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Curriculum Overview

The North Gosforth Academy Curriculum is knowledge-rich, providing depth and breadth to our students' learning experience.

Our Context 

North Gosforth Academy (NGA) is a smaller than average sized secondary school serving a geographically broad catchment area within North Tyneside.  The school was known as Seaton Burn College until 2018 when it converted to academy status.  The school was previously in special measures prior to academisation. 

The majority of pupils are of White British heritage although the student body is becoming increasingly diverse.  The proportion of disadvantaged students is above average.  The school has a planned admission number of 120 students with five tutor groups in each year group. 

The student body is diverse and inclusive.  Currently the school has around 540 students.  Key statistics relating to the student body are: 

Year group 

FSM 

FSM6 

PP 

LAC 

PLAC 

SEN 

EAL 

No of Students 

33 

43 

49 

16 

106 

31 

39 

44 

23 

110 

36 

39 

47 

17 

98 

10 

27 

32 

35 

20 

115 

11 

19 

24 

30 

90 

Our overarching intention - ‘The why’ 

We believe that education is about teaching children the knowledge, skills and values they require to be effective life-long learners who are empowered to make decisions, within a complex and ever-changing world, so that they are able to positively adapt and lead successful and happy lives.  We do this by providing a curriculum which teaches knowledge and skills within the context of strong shared values of mutual respect, so that across all of their learning children reflect, becoming increasingly resilient and develop responsibility.  The ethos of the school helps to raise the profile of these core skills and values. 

Our curriculum delivers vital subject knowledge and skills which are complemented by a raft of enrichment activities that broaden and extend the student experience. The focused and coordinated tutorial programme, our careers provision, our unique method of delivering lessons in ‘The NGA Way’ and a developing character education programme helps to deliver a curriculum that develops the whole child in a holistic sense.  

In addition to a focus on cross-curricular skills, North Gosforth Academy uses the enrichment curriculum to enhance wider personal development and promote positive attitudes to learning.  We strive for our students to develop their personal skills and qualities in order that they may grow into positive, responsible young adults who can cooperate well with others.  In its entirety, the curriculum is designed to make sure students feel valued and respected so that in turn learn to value those around them and develop an acute sense of social responsibility which in time has a positive impact upon their own community and the wider British society. 

Our curriculum is well sequenced, planned and strategic at all levels to meet the needs of each individual student.  In order to facilitate long term learning, the skills and content for each subject are spaced and interleaved throughout our curriculum.  Additionally, classroom pedagogy is built around ‘The NGA Way’ and the effective use of retrieval practice in order for students to remember knowledge over time is prioritised alongside the specific teaching of higher tier vocabulary and explicit expectations on the creation of a perfect learning environment so that all students can achieve. 

Our Aims 

Our curriculum: 

  • Is appropriate and relevant to our students. 

  • Is progressive, interleaved and sequenced to develop knowledge and understanding which provide deep sustainable and valuable learning for all students. 

  • Provides opportunities to develop levels of literacy and numeracy across all curriculum areas. 

  • Recognises the increasing importance of demands placed upon young people in order to keep them safe in a digital age. 

  • Promotes opportunities across the curriculum for the development of good student health and well-being. 

  • Promotes learning across a wide range of contexts and experiences. 

  • Promotes reading as an explicit focus. 

Our aim, through our curriculum is to develop young people: 

  • Who are not disadvantaged by the social context in which they live. 

  • Who have the confidence, resilience and knowledge to stay mentally healthy. 

  • Who have high expectations of self and an ambitious vision for their future. 

  • Who have a work ethic in them achieving, and exceeding, their academic potential. 

  • Who are happy and have a desire to pursue a healthy active lifestyle. 

  • Who are respectful, tolerant and empathetic towards the values and beliefs of others. 

  • Who are self-aware and know their own strengths through reviewing and evaluating progress. 

  • Who are capable of making informed decisions and are aware of their rights and responsibilities. 

Curriculum design 

Our well-planned curriculum is fluid and tailored to meet the needs of our learners and combat the social disadvantage experienced by a significant number of our students.  Our curriculum offers a range of pathways, which we believe will broaden rather than narrow the offer at different stages in a student's progression through school.  We aim to remove barriers to learning for our pupils and support learning through a wide range of interventions, most notably in our new reading strategy. 

Year 7 and 8 

Subject 

Number of lessons over the two-week timetable 

(45-minute lessons) 

English 

Maths 

10 

Science 

Spanish 

Chinese 

Geography 

History 

Art 

Technology 

Computer Science 

Ethics 

PE 

Tutorial 

Music 

Enhancement 

 Year 9 

Subject 

Number of lessons over the two-week timetable 

(45-minute lessons) 

English 

11 

Maths 

11 

Science  

Option 1 

Option 2  

Option 3 

Option 4 

Learning for life  

Ethics 

PE 

Tutorial 

Year 10  

Subject 

Number of lessons over the two-week timetable 

(45-minute lessons) 

English 

11 

Maths 

11 

Science 

12 

Option 1 

Option 2 

Option 3 

Option 4 

Option 5 

PE 

Tutorial 

Year 11 

Subject 

Number of lessons over the two-week timetable 

(45-minute lessons) 

English 

11 

Maths 

11 

Science 

12 

Option 1 

Option 2 

Option 3 

Option 5 

PE 

Tutorial 

Enhancement 

Always evolving 

We want our students to attend the best school we can be – so we are continually seeking to improve what we do. 

We believe in the power of self-evaluation and we take this seriously. Our ‘development calendar’ makes clear to staff and leaders at all levels the bigger picture of development at both a personal, departmental and school level and guarantees that everyone in the school community takes responsibility for this. 

We will never assume that what’s best today is guaranteed to be best tomorrow.  We understand that all schools are on an improvement journey and that the curriculum, amongst other things, must continually be reviewed to reflect the relevant challenges and aspirations of each community at each specific point in time.  We are currently reviewing all aspects of our curriculum, particularly how it is structured, as we continue on our own improvement journey.  

The basics 

We will always have a focus on English and Maths because we believe these subjects enhance life chances. 

English and Maths are at the heart of success in learning. 

Success in English and Maths qualifications is essential as these are the main facilitating subjects which empower students to access further education, employment and apprenticeships. 

We place great emphasis on these subject areas and provide additional support to students when they need it.  This includes encouraging reading and numeracy skills.  We want our students to be enthusiastic readers as a springboard to achievement in the curriculum but also as a source of pleasure and lifelong learning. 

EBACC 

We ensure that all students have access to the EBACC because we believe in a strong academic core. 

The ability to study the full suite of Ebacc subjects is open to all of our students, irrespective of their background or personal circumstances. 

Ebacc subjects broaden the mind and encourage students to be interested in the wider world.  We want students to be informed citizens of the world who can play a role in learning from the past to help shape the future.  

Flexible and supportive 

We plan for curriculum flexibility, and we care about mental health.   

Across year 7, 8 and 9, students experience a broad range of subjects studying English, Maths and science alongside a range of expressive art, geography, history, technology subjects, computer science, a modern foreign language, Chinese, physical education. 

Flexibility and choice is key to our curriculum; balancing breadth and depth with choice and personalisation to enhance student engagement and success. 

Enrichment, intervention and revision 

We provide opportunities for extended learning, revision, intensive intervention and diverse enrichment. 

Our intent is to deliver a student learning experience which is appropriately challenging and meets the needs of individual students.  We are proud of the wider enhancements offer, open to students, which allow students to access a range of activities designed to broaden horizons and to equip our students with the confidence to face the future. These enhancement opportunities always build to a product that can be showcased and help students to achieve. 

We offer students across all year groups the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and interests through extensive provision of extended learning and diverse enhancements. 

A culture of praise 

Our ethos is underpinned by praise. 

We have endeavored to cement our ethos of inclusivity and the highest of expectations by creating a praise culture amongst students and staff.  This is characterised by our continuous mission to encourage and reward student effort and positive attitudes.  We recognise that motivation comes from an intrinsic sense of success, encouragement and resilience.  We utilise a wide range of methods to recognise and acknowledge our students’ commitment, effort and achievements. 

Reading 

We promote reading and want all of our students to be confident readers. 

As an academy we have a multi-faceted approach to reading.  This includes an innovative reading strategy designed to promote the mechanics of reading, giving students the skills they need in order to effectively comprehend information and access learning and the demands of a fast-paced, ambitious curriculum.  This will have a significant impact on the reading ability of all students developing improved literacy levels and allowing all students to access a full curriculum. It will guarantee that every student will read every day and will be driven by Accelerated Reader while being supported by enthusiastic and determined group of leaders who will coordinate whole-school activity and tailored, nuanced and effective interventions to ensure that all of our students can access a demanding and ambitious curriculum. 

British values 

We provide students with the skills and knowledge to prosper in life in modern Britain. 

We strive to ensure that students leave North Gosforth Academy with a good understanding of British values, in particular, democracy, liberty, respect and tolerance.  Through the meticulously planned tutorial programme, meaningful registration sessions and assemblies, we support students to understand current affairs beyond their local area.  We support our students in appreciating diversity, recognising different religions, races, beliefs and lifestyles. 

We guide students to live healthy lifestyles, both physically and mentally, providing them with age-appropriate guidance on the importance of physical activity, diet, financial responsibility, alcohol, drugs and e safety.  Positive behaviour is consistently modelled to guide our students to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society. 

Exposure to careers 

We believe in careers education.  We are committed to the Gatsby benchmarks and plan so that they can be achieved.   

Through our high-quality careers education, information, advice and guidance programme, students are supported to make realistic and informed decisions about their career pathways, to have high aspirations and to empower them to achieve personal success and future economic wellbeing. We also have a dedicated Frog site that all students can access through out VLE. 

We support students in making well informed decisions about significant study or career choices, by providing access to differentiated, impartial and independent information and guidance about the range of options that are most likely to help them to achieve their ambitions.  By helping students with decisions at crucial stages, informing them of all their options and introducing them to employers, we aim to prepare them for the world of work regardless of the pathway they choose.   

Cultural capital 

We script meaningful opportunities for all students to accrue cultural capital. This happens as a part of lessons and within the structure of ‘The NGA Way’, but also through a prioritising of reading and the use of purposeful registration time to give students the knowledge they need to flourish in their lives. 

We strive and endeavor each day to ensure that students are empowered and instilled with an understanding of significant events within human creativity and subsequent achievements.  By allowing students to accrue this knowledge and mind set, this allows students to be fundamentally aware of what they need to do to succeed within their own lives. 

Character education 

We believe that all of our students aspire to make a real and genuine contribution in every aspect of academy life and to their local community. We celebrate this across the school with a system of recording small but significant daily efforts by students that culminates in the opportunity to celebrate with the Principal and Deputy Principal once a half term. 

We acknowledge that the total of the experience provided for students has a major impact on their future well-being and success.  It is for this reason, we have made a commitment to the teaching and development of character traits, attitudes and behaviours which underpin achievement and success.  We endeavor to ensure that developing ‘character’ goes hand in hand with high educational aspirations and achievement.  The characteristics we seek to instill and encourage in our students are: 

Resilience, Industry, Creativity and Honour 

These characteristics enable lifelong learning and wellbeing.  They are required to be successful both in education and in adult life.  We want our students to be both willing and able to contribute to society; to exemplify these essential characteristics for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.