Curriculum

Please see our Key Stage Curriculum tabs for more information on specific key stages and subjects

Curriculum Intent

We believe that every student no matter their ability or background can achieve and build a bright future for themselves. We aim to improve the life chances of every student and our curriculum provides the foundation for that success by developing the knowledge and attributes pertinent to their local and global communities in the 21st century.

The curriculum at Khalsa Secondary Academy is underpinned by our core values and British Sikh ethos. It is our mission to educate the whole child and to support them in becoming confident, productive, selfless, and ethical members of society. We teach our students that by drawing upon the two cultural traditions we can work towards a more harmonious and integrated Britain. Our academic and co- curriculum is inclusive, rich, balanced, and ambitious, and we plan and deliver our curriculum through the promotion of excellence, care, kindness and respect.

Curriculum Vision

Inclusive

Our curriculum is accessible to all students and is planned to ensure everyone can enjoy their experiences and make visible progress no matter their ability. We equip our staff with the resources to ensure that barriers to learning are removed and all students are suitably challenged and supported. Literacy and numeracy are prominent within our curriculum as these provide a gateway to acquiring core knowledge.

Balanced

Our curriculum is focussed upon providing students with an enriched educational experience, drawing upon both the key stage 2 and 3 National Curriculum objectives to enhance students’ life chances by embedding cultural capital throughout their academic journey. We empower students to use an enriched vocabulary enabling a better understanding of concepts and ideas and facilitate access to knowledge beyond our students’ ordinary daily experiences. At key stage 4 and 5 we offer a range of academic and vocational courses that allow students to explore a variety of 21stcentury pathways.

Rich

Our curriculum draws upon the rich Sikh cultural traditions and British values to reflect and celebrate diversity. Equality is a central tenet of the Sikh faith, and our personal development curriculum emphasises this. Through our planned personal development and co-curriculum, we seek to develop young adults of strong moral character. We encourage staff to organise educational visits and develop the depth of their teaching to enhance the quality and enjoyment of the learning both in and outside of the classroom. We provide a range of extracurricular opportunities to support the development of our students' character and prepare them for life as balanced, happy well-rounded individuals, who can succeed in whatever they apply themselves to.

Excellence and Ambition

Our curriculum is knowledge led, enabling students to know and remember more. It is designed with both vertical (within a subject) and horizontal (across subjects) integration. This consistency enables students to develop a deeper understanding of the knowledge learnt, encouraging students draw out conceptual links between subjects honing their analytical, literacy and numerical skills.  We expect all our students to strive for excellence in all that they do. Our ambitious and integrated careers curriculum supports students in developing long term goals and in maintaining long term academic and co-curricular commitments.

Care, Kindness and Respect

Our curriculum teaches care, kindness, and respect through the emphasis on Sikh and British values. We encourage our students to see themselves as citizens and not subjects, to have the confidence to lead not simply follow, and to develop an understanding of their spirituality, community and personal responsibility enabling them to shape both their own destiny and the destiny of others. Our personal development curriculum and enrichment programme teaches students to treat one another with compassion and humility, and to respect the world around us. It supports students so that they can develop and look after their own physical and mental well-being.

Curriculum Aims 2020-21

To achieve the curriculum aims outlined above the school has prioritised three aims for focussed development during for the 2020-21 academic year. Whilst all elements of the curriculum are important, these three aims are considered critical and foundational to the development of the curriculum at this juncture.

  1. The development of cross curricular literacy
  2. The embedding of learning science and pedagogy
  3. The development of the spiritual and personal development curriculum

Literacy

Literacy is a critical element of our curriculum. It is of particular importance in enabling students to be able to access the curriculum and make good academic progress throughout their education, and in improving outcomes for socially disadvantaged children. Literacy is explicitly taught in all academic subjects and through a range of reading and intervention strategies

Vocabulary and Disciplinary Literacy

Disciplinary literacy emphasises ways of knowing and communicating knowledge within a subject discipline. It helps students understand how language works in different subject areas and supports their understanding of how vocabulary is used, how question phrasing will shape the answer expected, and how to interpret the written and graphic materials used for learning. Our curriculum planning identifies the tier two (general academic) and three (subject specific) vocabulary that is explicitly taught in lessons. A range of direct and indirect instructional strategies are used to teach disciplinary literacy. These include but are not limited to supplying illustrations, descriptions and examples of vocabulary use, and teaching grammatical forms, roots, and affixes of words.

Accelerated Reader

All key stage 3 students follow the Accelerating Reading programme, which encourages rapid progress in literacy and confidence in reading for pleasure. All students arriving in Year 7 are tested for Reading Ages in the first half-term of their time, and every child hear read aloud in the first month. The English department look at reading ages and CAS scores with the SENCO and Data Manager to identify pupils quickly who need extra intervention to improve their literacy levels at the earliest stage of their secondary education. 

Interventions

Dependent upon need, there are a range of specialist interventions we use to support our students in improving their literacy at an early stage of their secondary education.  These interventions include but are not limited to phonics intervention, vocabulary and grammar boosters, paired reading, and the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc programme.

Curriculum Design

In March 2020 KSA began the process of curriculum review. This involved a review of all key stage 3 National Curriculum required knowledge and skills, the sequence of teaching and the embedding of learning science to ensure knowledge taught is learnt, reviewed, and is secured in the long-term memory. The resulting long- and medium-term curriculum plans outline the carefully planned sequence of learning. Each unit of study is divided into distinct components and builds towards a complex activity bringing together the constituent parts into compound knowledge. 

Assessment and Reteaching

Students understanding and recall are assessed throughout the units of study, the data gathered through frequent low stakes recall and formative assessment activities and formalised summative assessments are used to inform the planning of regular reteaching weeks. Reteach weeks are used to reteach areas of the curriculum students find challenging or have difficulty recalling. Reteach weeks are used to recap leaning and embed the foundational knowledge required for students to effectively progress onto the next units of study.

Memory and Retrieval

Our curriculum is deliberately designed to ensure that the knowledge learnt by students is stored in their long-term memory, allowing them to build upon it and form wider and deeper schemas. As part of our programme of curriculum review and development we have begun to implement the use of interleaving, spaced retrieval practice, repeated purposeful practice setting homework that revisits older content and the use knowledge organisers for each distinct unit of study.

Our new long-term curriculum plans for key stage 3 can be found on our school website. Key stage 4 and 5 plans are currently under review and will be updated during the current academic year (2020-21).

Personal Development

Our personal development curriculum forms part of both our academic and wider curriculum and encompasses; Careers Education; PSHE; Citizenship and Enrichment.  These are taught through formal lessons, structured personal development tutor periods and through a range of experiences, visits, assemblies, drop down days and insight days.

PSHE

PSHE is taught in distinct lessons for one hour a fortnight and supported by weekly personal development tutor periods and in drop down days at key points in the academic year. PSHE lessons incorporate elements of relationships, healthy living, personal and economic wellbeing, living in the wider world, citizenship, British values and spirituality. Our curriculum design complies with the 2019 DfE statutory guidance for PSHE.

Please find the statutory guidance Khalsa Secondary Academy will be following for implementing the Relationship and Sex Education programme of study from September 2020 here

The aim of RSE is to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. It will enable them to know what a healthy relationship looks like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague and a successful marriage or other type of relationship. RSE is only taught in PSHE lessons by trained members of the PSHE and pastoral teams.

Citizenship

Citizenship is a critical element of our curriculum and is crucial in the development of socially aware and responsible students. Citizenship is taught both within our PSHE lessons and personal development tutor periods. We also teach citizenship through our academic curriculum and assemblies. Periodically, we also invite external agencies to speak to and work with our students.

Careers and Work-Related Learning

Work Related learning is any planned activity that uses the context of work to develop knowledge, skills and understanding useful in work.  Through work related learning activities, the school seeks to develop the employability skills of young people, provide them with the opportunity to ‘learn by doing’, raise standards of achievement and encourage positive attitudes to lifelong learning.  Opportunities are provided both within our academic curriculum areas and as planned activities within our enrichment programme. All students in KS3 receive structured careers lessons through the personal development tutor periods throughout the academic year. All students staying on into the Sixth Form participate in extended work experience placements and distinct careers lessons throughout Year 12. Please visit our careers page on the school website for further information.

Enrichment

We offer an array of extra-curricular opportunities which we term “Enrichment”.  All students have access to and are actively encouraged to take part in an extensive programme, which seeks to extend their learning and widen their life experiences.  We seek to use active partnerships to support learning wherever possible and encourage students to interact with speakers and visiting groups/industries/organisations to extend their communication skills and learning capacity.  Our combined Cadet Force and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme are a significant component of our enrichment offer and are open to all students. The school uses its Pupil Premium and other avenues of funding to ensure that all groups within the school can access these activities.  

SMSC

Our commitment to spiritual, moral, social, and cultural education is embodied in the vision and ethos of the school. Students embrace the core values of the school and are mindful of one another’s views, demonstrating tolerance to differences in opinions. We encourage students to be reflective learners, showing curiosity and a thirst for knowledge to improve as individuals. This enables them to develop holistically and become active participants in modern British life

We promote student’s spiritual, moral social and cultural development in a variety of ways. Explicit teaching occurs through:

  • PSHE lessons and drop-down days
  • the personal development curriculum
  • carefully planned and integrated assemblies and form time activities
  • the subject curriculum including compulsory religious education at KS3 and 4
  • excellent pastoral support and guidance systems
  • our careers and work-related learning programme
  • cultural and religious celebration days

Equality is promoted through our spiritual, moral, and social education programmes. All students are aware of different forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying (including transphobic, homophobic, sexist, racist and disability based). 

The spiritual development of students is promoted through our religious education lessons, Sikh studies, spiritual and secular assemblies, and tutor time. Students are taught the value of service for others no matter their background and they exhibit respect for others' faiths, feelings, and values. Spirituality and moral education are also promoted through our values of the month which are embedded in tutor time, and all assemblies during that month. Twice a year during the celebration of Bandi Chor Diwas and Vaisakhi, students and staff participate in a range of religious and cultural activities that encourage them to reflect upon their own spirituality and the school’s values and ethos.

The moral development of students is promoted through tutor time and our assembly programme. A broad range of topics is investigated each year under themes which promote British and Sikh values such as honesty, compassion generosity, humility, integrity, and service. The school’s values of the month provide a shared language for talking about moral issues. Assemblies are delivered by senior leaders, middle leaders and students as well as visiting speakers Students are able to reflect on the difference between right and wrong, and they are equipped to consider their own moral decision-making through a focus on restorative justice and rewards for positive conduct integrated into our culture for learning and reward systems.

The social development of students is promoted through our student leadership, student voice and enrichment programmes. Students are encouraged to participate in the many varied opportunities to develop their leadership skills. They are encouraged to apply for positions as junior and senior prefects, sports leaders, the school council and as peer mentors. Students frequently lead both spiritual and secular assemblies and have many opportunities to develop their public speaking. Charitable fund raising is an important part of school life and students frequently raise money for good causes during religious celebrations and national fundraising events.

The cultural development of students is promoted through our knowledge rich and balanced curriculum.  All students study a full range of creative subjects at key stage 3 including Art, Music, Drama, and Technology, allowing them to engage their imaginations and be creative in their learning. Teachers are encouraged to provide a range of learning opportunities, trips and visits to enhance and deepen their understanding of their academic subjects and the world outside of their direct experience. Music is an important element of British and Sikh culture and all students are invited participate in both western and traditional Sikh instrument and vocal lessons. The explicit planning for opportunities to develop Cultural Capital both in the academic and wider curriculum is particularly important in broadening the horizons of our most disadvantaged students. We make use of our Pupil Premium grant to allow all of our students no matter their background to participate in learning experiences they may not ordinarily encounter.

Parents and the local community can find out more about the curriculum we follow at KSA by emailing Mr J Williams (Deputy Headteacher) j.williams@khalsasecondaryacademy.com