Curriculum

Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life. Our curriculum is designed to provide children with the core knowledge they need for success in education and later life.

Our vision at Sedgehill Academy is to deliver a knowledge-rich curriculum that is cohesive, cumulative and highly sequenced. It is academic, rigorous and challenging, and designed with long-term memory in mind; students’ knowledge, skills and understanding are cemented by frequent and systematic revisiting.

Wherever possible, the curriculum is sequential and chronological, contextualising content to secure students’ understanding of how the small details form a part of the bigger picture and how it’s relevant. This helps students make links between their subjects, such as the crossover between history and literature, for example.

The curriculum is progressive in quality and quantity across the years and key stages and mapped in precise detail. This ensures consistency and a shared understanding of high learning expectations. We have produced curriculum maps which you can find on our website. These explain what is taught to each year group throughout the year.

Sedgehill Academy is part of the biggest multi academy trust in the country (United Learning). Teachers and leaders across the trust have been involved in developing the United Learning Curriculum as a core academic curriculum, founded on these key principles: -

  • Entitlement - We believe that all children have the right to learn what is in the United Learning Curriculum. Sedgehill Academy aims to ensure that all children are taught this Curriculum offer with day to day teaching typicality a continuing focus and clear progression planning and sequencing in every subject studied.
  • Mastery – We want all students to achieve a full understanding of the knowledge specified in the Curriculum for each year, and teaching should not move on until this is achieved. This stretches across all age ranges and abilities at Sedgehill Academy.
  • Stability – We won’t constantly amend the Curriculum: while we will make occasional adjustments in the light of feedback and experience, we will aim for stability over many years, so that teachers can develop expertise, and we constantly build assessments and teaching materials to support the Curriculum.
  • Concepts not context – The Curriculum is intended as a concise specification of knowledge and content to be taught and learned; it is for schools and teachers to decide how to teach and bring it to life.

The curriculum overview for each subject identifies what is delivered and reinforces consistency between each year group. These can be accessed and viewed via this link.

As a mastery curriculum, students at Sedgehill Academy study fewer topics in greater depth, with the expectation that we do not move on to the next topic until all pupils have a secure understanding of the current topic.

At Key Stage 4 we encourage students to study GCSE option routes with the EBACC the preferred suite of subjects to be studied. A small number of vocational courses are offered to ensure sufficient breadth in the curriculum for all learners is maintained. In our lessons you will typically see all students grappling with the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for students who need it. Rather than moving on to new content, our higher attainers will study that content in more depth and are expected to produce work linked to it of greater depth and flair.

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide enough opportunity for guided and independent practice. We use Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2012) at Sedgehill Academy to develop our teaching practice.

1. Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning

2. Present new material in small steps with student practice after each step

3. Ask a large number of questions and check the responses of all students

4. Provide models

5. Guide student practice

6. Check for student understanding

7. Obtain a high success rate

8. Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks

9. Require and monitor independent practice

10. Engage students in weekly and monthly review

In order to allow the mastery approach to be effective (i.e. children learn what they are expected to in the year they are expected to), early catch up is essential: we aim to promptly identify and support pupils who start secondary school without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics so that they can access the full curriculum.

Everything from which children learn in school – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the house system and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – is to be seen as part of the school curriculum at Sedgehill Academy. The principle of ‘Education with Character’ is delivered through the curriculum in this broadest sense and continues to grow and develop over time as the Academy’s reputation continues to grow. We are very proud of our music, drama and PE extracurricular offer which sits alongside a host of other enrichment activities.

With thousands of students across United Learning following the same or similar curriculums, we have been able to develop common assessments in 6 subjects (English, mathematics, science, geography, history and modern foreign languages) which are subsequently used at Sedgehill Academy. These summative assessments allow students at Sedgehill Academy to demonstrate their growing understanding of their subjects and teachers to assess the impact of their teaching. These summative assessments are taken twice a year through our rank order attainment tests at Key Stage 3 and common mocks at Key Stage 4, enabling teachers to focus on formative assessment from lesson to lesson.

Our formative assessments are designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject. This means that in lessons pupils are quizzed on prior knowledge in order to embed this knowledge in their long-term memory. This frees up their working memory to attend to current learning. We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing. Knowledge organisers provide students with key information in each subject, broken down by term, enabling them to memorise the key knowledge they require in order to be able to perform higher-level functions such as analysis and evaluation. We also encourage all students to read widely and provide guided reading lists to students, parents and carers.

Every student has an equal right to a challenging and enlightening curriculum. By teaching this curriculum well, and developing effective habits in our students, we bring out the best in everyone at Sedgehill Academy.

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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