Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Our broad and balanced Key Stage 3 curriculum is followed by Years 7, 8 and 9. Students follow a 25 period a week timetable. The curriculum is designed to provide depth and breadth of study whilst ensuring that appropriate time can be devoted to Mathematics, English and Science. Our intention is to give students a ‘taste’ of as many subjects as possible, whilst preparing them for and informing them about, potential KS4 subjects further down the line. Literacy and numeracy skills are developed in every subject and across the curriculum. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Citizenship (SMSC) underpins the whole ethos of our curriculum and whilst it is not taught explicitly as a discrete subject, students in Years 7, 8 and 9 benefit from a range of assemblies, form-time activities and enrichment days across the year. Some students will study MFL in KS3 whilst others will do additional literacy. This is a decision based on the learning need of the student.

The curriculum becomes more choice-based in year 9 with students opting for two subjects from the Creative Arts (Music, Drama, Art, Dance), and moving through a rotation system in Law, Business, Computer Science, ICT and Creative iMedia, with a period spent studying each subject.

Key Stage 3 Assessment

In line with the new government performance indicators that use a 1-9 grading system, staff at Oldbury Academy will assess students using these grades. Students will no longer receive either National Curriculum levels or A*-G grades that may have been used in the past. Our reports will follow this structure and our regular parent’s evenings and raising achievement events will further guide you through the meaning of these grades. On-going formative assessment takes place throughout the year, in each subject, with a progress and monitoring report issued to parents in each term. Summative assessments take place at the end of a specific topic and at the end of the year – teachers use this assessment information to evaluate the progress of our students. Assessments will cover a variety of skills and are used to prepare pupils for the challenges and expectations of Key Stage 4 courses. Assessment will take many forms in Key Stage 3 from formal assessments to assessment for learning, where pupils are encouraged to self- and peer-assess in order to promote target-setting and self-evaluation. The main purpose of assessment, however, is to enable all pupils to access the skills necessary for them to become a successful learner.

Key Stage 3 Homework

Homework tasks and activities, for KS3 students, will be used to stretch and support learners in developing the following skills:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Independent Learning
  • Online Learning & Use of ICT
  • Developing specific subject knowledge and skills

KS3 students can expect to be given several pieces of homework to support and consolidate their learning. We offer an after-school homework club which students are welcome to attend where they can receive help with their homework. ALL homework will be set using our online programme of Show My Homework. Any concerns about the use of SHMW should be forwarded to showmyhomework@oldburyacademy.org.uk.

Key Stage 3 Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Our Special Educational Needs Team work closely with students who have barriers to their learning. The changes in the ‘Children and Families Bill’ affect the way children with SEN are supported in schools. The new approach begins in September 2014; placing students at the centre of planning and provision mapping. The key principles are:

  • Young people and families should be involved in discussions about the support they need
  • Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC) will replace ‘Statements of Special Educational Need’. However, there will be up to a 3 year transition period in place from September.
  • School Action (SA) and School Action Plus (SAP/SA+) coding’s will be replaced by a single school-based category for students who need additional specialist support.

Oldbury Academy has adopted these changes and we shall continue to work closely with Sandwell LA to access training and support, over the remaining two years of the handover period. Our Local Offer Summary for students with SEN and Disability:

  • We uphold the right for children to have a high quality education
  • We recognise the diverse educational needs within our local community
  • We acknowledge the fact that the needs of our students might change and we believe it is our duty to offer full educational access and inclusive provision to all our students

Some students need increased support to access learning because:

  • They may have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of other children of the same age
  • They have a disability as defined under the Equality Act, which affects their ability to access and benefit from the educational opportunities generally enjoyed by other children of the same age

Thus, we aim to ensure that all barriers to equal access in our school are removed or overcome. We monitor and track the progress of all children so that the support we provide is as effective as possible. We welcome the full engagement of parents and carers and, where necessary, we seek support and advice from specialists outside of Oldbury Academy to ensure that we develop and maintain and range of flexible resources to meet the needs of all our students.

Key Stage 3 SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Citizenship Education)

All pupils receive two designated tutor sessions per week of PSHE/SMSC.  During this time they participate in lessons aimed at ensuring our pupils are able to keep themselves safe and grow up into well rounded individuals that will make a positive contribution to the community. In addition year 7 now receive a discrete lesson of SMSC/PSHE in addition to the form sessions.  This is to enable us to target year 7 with specific topics that will ensure a positive start at Oldbury Academy and help to establish the foundations for a positive future.  

Key Stage 4

Overview

Students in Key Stage 4 will follow a broad and balanced curriculum of 25 hours per week. This may include some subjects that students have chosen to do, but will mostly follow a guided pathway that is most appropriate to the learning needs of the student. The following of these pathways are at the discretion of the school, and the decision that is best for that student.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Our broad and balanced Key Stage 4 curriculum is followed by Years 9, 10 and 11. Whilst ensuring that appropriate time can be devoted to Mathematics, English and Science, the curriculum is designed to provide depth and breadth of study and also to promote opportunity for work-related learning and the development of employability skills. Personalisation is, we believe, essential if we are to provide an inclusive curriculum which allows our students to achieve their full potential. Thus, where appropriate, we explore opportunities to provide alternative curriculum pathways and learning environments as well as ‘age not stage’ learning for identified individuals or groups of students. Our intention is to provide all learners with a variety of curriculum pathways which will directly support and lead to further education, training and/or employment. All students study Physical Education for 1-2 periods a week and competition between ‘houses’ and with other schools is encouraged.
At Oldbury we are committed to ensuring our students maximise their potential and leave us with the very best possible outcomes. One of the ways we do this is to guide students towards particular subject choices as they move into Key Stage 4, a process known as Pathways. We recognise that students have varying abilities so we ensure our provision is reflective of this as students move into year 10. Should you have any queries about our pathways process, please contact Mr James Cannon, Assistant Headteacher using pathways@oldburyacademy.org.uk

Click the links below for more information:
KS4 Pathways booklet 2017

Pathways Presentation to parents 2017

Key Stage 4 Assessment

Oldbury Academy use prior attainment at Key Stage 2 as a benchmark for measuring progress students make by the end of Key Stage 4. We rigorously track and monitor our students throughout the Key Stage and we report on student progress in relation to their targets 5 times a year. Student progress is tracked using a ‘flightpath’ approach that highlights how students are doing in lessons over the course of two years. On-going formative assessment takes place throughout the year, in each subject, with a progress and monitoring report issued to parents following each data-sweep. Summative assessments take place at the end of a specific topic and/or at the end of the year – teachers use this assessment information to evaluate the progress of our students. It is standard practice for teachers to use ‘mock examinations’ or ‘pre-public exams’ at the end of Year 10 and also in the autumn and spring terms of Year 11. The information collated following these examinations, is used to inform target-setting and intervention strategies. Assessments will cover a variety of skills and are used to prepare pupils for the challenges and expectations of Key Stage 4 controlled assessments and examinations.

Key Stage 4 Homework

Homework tasks and activities, for KS4 students, will be used to stretch and support learners in developing the following skills:

  • Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar (SPaG)
  • Numeracy
  • Independent Learning
  • Developing specific subject knowledge and skills
  • Developing confidence and experience in responding to examination questions.

KS4 students can expect to be given several pieces of homework to support and consolidate their learning. We offer an after-school homework club which students are welcome to attend where they can receive help with their homework.

Key Stage 4 SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Citizenship Education)

Spiritual, moral, social and citizenship education helps young people develop personal qualities, which are valued in a civilised society. For example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference, moral principles, independence, and self-respect. At Oldbury Academy, we seek to teach these qualities across the curriculum as well as throughout school life.

All students, at Key Stage 4, participate in an annual calendar of assemblies and enrichment days which cover the statutory and non-statutory elements of SMSC including Enterprise, Careers Education and Work-related Learning and Sex Education.

Key Stage 4 Work-related Learning

At Oldbury Academy, we aim for 100% of our students to go on to further education, employment/employment with training or apprenticeships. Work-related learning is an essential part of statutory which Key Stage 4 offers and is delivered through form-tutor time, assemblies and also by our Careers Manager who holds individual meetings with students throughout the Key Stage. All students, at the end of Year 10, undertake a Work Experience placement. Our Vocational and Applied Learning Faculty offer a range of courses which are delivered in a ‘real work’ environment and are designed to equip our students with the skills, experience and confidence they need to be ‘work ready’.

Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5 Special Educational Needs

Our Special Educational Needs Team work closely with students who have barriers to their learning. The changes in the ‘Children and Families Bill’ affect the way children with SEN are supported in schools. The new approach began in September 2014; placing students at the centre of planning and provision mapping. The key principles are:

  • Young people and families should be involved in discussions about the support they need
  • Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC) will replace ‘Statements of Special Educational Need’. However, there will be up to a 3 year transition period in place from September.
  • School Action (SA) and School Action Plus (SAP/SA+) coding will be replaced by a single school-based category for students who need additional specialist support.

Oldbury Academy is well-placed has adopted these changes and we shall continue to work closely with Sandwell LA to access training and support, over the remaining two years of the transition period. Our Local Offer Summary for students with SEN and Disability:

  • We uphold the right for children to have a high quality education
  • We recognise the diverse educational needs within our local community
  • We acknowledge the fact that the needs of our students might change and we believe it is our duty to offer full educational access and inclusive provision to all our students

Some students need increased support to access learning because:

  • They may have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of other children of the same age
  • They have a disability as defined under the Equality Act, which affects their ability to access and benefit from the educational opportunities generally enjoyed by other children of the same age.

Thus, we aim to ensure that all barriers to equal access in our school are removed or overcome. We monitor and track the progress of all children so that the support we provide is as effective as possible. We welcome the full engagement of parents and carers and, where necessary, we seek support and advice from specialists outside of Oldbury Academy to ensure that we develop and maintain and range of flexible resources to meet the needs of all our students.

Important note:

2017-18 KS4 processes will follow a pathway based approach to the curriculum. Students will follow a guided pathway with the aim of securing the best possible educational outcomes for them when they leave us at the end of Year 11. This may restrict the choices that students make in Year 9, and we cannot always guarantee that students will study their first choice subjects.

Key Stage 5

At Oldbury Academy 6th form students are able to progress in their learning through enrolment on level 3 courses. These are A Level or Vocational courses that are studied for a minimum of 5 hours per week each or 160 guided learning hours per year. 

All students who have not achieved a grade 4 or equivalent in English and Maths are enrolled on a resit course, consisting of a minimum two hours teaching per week, that they continue to study until they achieve the required standard.

All students in the 6th form are offered the opportunity to participate in quality works experience related to their area of study or future career. This works experience is timetabled and attendance is regularly monitored.