At Kings Academy we are highly ambitious for every young person. We aim to deliver a broad, innovative, inclusive, continuous and knowledge-rich curriculum that allows all students to fulfil their potential and to be well-equipped for the future.
We strive for all students to:
- maximise their life chances by acquiring and applying powerful knowledge over a broad range of subject disciplines
- be highly aspirational and ambitious with a positive attitude to learning
- be life-long learners with a desire for knowledge
- care about current issues and global challenges, to shape the future of our planet with respect for its fragility
- become confident, literate and independent learners
- be well-prepared for their next steps including education, employment and training
- develop transferable employability skills
- be able to form successful, caring relationships through demonstrating our Kings’ Core Values including positivity, respect, integrity, democracy and equality (PRIDE)
- be able to demonstrate Christian distinctiveness with integrity
- be guided by the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different beliefs, different faiths and no faith
- become active citizens in a rights-respecting Academy, promoting equality and equipped to play a dynamic role in their community and wider society mindful of protected characteristics
- be safe and adopt lifestyles that promote physical, social, emotional and mental wellbeing
- to achieve and fulfil their potential in exams to allow progression to further high-quality courses and training
- further develop a sense of responsibility towards themselves, other people and their environment
The Curriculum at Kings
Kings Academy is an Upper School with students starting in Year 9. The option choice is incorporated as part of the transfer arrangements, which supports raising expectations and emphasises the ‘step-up’ into a new school.
As a school we believe in providing a broad and balanced curriculum, within our physical capabilities, that helps meet the needs and interests of our learners. All students in Years 9 to 11 study a Core Curriculum, completing KS3 and moving into KS4. The Core Curriculum includes: English Language and Literature, Maths, Science, Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, Personal Social and Health Education and Physical Education.
In Year 9 all students complete the Extended Curriculum Project (ECP) constructed from six separate projects across Drama, Music, Art, Textiles, Design Technology, Food Technology, Computer Science and Information Technology, Modern Foreign Languages and Humanities. The projects focus on developing transferable skills including: teamwork, research, reading, presentation, speaking, creativity, innovation and design, application of information technology. Students are rewarded with a certificate that celebrates each of the six parts with Bronze, Silver or Gold.
In addition to the Core Curriculum and ECP, Kings’ courses include a range of GCSE qualifications and Vocational Technical Qualifications (VTQs) that have a work-related focus, such as BTEC. We have recently extended our VTQ offer to ensure that all our learners are on meaningful courses for them, where possible. Students usually study for ten Level 2 qualifications with some on guided pathways studying eight or nine.
We promote the learning of a wide range of subjects advocating the choice of two subjects from a Modern Foreign Language, Humanity or Computer Science, alongside two further enrichment subjects. In addition, some students will be offered the opportunity to take separate Science GCSEs and Further Maths GCSE. Students with learning needs receive curriculum support and, if appropriate, additional lessons for English and Maths. Some students will receive specific curriculum intervention to support their reading skills. Students that come from disadvantaged backgrounds receive additional curriculum support in terms of resources and mentoring.
The vast majority of our SEND learners access a full curriculum with the differentiation of resources in the classroom and targeted support in class from LSAs (Learning Support Assistants) where appropriate. Some SEND students are supported to make the same progress as all other students in their core subjects,
by providing them with extra smaller group support referred to as English and Maths Booster Programme. All SEND students, in addition to accessing the above, have a designated member of the Learning Support Team who has regular contact with them and will undertake reviews as appropriate.
In the Sixth Form we believe in offering something for all students, so that young people in the Wessex Learning Trust and Cheddar Valley can have a seamless education from two to 19 years of age. We have extended our breadth of courses bringing in Vocational Technical Qualifications (VTQs), such as Applied Law, Criminology and Digital Media at Level 3. As part of our values we believe in providing a comprehensive offer and this includes a ‘Level 2’ Work Skills BTEC. This is ideal for young people who still need to consolidate their learning before starting Level 3/A Level study but are suited to a course that will lead into an apprenticeship and/or employment as an alternative. In addition, all students continue to study GCSE English and Maths if they have not achieved a grade 4+ ensuring this is not a barrier to their next steps and in accordance with Department for Education guidelines. Sixth Formers are asked to pick up an enrichment/elective choice to broaden their personal development, which could include student leadership, an Extended Project Qualification, Core Maths or voluntary/community work.
It is important to note that the Kings’ curriculum is wider than the ‘national curriculum’. As a Christian school we celebrate our distinctive character where Christian values are promoted in all aspects of school life. We encourage all members of the school community to promote a Christian ethos where care and respect is shown to everyone demonstrating Kings’ Core Values. Kings’ Core Values are Positivity, Respect, Integrity, Democracy and Equality (PRIDE). Religious Education is studied by all students to full GCSE and is one of our most successful subjects. Students go to church at least four times a year and enjoy Christian worship in assemblies and events. We run a popular Christian group, Engage, which is well supported by our external church community.
Personal, social, moral, spiritual and cultural themes are explored specifically in PSHE lessons. Our sports provision is enhanced by our own Kings’ Sports Academy, which provides expert coaching with the opportunity to develop and play in our elite teams. Our Expressive Arts’ Faculty, likewise, provides fantastic opportunities for Dance, Art, Performance, Textiles, Music and Photography. Many other subjects provide extra-curricular clubs, such as debating, public speaking, enterprise competitions, Geog-Squad and so forth. ‘Participation’ in something additional is seen as a core part of our curriculum offer.
Our embedded ‘Extended Friday Tutor Time’ is a crucial part of our Kings’ Curriculum when students learn about wider personal, social, moral, spiritual,
cultural and health issues, global challenges, economic awareness, employability and metacognition. It is a time where House Councils meet to discuss student leadership projects and work with students from other years (including Sixth Formers working with younger years). Developing student leadership is a key aspect of our wider curriculum. This student leadership and our Kings’ Core Values have been key in the development of systems to achieve Unicef Rights Respecting Silver Award and will continue to be enhanced as we work towards Gold. Houses are encouraged to nominate a charity to support each year and a community project to undertake. There are four vertically organised Houses with two or three horizontal tutor groups from each year group (Years 9-11). Sixth Formers are also in a House.
Our Business Network is a key part of our curriculum offer allowing students to meet employers through the Careers Fair and Careers Cafés; as well as take part in mock interviews, writing CVs, writing application forms and undertaking work experience. All students including those in Kings’ Sixth are encouraged to undertake work experience. Kings’ Sixth students (and their parents) are provided with UCAS and Higher Apprenticeship specific advice, through events, tutorials and resources.
This concept is further developed into our Kings’ Focus Days, which allow for greater inter-year group working and wider skills and knowledge development. Students can nominate key issues to look at and opt into workshops. Heads of House help to shape this offer and include their own ‘House curriculum’ to personalise the offer for their students. We acknowledge that responding to students’ needs and interests is a unique aspect of our curriculum. Kings’ Focus Days and Extended Tutor Time are thus seen as a critical part of our Kings’ curriculum, as they help to develop character, enhance life skills and promote future employability.
Considering all of the above, this is why our mantra is so important to us at Kings Academy – Believe and Succeed!
The Literacy Strategy at Kings aims to develop skills in reading, writing and oracy. Our intent is that all students are proficient enough readers to participate both academically and in wider society. The reading strategy aims to develop a reading culture that stretches, challenges and encourages reading for pleasure as well as wider reading.
As with the reading strategy, our intent for writing is that all students are proficient enough writers to participate both academically and in wider society. The writing strategy also aims to develop support for both staff and students in scaffolding and editing extended writing tasks, with a focus on clarity and accuracy of expression.
All students are explicitly taught speech, language, and communication (SLC) skills so that they are equipped to thrive academically and in their social interactions. This will help students articulate their learning and understanding, communicate successfully with peers and staff, and equip them for the world beyond Kings.
All students will complete NGRT testing on entry to determine reading ages in order for all staff to support students with their reading.
For more information on supporting your child at home with Literacy, please go to the ‘Parent’ section of the website, where you will find recordings of Literacy Parents’ Evening events. You can also find more information on identifying the reading age of a text here: Check the Reading Age of Classroom Materials & Text Using Microsoft Word – BrightHub Education.