At Burton Borough School we are passionate about our curriculum intent, to enable all our young people to `Be the Difference` in whatever pathway they choose to pursue. Through our curriculum we aim to create physically, mentally and socially healthy, ethical global leaders, who are respectful, responsible and active citizens. We have additionally identified six 21st century soft skills that we are seeking to engender in our students: critical thinking, communication, growth mindset, citizenship, collaboration and creativity. These are developed overtly through our lessons, curriculum assemblies and through our extra-curricular programme, Period X. Students not only know what they are going to learn but also which subject specific skills and soft skills they are going to be developing. Individual departments have their own intent statements that dovetail with the BBS Curriculum Intent and can be found under particular subject areas in the curriculum section of the website.
Through our curriculum we aim to:
- provide a broad, balanced and ambitious education that is equally accessible for all our students.
- enable them to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and cultural capital that they require to succeed in life.
- develop students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- support out students to become physically, mentally and socially healthy individuals.
- engender a love of learning and enquiry.
- provide subject choices, opportunities and experiences that develop independence and resilience in our young people and equips them for future learning and employment.
The school’s curriculum intent is applied across the school. Leaders and teachers have a firm and shared understanding of the school’s intent and across all departments series of lessons contribute well to delivering this. They have planned and sequenced the school’s curriculum coherently towards clear end-points and utilise retrieval effectively to develop long-term memory, understanding and enable students to apply their knowledge as skills for future learning and employment. This is regularly adapted and developed to be ambitious and to meet the needs of all pupils. The curriculum engenders in students a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them. Students study the full curriculum and it is not narrowed unnecessarily: a broad range of subjects (exemplified by the national curriculum) are studied throughout Years 7 to 9. Good progress is being made towards growing the number of students following the EBacc ambition.
As a result of our curriculum offer and its implementation, our students consistently hold highly positive attitudes and demonstrate commitment to their education. They are highly motivated and resilient in the face of challenges. They make a highly positive and significant contribution to the life of the school and wider community, and actively support the well-being of their fellow students. The curriculum makes a significant contribution to the personal development of the students by providing them with access to a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular experiences that enable them to become confident, responsible, resilient, respectful and active citizens who have a deep understanding of fundamental British values and are developing the qualities that they need to flourish in society. The curriculum extends beyond the academic to enhance students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. They are able to recognise risks to their well-being and able to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Teachers set high expectations for all students and challenge is a key feature of all lessons. They use assessment information to set ambitious targets and plan challenging work for all groups, including more able students, students with low prior attainment, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, students with SEN and students with English as an additional language (EAL). Teachers plan lessons so that students with SEN and/or disabilities can study every subject, wherever possible, and ensure that there are no barriers to every student achieving. Teachers also take account of the needs of students whose first language is not English with lessons planned to help students to develop their English, and to support students to take part in all subjects.
Our students follow a three-year KS3 curriculum and a two-year KS4 curriculum. Students make their options choices in Year 9 from a choice of 17 subjects. We operate a sixty-period timetable across two weeks to deliver the following:
MFL (French or Spanish)
Period X (Extra-curricular)
All students take the following core subjects:
GCSE English Language and Literature (2)
GCSE Maths (1)
GCSE Trilogy Science (Double Science)(2) or GCSE Triple Science from the Options (3)
GCSE Religious Studies (1)
Period X (Extra-curricular)
Students take one of the following extended core subjects: GCSE Geography or GCSE History (1).
Students select two qualifications from the following Open Options Subjects (2):
GCSE Art and Design
GCSE Computer Science
GCSE Design and Technology
GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition
GCSE Physical Education
GCSE Triple Science (Physics, Biology, Chemistry)
Cambridge Nationals: Child Development
Cambridge Nationals: Creative iMedia
Cambridge Nationals: Enterprise
Cambridge Nationals: Sports Studies
Accordingly, we have made the following decisions concerning the design of our curriculum:
- 3-year KS3 At Key Stage 3 we are committed to a three-year programme for all subjects to ensure that the students’ experiences of the arts, design and technology and RS are not curtailed prematurely.
- Values curriculum Students study RE from years 7 to 11 as we believe it is incredibly important in the 21st century to develop an understanding of diversity, other cultures and British values in a globalised environment. Students study this subject from years 7 to 9 as it is essential for exploring notions of creativity, thinking, collaboration, diverse opinions and topics that are not covered by the National Curriculum. Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) and Sex and Relationships Education (RSE) has been incorporated into students’ timetables as a fortnightly lesson that incorporates spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, including fundamental British values, Relationships and Sex Education and healthy living.
- EBacc At KS3 students study Geography and History, but at KS4 they continue with the subject of their choice. We provide all students with a language at KS3 with the option to continue this at GCSE. At KS4 are options blocks are not predetermined, allowing greater student choice. Thus, the timetable is adapted yearly to meet the needs of the cohort. We follow a two-year Key Stage 4 to reflect the design of GCSE qualifications that provides a broad balance of subjects: academic, vocational, arts, languages and humanities with the majority studying EBACC subjects. This will provide solid foundations for all future educational and work-based pathways.
- SEND Alternative pathways are delivered by Engage and reviewed to meet the needs of individual SEND students.
- Extra-curricular All students participate in an extra-curricular activity during period 6 on Wednesday known as Period X. This programme includes a huge range of opportunities, from archery to archaeology
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each key stage the vast majority of young people have made progress through sustained mastery of content, through the process of acquiring greater knowledge, and are able to apply this knowledge to show a depth of understanding. In addition, the overwhelming majority of young people achieve a secure and sustained destination within further education, employment and/or training.