At the Hundred of Hoo Academy it is our duty to ensure that every pupil, regardless of their starting point, has the opportunity to succeed academically, economically and socially. We provide our young people with the appropriate pathway towards the future they deserve and these values are fully modelled in our curriculum.
We believe that pupils deserve a curriculum that enhances their life chances and enables social mobility and equality. There is a real breadth of courses being accessed across all key stages, ensuring the needs of all pupils are met so they can access their first choice next steps. This includes pupils having access to the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program through the traditional English Baccalaureate alongside a wide range of other subjects. Teachers not only plan vertically within a subject but make clear cross-curricular links between subjects to ensure pupils apply their knowledge and skills across a range of topics and between disciplines including links to Literacy, Numeracy, PSHRE and fundamental british values. This creates a balanced curriculum which provides rich opportunities for pupils to develop a range of skills, depth of knowledge and opportunities to explore career pathways through schemes of work.
Pupils develop the core skills identified in the IB Learner Profile which are necessary to support their progression and success in the next stages of education and to be successful adults who contribute positively to modern society. The curriculum strives to ensure pupils become independent and resilient learners, who are highly motivated to meet their full potential and live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives as internationally minded young people.
Ofsted Report – 2018
“Leaders adapt the curriculum skillfully over time, to ensure that it prepares pupils increasingly well for the future. The appropriately broad range of timetabled subjects is complemented creatively by extracurricular opportunities”
The curriculum at The Hundred of Hoo is knowledge based which empowers students to develop an understanding and mastery of the subjects they study and fosters a lifelong interest in learning. It is fully inclusive meaning that it is accessible to all students and ensures they reach their full potential. Key Stages 3 and 4 follows the National Curriculum as a minimum but, as an Academy, we retain the option to offer alternatives as and when appropriate. For example Key stage 3 uses the MYP framework to further develop pupils skills alongside their knowledge.
Ofsted Report – 2018
“Leaders have planned carefully to deepen curriculum provision, from September 2018”
Each year, senior and middle leaders review the curriculum on offer and ensure it meets the emerging needs of each cohort and, where possible, add further breadth to the curriculum. For example, in 2018-2019 Food Technology was reintroduced to the curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 and Sociology at Key Stage 4. In 2019-2020, Music was reintroduced for all pupils alongside discrete ICT lessons at Key Stage 3. At Key Stage 5, Applied Science and Psychology was reintroduced to the curriculum in 2019-2020 to further broaden the post 16 offer. In 2020-2021 Graphic Design is being reintroduced into the KS4 subject offer and PSHRE is being taught as discrete lessons alongside the Theme of the Fortnight pastoral program.
The implementation of the curriculum is the way in which the intended subject content and skills are delivered and taught. In order for implementation of the curriculum to be highly effective, and never less than effective, teachers must demonstrate expert knowledge of both their subject and pedagogy. Equally, teachers plan high quality sequences of learning that support pupils to be suitably challenged and enable them to think, articulate, write and problem solve fluently. In addition pupils are taught to develop inquiring minds and master lifelong approaches to learning skills.
Highly effective implementation of the curriculum will include teachers incorporating the following into their practice (see section 2.3):
- regular opportunities for students to engage with retrieval tasks that support learning to be embedded in the long term memory
- direct instruction alongside clear modelling with dual coding which focuses on reducing cognitive load to effectively share expert knowledge, introduce novel content and approaches to learning skills and explain clear processes
- astute and adaptive questioning which is probing and thought provoking, developing all pupils prior understanding and new learning and developing curiosity for life long learning
- deliberate practice within lessons that is guided and well structured, ensuring pupils are able to independently problem solve, fluently apply their knowledge to questions which have interleaved concepts and master approaches to learning
- provide regular feedback that supports pupils in addressing misconceptions and becoming highly reflective learners who can engage with success criteria to self assess and make progress in their work
- regular opportunities embedded to develop pupils reading skills
- effective and appropriate implementation of digital technology to enhance the learning experience.
The Hundred of Hoo enjoys increasingly improving standards of academic achievement. Our GCSE and A level results in recent years have been the best in the Academy’s history; this is reflective of the learning that pupils have undertaken throughout our robust, rich and carefully-constructed curriculum and of the expertise with which our teachers deliver this curriculum.
Every assessment opportunity is used meaningfully and purposefully to inform curriculum and teaching. The processes and procedures surrounding our Milestone Assessments, PfP assessment points and Blue Review Cycles ensure that pupils are quick to adapt curriculum planning and teaching to meet the needs of individual students and supports rapid learning for all. Furthermore, we appreciate and take seriously the importance of both external and internal Moderation; these opportunities are built into our CPD calendar ahead of the start of each academic year. In 2018, as a result of the Teacher Workload advisory report, we made the decision to decrease the number of data captures each year, for the vast majority of cohorts, to reduce teacher workload and make certain that this is sustainable.
Curriculum Leaders analyse data capture and conduct progress interviews with staff prior to the data capture deadlines. This provides leaders with the opportunity to quality assure the accuracy of teacher judgements in relation to the learning that has taken place and the assessment completed by pupils. Progress interviews also provide teaching staff with the opportunity to commission additional support, be supported to draw accurate conclusions from the internal assessment and discuss any appropriate amendments to teaching and curriculum.
Senior leaders meticulously analyse the Module Review Data and pose Module Review questions to each curriculum leader. This is a change from 2017-18, and a decision taken to make certain that our processes surrounding data collection and analysis continue to be effective, viable and an efficient use of resources; the change was welcomed by leaders and the first interviews have been highly successful. Curriculum Leaders present their reflections in response to these questions at MLT Interviews, hosted by Senior Leaders and Governors. During each Module Curriculum Leaders attend KS3, KS4 and KS5 RMG meetings, designed to address underperformance, ensure a strategic overview of curriculum opportunities and target teaching interventions to close gaps in learning.
We use the additional funding provided successfully to help close achievement gaps for key groups of pupils, such as the disadvantaged and those who have an education, health and care plan. All of our pupils benefit from a carefully coordinated approach to developing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding. Our theme of the fortnight provides pupils with the opportunity to focus on emerging local issues, such as cyberbullying and gang culture. All pupils, including those with SEND and those classed as disadvantaged, are given time to consider topics thoughtfully, for example during tutor time discussions, which enhance formal learning opportunities during personal, social, health and religious education (PSHRE) lessons well. These well-planned structures ensure that cultural capital is consciously acquired by pupils, promoting social mobility. Additionally, we recognise the significant role that literacy plays in providing access to a wide and varied curriculum. Teachers across the Academy embed the learning of subject specific vocabulary across their curricula and time is invested in ensuring that pupils are able to read widely and often throughout the Academy day, developing their fluency and comprehension across subjects. From September, we are implementing Knowledge Organisers to provide students with key information in each subject, enabling them to develop their understanding of key concepts outside of their lessons.
Beyond their academic learning, our pupils appreciate the abundant opportunities that support their personal development and prepare them well for life beyond the Hundred of Hoo Academy. Visits to universities have raised their aspirations and helped them to consider their next steps. We have developed high quality careers information and guidance that students receive to support their next stage in education, employment or training. This has helped to ensure that students are admitted onto courses that are suitably aspirational and meet their learning and development needs. The vast majority of our students successfully undertake further education both at the end of Year 11. We are pleased to celebrate a year on year increase in the number of pupils who gain a place at their first choice university.