Our Curriculum Model Rationale and Entitlement

The architecture of our curriculum model designs the structure and allocation of our subject and wider curriculum delivery across each year group and key stage. Our curriculum model is designed to ensure we effectively deliver our Trust’s shared curriculum intent by providing a broad and balanced curriculum and rich educational experience. We also design our academy’s curriculum model to best meet the needs of our students and locality reflecting upon courses that support the local and national job market and those that have been positive destination subjects for our students. 

At Outwood Academy Hemsworth we want all students to leave our academy as well rounded individuals prepared for the world of work and their personal futures. We believe a broad and balanced curriculum for all supports this ambition; an ambition that underpins our vision to put students first, raise standards and transform lives. 

Our curriculum reflects the ambitious intent of the National Curriculum.  Students begin their secondary experience studying a rich programme of English, maths, science, geography, history, one or two modern foreign languages, physical education, computer science, religious education and citizenship studied through our RE/Life programme as well as a range of expressive arts including art, music, drama and/or dance and technology subjects such as food, textiles, resistant materials etc.

Our students study a broad range of subjects and learning opportunities to deepen their educational experience and build a solid foundation of subject knowledge and skills. Academic & technical study at Level 1 / Level 2 (including GCSE) are studied across two years offering a wide entitlement to subjects including those which make up the Full English Baccalaureate, i.e. GCSE in one English (Literature or English Language), mathematics, two sciences (including computer science), one humanities subject (geography or history) and a modern foreign language. To achieve the Full English Baccalaureate students must achieve a Grade 5 in each of these subjects. There is an opportunity to study triple or combined sciences and a wide selection of open element subjects is offered including a range of expressive arts  and design technology subjects, physical education, and social sciences etc. 

Our curriculum rationale reflects the value we place on developing our students’ personal growth and understanding and appreciation of themselves, others and the world they inhabit. Our academy is committed to promoting positive mental health and physical well being. We believe the study of performance, creative and expressive arts subjects supports this agenda developing our students’ health, wellbeing and self-confidence. Performance and expressive arts subjects have traditionally been highly valued in our community (our predecessor school was Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy) and are much enjoyed by students. By studying subjects that require them to think creatively, problem solve, develop healthy lifestyles and be part of a team, our students will grow as individuals and enhance their employability skills in readiness for the world of work. 

Our curriculum model supports the facilitation of this suite of subjects through our Level 2/ GCSE Performance and Expressive Guided Pathway 1 and our year 9 key stage 3 Creative Choices allocation. An appreciation and experience of practical performance, creative and expressive arts subjects enhances our students’ creativity; teamwork; performance skills enhancing their enjoyment of school. Studying a curriculum that values creative, expressive and practical subjects supports our students’ oracy, cultural capital, physical and mental health and sense of self and others into adulthood.  

Our curriculum rationale is reflected in our curriculum model through our year 9 Level 2 / GCSE Guided Pathway 1 and key stage 3 Creative Choices provision. Across year 7 to 9 a broad range of subjects are offered reflecting the entitlement of the national curriculum. In year 9 we begin to enable some personalisation in our students’ entitlement by providing more opportunity for depth and breadth in their subject study. Students make a selection from our Performance and Expressive Guided Pathway 1 to study a Level 2 / GCSE across Year 9 and 10 selecting from Art (GCSE); Sport (BTEC), Music (BTEC) and Performing Arts (Drama- BTEC) .  In addition, our Year 9 Creative Choices allocation ensures a broad but more personalised programme of key stage 3 study across the creative disciplines of design technology, art, music, Computer Science, IT and drama.  Year 9 students can personalise their Creative Choice allocation broadening their entitlement by experiencing a wider range of creative subjects at key stage 3. 

Personalisation, in year 9, is complemented by our determination to ensure a strong entitlement to the full EBacc subjects through our Guide Pathway 2. As part of this commitment we require all students to study History, geography and a modern foreign language across years 7 to 9 with all students selecting to study either geography or history at GCSE across year 10 and 11. Across Year 10 and 11 our Guided Pathway 3 provides a broad offer to all students. This could facilitate one or more languages, a second humanities subject or a personal choice from a wide range of open element GCSE or technical qualifications. Additional personalisation and flexibility in the curriculum architecture through a Guided Pathway 4 allows students to extend and personalise their studies even further in Year 11 with an aspirational course aimed at adding value to their future career aspirations. Within this flexibility, opportunity is also constructed to facilitate additional English and Maths study for those students who require this support or who wish to achieve in these subjects at the very highest level to facilitate future A-level choices.  

The educational offer at Outwood Academy Hemsworth promotes a broad and balanced curriculum throughout all years that enables every student to fulfill their potential with the aspiration to move forward with their educational experience into our own sixth form at Outwood Academy Hemsworth or other local further education providers and then onto higher education.