George Salter Academy

George Salter Academy in West Bromwich, Sandwell, is a mixed comprehensive school for 11 to 16 year olds.

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Our curriculum

Overview

"The school’s curriculum is imaginative, well balanced and features a broad range of subjects that support the needs and aspirations of the pupils and learners."

Ofsted report June 2016

"Leaders make sure the curriculum meets the needs and aspirations of pupils and prepares them very well for the next steps in their education, training or employment."

Ofsted report June 2017

George Salter Academy has a curriculum designed for students from a wide range of backgrounds who have different skills and varied needs.

Our curriculum is:

  • broad to enable all students to develop personal qualities, knowledge and a range of skills relevant to the real world
  • promoting practical capability, technical and vocational skills
  • an introduction to economic awareness and enterprise
  • interesting, enjoyable and pupil-centred

 

"A school without failure, where all children leave school having identified a talent, a skill, an intelligence through which they can become whatever they want to be."

Michael Alexander

Tutor groups

Your son/daughter will be placed into a mixed ability form group for tutor periods. This tutor group will be part of one of the four Houses which operate within George Salter Academy’s Pastoral system (the Houses are Crescent, Loxdale, Royal and Trinity). There will be a 15 minute form period every morning, Monday to Friday. All Year groups have an allocated morning assembly every week which follows a timetabled, relevant and topical theme to support PSHE/ SRE and SMSC.

Setting and Blocking

In addition to being placed into a House and Form group on entry to Year 7, your son/daughter will also be placed into a teaching block named George or Salter. Within these blocks, he/she is set according to ability based on current attainment and their personal specific needs. These blocks and sets are reviewed termly to allow for the movement of students, ensuring that we continue to cater for their development and individual needs.

For details of the subjects taught to each year group select the appropriate Key stage.

 

Curriculum enrichment

The PSHE programme is currently delivered through a series of drop-down days. The PSHE days have offered our students support and a different approach to learning across the curriculum. They have enabled staff to bring the curriculum to life using external speakers and presenting topics in a vibrant and exciting way. Feedback from both staff and students has been extremely positive and they continue to offer staff and students an opportunity to develop learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Opportunities to contribute to pupils’ personal social and health education and promote British values are carefully mapped and effectively delivered through the curriculum. For example, a knife crime drama performance created by sixth-form students contributes to their qualification and heightens awareness of this important topic among other pupils. Additional sessions are carefully scheduled throughout the year to enrich students’ experiences.

Having a dedicated Careers advisor means our CEIAG programme ensures that students have direct interactions with a range of employers, further education providers and universities is now a systematic part of the programme from Years 7-13.

"Pupils benefit from a well-planned programme of careers information, advice and guidance. The programme also raises aspirations and provides pupils with information and experiences about a full range of options available to them. As a result, pupils are able to make well-informed choices about the next steps in their education. The proportion of pupils who successfully move on to sixth form, college, university or further training at the end of Year 11 and Year 13 is high.”

Ofsted report June 2017

Extra-Curricular activities

"Leaders ensure that the school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities including sports and arts clubs. They check carefully which pupils engage with these opportunities. Along with the taught curriculum, the additional activities the school provides make a strong contribution to pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural education.”

Ofsted report June 2017

extracorricular iconAs well as the school day we also offer our students the opportunities to study outside of school and also take part in activities which will enhance their wider learning and employability. We have developed close links with West Bromwich Albion foundation who support enrichment activities on Wednesday afternoons. These sessions are well attended and there is a club for everybody. These clubs are often where students develop their talent and skills, ultimately leading to specialisms which they select to add to their timetable from Year 8 onwards.

For more information about the Extra-Curricular Clubs, please see the Extra-Curricular Clubs webpage.

 

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)

ks3 studentsWe create clear pathways for our students based on close consultation with our feeder primary schools, close scrutiny of Primary School results and students’ performance in the Academy's benchmark tests.

The students are placed in two equal bands and follow an identical curriculum which consists of the following subjects; English, Mathematics, Science, PE, Geography, History, RE, Languages, Art, Dance, Drama, Music, Technology including Food Technology.

We have a specialist Arts group, for students who are particularly talented in the Performing Arts. These students receive an extra lesson of Dance, Drama or Music each week. This creates a pathway into the Performing Arts at an early age for our students and reflects our underlying principles as reflected in the quote from Michael Alexander.

In Year 7 a small number of students are supported by a more personalised curriculum which places an emphasis upon the development of the essential skills of literacy, numeracy, independent learning and working with others.

Year 7

Our vision

At George Salter Academy, our KS3 curriculum is knowledge led, challenging in terms of content, rich in experiences which will help to develop the cultural capital of our students; our students will be independent, confident and love learning. The curriculum is coherent, interleaved with clear cross curricular links to deepen students’ long term memory and therefore their resilience.

Every subject area outlines the key concepts the students must master in the form of a knowledge organiser. To build long term memory, regular, routine testing will take place in lessons. Homework will consolidate literacy/numeracy terms in the form of revision and these will be tested in lessons.

 

Subject Time allocation for George and Salter bands (number of 50 minutes lessons)
English 4
Maths 4
Science 3
Languages 2
Religious Education 1
Geography 2
History 2
Product Design/ Food 2
ICT 2
Dance/Drama 2
Music 1
Art 2
Physical Education 3
Table of subject period allocations for year 7

 

Year 8

grease performanceIn accordance with our Michael Alexander principles, students are given the right to opt for extra PE, Performing and/or Visual Arts; those with a particular linguistic talent are also able to opt for a second language. Students can therefore spend more time studying the subjects they really enjoy and in which they succeed. We believe that this will allow students to make greater progress and further prepare them for year 9 options.

Whilst a small number of students continue to follow a more personalised curriculum, all students who are capable of making progress in mainstream Mathematics and English are moved into the George or Salter Bands.

The periods allocated to each subject in Year 8 are:

 

Subject Time allocation for George and  Salter  bands(number of 50 minutes lessons)
English 4
Maths 4
Science 3
Languages 2
History 2
Religious Education 1
Geography 2
ICT 1
Product Design/Food 2
Specialism:
1,2 & 3 from:
Dance, Drama, Music, Art, Design, Textiles, 3D Sculpture, Physical Education and a Second Language (Arabic & Spanish)
2
2
2
Core PE 2
Table of time allocation of subject to the setting block in year 8

 

At the end of Year 8, students are able to select from a number of option subjects for courses they will study through Year 9 to Year 11. These optional subjects include; Art & Design, Business Studies, Catering, Child Development, Dance, Drama, French, Geography, Health & Social Care, History, Music, Photography, RE, Product Design, Spanish, Sociology, Sports Studies, Textiles.

The curriculum is broad and well balanced with English Baccalaureate (Ebacc.) qualifications available for all. Students can follow pathways through Vocational Qualifications, Traditional GCSE’s or a combination of both.

The Ebacc. pathway includes an opportunity to study triple sciences and a language whilst the Ebacc optional pathway also enables students the option of studying a language. All students have the choice to study either history or geography and select two further options.

 

Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11)

"The school’s option process provides pupils with the opportunity to study subjects that can lead to the English Baccalaureate. An increasing proportion of pupils are studying for these qualifications as a result of changes to the options pathways."

Ofsted report June 2017

At George Salter, we start our Key Stage 4 curriculum in year 9 to offer all students the maximum amount of time to achieve the full award in all courses studied.

During this three year period all students study; English, Mathematics, Science, PE, PSHE and Careers.

Those students who do not study Triple Sciences have the opportunity to study either an ICT or Finance qualification.

Table of qualifications

 

Subject Qualification
Art & Photography OCR
Business GCSE AQA
Business Vocational OCR Cambridge National Certificate
Child Development OCR Cambridge National Certificate
Health and Social Care OCR Cambridge National Certificate
English Language & Literature AQA
Catering WJEC vocational award in Hospitality and Catering
Geography AQA
History Pearson Edexcel
Computer Science OCR
ICT NCFE Level 2 Technical Award
Spanish AQA
Sociology WJEC
Mathematics AQA
PE AQA
Sports Studies Pearson Edexcel
Dance Pearson Edexcel
Drama Pearson Edexcel
Music AQA
Music Technology Pearson Edexcel
Product Design AQA
Engineering OCR Cambridge National Certificate
RE WJEC
Science AQA
Table of qualifications offered at KS4

 

Post 16

post 16 buildingThe Academy has a Consortium arrangement at Post 16 with Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy and Bristnall Hall Academy. The underlying principles that have driven the curriculum offer at Post 16 for the last 5 years are the same as those set out in the recently published DfE publication "Study Programmes". The Curriculum Offer allows all students to follow a structured study programme that suits their needs and starts from the point they have reached at the end of KS4. Students will normally embark upon a tailored study programme at one of the following levels:  

  • Level 1/2 – students who have achieved a grade 4 or below in both Mathematics and English at GCSE. The morning sessions are composed of core level 2 provision including GCSE English, Mathematics and other GCSEs with an aim of improving literacy levels e.g. GCSE Humanities. Level 2 students will access the afternoon provision in a similar way to level 3 students, but with some level 2 subjects for students who are following a pure level 2 route.
  • Level 2.5 – these are typically students who have achieved a grade 4 in Mathematics or English at GCSE. Typically these are students who wish to go onto level 3 study and university. These students will normally take 3 level 3 subjects (based on their strengths and talent) and a re-take in GCSE English or Mathematics.
  • Level 3 – these are students who have achieved a grade 5 or above in both GCSE English and Mathematics. Students will typically study 4 level 3 courses in year 12 and then take 3 onto year 13.

The curriculum is blocked into five blocks, three of which take place as morning sessions, and two as afternoon sessions, which are available to students across the consortium.

The rationale behind the blocking is:

  • to offer popular subjects in the three morning blocks on all three campuses e.g. English and Mathematics
  • to make it possible for students to be able to take combinations of subjects leading to specific career outcomes e.g. Sciences and Mathematics
  • to arrange the blocking to ensure viability of teaching groups
  • to strategically develop and offer maximum breadth of subjects

Additionality

" Leaders have a clear rationale about how the school’s curriculum is developing. They ensure that the curriculum is successful through a variety of ways, including how successfully pupils move on to destinations when they leave school.

Clear and helpful careers information, advice and guidance successfully supports many students to gain places in university. Others successfully secure other forms of education, employment or training after leaving the sixth form
"

Ofsted report June 2017

The Academy recognises the need to prepare students for higher education and the world of work. In order to develop students study skills in independence, all students take part in a double session a week focusing on these skills and how they can be applied in their different subjects.

Year 12 will have these lessons Thursday periods 3 & 4 and Year 13 on Tuesday periods 1&2. Attendance to these sessions is compulsory.

In order to put into practice, the skills developed, students have the opportunity to complete an Extended Project and work towards an additional qualification.

Electives

On Wednesday p.m. there are no timetabled lessons and a full and varied enrichment programme is planned. The programme is continually reviewed and updated and students will be offered the chance to sign up for activities.

Sessions include:

  • Team sports
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • Cooking
  • Music

Subject Specific Sessions – e.g. Law – programme includes: visits to magistrates and Crown Court, visit to prison, visit from probation service, opportunity to write bail application etc.

For more information on our Post 16 pathways, courses etc, please go to our Post 16 pages.

 

 

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