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Our Curriculum

The KS3 Curriculum (Year 7-8)

Our KS3 curriculum supports the Academy’s vision of Strive, Achieve and Believe, by providing students with a broad and rich curriculum that places no limit on what can be achieved or discovered but provides opportunities for enrichment, progress and success regardless of students’ starting point.

We offer a two-year KS3 programme and our core purpose at KS3 is to deliver an engaging and challenging curriculum through outstanding teaching and learning. We aim to make our pupils “GCSE Ready” by the end of Year 8 and to make them confident and responsible members of the school and wider community. We do not view our curriculum in isolation. It builds purposely on Key Stage 2 and supports students well beyond age 16 into college, apprenticeships or work.

Students are placed in mixed ability form groups and initially are taught in these groups for most subjects. Setting is gradually introduced in core subjects so that they can be taught in ability groups, which match their strengths, interests and ability. 

Additionally, our nurture group in Year 7 is a smaller group with a bespoke curriculum, designed to support students in transitional periods and ensuring they become ‘secondary ready’.  The nurture group take additional English and Maths lessons in place of a second language.  Students in this group are monitored and assessed throughout Year 7 and introduced into mainstream classes, when they are academically ready.

The curriculum is constantly reviewed and developed to not only meet the needs and strengths of our students but to ensure all students can engage in a wide variety of challenging and enjoyable experiences and activities completed within lessons, active tutor times, around school, in the local community and beyond.

KS3 is the launch pad for excellence in KS4 and has a curriculum built on the knowledge and skills needed for success.

KS4 Curriculum (Year 9-11)

Students will begin to specialise during KS4 and will select option subjects in order to focus on their talents and interests.   

All students will continue to follow a core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Sciences and PE, spending just over half their time in these subjects.   We feel it is important for children to continue with a balanced curriculum in order to prepare them for future life and the world of work therefore, in year 9 they select 5 subjects including a Humanities subject and a Creative subject, all students are given suggested “pathways” to help them select the most appropriate subjects.  

Year 9 focuses on developing the skills they need to be successful at GCSE and beyond as well as continuing to build on the knowledge-rich curriculum at Key Stage 3.  Students develop their independent learning, critical thinking and exam technique to enable them to be as successful as possible at GCSE and beyond.  In year 10, students select their final 3 options to take through to GCSE with support from their subject teachers and personal learning tutor.

Students select options from a wide range of Humanities, Modern Languages, Social Sciences, Business, Creative and Performing Arts, Sport & Health, Technology & Engineering, Media Studies and Vocational Qualifications including Construction, Catering and Social Care. 

Our curriculum is continually evolving to ensure that we provide the variety and breadth to suit our students’ strengths, interests and aspirations; and provide them with the qualifications they need to be successful at Key Stage 5.

KS5: Year 12 & 13 (A-Level and Post 16)

The Chalk Hills Academy offers a consortium curriculum provision with The Stockwood Park Academy, collectively known as The Shared Learning Trust Sixth Form. Across both sites, we offer a wide range of Academic, Technical and Vocational courses at A-Level/Level 3.  There is a full time Sport Diploma and a
Professional Football training programme offered In Partnership with Luton Town Football Club and The shared Learning Trust.

All students study employability skills and have a wide range of enrichment opportunities

Students who have not yet achieved a Grade 4 in English and Maths, follow a resit programme for these subjects.

Literacy

At Chalk Hills, we provide plenty of reading opportunities and are definitely a school that loves to read! We firmly believe that literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life and reading for pleasure makes an enormous difference to a child’s educational performance. A reading book is one of the expected pieces of equipment at the Academy for every student. 

At Chalk Hills, your child will participate in Accelerated Reader, designed to develop a broad range of reading strategies.  Across the academy, each subject area has key vocabulary lists and teaches essential terminology explicitly.  It is expected that your child learns and applies this vocabulary to their written work and spoken class contributions. Your child should be encouraged to read for a minimum of 15 minutes at home per day. To promote reading further class readers are assigned to tutor groups, small reading groups run with prefects and Drop Everything and Read is calendared 5 times a year.

This year the Academy has also promoted a whole school reading culture to work towards closing the Literacy gap and have introduced 5-minutes of subject specific reading at the start of every lesson. This should develop subject specific vocabulary and provide quality-reading opportunities. We have aligned our curriculum development plans with academic reading, writing and oracy opportunities, as well as championing academic language and vocabulary. Reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social, or economic background.