Our curriculum includes (and goes far beyond) the National Curriculum, which allows students to gain the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens.
We offer our students a curriculum which:
- is broad and balanced – our students develop intellectually, creatively, socially and physically, through studying many different subjects.
- is enjoyable and raises aspirations – our highly engaging lessons make students want to learn, and enables students to reach their potential.
- promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (referred to by Ofsted as SMSC) – our students develop their character and knowledge of the world around them.
- prepares young people for the future – our students leave our academy well-prepared for the next stage of their lives.
- puts the student at the centre of their learning – our curriculum is not a ‘one size fits all’ curriculum. As well as giving students’ choice within lessons, individual students may have extra support or extra challenge to achieve their potential.
A sense of belonging
Students spend time each day in their academy Family and tutor group, in which they mix with students from other year groups. Across all lessons, we instil a sense of identity and community as academy students and part of the co-operative movement, as citizens of Manchester and Great Britain, and as a global citizen.
Through a wide range of after-school clubs, special events and trips, students are encouraged to extend their learning and widen their life experiences. These include opportunities for students to share the hobbies and enthusiasm of our staff, and to take part in opportunities created in partnership with groups, businesses and organisations outside the academy.
Developing leadership skills
Students are encouraged to take on roles as lead learners in lessons, which includes being experts in a topic, coaching other students and even teaching parts of a lesson themselves. There are a wide range of roles taken on by students, from Tutor and Family Captains to Student Librarians and Prefects. Our Student Council and student interview panels give students a democratic say in how we run things.
Careers education, information, advice and guidance
The academy has an award-winning careers education programme which ensures that our students develop the skills they need to be able to explore and research different careers paths, have opportunities to undertake work experience in Year 10 and receive appropriate information, advice and guidance, including one-to-one support with college and apprenticeship applications.
The academy day
Students have five lessons per day, lasting one hour each. In addition, each morning starts with a fifteen-minute tutorial or assembly. On Mondays only, the day ends with a thirty minute extended tutorial, in which students cover topics relating to Personal, social, health and economic education.
Three times a year, the normal timetable is suspended for Flexible Learning Days, in which students cover topics relating to Personal, social, health and economic education.
Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and Year 8)
Students in Years 7 and 8 study a broad range of subjects. As well as the core subjects English, Maths and Science, students also take lessons in Art, Drama, Geography, History, Information and Communications Technology (ICT, including Computer Science, Digital Literacy and e-Safety), a Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish), Music, Physical Education (PE), Religious Education (RE), Sociology and Technology (including Food Technology, Product Design and Textiles).
Key Stage 4 (Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11)
All of our students study the essential subjects of English Language, English Literature, Maths and Combined Science.
All students also take part in PE lessons which are key to a healthy lifestyle (students can choose whether or not their PE lessons will be one of their options subjects that they will be examined in).
Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 also take five options subjects. They can choose to continue subjects they enjoy, or even to start subjects that are new to them. The subjects below offer a range of GCSEs and qualifications with a strong vocational element, such as BTECs.
Our offer currently includes: Art & Design (including Photography), Business Studies, Child Development, Citizenship, Computer Science, Creative iMedia, Design and Technology, Drama, Ethics and Philosophy, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Geography, Health & Social Care, History, Information and Communications Technology, Media Studies, Modern Foreign Languages (French and Spanish), Music and Physical Education (PE).
How our students choose their options
Whilst in Year 8, students and their families choose the subjects they wish to study at Key Stage 4. Students choose five subjects to take in addition to core subjects such as English, Maths and Science. We guide students and their families through an options process which includes detailed information available on a special options website, assemblies and support from tutors, and an options evening where families can speak to staff in detail about the choices available.
Students who wish to study A Levels and aspire to study at university are encouraged to also study the subjects which make up the English Baccalaureate (or EBacc as it more commonly known). The EBacc is made up of English, Mathematics, History or Geography, The Sciences (including Computer Science) and a Modern Foreign Language