School mission:

Our mission is to develop a thriving school that our staff, Scholars and community deserve and take PRIDE in. Our students are known as scholars because we aspire for each experience during their KH journey to become a person who is highly educated or has an aptitude for study. It is our aspiration that all scholars gain the knowledge and understanding, and subsequent personal character and qualifications to take ownership of their future decisions and choices.

School vision:

Our vision is to create a strong culture of mutual respect and positive attitude within the school, on which a uniquely exciting curriculum can be developed and taught. The foundations for this are established by the setting and meeting of clear and effective expectations and routines for all members of our school community. Now we have established this foundation, we will build a broad provision for all scholars, so each one can thrive and control their own destination. To ensure that our Scholars can be successful from the cradle to their career.

Curriculum Intent:

Our academic curriculum is designed to ensure Scholars learn well over time and secure the knowledge required to grow into successful and proud adults. It is designed to be knowledge led, focusing on learning subject specific knowledge, in line with the National Curriculum as the foundation to more flexible, creative thinking over time. This is driven by the deliberate teaching of specialist vocabulary and the reading of ambitious text extracts to strengthen Scholar’s literacy skills whilst widening their contextual understanding.

At KS3 our scholars study a broad suite of creative and practical subjects in addition to a traditional core EBACC curriculum. They will be well grounded in the subjects they choose not to continue into KS4 and beyond by the end of Year 9 and will be well prepared to succeed with the more challenging experience of GCSE and A level in the subjects they study further. Typically, our scholars’ destinations post 16 feature a blend of joining our 6th Form provision, local and national apprenticeships, vocational colleges before heading off to university or work.

Construction and Implementation

Our curriculum was developed through a process of unpicking the learning required for Scholars to achieve strong results at the end of Year 11 and then working backwards to ensure that each sequence in learning allows Scholars to make Excellent progress.

The process for the construction of the curriculum is outlined below:

  1. Achievement Cycle Overview
    National Curriculum documents and GCSE specifications used to create broad topics for teaching within each Achievement Cycle. Topics need to be clearly sequenced to allow for achievement.
  2. Medium Term Planning
    For each year group, subjects decide upon what specific things need teaching alongside pre-requisite knowledge/topics, core vocabulary and specific skills students should demonstrate.
  3. Knowledge Organisers
    The core knowledge for each learning cycle for each year group is to be created and shown on one sheet of paper. On the reverse, key vocabulary with etymology and linked words is to be created.
  4. AC Assessments
    75 marks worth of questions are to be planned which will test the students' understanding of core knowledge AND application within extended questions. These will be a mix of Foundation and Higher questions with some crossover.
  5. Key Outcomes (week by week/section by section)
    List the key outcomes that need to be covered with a clear understanding of sequencing. These can be shown weekly and/or sectionally depending upon the topic. These will be broken down for the affirmative checking sheet.
  6. Knowledge Checking
    Key concepts that need to be recalled each week in a set time within a lesson or homework-linked to key knowledge within the topic or to help recall of prior learning.

This model of constructions allows us to sequence learning on a macro scale and then zoom into key micro sequences, within a week, a set of lessons or even within a lesson. Developing this structure also closely aligns internal assessment to teaching to ensure that Scholars clearly understand what they will be assessed on and ensuring that they are only assessed upon what they have been taught. Our model is Data-Driven in that regular assessments are used to pick out what Scholars need to re-cover and teaching is adaptive to this.

The Academic year is split into 4 Achievement Cycles (AC) with 8 teaching weeks, assessments in all subjects and then a re-teach week (see below). Schemes of Learning are sequenced so that Scholars make progress across each AC which is then measured in effective assessments. Regular feedback opportunities, Checking for Understanding and low-stakes testing allow teachers to adapt lessons and resources to ensure all Scholars make progress. Where underperformance is identified, effective interventions ensure that learning gaps and misconceptions are fixed as soon as they become apparent. Each specific element of the Curriculum has a number allowing us to zoom in on specific knowledge, focus revision for Scholars and enable data to be used more effectively for teaching

The Academic Year (Assessment Overview)

Date Week Event Notes
24/08/2020 1 Staff INSET Culture
31/08/2020 2 Staff and Student INSET Academics
07/09/2020 3 Teaching Week 1 Student INSET Mon–Tues
14/09/2020 4 Teaching Week 2
21/09/2020 5 Teaching Week 3
28/09/2020 6 Teaching Week 4
05/10/2020 7 Teaching Week 5
12/10/2020 8 Teaching Week 6
19/10/2020 9 Teaching Week 7
26/10/2020 HALF TERM
02/11/2020 10 Teaching Week 8 + Assessment
09/11/2020 11 Re-teach week
Date Week Event Notes
16/11/2020 12 Teaching Week 1
23/11/2020 13 Teaching Week 2
30/11/2020 14 Teaching Week 3
07/12/2020 15 Teaching Week 4
14/12/2020 16 Achievement Days Only Mon–Tues
04/01/2021 17 Teaching Week 5
11/01/2021 18 Teaching Week 6
18/01/2021 19 Teaching Week 7
25/01/2021 20 Teaching Week 8
01/02/2021 21 Teaching Week 9
08/02/2021 22 Teaching Week 10
15/02/2021 HALF TERM
Date Week Event Notes
22/02/2021 23 Teaching Week 1
01/03/2021 24 Teaching Week 2
08/03/2021 25 Teaching Week 3
15/03/2021 26 Teaching Week 4
22/03/2021 27 Teaching Week 5
12/04/2021 28 Teaching Week 6
19/04/2021 29 Teaching Week 7
26/04/2021 30 Teaching Week 8 + Assessment
03/05/2021 31 Re-teach Week
Date Week Event Notes
10/05/2021 32 Teaching Week 1
17/05/2021 33 Teaching Week 2
24/05/2021 34 Teaching Week 3
31/05/2021 HALF TERM
07/06/2021 35 Teaching Week 4
14/06/2021 36 Teaching Week 5
21/06/2021 37 Teaching Week 6
28/06/2021 38 Teaching Week 7
05/07/2021 39 Teaching Week 8 + Assessment
12/07/2021 40 Re-teach Week Sports Day
19/07/2021 41 Achievement Days Only Mon–Tues

Knowledge Organisers, Assessment and Re-teach

Knowledge Organisers (KOs) are created for every subject at the start of each Assessment Cycle and distributed to Scholars. These are used for Retrieval practice every lesson through the Do Now and form a key part of the weekly teaching and assessment process.

All KOs also contain the key vocabulary needed for the AC as well as the etymology for each word and examples of its use. This ties in to the whole school reading strategy, one of our key improvement pillars.

Learning and knowledge retention within each Achievement Cycle is assessed through a 50 mark test with a mix of 35 knowledge based Multiple Choice Questions and 15 marks of application based questions. Through these the understanding of each Scholar can be identified and re-teaching then is focussed on gap filling as required.

Each test is rigorous and each question is designed to assess Scholar’s understanding of a specific concept as identified in the Curriculum planning documents. For example, each Multiple Choice Question contains 4 options, a correct, a misdirect and 2 wrong answers. The misdirects are designs to pick out key misconceptions which are a key part of our planning and instructional process.

After each test, a question by question analysis is produced for all Scholars. This is used by teachers, Curriculum areas, SLT and Scholars to pinpoint areas of weakness, replan the AC and ensure gaps are filled before Scholars reach terminal assessments.

Structure and Organisation in Years 7–11

Lessons at Kirk Hallam Academy last for an hour and have a clear structure as outlined below:

  • Four-minute Do Now based upon knowledge retrieval
  • Direct Instruction using Dual Coding where appropriate
  • Guided Instruction
  • Independent Practise
  • Four-minute minute Exit Ticket which is taken in, assessed and used to forward plan

Kirk Hallam Academy operates an extended school day (as below) with a later start on a Monday and an early finish on a Friday. On Fridays, all staff had a dedicated PD session, Data Driven Action Planning and department based knowledge enhancement sessions.

Monday Tuesday–Thursday Friday
Years 7–9 Years 10–11 Years 7–9 Years 10–11 Years 7–9 Years 10–11
(Tutor–Folder Support Y7–10, P1 Y11)
12.45–1.20pm (Lunch)
(Tutor – Paycheck)
(P6 – Culture)
(P6 – Culture)

The school day is split into distinct sessions with set sessions for Reading (Tuesday–Thursday 8.30–9.00am), Core lessons and the extended Culture slot (Monday–Thursday 2.50–3.50pm). Kirk Hallam also begins the week with a Folder Support and revision session and ends the week with a Paycheck session where Scholars can review their week and set targets moving forward.

Lesson Allocation

Kirk Hallam operates a three-year Key Stage 3, with Scholars opting for a wide variety of subjects to study further at Key Stage 4. The school operates a weekly timetable and the allocation for each subject is outlined below. Some of these sessions take place in Core learning time and others as part of the Culture session.

Key Stage 3 (ICT operates with Technology)

Subject English Maths Science Humanities Languages Art PA PE Technology Music
Periods 3 3 4 4 2 2 1 2 2 1

Year 10 (Core)

Subject English Maths Science PE
Periods 5 4 5 2

Year 10 (Options)

Three hours per week of the following subjects in three option blocks. French, Computer Science, Business Studies, History, Geography, iMedia, Philosophy, Music, Animal Care, Technology, Sport (GCSE and OCR National), Food Technology, Psychology, Sociology, Art, Health and Social Care and Child Development.

Year 11 (Core)

Subject English Maths Science
Periods 5 5 5

Year 11 (Options)

Three hours per week of the following subjects in three option blocks. German, Computer Science, Business Studies, History, Geography, Textiles, Philosophy, Music, Animal Care, Technology, Sport (OCR National), Food Technology, Dance, Art, Health and Social Care and Child Development.

July 2021


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