Our curriculum inspires our students to empower them for life. We recognise that knowledge is powerful and that young people who are creative thinkers, readers, speakers and leaders can become agents of change.
We champion academic success and nurture personal development with the support of a highly qualified and dedicated team of education professionals who build purposeful links through the curriculum and an enriching co-curriculum.
Our curriculum is shaped by our students as it responds to their needs, and is underpinned by the values of Orchard School, the touchstones of the Trust and community priorities.
Our curriculum is based on key principles. These are outlined below, together with potential impact:
- To ensure our students experience a clearly communicated curriculum programme that gives them the best opportunities now and in the future for success, independence and fulfilment: underpinned by our belief in the immense potential of our students;
- To provide a rigorous academic curriculum that is challenging, engaging, enriching and accessible to all: informed by enquiry and research based evidence and adapted where necessary to ensure students’ individual needs are met in order to make excellent progress.
- To provide a curriculum that puts knowledge and understanding at its centre, and focuses on the best learning to support the development of skills to enable accurate recall, application and making increasingly sophisticated links within subject areas and across the curriculum.
- To provide a broad range of curriculum experiences, activities and pathway opportunities in and beyond lessons including vocational and technical subjects and leadership opportunities to meet the learning needs, enjoyment and aspirations of our students.
- To provide continuity and progression between the key stages, using assessment to inform teaching and learning, feedback and improvement.
- To provide a coherent Orchard Values programme of personal, health, social and economic education; careers education, information, advice and guidance; and religious education, philosophy and ethics. These programmes support our students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural education and develop full understanding of British values, thus ensuring our students are knowledgeable and well informed citizens,
- To provide expert, up-to-date careers guidance that is presented impartially and gives our students access to high quality, current information supporting excellent progression to Post 16 pathways, higher education, training and employment;
- To ensure that student progress is at least in line with national expectations and students are best prepared for national tests and examinations.
- To maintain the highest standards of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum so that students have essential skills for life and are able to make excellent progress.
Creative thinkers, readers, speakers and leaders
Our curriculum includes opportunities for students to become the creative thinkers, readers, speakers and leaders of the future. What features support this in our curriculum? What makes us different?
- Philosophy for Children in Years 7 & 8
- GROW EPQ in Year 9
- Reading at Registration for all students
- Oracy across the Curriculum
- Leadership Opportunities for all students in every year group; leadership built into curriculum time and supported through a team of passionate staff
Key Stage 4
The Key Stage 4 curriculum is for students in Years 10 and 11 (age 14 - 16).
Year 10 & Year 11 Curriculum
English - 5 lessons per week, including English Language and Literature
Maths - 4 lessons per weekScience - 6 lessons per week, covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students select either Combined Science (where they gain two GCSEs, or Separate Sciences - where they gain three GCSEs) - both routes are studied in the same amount of time, 6 lessons per week.
- Digital Graphics
- Food and Catering
- Music or Music Technology
- Sports Science
- Health and Social Care
- Classical Civilisation
- Home Language GCSE (such as Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian)
Reading - carried out at Registration time five mornings per week for 20 minutes.In Year 11 students continue with the same courses they studied in Year 10.
- Our most able maths students may in addition work towards a Further Maths GCSE
Accessing the Curriculum
We ensure that our curriculum is accessible to students with additional learning needs as follows:
- For a small number of students who require extra learning support in English or Maths when they join us, these students will take extra English or extra Maths instead of learning a foreign language. Students are able to move to languages lessons when they are ready to.
- For new arrivals to the country (with English as an Additional Language), we may substitute extra English classes instead of GCSE courses.
- We make adjustments where necessary to the curriculum to ensure individual student’s needs are met in order to make excellent progress.