English

Why limit your life to being one character; when you can read and become so many? Students will study a range of popular texts; such as Harry Potter alongside more traditional reading such as Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice and Dr Jeykyll & Mr Hyde, as we seek to develop students’ skills in this core subject area.

Maths

Maths is everywhere, and impacts everyone, everyday! At Oldbury, Maths centres on real life scenarios and problem solving to enable students to access the wide world and everything mathematical within it. Our enthusiastic staff and creative teaching methods encourage students to challenge themselves, work independently and develop a wide skill set in this fundamental subject.

Science

Have you ever wondered why? Why is my body the way it is? Why do things burn? That’s why we love Science, we like to know why, how and what if? In the Science department we are passionate about understanding why and how things work. We cover topics such as atoms, forces, nanoparticles, space and genetics, radioactivity, evolution, and The Big Bang, all delivered through a range of interesting practical experiments. We will help your child explain what they see happening in the world around them, as we develop by experiencing the magic of this fascinating subject!

Creative Arts

The Creative Arts curriculum is inclusive of Drama, Dance, Music and Art and aims to give students at Oldbury the opportunity to stretch and challenge their imagination, enabling all to become resourceful, confident and independent learners. We provide creative experiences which build self-esteem, reliance and develop problem solving skills. Our progress is showcased in our blockbuster end-of-year performance which showcases all of our students talent!

Applied Learning

The Applied Learning and Technology faculty aims to give students the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in a range of academic, vocational and applied subjects.  We build confidence and allow students the chance to grow into creative thinkers and skilled individuals. Students will have the opportunity to study Product Design, Food Technology, Catering and Construction, all taught in well-equipped, modern classrooms.

Humanities

Humanities fires the imagination of all students, and the study of Geography, RE, and History throughout Key Stage 3 will help them explain the world around them. They will answer questions such as ‘Why was there a Civil War in England in 1642?’, ‘How do earthquakes happen?’ and ‘Why did China adopt a One-Child policy?’ All of our Humanities subjects are popular options at Key Stage 4 and 5, as students go on to specialise in their chosen areas.

ICT, Business & Law

Using our newly developed computer suites, students engage with modern and rapidly developing technology as soon as they start with us. At Oldbury, students develop their skills of web design, programming, as well as software specific units. Students have the option to study Computer Science, iMedia, and Business Studies alongside ICT to continue their development as they move through the school.

Sport

Oldbury Academy has a thriving PE faculty which promotes an active, healthy lifestyle to the pupils and the community. Our lessons are designed to give pupils a broad and balanced experience of different sports whilst encouraging them further up the school to specialise and follow a pathway in sporting areas of their choice.

Languages

Bonjour! In an ever-growing global community, the study of a French or German is becoming increasingly important. Languages bring with them so many opportunities and develop skills such as public speaking, problem solving and general literacy. At Oldbury, we develop awareness of all language skills as we look to develop this most important skill in your child. Auf wiedersehen!

Curriculum Overview 2016-2017

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.

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)

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 in Years 7, 8 and 9 receive 1 hour a week of religious education in addition to an annual calendar of assemblies and enrichment days which cover the statutory and non-statutory elements of SMSC.

Key Stage 4

KS4 CURRICULUM POLICY AND 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.

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 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.