On entering Co-op Academy Swinton children are placed in a mixed ability form group. These units are not too large, usually about 25 students. All the forms of the same age group make up a Year Group which is the responsibility of a Pupil Progress Coordinator and Year Manager. They are the members of staff who collect all the information – social, behavioural and academic, concerning your child. It is to the Pupil Progress Coordinator and Year Manager that any personal information, problems involving your youngster or enquiries should be directed in the first instance.
Our academic and practical subjects are arranged into eight main areas of study. These areas are:
- Communications: English Language, English Literature, Media, French and Spanish
- Humanities: Geography, History and Religious Studies
- Technology: Information Technology, Business Studies, Design & Technology and Food Technology
- Mathematics: Mathematics
- Arts: Music, Drama, Performance Skills, PE, Textiles and Art
- Science: Science
- Student Support: Responsible for providing the individual support needed by those students identified as having special educational requirements. This will include a personalised curriculum for students in KS4.
As our intake includes children from the whole ability range we operate on the principle that each of our students is an individual whose abilities in different subjects are likely to vary. Because children vary in their strengths and in the rate at which they develop, we organise many of our subject groups around a system of ability sets. Students improving their performance or those encountering increasing difficulty can be moved between the sets.
A minority of subject staff prefer to teach students in a wider mix of ability. Teaching groups which contain a wide spread of ability from the most able to the least able student are called mixed ability groups. Wherever possible, and wherever this can be shown to be educationally advantageous, these subject areas will be enabled to do so.
Teaching in the classroom
Our teachers organise the classroom seating and use teaching strategies which will vary appropriate to the subject and the teaching group. This may include:
- Set groups
- Mixed ability group work
- Practical activities
- Experimental opportunities
- Active learning
- Didactic presentations
- Group and class discussion
- Audio-visual supported lessons
- The use of ICT to support learning
Literacy and Numeracy
These aspects of school are given the highest priority. We have responded to the latest national developments in these areas of the curriculum and are confident that this will enable all students to continue to progress after leaving their primary schools. Those students who may struggle with their literacy and numeracy are provided with personalised learning programmes to enhance their literacy and numeracy skills.
Our pledge to literacy and reading ages
We have an academy pledge that 95% of children will finish our Year 7 with a reading age of 10.5 or above. Our English and SEN departments work closely together to construct personalised interventions for students who arrive in September of Year 7 with a reading age below 10.5. Students work during some form times and in small reading groups in order to develop their reading skills. The academy follows a synthetic phonics programme entitled ‘Freshstart’ which ensures that all students are able to access all areas of the
All students at KS3 read during form time; a substantial amount of money has been spent on new books for form time and these were chosen after consultation with the students. Form tutors hear their form read individually and this is used to boost the amount of private reading time being undertaken in school. We use ‘Accelerated reader’ which guides Year 7 and 8 students towards reading books which will increase their vocabulary, reading ability and subject knowledge.