BELIEVE ASPIRE
ACHIEVE

T 01225 832 212
E enquiries@aspireacademy.org.uk

Developing confident, respectful and successful young people

T 01225 832 212
E enquiries@aspireacademy.org.uk
Our curriculum

Our curriculum

Primary

Primary

English

In the Primary Centre we believe that many aspects of personal, social and emotional development can be delivered through our English Curriculum.  We firmly believe that English is at the heart of raising the academic standards of our pupils.

On entering the Centre each pupil will undergo a literacy assessment to give a clear picture of their ability.

Our dedicated staff encourage the children to learn in a rich and exciting environment, both in and out of their class base.  They experience through active involvement and interaction with the world around them, and are encouraged to develop their skills at their own pace.

The Primary Centre within the Aspire Academy provides an exciting, active and engaging environment, with a lot of fun, adventure and a great deal of learning.

Maths

At Aspire we recognise the importance of maths being a fundamental part of everyday life. Maths experiences help develop skills such as communication, evaluation and enquiry.

We aim to provide a positive learning environment creating sense of enjoyment and curiosity as well as developing children’s creativity in order to help alleviate anxiety that sometimes surrounds the learning of maths.

We build upon the knowledge that pupils bring to the classroom and support pupils who may have curriculum gaps to become more confident with maths.

Science

We aim for our pupils to develop a natural curiosity of the world around them. We encourage them to observe, investigate, question, predict, interpret evidence, analyse, solve scientific problems and decide if something is a fair test. They will build up a body of key knowledge and concepts and become equipped to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Activities are very practical and enable them to have “hands on experience”. This includes weekly forest school lessons which incorporate learning in the outdoor environment. This can help overcome the pressure that some pupils may experience with classroom learning.  

Art, Design and Technology

Design and Technology

Our aims are to ensure that pupils:

  • develop a skill at constructively critiquing the products and ideas of their own and that of others, then moving onto improving these.
  • build a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in the design and construction of items.
  • will be encouraged to become confident, adaptable experimenters and developers in an ever-changing world.
  • Evolve their technical, creative and practical expertise in order to

Art and Design

Our aims are to ensure that pupils:

  • learn to produce creative work by exploring their ideas
  •  are encouraged to use their imaginations and link their creations to other subjects and topics; tying in their own personal interests and styles.
  • will be encouraged to develop their own style by developing skills at drawing, sculpture, painting, photography and other artistic traditions.
  • develop an understanding of the historical and cultural development of the various art forms.

Project Based Learning

Here in the Primary Centre the Humanities is delivered through Topic work, combining History, Geography and R.E.   We encourage the children to think for themselves and extend reasoning.  Through the lessons provided they are challenged to develop their ‘creative’ and ’reflective’ thinking skills.

The staff focus on the pupils acquiring a range of skills relevant for life.  To help them to respect moral and religious values, to build up their self-confidence, skills and values to proceed through secondary education and eventually take their place as young responsible members of society.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education

PSHE is at the heart of the Primary Centre.  It covers all aspects of the school’s planned provision to promote pupils’ personal and social development, including health and wellbeing.

  • Take more responsibility for themselves and become aware of the views, needs and rights of others.
  • Learn new skills to help them make decisions.
  • Develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Learn to cope with change.

Recreation for Life

This year we have one afternoon per week which is dedicated to a centre activity, the theme of which changes termly.  We are covering the following themes across the corresponding terms:

  • Team Building
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Animal care
  • Cycling
  • Water activities

Where possible these activities support and enhance the learning topic for that term, as well as enable our young learners to develop their self-esteem, social skills and have fun.

Physical Education (PE)

We provide a balanced program of physical education including games, gymnastics and athletics, outdoor activities and swimming.

We use external facilities in order to include a wider range of activities e.g. horse riding and ice skating.

We encourage students to develop a positive attitude towards themselves and physical activities.

Lessons include participation as individuals and groups, learning rules, principles and methods.

Lessons also include:

  • Learning to use equipment, techniques and skills
  • Self-expression through dance and movement
  • Composing and planning sequences of movements
  • Developing control and co-ordination of basic actions
  • Water safety

Music

Children in the Primary centre enjoy music in several ways.

  • All children have the opportunity to learn a  musical instrument.  This year they are choosing between drums, piano and guitar.
  • All children participate in a group music & art  therapy session once a fortnight. 
  • They learn about different music styles and genre through listening focus realted to the termly topic.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Aims:

  • Pupils will learn to apply computing skills safely and responsibly in everyday life.
  • Enhance pupils’ independent learning and improve the quality of their work through the use of computing technology.
  • Enable pupils to learn how to use new software and hardware.
  • Encourage pupils’ creativity via computing.
  • Apply information technology to other learning environments and to use it analytically to solve problems.
  • To gain an understanding of the principles of computer science, programming and the versatility required to adapt to new technologies as they emerge.
Secondary

Secondary

At KS4, pupils can study the following courses:

GCSE: English, Maths, Science, PE.

Functional Skills: English, Maths, Science, ICT.

BTEC: Home Cooking Skills.

English

Statement of Aims

The English Curriculum aims to develop the four areas of English skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

By acknowledging the strengths of individual students, we aim to raise not only their academic levels of achievement, but also their self-esteem and self-perception as learners.  Our aim is to nurture and encourage a love of literature and our literary heritage which will continue throughout their lives.

Personalised learning is key to students’’ success and needs and every student has a highly structured personalised scheme of work which reflects their aptitudes and strengths.

Objectives

The objective of the English Department at Aspire Academy is to extend and enrich our students’ language acquisition across the entire curriculum and prepare them for further education, the world of work and the challenges presented in their future lives.

With this in mind each student is encouraged to gain a nationally recognised qualification, either in Functional Skills or at GCSE level.

All students are assessed by our Literacy Coordinator upon admission to Aspire Academy and thereafter termly to ascertain any specific literacy weaknesses and chart progress.  There are daily literacy sessions for our students each of whom has an individual learning plan to accelerate progress in response to different learning styles and fundamental learning difficulties.

Curriculum

The KS3 Curriculum comprises reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students also have opportunities to experience creative writing and writing for a specific audience.

They are able to develop skills exploring drama, poetry and prose fiction texts which include:

  • Autobiographies and biographies
  • Drama including “Our Day Out” by Willy Russell
  • Thematic poetry units including “Growing Pains”
  • Prose fiction including “Holes” by Louis Sachar
  • Short stories
  • Creative writing

The KS4 curriculum follows a GCSE English course which comprises:

  • Speaking and Listening
  • English in the Daily World (Reading):
  • Students consider fact-sheets, leaflets, letters, extracts from autobiographies, biographies, diaries, advertisements, reports, articles, and digital and multi-modal texts of various kinds from newspapers and magazines, brochures and the internet.
  • English in the Daily World (Writing):

Mathematics

Statement of aims

The Maths curriculum aims to re-engage students in their maths learning so that they are able to progress in the three main areas of maths education; developing fluency, reasoning mathematically and solving problems.

The previous experiences and individual learning abilities of students are taken into account when providing a programme of study for students.  In this way we aim to raise both their academic levels of achievement and their self-esteem and motivation as learners.  Our aim is to encourage a familiarisation with maths and an understanding of concepts which renders maths as a useful tool for the future not something to be feared, and this is executed through a personalised programme of study.

Objectives

The objective of the Maths Department at Aspire Academy is to extend and enrich our students’ knowledge and use of maths across the curriculum and prepare them for further education, the world of work and the challenges presented in their future lives.

This involves:

  • Providing a supportive and positive learning environment to facilitate students’ progress mathematically
  • Inspiring students to embrace maths and to help alleviate any anxiety that surrounds learning maths
  • Encouraging students to think independently and creatively in maths
  • Incorporating practical ways of teaching maths which link teaching maths topics to other areas
  • Personalising learning programmes as appropriate to cater for a wide range of learning needs
  • Helping those students who have curriculum gaps to become more confident with mathematics
  • Encouraging entry into nationally recognised award qualifications, either in Functional Skills or GCSE level

With this in mind all students are assessed termly to monitor their progress within the maths attainment targets.

Curriculum

Both the KS3 and 4 curriculum cover aspects of the maths subject content within the four maths attainment target areas:

  • Number and algebra
  • Handling data
  • Geometry and measures
  • Processes and applications

The KS3 curriculum builds on Key Stage 2 programmes of study to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. It follows a three year programme which builds on security of pupils’ understanding in order for them to progress to the next stage. Students who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through being offered more complex problems before being expected to proceed to new concepts in preparation for KS4.  Those who are not sufficiently fluent are encouraged to consolidate their understanding through additional practice before moving on.

In KS4 students follow a two year programme of study which is tailored towards their individual abilities in order to gain a working understanding of maths which may lead to a range of nationally accredited qualifications. Lessons are supported by regular work on practice paper questions and ‘mock’ examinations are held as appropriate in the second term of Year 11, allowing for the identification and targeting of specific problem areas. 

Science

General:

At Aspire, Science is taught at KS2, 3 and 4. We offer a range of science courses to reflect the needs, interests and aspirations of our students.  We favour a tiered approach to accreditation: at KS4, starting from Entry Level Certificate and moving through to GCSE for our most able students.

Subject rationale:

Science provides an excellent vehicle for looking at the world, building upon each student's experiences in everyday life.  Science is an essential part of a broad and balanced curriculum and gives students many of the skills and qualities essential for future employment.

Subject aims:

To inspire curiosity and promote interest in the contemporary world.  The aim is to enable students to understand the significant impact that science, technology and engineering has in their everyday lives and engage with the subject through this.  We hope to contribute towards widening student's horizons and their understanding of how things work in the world about them.  

Teaching methods:

Student's scientific knowledge will be developed using a skills based approach through which we want them to expand their curiosity and awareness. Presentations, worksheets, interactive games and quizzes and practical tasks and activities are all favoured over traditional text book methods.

Structure of the courses:

KS3: Science is taught in mixed ability groups with all classes being supported by a dedicated HLTA. The revised National Curriculum is used as a framework to inform teaching, with priority given to topics deemed relevant to the students that make up a given cohort.

KS4: Year 10 and 11 are taught separately – but based on ability, all students currently follow either the AQA Entry Level Certificate Science or AQA GCSE Science A Specifications. At present, accreditation for both courses is comprised of a mixture of coursework and exam based assessment. Again HLTA support is available for each group.

Trips/visits:

An annual trip to the Airbus sponsored Teen Tech West event has proved successful in promoting engagement and a hands on approach to science, technology and engineering. Other trips to @Bristol, Bristol Zoo and Fleet Air Museum have also been planned into the wider science curriculum.

Project-based learning

Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying.

The aim within each termly topic is to incorporate a large variety of subjects are included such as maths, geography, history and art.

Students are encouraged to assist to the development of the projects, this helps to give them ownership of their work and increase their motivation to learn and develop their knowledge on the topic.

Some of the topics we cover are:

  • Natural disasters
  • World War I
  • Space and beyond
  • The American frontier

Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE)

PSHE is at the heart of the Aspire Academy. It covers all aspects of the school’s planned provision to promote pupils’ personal and social development, including health and wellbeing.

  • Take more responsibility for themselves and become aware of the views, needs and rights of others.
  • Learn new skills to help them make decisions.
  • Develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Learn to cope with change.

Rewards time

Positive behaviour management is key to improving the students' outcomes. All lessons are monitored and behaviour and learning scores are recorded. Staff meet daily to discuss the students and on Friday a rewards period is in place for students.

Recreation for life

We feel that it is important for all our students to be able to develop skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life both whilst still at school and for after their education.

This is the main aim of our recreation for life unit. Within this students learn how to deal with, and gain real life experience of, many situations people take for granted.

Some of the topics pupils will cover include:

  • Using public transport
  • The importance of Public services
  • Setting up accounts

Through recreation for life we also aim to give students a wider experience of the life that is on their doorstep through visits to local beauty spots, museum’s and places of interest which they may otherwise never experience.

Aims – Key Stage 3

Pupils studying PSHE/citizenship in Key Stage 3 should:

  • Learn about themselves as growing, maturing individuals and as members of their community who have independence, power and responsibility.
  • Become more self-aware and more capable of sophisticated moral reasoning.
  • Take more responsibility for themselves and become aware of the views, needs and rights of others.
  • Learn new skills to help them make decisions.
  • Learn how to plan and manage choices in their personal lives and future career.
  • Develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Learn to cope with changing relationships and understand how these can affect their health and well-being.
  • Make most of the opportunities presented to take part in the life of the school and the wider community.

Aims – Key Stage 4

Pupils studying PSHE / Citizenship in Key Stage 4 should:

  • Gain greater knowledge and understanding of spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues
  • Take new and more adult roles in the school and in the wider community
  • Take responsibility for their own learning and career choices by learning to set and realise personal targets.
  • Be able to clarify their opinions and attitudes through increased moral reasoning and in discussion with adults and their peers
  • Learn to understand and value relationship  with a wide range of people
  • Learn to respect the views, needs and rights of people of all ages.

Physical Education

Physical activity, games, sports and pursuits are a huge aspect of our culture at Aspire Academy. Our Physical Education department aims to positively encourage participation in Physical Education lessons to aid the acquisition of physical skills, knowledge and understanding, promote and assist a healthy physical state and provide positive experiences of a wide range of physical activity as advised through National Curriculum guidelines.

Most importantly, we aim to encourage students to have a positive attitude towards themselves and their PE, to enjoy participating and have an open mind to many different types of physical activity. We aim for 100% of our students to participate in and actively enjoy their PE. By delivering a wide and diverse range of sports our hope is that every one of our students will find a sport they enjoy, show and develop their talent and pursue sport after they have left us.

Vocational Studies at Norton Radstock College

Our Key Stage 4 students attend Norton Radstock College for 2 days a week.  Here they are able to try elements of a Level 1 College course in Bricklaying, Horticulture and Animal Care.  The main aims are set out below.

Bricklaying

  • Know about Health and Safety in the workplace and be aware of potential hazards as well as understand emergency procedures.
  • Gain knowledge of the tools and equipment used in all aspects of Bricklaying
  • Be able to use the tools in the correct and safe way and wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment as directed.
  • Be able to work responsibly with other students and staff and seek and respond to guidance when working as part of a team
  • Be able to set out their bricklaying area then follow the relevant instructions to construct a wall.
  • Gain a sense of achievement in completing tasks independently and take pride in what they do.

Horticulture

  • An outstanding opportunity to promote excellent teamwork amongst the students
  • To provide a balanced curriculum of Theory and Practical work
  • To be able to learn how to operate machinery such as a Leaf Blower and Lawnmower in a correct and safe manner
  • To be able to use all Gardening tools in a safe and correct manner, and look after them in the appropriate way
  • To complete Level 1 College assessments in the theoretical side such as “Plants and Trees” and practical assessments such as “Safe Working Practice”.
  • To provide an opportunity for experience and responsibility in a realistic work setting.

Animal Care

  • To promote a caring and responsible approach to working with all types of animals in a safe and nurturing setting
  • To give our students access to all aspects of the Level 1 College curriculum, both theoretical and practical
  • To gain a greater understanding of all aspects of an animal’s behaviour.
  • To gain greater all round knowledge of an animal’s habitat and its needs
  • To learn how to handle animals safely
  • To develop a greater understanding of all Health and Safety issues surrounding working with Animals.

Music

Our aims are to ensure that pupils:

  • Develop an understanding of the purpose and history of music.
  • Learn about the different varieties of music and the effect on mood / environment.
  • Develop a skill at singing, performing and listening.
  • Have opportunities to learn a musical instrument and use music technology.
  • Have an awareness of how music is created, produced and communicated; including through the inter-related dimensions of pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure.

ICT

Aims:

  • Pupils will learn to apply computing skills safely and responsibly in everyday life.
  • Enhance pupils’ independent learning and improve the quality of their work through the use of computing technology.
  • Enable pupils to learn how to use new software and hardware.
  • Encourage pupils’ creativity via computing.
  • Apply information technology to other learning environments and to use it analytically to solve problems.   
  • To gain an understanding of the principles of computer science, programming and the versatility required to adapt to new technologies as they emerge.
Therapies

Therapies

Therapies

Therapeutic and 1:1 Input

We offer our learners a range of therapeutic input. This is recommended according to presenting needs, requests of young people, as well as professional recommendations. 

Aim of our therapies are to ensure that pupils:

  • Have access to appropriate intervention to aid their development.
  • Enable them to access all areas of the curriculum.
  • Develop their confidence in communication.
  • To aid development of their social skills and therefore their ability to build peer relationships.
  • To build their self-esteem.

Children can have access to the following therapies:

  • Speech and Language – led by Sirona Care and delivered on a daily basis by a trained HLTA within the centre. We also have a dedicated Speech & Language therapist on site for 1.5 days a week.
  • Dance therapy – provided in small group sessions in order to explore individual feelings and representations through dance, as well as develop social skills.
  • Music therapy – provided through individual instrumental music lessons.
  • Play therapy – provided through 1:1 sessions by Focus Therapy.
  • 1:1 Literacy interventions – provided to all learners.
  • 1:1 Numeracy intervention – provided to learners where appropriate.
  • SEAL interventions – provided on a 1:1 and small group basis as advised by their Education Health and Care plan or through presenting need.
  • Keyworker time is timetabled for all secondary students on a weekly basis
  • Access to a trained counsellor one day a week