At Oulton Academy we have a well-constructed curriculum, tailored to meet the needs of our learners and address social disadvantage on many levels. Our curriculum offer is adapted to meet individual needs where appropriate and therefore offers a range of pathways, which we believe broaden rather than narrow the offer at different points during the five-year journey. This is essential to overcome social disadvantage and remove the barriers our young people face.
At Oulton Academy we follow a 3 year Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) and then a 2 year Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11). At the end of Year 9, students opt for subjects that they will study in Years 10 and 11. We offer a wide range of both subjects and qualifications which will cater for all needs from creative and technical qualifications to more academic and health related courses. Students will follow a course that best suits their abilities and future pathways. Students opt for either Geography, History or a language, with some students studying two of these, where appropriate. We design our curriculum around each individual child and it is, therefore, a bespoke curriculum.
Teaching and learning at Oulton Academy will, create a positive learning environment, develop at pace, be personalised and challenging and prepare learners for success. These are our 4 principles that every lesson across every subject adopt when delivering their curriculum. The principles are designed to ensure that the high standards and expectations we set in the learning environments are consistently delivered. The principles ultimately support the idea that teachers focus on teaching and learners focus on learning.
Learning outcomes are designed to be purposeful and provide students with a destination for their learning. Every lesson at Oulton Academy has one ambitious learning intention. This supports success and provides aspiration for all students in each lesson. Outcomes will always be introduced at the start of the lesson and revisited during to support students to identify their learning journey and measure their own progress. Outcomes will also be used by teachers to adapt their teaching to meet the needs for the students and identify misconceptions quickly and effectively.
Gold zone is the most challenging part of lesson and requires students to work independently from the teacher for at least 10 minutes. This features once in every lesson across the academy and the idea is to build self confidence and resilience within the students, which will better equip them for future success in examination and further education. Gold zone can be delivered through various teaching methods and is useful strategy for teachers to assess students and for students to reflect on their learning.
Iterative learning is the idea that students are constantly revisiting previous learning and making links between new and previous knowledge across the curriculum. This is evident in every lesson across the academy and is often done in a subtle way to ensure teaching time is maximised. Student at Oulton Academy understand the importance of recall and how this skills will not just support them in their academic studies but also in life.
The average reading age of GCSE exam paper is 15 years and 7 month. If students can not read the questions then they can not access the paper and therefore limit their choices in life. At Oulton Academy we support literacy in every lesson across the curriculum. Every lesson has a literacy focus and every student has their own literacy target to improve on. Students will be asked to read out the lesson outcomes and the teacher will provide reading opportunities in the lesson.
At Oulton Academy we value the importance of self-regulated learning. Students at the academy understand the purpose of their learning, whether this is to prepare them for exam success or their chosen college/career choice. Through regular and timely feedback from teachers and their peers, students can articulate their strengths and weaknesses in each subject they study. They can provide evidence of their strengths and identify how they are going to improve their area of underperformance. This is all done through regular metacognition tasks that are student led, so that they are personalised and meaningful.
Students at Oulton Academy take pride in their work. We follow the PROUD policy when presenting our work:
P – Write in black pen for classwork and purple pen for reflection tasks
R – Use a ruler
O – oops, use a single line through any mistakes
U – Underline dates and titles
D – Draw in pencil
These presentation standards are monitored through marking an feedback and where students have not met them, the teacher will address these issues and students will be encouraged to meet the expectations.