Phoenix Collegiate

Curriculum Overview

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England. Students and parents can find out more about the Phoenix curriculum and qualifications by visiting the DfE National Curriculum Website (KS3 & 4) and/or the appropriate examination board website. Links have been provided below.

Edexcel AQA OCR CACHE NCFE

At Phoenix, our core values of aspire, believe, succeed are at the heart of everything that we do. Phoenix is a learning environment at the heart of its community, where we set high expectations to ensure that every pupil excels across all aspects of school life. Our spirit for ‘excellence in everything we do is rooted in a desire to bring out the very best in all students and prepare them for success in life.

Our intention is to ensure students make outstanding progress and the curriculum removes any potential barriers to learning.

We want our students to leave with knowledge and skills which will not only create excellent life opportunities but will also prepare them exceptionally for life beyond school.

Curriculum Aims and Principles
At Phoenix students will experience:

  • A broad, balanced and effectively sequenced curriculum, with a strong focus on core knowledge
  • An ambitious curriculum matched the abilities, interests and aspirations of our students.
  • A curriculum that aims to open doors for every student, valuing the contribution that creative, practical and vocational learning brings to a child’s development alongside traditional subjects.
  • A curriculum maximising cognitive development, focusing on the whole person so that they become independent, active and economically self-sufficient citizens.
  • A curriculum designed to meet the local context and needs
  • A curriculum that improves the transferable skills of all learners with a focus on vocabulary, oracy, reading and numeracy

A broad, balanced and effectively sequenced curriculum, with a strong focus on core knowledge

Our school curriculum helps pupils achieve high standards and make excellent progress. At KS3, the curriculum is broad and students learn essential knowledge built around a 'learning journey' which is effectively sequenced to ensure they have a deep understanding across a range of subjects. There are many opportunities built into lessons to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded.

In year 9, many students have a clear idea of subjects they would like to pursue further following the delivery of a ‘taster’ curriculum which provides an insight into how a range of subject disciplines are delivered at key stage 4. This helps to inform decision making and offers experiences that engage students as partners in their learning. These courses are not externally examined; they aim to develop a mastery of the skills required in preparation to complete a subject in Key Stage 4.

An ambitious curriculum matched to the abilities, interests and aspirations of our students.

A curriculum that aims to open doors for every student, and we, therefore, value the contribution that creative, practical and vocational learning brings to a child’s development alongside traditional subjects.

Our response to the EBacc curriculum has been through sustained growth within these subject areas and whilst following an EBacc curriculum is encouraged through our pathways choices at year 9, it is not mandatory for them to follow.

A curriculum maximising cognitive development, focusing on the whole person so that they become independent, active and economically self-sufficient citizens

At the heart of our curriculum lies a respect for the subjects we teach and for the insight that each provides into the world around us. We teach children how to think, how to criticise, how to be active rather than passive, recipients of information; but each of these skills are taught within the context of the rich knowledge each subject provides. By instilling our students with the best of what’s been thought, said and done in each subject, we hope that our curriculum enables them to appreciate and participate in the full richness of the human experience. To enhance this, we pride ourselves on our SMSC enrichment days. SMSC is embedded in the school in order to develop the student as a whole, to ensure they are fully prepared for life in modern Britain. Students are encouraged to take part in a range of sporting, CCF, cultural and charitable activities.

A curriculum designed to meet the local context and needs

It is our intention at Phoenix to ensure our students have secure foundations for progression into further education, apprenticeships and employment, not just globally but within the Black Country. This is supported through our curriculum offer both at KS4 and KS5 with links to local many local businesses which includes DPD (Sandwell’s largest employer) as well as many others. Our intention is to have every department partnered with a local business. From Year 7 pupils receive careers information with a clear focus on the Gatsby benchmarks.

A curriculum which improves the transferable skills of all learners with a focus on vocabulary, oracy, reading and numeracy

The development of student language and oracy is at the forefront of our curriculum as we understand how vital it is for our students to build confidence in communication skills not only for their time in school but also to prepare them for working life. We ensure students have opportunities in all subjects to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view and to develop their formality of language to ensure they can have the confidence to speak to different audiences. Numeracy skills are embedded across the curriculum. Students who arrive with below expected maths skills are quickly caught up through expert teaching and incisive intervention. The school ensures that students are literate and numerate enabling them to flourish, thrive and access the next stage of their education, employment or training.

Current Curriculum Plan

In Y7 students are separated into 3 bands of approximately 110 students per band. Within these bands, students are placed in groups based upon expected outcomes. On entry to year 7, some students are identified as students who have yet to show mastery and fluency in Literacy and numeracy. Where this is the case, students may be placed into the Flying Start Provision (FSP) groups. Creative subjects are mixed ability whilst in PE,  groups are based upon gender.

All students receive two hours per week of core Physical Education. Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship are delivered through a series of Curriculum Enrichment Days in which all the legally required content is delivered.

A unit of sex education forms part of this programme and concentrates upon personal relationships rather than physical processes.

The right of parents to withdraw students from these lessons extends to all students. However, as the school takes care to prepare this programme sensitively as part of an on-going life skills package, we very much hope that this right will not be exercised. 

 

Year 7 

Key Points:

  1. Band Structure – 7a most able band. 7b and 7c parallel bands. PP and gender split as per school proportions.
  2. Maths 9 periods in 7a, 10 periods in 7b and 7c to support catch up.
  3. Spanish 4 periods in 7a to support HPA languages catch up.
  4. Two ‘Flying Start’ groups staffed my specialists in Primary Education delivering a modified ‘Catch up’ curriculum for students that have fallen behind at KS2. One group in both b and c.
  5. Core block placed in sets by English, Maths and Science.
  6. Creative block mixed ability. Half year rotation to ensure coverage of KS3 curriculum.
  7. PE delivered in single gender groups.

 



Year 8 

 

Key Points:

  1. Band Structure –Parallel bands, ability, PP, gender as per school proportions.
  2. Core block placed in sets by English and Science. Maths block by Maths
  3. Creative block mixed ability. Half year rotation to ensure coverage of KS3 curriculum
  4. PE delivered in single gender groups

 


 Year 9  

Key Points:

  1. Band Structure –Parallel bands, ability, PP, gender as per school proportions.
  2. Y9 option block provides a taste of new subjects. Half year rotation in option block. An introduction to Fashion Textiles and Engineering alongside traditional KS3 subjects. Mixed ability groups.
  3. Humanities block placed into groups via English department.
  4. Maths and Science blocks placed in groups via respective departments.
  5. PE delivered in single gender groups.

 

KS4

All students will follow a core curriculum leading to qualifications in English, mathematics and science. For those students who need it, additional lessons in English and mathematics, along with support for those for whom English is not a first language, are available as part of our extended day offer. We also offer the opportunity for studying Punjabi, Polish and other home languages after school to GCSE standard.

Everyone will also study Physical Education, along with PSHE, Citizenship, Enterprise Education and RE, which are delivered via a series of Curriculum Enrichment Days.

Following an intensive programme of Information, Advice and Guidance, students will be asked to choose THREE option subjects – from a wide range of GCSE and BTEC qualifications; all of which appear on the government’s list of accredited qualifications. In addition to their core offer, it is expected that all students will opt for at least one of the English Baccalaureate subjects – History, Geography, Spanish and Computer Science. Others will take up vocational placements, or be placed on an alternative curriculum provision programme, following consultation with parents/carers.

KS4 students all have the amount of time allocated as below. Students select from 3 option blocks. A list of subjects is located below.

 

Key Points:

Number of lessons allocated: English – 10 lessons, Maths – 8 lessons, Science – 10 lessons, Option A – 6 lessons, Option B – 6 lessons, Option C – 6 lessons and Physical Education – 4 lessons.

  1. Students follow course of English Lang and Lit, Maths, Combined Science, PE plus 3 option choice subjects.
  2. Two pathways followed:

Pathway 1 – EBacc route to include English, Maths, Spanish, History or Geography, Combined science plus 1 other. (Recommended not compulsory)

Pathway 2 – Standard route to include English, Maths, Spanish or History or Geography or Computer science, combined science plus 2 others.


 

KS5

The  Post 16 offer from Phoenix provides an opportunity to study a wide range of Level 3 subjects, both academic and vocational. The further study of Level 2 maths and English is expected for all students not achieving a GCSE grade 4 at the end of Key Stage 4.