Curriculum



Mission Statement

Ash Green School is a beacon of aspiration and excellence where our students are supported to be successful, well-informed, highly skilled and confident world citizens. We encourage our students to exceed their expected grades in order to improve their life chances at college, university and beyond. We aim to provide a broad and full inclusive curriculum where children enjoy learning and are able to thrive relative to their starting points.

Curriculum Intent Rationale Overview

Our curriculum aims to deliver the following outcomes:

a. The broadest, most engaging and accessible curriculum to allow all of our pupils to be successful in their aspirations.

b. Nurture a love for learning and create life-long learners

c. An enriching and fully inclusive learning environment

d. Well prepared and resilient young people who can embrace modern society

The main principles behind our curriculum set out to achieve the following:

a. Enable students to effectively access and fully understand key information and to utilise skills so that they are able to confidently and accurately retain and recall information over time.

  • This is achieved by intentionally planning and embedding a sequenced curriculum that enables pupils to build on Knowledge and skills in order to be successful.  
  • We make the powerful knowledge transparent to students and teachers and carefully plan for regular opportunities to recall, revisit and reteach in order to secure an effective learning environment. 

b. Create a composite knowledge learning journey that is accessible to all students, through identification of key components of learning and sequencing across the Key Stages.

  • Important knowledge is identified and built on progressively through learning curriculum maps, with increased difficulty, challenge and application throughout the secondary school years.
  • Assessments are carefully planned and mapped alongside the curriculum journey to ensure that knowledge is tested in application and embedded effectively, to allow teachers to regularly adapt and evolve the curriculum and their practice to support pupil needs.

c. Provide a broad, enriching and inclusive aspirational curriculum offer.

  • The curriculum has been developed to support and develop the AGS pupil to be successful and competitive in their contextual local environment and beyond.
  • Weekly staff CPD is used to adapt the curriculum to allow it to be constantly reviewed to ensure it is inclusive and is the best possible learning experience for the pupils.

d. Create independent and confident young learners by supporting students with essential skills for memory recall, developing reading and encouraging students to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum by:

  • explicitly identifying knowledge and facts students need to be able to recall and planning to allow opportunities to facilitate revisit and implementation of frequent low stakes tests for students to demonstrate their ability to recall.
  • Using Knowledge Organisers to embed key knowledge and encourage practice.
  • Deliberately revisiting previously taught key learning objectives and knowledge through careful planning and curriculum sequencing, for example through lesson starters and exam style questions.
  • Teaching students how they can train their minds to be able to recall knowledge to consolidate learning and develop their long term memory.

AGS Curriculum Phased Approach

At AGS we follow the National Curriculum. This is delivered through the fostering of Academic, Ambition and the Knowledge Connected Curriculum.  We plan intentionally for a broad and enriching 3 year Key Stage 3 experience. The programme includes cores subjects of English, Maths, Science as well as EBAC subjects of History, Geography, Religious Studies, French, Spanish and Computer Science. There is a range of creative subjects such as Art. PE and Music. Through the implementation of this balanced curriculum students are able to transition and build on prior knowledge and skills with confidence into a 2 year Key Stage 4 examination programme and Key Stage 5 in the schools Sixth Form to study Advanced Levels should they wish.  

Character Development

Our curriculum enables our students to not only excel in academic performance but also to develop the knowledge, behaviour and skills by well- planned experiences that will build confidence and widen their understanding of the world.

At AGS we optimise on enriching experiences for our students including;

  • a comprehensive PSHE and RSE programme which is built into the curriculum and engages external providers and careers support
  • a range of exciting and engaging visits and external speakers and workshops linked to aspects of the curriculum and PSHE
  • a range of sporting activities and teams to take part in after school.
  • a comprehensive work experience programme in Year 10 and Year 12
  • A successful Duke of Edinburgh programme
  • the opportunity to become a student leader and have a role in the operational and strategic direction of the school.
  • The opportunity to take part in an international trip.

All students are expected to take part in at least one enrichment activity after school every term in addition to individual opportunities offered in school such as intervention or homework club.We have systems in place for encouraging, acknowledging and rewarding extra-curricular endeavour which include a Bronze, Silver and Gold award for participation throughout the year.  

Phase 1

In years 7 to 9, the curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced programme of key skills, knowledge and values in a curriculum that builds on the fundamental skills and knowledge of Key Stage 2.  of English, Maths and Science. The phase one curriculum is planned and sequenced carefully to develop the learners interest and understanding of a range of subjects and proactively builds on knowledge and skills to provide a string foundation and students confidence for examination study in Year 10 and build on prior knowledge and skills with confidence into Key Stage 4.

The subjects studied are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Computer Science
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Religious Studies
  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Personal Social Health Education
  • Art & Design, Textiles

Phase 2

In Year 10 students embark on a 2 year, Key Stage Four examination based curriculum. Students opt for their chosen GCSE pathway in Year 9. This provides students with a two year window in which to secure their minimum expected grades and for students to receive intervention, be supported and stretched in aptitude and ability.  All students will study core subjects of English, Maths and Science which are set to optimise intervention and secure the best possible outcomes.  Students select from a range of other subjects from the list below:

EBACC SubjectsOther Subjects
GeographyArt & DesignHealth & Social Care
HistoryBusinessHospitality & Catering
FrenchDanceMusic
SpanishDramaReligious Studies
Computer ScienceGraphical Communication 

Students choose at least 1 EBACC subject alongside 3 other option subjects.  We offer a range of both GCSE and BTEC courses and students are able to pursue a highly personalised pathway to success, heavily influenced by our Careers Education Curriculum.

Phase 3

This is a two year Sixth Form programme of offer, including both academic and vocational pathways for 16-18 year olds. The courses available offer excellent progression from GCSE & BTEC success in Year 11 and provides students with access into universities including prestigious Russell Group Universities and Apprenticeship courses at 18. . All post 16 students are in Sixth Form tutor groups to offer bespoke and personalised support through what is commonly acknowledged as the most challenging part of their educational journey. This is to optimise outcomes at Level 3 specific dedicated pastoral support and excellent guidance on UCAS and the application process for Apprenticeships are offered.

Religious Education

All Year 7 to 9 students study Religious Education. In Key Stage 4 study Religious Education in a rolling programme through the tutor time programme on study.  In addition students can choose Religious Studies as a GCSE option. Aspects of religious education are also delivered across a number of curriculum areas. Ash Green School holds no affiliation with any particular religion or religious denomination but is welcome and supportive of members of any faith and those with no religious affiliation. Students attend an assembly once a week in their year group and this may include elements of a religious or moral nature.

Sex and Relationship Education

Students will have already been taught Reproduction at Key Stage 3 through the Science curriculum. Our focus in Key Stage 4 is on improving understanding of issues around sexual health and relationships. The Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE) interventions allow students to discuss and raise a variety of health and relationship issues including: safe sex, sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy and contraception. We hope that young people are able to develop a mature attitude to the many choices they will need to make regarding their own health during adolescence and in adult life. Parents/guardians may formally withdraw their children from all or part of these interventions if they so wish.

Citizenship Education

Citizenship education is delivered across a number of curriculum areas and in the Tutor Programme. Students have the opportunity to contribute to student forums and are all involved in numerous charity fundraising events during the year. They can also apply to become a Student Leader.

Implementation

The curriculum is carefully planned to be progressive and aspirational and is sequenced to form a 7 year learning journey that enables students to understand key concepts and transfer learning into their long term memory.

  • Interchangeable skills and knowledge are taught, revisited as appropriate and embedded as the intensity and challenge builds into the examination years.
  • Students develop confidence and resilience as their knowledge and skills develop and their application improves, they are able to utilise their understanding and apply their learning with fluency to be successful.
  • Through intentional curriculum design, students develop and transfer their knowledge to their long term memory. 

The delivery of the curriculum is consistent across the subject disciplines to ensure a high quality of inclusive education and learning

  • All lessons are taught following the AGS Way.  This allows for consistency of expectations for student and staff for behaviour for learning and ensures a high quality delivery with explicit understanding of sequencing and objectives for every lesson.
  • All lessons follow a clear structure for consistency of approach and include an engaging ‘Do Now’ activity, a range of meaningful tasks which build to stretch and challenge the most able students and a plenary to check and consolidate the learning.
  • All lessons are planned to be inclusive and accessible, this involves use of ADPR’s to ensure Quality First Teaching is effective and all students are able to actively engage and progress in the lessons.
  • All lessons will include a focus on and prioritisation of the powerful knowledge and skill application which is crucial for the lesson and understanding of a concept or theme.
  •  Scaffolding is often used in lessons to explicitly model to students how to apply their knowledge effectively and share graded levels of outcomes in order to support students understanding of how to achieve high level answer.  
  • Robust academic systems are used to provide targeted and purposeful support for identified students to improve progress.  These include Personalised Individual Learning Plans (P.I.P’s), personalised mentoring, study planning and academic reflection.
  • Robust CEIAG systems are used to support career progression, grow aspiration and nurture talent.

The Quality Assurance cycle is robust and holistic and ensures that standards are upheld so that the curriculum can be effective.

  • The QA cycle is a 3 wave approach including Department reviews, regular Learning Walks with identified focus and groups and Work Scrutiny involving staff and students.  

Assessments are well planned alongside the curriculum to allow for regular and meaningful assessment and intervention and prepare students effectively for formal examinations

  • The assessment calendar is developed alongside the subject curriculum to ensure that: students are well prepared to demonstrate their understanding of learning in assessments; identification of student underperformance is prompt and intervention can be effective, staff are not burdened with unnecessary workload.
  • The regularity of assessment allows for early intervention to be implemented effectively so that progress is continued and confidence can be developed leading up to formal examinations.
  • Data is used incisively to inform teaching and intervention with individual students.  In Year 11 and Post 16 this is highly personalised and may include after school intervention, specific additional assignments and teacher support through a Personalised Intervention Plan.
  • Mock examinations are rehearsed with students in terms of logistics and expectations are clear to ensure students adhere to the JCQ standards and are well prepared for the craft of formal examinations.
  • The reporting cycle enables the school to communicate with parents and carers in a timely fashion regarding their child’s achievement and progress and informs intervention and support.   

Impact

  • The curriculum is broad, well-constructed and well taught and enables all students including SEND students and disadvantaged to learn what is intended in the curriculum and achieve good outcomes.
  • First hand evidence through interviews with students and lesson observations will evidence the curriculum enables progress to be made and  subject knowledge to be embedded over time into long term memory.  The sequencing of the curriculum facilitates the students to acquire new skills and knowledge that students can build upon.
  • Students read confidently and fluently and will have a grasp of language beyond their reading age.
  • Departments have a clear understanding of the progress of their students and articulate how well they are performing compared to their starting points.
  • Teaching staff demonstrate specific expert subject knowledge through their teaching and delivery of the curriculum. 
  • Pupils are prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment and destinations are aspirational with students in the sixth form making successful applications for high quality destinations including Oxbridge, Russell group Universities and Higher level apprenticeships.