ATA is committed to ensuring that all students at the Academy are prepared for working life through robust behaviour and attendance policies, a well-planned curriculum, a developing culture of ambition and hard work, and a careers programme that engages students from year 7 to ensure that all student are ambitious, understand the correlation between excellent attendance, excellent behaviour, hard work, results and ambitious career aspirations.
We look to foster in our students a deep understanding of the subjects they study at each Key Stage. We support our Curriculum Managers in the design of well-planned Schemes of Work, which encompass relevant subject content and the skills we wish students to master, to guarantee academic success. We believe that teachers deliver excellent lessons on a daily basis and that they provide meaningful learning opportunities, in addition to planned lessons, in the form of homework and supervised study. For students who find the range and depth of our curriculum difficult to access, we provide study hall, homework club and subject ‘power hours’, all of which give students extra support in developing competency and in applying subject content, in managing their workloads and in developing good study habits.
Key Stage 3 operates in Year 7 and in Year 8. All students, in both year groups, have access to the full National Curriculum. The extended school day allows us to allocate a good amount of time to all subjects over the course of the academic year, therefore enabling teachers to deliver the content in a thorough manner. In addition to Key Stage 3 lessons, students are encouraged to attend subject enrichment, extra-curricular activities. It is an expectation that all staff members run a club or extra-curricular activity, and students are therefore able, and encouraged, to participate in a wide range of activities that span the wider curriculum and offer enrichment experiences in PE, Art, Music, Drama and Technology. These are opportunities for our students to engage in all academic and creative subjects.
Key Stage 4 runs from Year 9 to Year 11. All students in these year groups study English Language, English Literature, Mathematics (with the option of Further and Additional Mathematics for our most-able students), Core and Additional Science (with the option of Triple Sciences for our most-able students), French, Geography or History and Religious Studies or Citizenship. In addition to core EBACC subjects, students are encouraged to choose two further subjects. Again, the extended school day means that students have access to 11 subjects, to study hall, to subject power hours and to the range of extra-curricular activities on offer. As a result of this, students continue to have access to subjects such as Art, Computing, Drama, DT and Music, even if they choose not to study these subjects at GCSE.
We take pride in the fact that all of our students, regardless of their ability, receive the same unrestricted curriculum, with support to help them learn at their own pace. In addition, students have equal access to Religious Education, Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education a robust assembly programme through which we develop ambition, resilience and cooperation and an unrelenting focus on literacy numeracy and proper communication. A three-year Key Stage 4 provides the much-needed time to teach the content for each GCSE subject and to instil in our students successful study habits, and to develop in our students the importance of dual-coding, meta-cognition and spaced-practice.