At Robert Bloomfield Academy, our VOICE values of vitality, opportunity, independence, community and excellence are the foundation of our curriculum. We set high expectations to ensure that every pupil excels across all aspects of academy life, and our aim is that all students make strong academic progress, comparative to their age-related expectations, curriculum stage and starting point.
We want our pupils to leave with knowledge and skills which will not only create excellent life opportunities but will also prepare them exceptionally well for life beyond the academy, and as such, we offer a broad curriculum that utilises our unique position as a middle school, with subject-specialist teachers and facilities.
Our academy curriculum helps students to achieve high standards and make excellent progress. The curriculum is broad and students learn essential knowledge built around a 'learning journey' to ensure they have a deep understanding across a range of subjects. There are many opportunities built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded.
The development of student's language and oracy is at the forefront of our curriculum as we understand how vital it is for our students to build confidence in communication skills not only for their time in school but also to prepare them for working life. We ensure students have opportunities in all subjects to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view and to develop their formality of language to ensure they can have the confidence to speak to different audiences. Numeracy skills are embedded across the curriculum. Students who arrive with below-expected Maths and English skills make good progress here at RBA, through expert teaching and incisive intervention. The academy aims to ensure that students are literate and numerate enabling them to flourish, thrive and access the next stage of their education, employment or training.
We provide a curriculum that is inclusive and ambitious for all. We have high expectations of all students and provide opportunity for pupils to learn what is expected of them morally and have the opportunity to live out our VOICE values. Our behaviour policy ensures that students learn that actions have consequences and they can accept and appreciate differences between people. Whilst students gain knowledge through KS2 and KS3, we also want them to become learners who are enquiring, enthusiastic, engaged and mannerly.
At Robert Bloomfield Academy, we pride ourselves on delivering a curriculum which incorporates SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural). SMSC is championed at the academy in order to develop students as a whole, not just academically. To ensure that they are fully prepared for life in modern Britain, students are able to envisage 'The Bigger Picture' and show that learning is linked to the real world and experiences. Students are encouraged to take part in a range of sporting, cultural and charitable activities. Links with businesses enrich the curriculum offer and help to contextualise learning.
It is our intention at the academy to ensure students have secure foundations for progression into further education and apprenticeships. From Year 5, students receive careers information with a clear focus on the Gatsby benchmarks and this is supported through drop-down days throughout the year. Over the course of 4 years, students receive a rigorous and bespoke aspirations program that exposes our students to a huge range of voices and experiences.
We believe that a carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built. The curriculum is designed and implemented so that it builds on prior knowledge and prepares students for the next stage in their education. Lessons follow our 5 part VOICE lesson strucure, beginning with a 'vital start' to activate prior learning and finishing with an 'excellent end' to secure understanding and inform the next stage in their learning journey. Lessons are engaging, inspiring and suitably differentiated so that students are able to achieve, or go beyond, their potential, with students able to spend time in lessons demonstrating independence and also community through paired or group tasks.
Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning. Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics. Teachers plan learning that use data and prior attainment information and that allows students to embed and recall knowledge.
At the heart of all lessons is oracy, with students challenged to develop their ability to articulate themselves and use their voice to communicate effectively with their peers, teachers and in wider society.
Key Stage 2
In Year 5, our students start their learning journey with many of their lessons delivered by their class teacher. Their main learning base is their year 5 classroom, but they will visit all parts of the academy for specialist lessons. Capitialising on our strengths as a school.
Although all subjects will initially be taught as class groups, some pupils will receive smaller group work or intervention through the year as appropriate.
In Year 6, with a focus on SATs, pupils follow a similar routine, with setting in place for English and Maths classes.
Key Stage 3
As pupils move in to Year 7, greater use is made of subject-specialist teaching, along with setting remaining in place for English and Maths for the most and less able, ensuring ethos who need support or challenge are afforded what they need to achieve.
In Key Stage 3, we enhance our specialist teaching by splitting Humanities into Geography and History classes. We also utilise our local context to provide additional curriculum time to Performing Arts and Science, where we are able to make use of our facilities and specialist teaching to maximum impact.
At Robert Bloomfield, our curriculum will:
- ensure that the sequence of learning builds on previous knowledge whilst supporting future progression.
- enable students to fulfil their potential.
- meet the needs of students of all abilities at the academy.
- allow students to acquire an appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures.
- develop students ready for their next phase of learning and beyond.
- prepare students to compete in the global economy.
- help students develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to question and argue rationally.
- develop the oracy skills of students to allow them to use their VOICE
Our curriculum is based around pupils receiving 25 lessons per week. There are three 1-hour lessons and two 55-minute lessons each day. We operate a two-week timetable cycle, covering fifty lessons.