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Curriculum intent

Knowledge has the power to transform and enrich lives. It helps us to make sense of the world, to appreciate human creativity and achievement and to become educated citizens who contribute to society. We therefore believe that every one of our students, regardless of background, is entitled to encounter the best that has been thought, said and done through a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum. Our academy curriculum is therefore built on six guiding principles which inform all of our practice:

Broad and Balanced - Students study the full national curriculum and beyond, only specialising in GCSEs Option Subjects in Year 10.
Ambitious - Students are highly challenged with demanding schemes of learning that include the best that has been thought, said and done in each subject area and go beyond the national curriculum.
Big Ideas - Students receive coherently sequenced learning that develops ‘Big Ideas’ throughout their time in a subject.
Knowledge Rich - Students are taught key vocabulary, concepts, facts and skills and are given multiple opportunities to retrieve and embed them so that they know more and can do more over time.
Supported - Students who struggle to access our ‘Big Ideas’ curriculum for whatever reason are able to access a range of effective pastoral and academic support to help get them on track
Relevant - Students are offered a curriculum that connects with their ambitions and aims for the future.

Curriculum implementation

We aim to create a culture where teachers and students can take a journey of continuous learning and improvement.

Our teachers are always improving their subject knowledge and are trained in evidence-informed teaching practices. Our professional development programme includes both time for subject knowledge development and training in evidence-informed teaching practices. Training has included sessions on building positive relationships, questioning, retrieval practice and the use of knowledge organisers. 

Our curriculum is accessible to all. Our teachers use a range of strategies to support all students to access the curriculum and experience success. We believe that mixed ability provides the best opportunity for progression for the majority of students and all subjects, apart from English, maths, science and PE teach exclusively mixed ability classes. Where classes are set, students can move between groups as their knowledge, skills and abilities improve.

We believe that reading is one of the most important skills our students can learn. We therefore have a number of initiatives to support students to develop confidence and enjoyment in reading.  These include bi-annual reading age tests for ks3 students, library lessons, the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme, additional support in phonics for struggling readers, book give-aways, a ‘student librarian’ programme and much more.

Curriculum impact

We ensure that our students are equipped with the skills and qualifications they need to purse their interests and aspirations when they leave the academy.

Academic qualifications. We offer GCSEs in academic subjects such as English, maths, triple science, computer science, modern foreign languages, history and geography.

Work based qualifications.  We also offer work based BTECs in subjects such as sport, information technology, drama and dance.

Careers advice and guidance.  We run a comprehensive programme of careers advice and guidance that starts in Year 7 and that includes ‘careers cafes’ (where students get to meet people working in local industries), university visits, assemblies etc.

Curriculum Offer

The broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum offer at the St Leonards Academy comprises of six pillars that together ensure that students receive a varied and holistic education. Careful thought is put into each pillar so that it contributes to our vision of creating a vibrant, inclusive community, transforming lives and broadening horizons through excellent teaching and learning.

Curriculum Maps