Curriculum & Assessment Details
Woodhouse Academy Curriculum Intent
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
At Woodhouse Academy we are proud to offer a broad and balanced curriculum that enriches all elements of our students’ lives and promotes a lifelong love of learning. Our curriculum offers aspiration, ambition, variation and enriching learning opportunities for all. Our aim is to ensure that all our students, regardless of background, ability, gender or race, have the best opportunities to develop as well-rounded, polite and respectful citizens who will recognise that contributing to society is rewarding, selfless and develops a moral compass that will set them up for life. At the heart of our curriculum is our school’s ethos. Our school is built on twelve rolling values that are central to everything we do. At the core of developing the whole child is the need to highlight how life can be enriched when they are more resilient, co-operative and have respect for others, as well as themselves. We have high standards for all our students and these are central to our curriculum and our broad and balanced timetable is used a vehicle to instil these, as well as our pastoral programme.
Our timetable has been carefully designed to ensure all subjects have plentiful curriculum time to enable them to provide a learning journey that is meaningful, relevant, well-sequenced and creates a depth of understanding in our learners. Our curriculum is based on a ‘secondary-model’ meaning all subjects are taught discretely by subject-specialists and in subject-specific classrooms which have undergone an extensive amount of redevelopment and investment. These include, but are not limited to:
- Two science labs
- Two computer suites (as well as class-sets if lap tops and iPads)
- An art room with kiln
- A design and technology room with an abundance of tools and machinery
- A fully-equipped food technology room
- Extensive grounds for PE, including football and rugby pitches, full athletics track, netball and tennis courts as well as indoor facilities
- A music room with an abundance of instruments
- A well-stocked library
- Numerous rooms specifically designed for nurture and intervention
We believe that providing inspiring and professional learning environments is key to students seeing the relevance of their work in the world beyond school.
The subjects we offer at Woodhouse Academy are: maths, English, science, history, geography, RE, PE, art, design & technology, food technology, computer science, ICT, music, Spanish, German, weekly timetabled PSHE sessions and a timetabled daily reading slot.
Woodhouse Academy not only promotes a love of reading but also firmly believes that reading competence underpins all students’ ability to communicate effectively and make progress across the whole curriculum. Therefore, our teachers ensure reading is the foundation of all lessons and provide ample opportunities for students to read in class and carefully consider the use of quality subject-specific texts. We also dedicate 15 minutes every day purely to whole-school reading and invest significant time and resources into an extensive reading programme. This includes but is not limited to; a buddy reading system where older students listen to younger ones read aloud, regular visits to our local library, the accurate and regular use and sharing of data to allocate reading intervention and support, a proactive librarian and an abundance of reading clubs and competitions such as book club, the Young Teen Fiction Award and termly ‘bring and buy’ book swaps to ensure all students have access to books.
Our curriculum structure benefits from:
- Daily maths and English lessons in all years and an additional 6th maths lesson in year 6
- A daily reading session for all students which underpins our commitment to reading
- 3 hours of PE per week in all year groups to promote healthy living, with the addition of weekly swimming lessons at our local leisure centre for Key Stage 2
- 3 hours of science per week whereby 2 lessons are timetabled as a double lesson, to enable as much practical investigation and experimentation as possible
- A humanities curriculum that teaches history, geography and RE discretely, with one hour per week in Key Stage 2, increasing to 2 hours of history and geography per week in Key Stage 3
- The opportunity to acquire two European languages with Spanish being taught in Key Stage 2 and German being taught in Key Stage 3 and continued at the local High School
- A design and technology curriculum that incorporates both Resistant Materials and Food technology
It is the intention of the school that we build on students’ previous learning carefully by sequencing their learning journey throughout their time with us to prepare them for the next stage of their education and we work closely with our feeder schools and local high school to ensure this is achieved. All of our departments plan learning to ensure that students build on previous knowledge and that it is fully embedded before new learning in introduced. Using the National Curriculum as a framework, we have developed our subject curriculums to reflect our local context and the needs of our students. Reading, writing and language acquisition are prioritised across our curriculum and methods such as retrieval practice and regular and relevant formative and summative assessment is used to provide our students with timely and accurate feedback to support their next steps in learning.
As a school, we believe that in terms of learning, the classroom is only the beginning and therefore we offer an extensive enrichment programme which gives students the opportunity to further consolidate their learning by applying it in different contexts. Beyond the classroom, students at Woodhouse are offered a wide range of learning experiences such as extra-curricular clubs, educational visits within the local community and beyond, guest speakers and various curriculum days. Some of our extra-curricular activities include:
- Our whole-school love of reading is celebrated on World Book Day where pupils dress-up as their favourite character and have the opportunity to enter a national World Book Day competition
- Pupils have been inspired by visits from published author Tom Palmer, who delivered workshops on book writing. In KS2, pupils experience The Punctuation and Grammar Show concert and a visit to the cinema to explore media. In KS3, pupils have had the opportunity to see plays live in the theatre
- The English department also get involved with the local community by providing drama performances in the school’s Christmas concert and leavers’ celebrations and the Rotary Youth Speaks competition
- We have huge events throughout the year, our biggest annual event being the promotion of percentages with our Black Friday event, where pupils ‘create’ products to sell in the school hall at lunch time and of course offer discount vouchers and price slashes that have to be applied to the price to increase sales!
- We also celebrate Pi Day on 14th March and encourage pupils to get involved with different “Pi” inspired games (we even have a pi art competition!)
- We also enter the national maths competition ‘Junior Maths Challenge’ each year, which gives our gifted mathematicians in years 7 and 8 an opportunity to shine and compete against other pupils in the country
Other department’s enrichment activities include:
- The science department’s recognition of ‘science fortnight’ includes children having access to lots of different alternative activities during lunch times, including dissections and crime scene investigations! In lessons during this period, the students will design and carry out their own projects ready to show off at the science fair on the final Friday.
- The Modern Foreign Languages department runs a residential trip to Spain for year 7 students to enable them to practise their acquired Spanish lingo. The department also works with the town’s twinning committee and as a result, our year 8 students are given the opportunity to take part in an exchange trip to our twin town, Fusignano in Italy.
- The history department are visited by a medieval knight actor from Warwick Castle in year 7 as well as a guest speaker from the Holocaust Educational Trust in year 8.
- The DT department work with the computer science department in order to run the Robotics Club which culminates in a national competition looking for the best built and programmed robot!
- In art, students have enjoyed visits from a ceramics artist and designer, participated in the clay school and visited the Spode Gallery
- Music is brought alive by the enrichment programme which gives students ample opportunities to perform in events such as Woodhouse Has Got Talent, our Christmas Concert, Young Voices and we also encourage individual performances in year assemblies and awards evenings. Individual music lessons also take place whereby pupils are able to learn the drums, string and woodwind instruments, the keyboard and piano and singing.
- As part of our pupils’ experience of cooking, we run competitions for all years following current popular programmes such as The Great British Bake Off and Junior Master Chef with prizes including spending time in restaurant kitchens cooking for the public. The Rotary Club run a young chef of the year national competition which has supported winners in a successful career path and we have seen some of our young chefs at Woodhouse participate. This involves travel to a variety of locations and working with experienced chefs and kitchens. We run an after-school cooking club where parents and children are encouraged to cook together – preparing and making meals for all the family.
- The PE department provides a range of exciting opportunities for our students to get involved in sport outside of the lesson. We run inter-house competitions that offer each pupil a competitive element to strive and work towards. This includes our annual sports day and swimming gala. There are opportunities to represent Woodhouse Academy in many of our school teams in which we compete against other schools in our district. We have an extensive extra-curricular programme that ensures every child has the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills beyond the classroom, and this has been recognised by the Youth Sport Trust who have awarded Woodhouse Academy the School Games Gold Kite Mark for the fourth year in a row!
As well as this, we also run the following annual curriculum days:
- PSHE day which contributes to the curriculum by giving children the knowledge, skills and understanding to lead confident, healthy and independent lives.
- Faith in Focus Day is planned by all schools within our local community in order to emphasise the importance of tolerance and understanding of different cultures in our multicultural society.
Careful attention is also given to our programme of whole-school and Key Stage assemblies and every subject contributes to our programme to showcase the department as well as linking it to local, national and international events, giving students the opportunity to see the relevant of each subject in the ‘real world’.
Woodhouse Academy also provides students with a well-planned and meaningful homework programme. We believe that as well as consolidating learning, homework is also designed to help pupils develop their independence and organisational skills. Our homework programme includes:
- A weekly reading expectation that is recorded in reading logs
- Fortnightly spelling tests based on research by Jane Considine
- Weekly skills sheets in maths
- Timetables practice
- Termly homework tasks set by non-core subjects which support the acquisition and revising of subject-specific terminology
- Optional creative projects in all subjects that go beyond the expectations of the curriculum
- Links on our curriculum overview presentations to age-appropriate and relevant further-learning that students can use at home to consolidate and/or enhance their learning in school
Woodhouse Academy seeks to ensure that our students leave as well-rounded young people who have developed their academic expertise both in and out of the classroom, become involved and contribute to the wider life of the school and embrace our core values.
You can find more detailed information about each subject’s curriculum intent, learning overviews and enrichment opportunities on the links below.