GCA Whole School Curriculum Intent
At GCA, we have thought long and hard about curriculum design, consulted with our stakeholders and thought about what we believe to be right for our school community. Our curriculum is driven by our core values; to provide all of our learners with an ambitious curriculum breadth of choice, robust student mental health & wellbeing and, ultimately, excellence of performance and resulting opportunities beyond GCA.
The GCA curriculum is well conceived, rigorously planned and robustly evaluated to suit our children; to give them the very best educational experience and the very best life choices when they fly from our nest.
Our curriculum is reading rich and designed to give all of our children the best chances in life beyond GCA by developing resilience, confidence and independence, while allowing our children to discover and develop diverse interests and talents, be they appropriately academic or extending beyond the classroom.
The teaching of whole school reading is planned and implemented across years 7 to 10, with form-time ‘Reading Canon’ 3 mornings a week, and associated reading techniques used to enrich and enhance reading across all subjects. Additional specific reading support is given to reduce possible literacy barriers to learning, including Lexoniks, paired reading etc.
Through Key Stage 3, Students complete their full national curriculum entitlement in all subjects, taught discretely. Students are challenged and engaged from the point of entry in year 7 with specific curriculum progression having taken place from KS2 and little, or no, wasted consolidation time. Our Key stage 4 curriculum affords our students the opportunity to study in all statutory areas, including high quality PSHE/Careers education for all. Within the confines of trying to meet National Ebacc expectations, the offer is broad, ambitious, and enables progression through to a range of KS5/FE courses at both local, and more distant providers. Careers education and guidance is a key aspect of our KS4 provision, with group and individually targeted careers guidance for students building on that delivered through Years 7, 8 and 9. Careers education is also addressed through a well-planned curriculum in all areas including visiting employers, knowledge and appreciation of different workplaces and encounters with further and higher education providers. It is our intention to continue to inspire increasing numbers of GCA students to have the ambition to ultimately progress to University education via an academic A’ level or equivalent route.
All KS4 ‘Options’ courses have the same value and are allocated the same curriculum time. By delivering three ‘options’ at KS4 over 2 years, students have adequate time to complete their range of courses, allowing the curriculum content to be delivered with greater depth and breadth and allowing extension opportunities to encourage further study beyond KS4. Breadth and balance have historically been very important to our students, parents and governors and we actively encourage students to choose a broad range of academic courses at KS4 as well as promoting Arts, Engineering, Food, Sport etc courses for each and every student irrespective of prior attainment. Achievement and attainment at GCA are, as a result, very good, giving our students a greater breadth of post 16 opportunities and very bright futures.
PSHE (including statutory SRE) is planned and delivered across all five years to enable children to learn skills and realise talents, develop character and resilience, and learn about British values, diversity and mental health & well-being. GCA has an extensive extra-curricular offer which is accessible to all students. This includes sporting clubs/teams; Arts groups; Duke of Edinburgh Award; Computing/Coding; Science/Environmental group. These, together with their experiences through their broad and balanced curriculum, equip our students with the knowledge and culture capital they need to appreciate human creativity and achievement, and to succeed in life as educated citizens, leaving GCA having fulfilled the aim to…