‘Our intent is to prepare them to be thoughtful, critical, insightful future learners.’
Students in year 7 have 6 hours per fortnight of English and 7 hours per fortnight in year 8 and year 9.
The English curriculum submerges our students in a chronological exploration of this discipline starting with the history and origins of the English language and literature. Beginning with the ancient Greek influences of philosopher Homer and his tales of The Iliad and The Odyssey, to the oldest surviving written story in Old English, Beowulf. As each term progresses so too does the challenge of the text the students are exposed to. The journey of reading such rich and varied texts allows the students to understand the world around them, to see and learn about how great writers have influenced the changes in societies, such as in their study of Blake and Romanticism, Dickens and the Poor Law. We actively encourage the students to read for pleasure around the concepts and powerful knowledge they have learned to broaden their intellectual curiosity.
The English curriculum offers a bespoke writing curriculum which sits alongside the reading that the students undertake. Students learn how to write effectively for audience, purpose, format and formality. Taking an approach to sentence crafting in a granular way to ensure technical accuracy, flair and originality in their written work is evident before students begin to write at length as they progress. At Key Stage 3 students know how to write in a range of creative, transactional and analytical styles: producing narratives, descriptions, poetry, articles, letters, speeches and essays.
The students build an excellent repertoire of vocabulary, this is done through explicit teaching of new challenging vocabulary. Students are encouraged to speak in complete sentences, using Standard English at all times. Here they apply their newly acquired vocabulary with clarity and confidence. There are sequenced lessons throughout each year for structured debate and discussion, the art of rhetoric is studied and mastered in order for the students to become literary critics within English.
Students study 7 hours per fortnight of maths throughout Years 7-11.
The Brian Clarke Church of England Academy is a place where students, regardless of their background, can access a high quality and challenging mathematics curriculum. We believe that all students can learn and succeed in mathematics given the appropriate learning experiences in and beyond the classroom. Every pupil is entitled to have the opportunity to master the key mathematical content and as such we have one curriculum for all. Students are challenged to deepen their understanding of a topic rather than being accelerated through content and children who find a concept challenging are supported within lessons to achieve full understanding.
Our curriculum approach is based around four key principles: conceptual understanding, language & communication, mathematical thinking and problem solving. We aim to develop a deep conceptual understanding through use of various representations (concrete, pictorial and abstract). Clear mathematical communication, verbally and written is essential for students to be able to use mathematical language and notation to express and clarify their thoughts with others. During their time at Brian Clarke, students will have the opportunity to develop habits of mind enabling them to think mathematically. In tandem with this we ensure students can develop procedural fluency with knowledge of key facts and techniques. With these key principles students will then be supported to use their learning accurately, efficiently, and flexibly to reason mathematically and solve problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
Our students study all the national curriculum strands (number, algebra, proportional reasoning, geometry & measures, probability, and statistics) and we have designed and sequenced a 5-year curriculum which allows students to link established ideas to learning of new concepts and supports them in understanding the coherent and connected nature of the subject. Our curriculum is cumulative so that concepts and skills learnt previously are applied and connected throughout the school year to consolidate learning; this continual recapping emphasises how each of the concepts interconnects with others in mathematics. The curriculum at Key Stage 3 is designed to consolidate learning from the Key Stage 2 national curriculum whilst building on existing knowledge. Teaching methods consider the way learners have been taught prerequisite topics in the past and how we can successfully integrate these to enable a smooth transition.
The purpose of our curriculum is to develop students into lifelong independent learners who can confidently analyse, deduce, and problem solve, not only within mathematics, but who can apply these skills across the curriculum and to their wider lives. Our rewards program, extra-curricular and co-curricular enrichment opportunities will further encourage pupil’s enthusiasm for mathematics.
Students in years 7 and 8 study Science for 6 hours per fortnight. This increases to 9 hours per fortnight in year 9. Science is an exciting and ever-evolving discipline which is present in all aspects of our lives. From the knowledge of the smallest components of our body cells which allows doctors to understand and treat diseases to the vast expanse of our solar system and the universe, and everything in between!
Our curriculum offer at Brian Clarke enables students develop knowledge of the fundamental principles from biology, chemistry and physics that will provide a foundation for understanding and navigating the world. Student knowledge is structured around Harlen’s Big Ideas in science which range from the particulate nature of matter to the cellular basis of living organisms, to the structure of the universe. Our curriculum is structured so that concepts and knowledge build sequentially across the five-year learning journey. This promotes retrieval practice and the linking of topics throughout the curriculum journey. As a result, students are able to learn new knowledge and remember the core knowledge which supports their progression through the curriculum.
Practical work is a key part of a high-quality science education. At Brian Clarke, practical work is purposeful and focused. Students experience practical lessons which allow them to apply their theoretical knowledge. They learn the process of scientific enquiry that leads to the creation and development of concepts and theories.
Students develop skills in reasoning, scientific communication, data analysis and the skilful, accurate use of laboratory apparatus and techniques. These skills not only support their learning in science but across other subject disciplines, including mathematics, design technology and geography. Beyond education, the skills developed through a science education allow for access to a wide range of careers such as finance, medicine, logistics and aviation.
Our co-curricular and extracurricular activities enhance students’ experiences and help them to understand how science impacts on our everyday lives and the importance of scientific development in the modern world.
Students study 3 hours per fortnight of RS throughout years 7-9.
Religious Studies is a core subject at Brian Clarke. All students will study Religious Studies up to GCSE. The Diocesan guidelines for Religious Studies are followed with an aim to affirm, encourage, and challenge students on their own spiritual journey. The curriculum develops students’ self-awareness, self-reflection, empathy and tolerance. Students are empowered to reach informed opinions that demonstrate an understanding of others’ beliefs.
The curriculum encourages students to explore questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong, and what it means to be human. Students examine these key ideas from a theological, philosophical or Social Sciences lens. Our curriculum develops students’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other world religions and worldviews. When studying the major world faiths, students consider the diversity in experience of religion by examining the similarities and differences within and across religions. The curriculum directly addresses differences in opinion and thought to develop a mutual understanding of faith and values. In doing so it promotes a students’ personal development and well-being and contributes to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse community and society. .
Students study 2 hours of Music per fortnight throughout years 7-9.
The music curriculum is designed to inspire students to develop their creativity and their talent as musicians who engage with the curriculum through a wide range of listening, performing and composing activities. All of which contributes to promoting a love of music.
Students begin by understanding the principles of the ‘Elements of Music’ through a variety of genres, styles and traditions. They are taught to listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform their practice as musicians in line with the National Curriculum. Students also develop fluency on different instruments and through singing, allowing them to express themselves through a range of mediums, working both as a soloist, and as part of an ensemble. Students explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations. Providing them with the tools to create and compose music on their own and with others. They also engage critically with music, learning to dig deeper, identifying elements and questioning why composers have chosen to perform their music in this way.
As students progress though the Key Stage 3 curriculum, learning deepens on the principles of the Elements of Music, with a focus on melody and harmony through a variety of different genres and artists. They also use different musical technologies and gain further exposure to music and musical instruments, aiming to increase student’s self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
Students study 3 hours of History throughout years 7-9.
Students study History at Brian Clarke chronologically to ensure they develop a secure understanding of British and world history to make sense of the complex patterns of change and continuity. Throughout KS3, they develop their understanding of how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
Our curriculum begins with Anglo-Saxon England (500-1066) and medieval Britain (1066-1509) before moving to Renaissance and Reformation (1509-1745), to Enlightenment and Industrialisation (1745-1901) through to the challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world and culminating in the conflicts and changes of the 21st century. Historical terms such as ‘power’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘empire’ and historical concepts such as continuity and change, chronology, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance are sequentially embedded into the curriculum to ensure students not only remember them but can draw on them with increasing sophistication when making historical comparisons and analysing the past. Students also learn about the diverse nature of our past, ensuring they have a deeper understanding of what has shaped the world we live in today.
During years 7-9, students develop their mastery of the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
Through a knowledge rich curriculum, students develop their ability to think critically, weigh evidence, analyse historians’ interpretations, and develop perspective and judgement. Students also continue to develop cross-curricular skills in History, such as reading critically, debating and carefully crafting their writing. History inspires students’ curiosity to know more about the past as they develop their historical skills to enable them to become confident and independent learners.
Students study 3 hours of Geography per fortnight in years 7-9.
Students start their geography curriculum by understanding the Earth’s countries, continents and peoples before examining the geographical processes that continue to shape the world we live. Termly students then explore a continent with focus on countries and regions within them (Europe, UK, Africa, Asia, the Poles, the Middle East) from years 7-9 to develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes. Students understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time. Key questions are addressed throughout the curriculum:
The curriculum develops the knowledge and skills needed to collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data that they gather through their experiences of fieldwork. Students learn to interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Students are also able to communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length with a keen evaluative eye.
Students study 4 hours per fortnight of German throughout Years 7-9.
The focus of the MFL curriculum at the Brian Clarke CofE Academy is to enable students to broaden their understanding of other cultures, develop effective communication skills, self-efficacy, autonomy, independence and durable retention and recall. All students, who are given the opportunity to enjoy using German both in and out of the classroom, can learn and experience success.
The MFL Department aims to instil the love of languages that every young person should embrace through an understanding of the global world that they face and how to communicate in an international society. In Year 7, this is achieved through developing students’ skills to talk about themselves and the issues that affect them directly such as family and their free time interests. They are also taught the basic grammatical elements and structures that underpin language learning at this level such as present tense verbs, gender agreements, possessive pronouns, opinions and the future tense.
In Year 8, having learnt basic grammatical structures, the present tense and future tense formation, students are challenged to apply these in new contexts. The Year 8 curriculum is also designed to introduce students to new topics (school, lifestyle and wellbeing and town) with further vocabulary learning and to the past tense to enable them to vary their language and use a range of time frames. We aim to encourage students to be creative with language, to use more mature structures and vocabulary in order to understand and respond to speakers of the language and to give them the skills to cope on a global stage.
Having learnt present, future and past tense formation in Year 8, in Year 9 students are challenged to apply these in new contexts. The Year 9 curriculum is also designed to introduce students to new topics (holidays, jobs and home and local issues) with further vocabulary learning and to the conditional tense to enable them to vary their language and use a range of time frames.
The progressive curriculum aims to foster students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world, widening their horizons; providing students with the foundation for further language learning; giving them the skills to succeed in the workplace and become more rounded global citizens.
Students have 4 hours per fortnight of PE throughout years 7-9.
The PE curriculum develops the knowledge and skills to enable students to lead healthy and active lifestyles into adulthood. For 2 hours per week in years 7-9 and 1 hour a week in years 10-11 students are exposed to a broad range of physical activities and will be physically active for a sustained period of time. Opportunities to compete in sport both in class and through co-curricular and extra-curricular clubs builds character and helps to embed values such as fairness and respect.
Students are taught to use a range of tactics and strategies to overcome opponents in direct competition through team and individual games, develop their technique and improve their performance in other competitive sports, perform in gymnastics using techniques to develop their skills and routines. Students are given the opportunity to take part in outdoor and adventurous activities which present intellectual and physical challenges and be encouraged to work in a team, building on trust and developing skills to solve problems.
Over time students are able to analyse their performances compared to previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.
Students who do not choose PE as a GCSE option will be able to take the Junior Sports Leadership Award and Coaching Awards as part of enrichment.
Students have 2 hours per fortnight of Art throughout years 7-9
The art curriculum enables every student at Brian Clarke to explore and develop their own artist practice. Where they learn a broad range of skills, self-expression and creativity; build confidence as well as a sense of individual identity.
In year 7 – 9 students complete a wide range project including: ‘Self Image’, a portraiture project looking at post-impression and fauvism; ‘Day of the Dead’, inspired by Mexican culture where they learn hand sewing skills; and ‘Fantastic Creatures’, students create their own creature illustrations and sculptures.
Students explore and discover a range of artists, crafts people and designers throughout contemporary and historical art movements and periods. They become confident at evaluating and analysing creative work using the language of art, craft, and design. Using this critical understanding to inform their own practice. They also learn how art and design both reflect and shape our history and contribute to the culture and creativity of the world around them.
Students produce creative work, exploring and recording their own ideas and experiences, generating their own original and independent work. They become proficient at drawing, painting, sculpture but also explore a broader range of art forms, such as textiles, print making, and mixed media work. Students become critical thinkers as they can reflect on their own work, refining and improving their own practice. Producing work which reflects their own ideas and experiences in their own and others’ cultures.
They will leave us with the courage and confidence to discover and contribute to the world around them.
Students have one hour per fortnight dedicated to studying Drama in key stage 3. The time allocated represents a commitment to the Arts, a broad and balanced curriculum and the development of the whole child.
In Year 7 students are introduced to the fundamental skills required as an actor, developing practical skills and a theoretical understanding of how drama and theatre evolved from its earliest stages focusing on Greek theatre and Commedia dell’arte. This foundational knowledge is built upon in Year 8 as the work of key practitioners within the industry such as Brecht, Stanislavski and Artaud are applied to a variety of texts and explored through practical workshops considering the social, historical and cultural context from which they originated.
Students are expected to work independently and collaboratively as they are exposed to a wide variety of performance styles and genres. They will develop a critical understanding of the various roles that contribute to a performance (directing, set and costume design, lighting and sound) engaging with all aspects of these roles both theoretically and practically.
The curriculum is designed to support the development of confidence, leadership and teamwork, problem solving, creativity, and oracy, as well enabling students to critically analyse works for all aspects of production (actor, director, designer).
Students study 2 hours of DT throughout years 7-9.
Through a variety of creative and practical activities, students are given a hands-on experience where they are taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of how to design, make and evaluate. The teacher will explicitly model how to work safely and accurately using a range of workshop tools and equipment.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure students can safely and effectively, select and use a range of equipment to produce a variety of products which demonstrate a demanding skill set. Students use a combination of traditional workshop processes, the latest industry level CAD software and are introduced to CAM equipment, for a complete experience and education.
Students need to demonstrate their skills by working with different material areas, with increased precision, accuracy and independence. As they progress through KS3 students will be able to produce a range of design ideas for a set brief, to develop critical thinking skills to analyse why we use different materials for certain designs and understanding which would work the best, understand key elements of design movements, and how these can be applied to their own design ideas.
Students study 1 hour of food preparation and nutrition per fortnight throughout year 7 and year 8.
In food preparation and nutrition students learn and acquire a wide range of practical skills. Students over the course of year 7 and year 8 develop a range of basic skills including health, safety and hygiene practices, chopping, slicing, shaping, sauce making, mixing and combining to producing complete outcomes. Skills acquired prepare students to be able to cook healthy, balanced, and nutritional meals. These skills are not only essential life skills but are a sound foundation for a multitude of job opportunities and or apprenticeships.
Students gain knowledge and understanding of a wide range of ingredients. They learn about the source, form, functionality and sensory attributes of these ingredients as well as how their use impacts upon the environment. Students are taught about healthy eating and nutrition and about the direct relationship between good diet and good health. Students are encouraged to consider that their choices as consumers both now and in the future have a part to play in having a sustainable future for the planet. From selecting and using seasonal ingredients to recycling, reusing and reinventing. Students are taught through progressive sequences of learning which include theory and practical lessons.
The skills, knowledge and understanding developed and mastered in food preparation and nutrition lessons are relevant for qualification courses at KS4 as well as providing our students with local employability options or apprenticeships.
Students study Computing for 2 hours per fortnight throughout years 7 and 9. Our curriculum offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the fast-moving digital world we live in. The broad range of topics taught ensures coverage of the Computing National Curriculum. As well as providing a theoretical overview of how digital systems work, students also demonstrate their creativity through practical tasks creating and developing their own content.
Computing is an umbrella term which covers Computer Science, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Digital Literacy. Computer Science is at the heart of Computing in which students learn how computers and digital systems work, the theory of computation as well as the principles of information. Students then put this knowledge to use through programming in Python. Students will also analyse problems, write code, and debug programs. The computational thinking aspect of the curriculum teaches students logical reasoning and problem-solving; skills transferrable to any subject.
The Digital Literacy and ICT strands ensures that students will be able to use, develop and express their ideas through information and communication technology at a level suitable for future workplaces allowing them to become active participants in a digital world.
All the above is achieved through students studying the following units: Introduction to the School Network and Staying Safe Online, KODU Programming (Game Creation), Digital Images in PhotoPea, Computer Hardware, Python Programming, Cybernetics, Cyber Security, Encryption, HTML Website creation, Data Representation and Audio Engineering.
All Year 9 students will work to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award for one lesson once a fortnight. The award is highly regarded by both employers and universities. Once the bronze award has been completed in year 9 it is anticipated that large numbers of students will then go on to complete their Silver Award (Year 10) and Gold Award as an extra-curricular activity. The Blue Coat School is the largest Duke of Edinburgh provider in the North West and will capitalise on The Blue Coat School’s expertise in this area. The Duke of Edinburgh Award will help our young people to develop skills for life and work, fulfil their potential, and become good and responsible citizens, and leaders in our society. It involves developing a skill, which builds commitment and confidence; volunteering, and making a positive difference to the lives of others. Pupils have to plan for and undertake an expedition, which requires teamwork, listening and consideration, self-reliance, and some stoicism. The taught curriculum and eventual expedition to assess will ensure students learn a range of very practical skills, including map skills, basic first aid, cooking and outdoor risk management. The course is fully inclusive; appropriate adjustments are made so that all students can participate.
Students have one hour per fortnight in years 7 and 8.
The timetabling of Citizenship as a distinct subject represents the contextual challenges of promoting social integration and fundamental British Values. In year 7 and 8 students follow a curriculum in Citizenship that is designed to empower and engage students to be active citizens both at Brian Clarke school and in the wider community. It aims to help students understand what it is to be a citizen of our school, the wider community, the UK as well as being global citizens.
The topics chosen are ones which will help students understand what it means to be a citizen and will give them the basis of knowledge to empower them to become active citizens within our community as well as complimenting the curriculum of other subjects. We aim to foster curiosity with the world, learning how they can create and articulate cogent debates and bring about change in their fast paced 21st century world.
Students learn about human rights, democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld; the development of the political system of democratic government in the United Kingdom, including the roles of citizens, Parliament and the monarch; the history of suffrage, the importance of elections and the role of political parties. They will understand why we have rules and laws, their origins and the role of the police and the operation of courts and tribunals; the roles played by public institutions and voluntary groups in society, and the ways in which citizens work together to improve their communities, including opportunities to participate in school-based activities
Through the curriculum teachers ensure students have the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. Students also become active citizens and are provided with meaningful opportunities to understand how to be responsible, active citizens who contribute positively to society. When exploring contemporary issues understand how to contribute to informed debate and the importance of respect and tolerance when others might hold different views from themselves.
The Brian Clarke Church of England Academy is proud to be part of the Cranmer Education Trust
Cranmer Education Trust is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity registered in England. Company registration number: 07687709. Registered Office: Cranmer Education Trust, c/o The Blue Coat School, Egerton Street, Oldham OL1 3SQ. The website address is www.cranmereducationtrust.com and the phone number 0161 785 5082.