding of the content being studied, a clear overview of the precise knowledge students will learn, whilst allowing our teachers to focus on the most effective way to explain the content and meet the needs of all of their students by adapting their teaching in response to feedback and identifying those who require further challenge and support.

We are creating an ever evolving knowledge rich curriculum, delivering consistency of implementation across our school whilst facilitating effective assessment, including the use of retrieval and recall activities. We have explored and continue to embed a curriculum with every concept broken down into granular items of knowledge to be mastered. We believe greater specificity of knowledge supports purposeful teacher autonomy within a set of common expectations and shared standards.  Too little specificity undermines clarity and pupil entitlement. Every child is entitled to a rich wealth of knowledge.

We adopt a rigorous programme of literacy intervention to support our academy pledge that every child has a reading age of 10.5 or more by the end of Year 7. This ensures that our students can all access the opportunities that our modern curriculum presents to them.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin


Curriculum Intent

Our Curriculum Intent is driven by our Co-op values. The pillars of our curriculum will provide the best education possible and transform the lives of our students.

Succeed together
Excellent knowledge rich teaching drives a love of learning and high standards of achievement; through experiences students will be able to communicate in different ways, work in partnership, be self-reliant and work ready.

Be yourself, always
Our students will be happy, healthy, resilient and independent. They will have the confidence to be a force for good in society.

Do what matters most
Our students will be knowledgeable, competitive, entrepreneurial citizens with a commitment to participate responsibly and develop informed views of complex issues.

Show you care
Our students will be co-operative, safe, responsible young people who exceed their potential both academically and socially within an open, fair and diverse community.

We believe that this is the best way to equip our students for the next step in their educational journey and experience success in whatever career they eventually choose. We strive to ensure our students will compete on equal terms with others coming from the most privileged backgrounds, so we provide an academic, but rounded, education that gives them the best possible chance to succeed.

“Knowledge is powerful if it predicts, if it explains and if it enables you to envisage alternatives.” Young et al.


Our Curriculum Model

Please see our 2020/21 Curriculum Model below.


How we use assessment at Co-op Academy Swinton

Students are set targets that we expect them to achieve based on their Key stage 2 SAT’s. Regular low stakes testing ensure that children embed knowledge into their long-term memory.

Students are assessed by a combination of peer, self and teacher assessments. In Key Stage 3 WIN assessments take place twice per half term for core and once for foundation subjects. There is also an end of term test of cumulative knowledge.

WIN assessments take place twice per half term for both core and foundation subjects in Key Stage 4. Year 11 complete a mock exam period that mirrors the summer examination schedule.

Following three cycles of data to measure progress across the school an academic care package is implemented and overseen by the Pupil Progress Co-ordinator, identifying gaps in learning and ensuring the appropriate intervention is available to close those gaps.


Other forms of assessment we use at Co-op Academy Swinton.

Quizzing

There are many forms of quizzing that will be used in our lessons to measure what our students know and have retained.

Giving students the resources, they can use to study from in advance, allows them to prepare. A good quiz should be designed to build confidence with every student aiming at a high success rate.

A quiz should allow all students to answer all the questions, not giving them a selection or hearing answers before they’ve been able to check their own recall. Quizzes can be done as mini paper test, asked verbally one by one or presented all at once for students to answer in their own time.

In addition to the retrieval practice itself, the most useful outcome from a quiz is that each student learns where they have gaps in their knowledge and the teacher learns what the common gaps are.

Ask a set of short factual recall questions, varying in style

  1. Ask 5–10 questions checking for recall in a variety of styles: short answer fact check; short problem solving
  2. Multiple choice questions; True/False; error spotting; labelling diagrams/image recognition
  3. Recitation of quotes or definitions; short bullet-point lists.

Self Quizzing

Quizzing routinely helps to check that students have learnt the material. This is a valuable tool that provides information to the student and teacher about where the gaps exist. Using quizzes in lessons reinforces the retrieval strength of the material so it’s easier to remember later.

Self quizzing builds positive habitual behaviours, the more it is done, the more fluently students remember. Providing students with the answers allows them to compare against the teachers model and their own for accuracy. Peer checking is a useful alternative. A simple way for this to be implemented is using the look, cover, write, check method.

Knowledge Organisers

The purpose of a knowledge organiser is to provide students with accessible guidance about knowledge that they can study on their own; a secure schema with strong recall.
A knowledge organiser is usually a one-page document, which presents curated, essential, organised knowledge with clarity. Knowledge is presented in a format, which facilitates retrieval practice, elaboration and organisation to develop schema.


Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Our school operates a three-year Key Stage 3 in Years 7, 8 and 9. Guided option choices are made in Year 9 and students are given every support and encouragement to pursue subjects aligned to their abilities and interests.

Please click the links below to read more about our faculties and subjects in more detail.

English

Maths

Science

Modern Foreign Languages

Geography

History

Religious Studies

Computing

Art and Photography

Physical Education

Design and Technology

Drama and Performing Arts

Music


Curriculum Evenings

Each year we hold a Curriculum Evening for our Year 7  cohort. The evening is designed to inform you about what your child will be studying over the course of the year.

There are presentations from our Directors of Learning of the Ebacc subjects and Pupil Progress Coordinator of that Year Group. The evening is an important event as it allows you to learn how you can ensure that your child makes the best possible progress they can.