The curriculum at Paxman Academy is a key vehicle to achieving the Sigma Trust’s mission to ensure that no child is left behind and that education should foster in its learners a curiosity to discover who they are and what they are capable of, together with developing the resilience for them to test the boundaries of their abilities and build the skills necessary to face the future with confidence.
This approach is underpinned and exemplified by our ASPIRE values, which run as a thread through both our pastoral and curriculum structures, with the goal of developing learners who are or have:
Aspirational – for themselves, their learning, their local and global community
Successful – academically, socially and emotionally
Perseverance – the courage to continue when setbacks occur
Integrity – honest with themselves, in their conduct and relationships
Respectful – to themselves, to others in the school community and the community beyond school
Empathic – able to put themselves in another’s place, treating others as they would wish to be treated
We offer a broad and balanced curriculum at Paxman Academy, ensuring all statutory obligations are met. We provide opportunities to build upon students’ primary school studies, but also believe that students have an entitlement to new experiences that will develop them physically, emotionally, linguistically, culturally and academically to ensure that they develop and enhance skills for their future learning and for life in the UK. Students study all subjects in Key Stage 3 for 3 years, and during Year 9 they then select from a range of option choices to begin their GCSE studies from the start of Year 10.
The Key Stage 3 programme develops students’ knowledge, skills and understanding needed for the demanding GCSE curriculum at Key Stage 4, whilst also deepening their knowledge and understanding of culturally valuable concepts and knowledge. We aim to develop learners who are self-aware, self-regulating and reflective to give them the best possible chance of success at Key Stage 4 and beyond. We believe that students should be able to make informed choices regarding their Post-16 studies and the options to take to facilitate their chosen pathways. their chosen career and most importantly; to take their place in society where they can make a positive contribution.
Our curriculum is designed to challenge and stretch students and to build the cultural capital they will need for social mobility. There is a focus on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, Geography, History and Spanish), but time is given to also develop creativity and flair in other areas such as Art, Music, Drama and Technology. Underpinning all of this there is an emphasis on the development of communication, reasoning and problem solving skills to support our STEM focus and the development of Oracy through our Aspire Development Programme in Year 7 to develop students into confident, articulate communicators who can talk effectively in a range of contexts and purposes and can also use talk effectively to develop their learning in subject areas. In Year 8, students build on this with an explicit focus on Character through the Character Development programme. Students learn about positive character attributes, how to develop and demonstrate these, and how to manage their own perceptions, emotions and thinking processes in different scenarios to support their own physical and mental well-being.
Alongside our formal curriculum, an extensive range of enrichment activities are planned such as trips and visits as well as visitors to the Academy. These will aim to increase the amount of cultural capital that students will gain, whether related to the curriculum or developing students’ knowledge to enable them to become successful adults. We will further cultivate this through our Enrichment Days, being involved in STEM weeks, events such as World Book Day, No Pens Day Wednesday and by providing opportunities for our students to be involved in performance in sport and the performing arts.
As well as providing a range of extra-curricular activities, which we view to be a basic entitlement, there are a range of opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills such as the Student Leadership Team and Community Volunteering. In addition to this, we are planning an extended curriculum that provides opportunities for all and targeted students to further develop or improve work that originated in the classroom. These will be targeted where a student has not kept up with the learning in the classroom. Examples of such activities are instrumental tuition, targeted support for SEND and disadvantaged students, homework club and English and maths targeted catch-up sessions.
We believe students should constantly develop skills in literacy and numeracy throughout their time at Paxman Academy and to this end, these elements run as a focus through the curriculum. In lessons, literacy and numeracy skills are consistently nurtured. We have a continued whole school focus on developing oracy, vocabulary and reading. These are developed not just within subject contexts, but also within tutor time where shared reading and discussion of read aloud texts, and topical non-fiction and news articles reinforce the relevance and importance of reading, vocabulary and oracy, but also in engaging with these activities for both pleasure and cultural and social connectivity.
High expectations run through all areas of the curriculum; aspirational targets are set for all students. In all year groups, careers guidance gives students independent advice for their future aspirations, which is strengthened by regular visits from professionals and organisations. Well qualified and dedicated staff convey a passion for their subject and a desire for students to succeed. Through rigorous and targeted assessments, students will progress through their curriculum, developing independence and resilience.
Weekly assemblies are held to allow students to reflect on life in 21st Century Britain and to further understand the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, respect and tolerance. Daily tutor time enables staff to deliver an effective and extensive programme of PSHE. Both assembly topics and PSHE have a regular focus on student safety, supporting them to make informed choices about their behaviours, relationships, rights and bodies so that they have the knowledge and understanding to engage in respectful & accepting relationships safely. Religious Education is also studied by all students, and these lessons also build upon this programme, leading our students to become informed, responsible young adults when they leave Paxman Academy.
Through our effective and successful curriculum, students from all backgrounds and abilities will leave prepared for their next steps, ready to continue their journey of learning in this rapidly changing world as aspirational, successful, resilient, honest, respectful and empathic citizens.
|Total = 50 lessons per fortnight|
|CS Computer Science|
|DT Design Technology|
|MFL Modern Foreign Languages|
|PE Physical Education|
|RE Religious Education|
- Students are grouped on ability in English, Mathematics, Science, History and Spanish. Groupings are based on Key Stage 2 scores or in school data in the absence of this.
- Students are taught in mixed ability classes for Art, Drama, Music, PE, Geography, RE, ADP/CDP and Computer Science.
- DT is taught in a carousel with students experiencing lessons in Food, Resistant Materials and Textiles in Year 7
- A small group of students in each year group receive additional literacy support during curriculum time
- Religious Education is taught to all students and will focus on belief, philosophy and ethics, developing knowledge of other cultures as well as the qualities of respect and tolerance.
- A programme of Personal, Social and Health Education, which includes careers advice is delivered through morning registration, as well as planned days throughout the year.