At Bishop Young Academy we are passionate about developing and sustaining a culture of excellence in the classroom and beyond, where both students and staff are relentless in their quest to be the very best that they can. We put our learners at the heart of everything that we do, determined to provide a truly excellent academy that our students are proud to be part of. We aim to educate, nurture and empower our young people to become the confident and successful citizens of the future with the ability to express their ideas, communicate with confidence and speak eloquently.
These essential skills drive our commitment to becoming an articulate academy, with Oracy at the epicentre of this.
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The governing board will monitor the effectiveness of this policy and hold the Executive Principal and Head of School to account for its implementation.
The governing board will also ensure that:
The Executive Principal and Head of School are responsible for ensuring that this policy is adhered to, and that:
Other staff will ensure that the school curriculum is implemented in accordance with this policy.
Roles and responsibilities, including processes for curriculum review
a) Leadership Team
b) Subject Leaders
c) Subject Leaders
The Bishop Young curriculum is broadly based on the national curriculum, with subject areas taking the following sources into consideration when constructing their Key Stage 3 long and medium-term plans:
By adopting this approach, the Key Stage will not exist in isolation, but instead, a continuum of learning will be created from Key Stage 2 through to the end of Key Stage 4.
All students complete Key Stage 3 by the end of Year 8. Strategic and timely interventions are provided to ensure that no student is left behind and appropriate provision is made to maximise students’ progress, whatever their starting point. These first two years provide the foundation for an earlier start to GCSE courses. This accelerated approach is designed to remove the obstacles that can hold back the most able and is also a motivating force for all students who will benefit from the faster pace of learning.
In year 9, students experience a hybrid year where they get the opportunity to choose 6options to study before deciding on the 3 options they would like to study at GCSE.
A broad range of GCSE subjects are offered to students, with EBacc options featuring strongly: Computer Science, Geography, History, Spanish, as well as the opportunity to sit GCSEs in heritage languages. The EBacc is a compulsory element of our curriculum for most students, as we advise our students to study these facilitating subjects with a view to future study at top universities
Key Stage 4 runs from Year 9 to Year 11. Students have two lessons per week per option.
Where students are behind in core subjects, additional Mathematics and English lessons are provided by specialised intervention teachers as well as classroom teachers, during and after-school hours to ensure they have the best possible opportunity to reach grade 5s at GCSE level.
Further depth in students’ learning is achieved through our strong commitment to independent learning as a means of continuing progress outside the classroom as well as suggested reading lists to improve background knowledge. The planner is used to effectively communicate homework to parents so that parents can support their child in further developing their knowledge and skill base.
In Key Stage 3, students are able to experience a wide range of subjects, which allows them to make sound option choices. In Key Stage 4, students have three options across a variety of subjects, including technology, the arts, and a choice of computing qualifications, thus ensuring that a balanced variety of subjects to suit all learners is maintained. In order to ensure students are able to achieve the Ebacc, students are encouraged to choose one option from Geography, History, MFL or Computer Science.
c) Skills and qualifications for life
It is vital for their life chances that students do well in English and Mathematics. There is a strong focus on the core in Bishop Young’s curriculum, as reflected in the allocation of time to core subjects in both Key Stages 3 and 4. It is our pledge to parents to do everything in our power to ensure that students achieve minimum good passes in these qualifications.
All courses we run are recognised and valued by colleges, universities and employers, and lead on to either further study or employment. Great importance is attached to the core, including digital literacy, as these qualifications are central to students’ progression in life.
As part of our timetabled curriculum, Enrichment lessons are given two lessons in Years 9 to 11. In Year 9 and 10 students study the Archbishop Young Leaders Award and in Year 11 they move on to study a variety of personalised courses.
Students learn best not only when they feel they can achieve, but also when they feel motivated and excited by their learning. Every subject offered at all levels offers opportunities outside of the classroom, from lunchtime clubs to excursions to America!
The curriculum is innovative and enhanced throughout by technology
Bishop Young seeks to make the most of the ever-increasing array of software and applications available to enhance the curriculum. The increasingly diverse functionality of interactive whiteboards and Apple TV, including the use of a range of media, help to capture students’ imagination and retain their interest and motivation during lessons. Technology plays an increasingly significant role in on-going parental engagement.
Instilling high aspirations from the outset
At Bishop Young, our aim is that students have the information to make informed lifestyle choices from the earliest possible stage. They will therefore be asked frequently about their aspirations and potential career paths from Year 7 onwards. Information will be provided in bespoke lessons for example, during PSE lessons, and links to careers and future learning will be planned into schemes of learning in all subjects and at all stages. Students are interviewed intermittently with discussions linking back to their aspirational targets to ensure not only that students are setting the right goals for themselves, but also that they have a realistic grasp of the grades required to achieve them. Regular visits from university graduates and lecturers, in particular from the most local HEIs, take place to support a range of careers-related activities from Key Stage 4 upwards. There is Independent Advice and Guidance (IAG) provided at school for students and parents.
The ‘extended’ curriculum
At Bishop Young, we view enrichment as a central part of the curriculum, where learning is enhanced and complements the main curriculum. The enrichment offer, and students’ engagement with the programme, is a unique feature of the Academy, and the variety of the offer allows every student to find or develop an interest, hobby or skill that they are passionate about.
A commitment to experiential learning
Bishop Young is developing partnerships with a number of high profile organisations, including Duke of Edinburgh, the Cadets, Ahead Partnerships, the Rotary Club and numerous Universities. There will be frequent opportunities for students to visit a wide range of organisations and undertake projects, which enrich and extend their learning.
Our approach to Independent Learning
Independent Learning is an essential part of students’ education at Bishop Young. In order to become lifelong learners, students must learn not only to study when supervised in the classroom, but also independently, as they would have to do at university. Students who do not have a home environment conducive to longer periods of study are able to take advantage of the Academy’s homework club to complete their work. Teachers carefully plan and set tasks that not only consolidate learning from previous lessons, but also contain new challenges so that students continue to progress beyond the classroom. Independent Learning, therefore, must be an integral part of medium and short-term planning, and this is reflected in all curriculum plans. A variety of tasks is set, including extended writing, in-depth reading, research tasks and online activities in order to awaken students’ curiosity and motivate them to complete tasks to the best of their ability. All curriculum areas are supported by having the latest resources at their disposal and receive training on managing the marking load generated through peer assessment, self-assessment, self-marking online tests, and effective time management.
Students can typically expect in each Key Stage:
Key Stage 3: 30-60 minutes per subject per week
Key Stage 4: 60-90 minutes per subject per week (with the exception of PE and PSHCE)
Key Stage 5: 5 hours per subject per week minimum.
Bishop Young C of E Academy offers a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. It is a broadly academic curriculum, with sights set firmly on the highest possible percentage of students achieving or exceeding their potential, and going on to further their education at university, college or on an apprenticeship. Through high expectations, expert teaching and targeted intervention, students from all beliefs, backgrounds and starting points will be able to achieve. Timetabled lessons are enhanced by a varied and motivational enrichment programme, creating a well-rounded educational and spiritual experience for Bishop Young students, with the development of skills that will help them to succeed in further education and employment. The curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of our students and the needs of our local community.
At BYA we place a great deal of emphasis on building the character of our students. We have audited the needs of our local community and merged this with the needs of our students.
Our curriculum aims to:
‘We are family’
We live in a diverse community and our school community reflects this with 21% of our students having English as an additional language. Our Curriculum includes projects that seek to address and promote diversity, encourage community cohesion and address language barriers. As a Church of England School who serves a diverse community, we are in a unique position to go beyond ‘tolerance’ of those with different faiths and beliefs and to genuinely ‘reconcile’ with them.
It is important to recognise that some minority ethnic families may have moved from stressful situations, for example, those of refugee and asylum seeker origin. Therefore, it is important that our curriculum teaches our students about cultural diversity, tolerance and respect.
Aside from the challenges, EAL learners can bring a new dimension to schools. They can share experiences and cultures from other countries and bring an international perspective, helping their peers understand different cultures, people and points of view better. EAL learners also have extra language skills they can share and bring to the school and to the UK. Our curriculum needs to embrace the cultural diversity of our wider community.
Our curriculum includes robust, forward thinking and creative approaches to the teaching of SMSC, British Values and modern citizenship throughout the curriculum and Bishop Character Days.
As a Church of England School we have a dynamic and forward thinking Collective Worship offer which allows students of the Christian faith, other faiths or of none, to engage in invitational and meaningful worship. There is a greater understanding of the Christian faith delivered through form time, drop down days and an outstanding RS curriculum offer. We also ensure that there is meaningful exploration of the multi-faith society in which we live to create universal “Spiritual Literacy” both through academic curriculum and personal experiences during their school life.
“I am strong.”
Our curriculum includes projects that seek to address both physical and mental health issues that affect our students and ultimately their life chances. It is focused on creating healthy and happy students who have a love for lifelong learning.
We offer numerous opportunities and activities beyond the academic curriculum which are aimed at ensuring physical, social and mental wellbeing for all students. Ensuring our children are kept safely from harm and educated in an environment where all God’s children are valued is of the highest priority and highlighted in our work such as through the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Anti Bullying and Stonewall.
In both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 we have dedicated two hours per week to PE lessons. We feel this is a necessity in enabling our students to develop their physical fitness and their social and mental well-being. Physical education helps students to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies to live healthy and physically active lives at school and for the rest of their life. Students are empowered to participate in physical activity and understand how this influences their own well-being and that of others. By demonstrating the benefits of an active lifestyle, they encourage others to participate in sport, dance, exercise, recreation, and adventure pursuits. Physical Education is essential in our community if we are to tackle the issues of obesity, high mortality rates, preventable cancers and mental health.
Our curriculum focuses on ensuring students have a positive attitude to life and learning so that they can create a sense of true wellbeing. We support all of our students to ensure they can access both our academic curriculum and our extracurricular offer. We ensure students are supported in overcoming their own internal struggle through mental health support and we offer bespoke, research based SEND support for all those who need additional consideration in order to excel in a school environment. Through this we ensure our students see what we see: a person imbued with limitless potential.
"You were created for a purpose.”
The worth of each student impels us to work to fulfil their God-given potential. Each student is to be understood as respectfully and deeply as possible; to be encouraged to stretch themselves spiritually, morally, intellectually, imaginatively and actively, and to aspire to be well-educated
Our curriculum includes projects that seek to get students into employment, training, volunteering opportunities or to learn new skills. Our academic curriculum is broad, balanced and ambitious. It creates opportunities for success for every student, regardless of their background, need or ability.
We focus on unlocking the potential in all students through attitude intervention and support and we support students in developing better thinking habits about themselves, their self-esteem and their academic self-concepts.
Students in every year group are offered the chance to participate in a wide range of trips and visits which develop their cultural capital and give opportunities for new and exciting experiences. We also offer clubs and societies which offer a broad and dynamic experience for students beyond their curriculum learning. These will allow students to explore their passions, skills and talents beyond the classroom and create a sense of awe and wonder.
Our Student Charity Committee leads whole school support of various charities which embody the Christian values of the school. Each Cathedral supports a local charity which addresses greater social justice (homelessness, refugee/asylum seeker support, foodbanks, domestic violence) and a global charity empowered by faith. Through this our students have a greater awareness of life beyond Seacroft and the aspirations to make a difference to their local community and beyond.
“In the image of God”
Character education requires learning and development to be set into context, against an understanding of what it means to be human and how the world works. The development of intellectual, spiritual, moral and physical attributes are all equally essential when preparing students for a full and flourishing life. At BYA we are dedicated to ensuring our students receive character education; this includes all explicit and implicit educational activities that help young people develop positive personal strengths called virtues.
Character education is more than just a subject. It is about helping students grasp what is ethically important in situations and how to act for the right reasons, so that they become more autonomous and reflective. Students need to decide the kind of person they wish to become and to learn to choose between alternatives. In this process, the ultimate aim of character education is the development of good sense or practical wisdom: the capacity to choose intelligently between alternatives. It is central to a Christian vision for education for ‘life in all its fullness’ and is concerned with developing virtues seeing them as ‘character in action’, grown through experience and demonstrated over time in word and deed.
Character education equips young people to grow in wisdom, hope, community and dignity and is shaped by an understanding of God at work in the world, present and active in shaping each individual’s developmental story. It is fundamental to the pursuit of academic excellence, and stands at the heart of all aspirational teaching, learning and pastoral care.
Character education at BYA is not an educational programme. It is an approach that, implicitly and explicitly, permeates all subjects as well as the general school ethos; it cultivates the virtues of character associated with common morality. Effective character education will have a legacy far beyond the school gates, impacting young people as friends, neighbours, parents, team members and employees, benefitting both the individuals themselves, their wider communities and broader society.
At BYA character development is both taught and caught through lessons and the constant modelling of our six Bishop Characteristics for Character Development. These are bound together through the constant use of our acronym BISHOP.
Benevolence : Integrity : Self-fulfilment : Health and Happiness : Oneness : Perseverance
Through the development of these character traits we want our students to develop the quality of being well meaning and kind. We want our students to show compassion, consideration and altruism, ensuring they make a positive contribution to wider society.
We help our students understand that integrity is not just about telling the truth. It is about being true to their beliefs and upholding them; it is about having pride in all that they do, always working to their true ability and behaving correctly to other people at all times.
By becoming more self-aware our students will gradually develop a greater understanding of themselves as a person as well as their strengths and, perhaps more importantly, the areas in which they need to develop. They will gain a sense of self-fulfilment as they achieve their goals.
Health and Happiness
In this complex world, it is critical to empower our young people to be happy, healthy and equipped with a powerful toolkit of resources to thrive. Our students need to understand the importance of physical, mental and social wellbeing if they are to become happy and successful citizens.
As a faith school, we help foster tolerance, inclusivity and mutual respect. We develop a spiritual and moral vision where students understand the importance of ethics in human life and communities, and the ability to share it with others. Our students must learn to live as one in order to create a tolerant society based on love and respect.
We want our students to work hard to achieve success; being focused on the task in hand; tackling it conscientiously and diligently; having the resilience, tenacity and grit to keep going when others start to give up.
Throughout their time at BYA, students will be set challenges to develop their BISHOP character. For example, in Year 7 students will be expected to complete a 1 mile run to help improve their health and happiness. In all year groups students will be expected to complete 5 hours of community service (Integrity) and achieve 95% attendance (Perseverance)
Our PSHCE Programme mirrors our Bishop Character Education. We have 6 PSHCE days per year, with each one focusing on a different aspect of the BISHOP model.