Our curriculum intent, implementation and impact
The intent of our curriculum is to provide a positive finish to a students key Stage 4 Education whether this be academically, socially or emotionally. We provide a setting where they are welcomed each day by familiar friendly faces knowing that there will always be someone to talk to who will really listen and care. The links we have built with mainstream schools and multi agencies means that we can also put in place interventions where necessary. As well as being happy we intend that our students achieve the best grades they can in their core subjects. We also provide continual accreditation via ASDAN and AQA Credits. This really boosts our students confidence and self-esteem. They are really proud to receive their certificates. Once students feel comfortable and confident within our setting we arrange for them to commence a work placement one day a week. Those who thrive are able to work two days a week. We compliment this by having dedicated sessions working on employability skills. Our staff help students identify future career paths and support with applications and visits to further education venues.
GCSE English Language and Literature
Students read and analyse a variety of fiction texts in order to prepare them for English Language Paper 1. They are aware of the types of question that will be asked and how to answer these skilfully. Students also use their imagination to produce creative writing using effective linguistic techniques. Students confidence in reading will increase, they will accumulate a wealth of new vocabulary and they will be able to identify effective language techniques. To prepare for paper 2 students will read non-fiction texts. They will compare texts for similarities and differences. In English Literature Students will have the opportunity to read some of the classics. We study A Christmas Carol, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, An Inspector Calls and Blood Brothers. Students will learn to summarise information on plot, characters and themes. They will see how books and plays can have hidden messages and morals and how they link to major historical events. We hope that they will feel inspired to continue reading books for pleasure beyond college in addition to being able to skilfully answer exam questions.
Our mathematics programme is rigorous and covers the entire content needed to be successful at GCSE level. Students are introduced to topics by the teacher, they then practise new skills and content in small teams followed by individual practise and assessment. We study Number, Algebra, Ratio, Probability, Statistics and Geometry and Measure. Once students feel confident with a concept they are expected to solve more difficult problems. Students also have the opportunity to study higher maths where this is identified as a possibility. Our curriculum is rich with opportunities to demonstrate how important maths is in everyday life by looking at personal finance, enterprise and life skills.
We study Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The aim here is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to be able to answer the most frequently asked questions at examination. Students learn the content and have the opportunity to see what questions have been asked before on exam questions. We enjoy reading information, watching information, debating information. We make it as interactive and creative as we can. Our aim, as well as examination success, is that some of our students will feel inspired to work in a STEM related industry and carry on their scientific studies beyond Vega. We use the National STEM website and regularly incorporate STEM workshops in to our learning.
We have chosen a variety of subjects to study from the ASDAN Short Course suite of qualifications. Our PSHE topics allow students to talk about their emotions, develop strategies to deal with strong emotions and talk about what healthy respectful relationships look like. By studying the ill effects of tobacco, alcohol and drugs we believe that we are safeguarding our students from harm. We look at sexual health and how and where to find support. Studying Citizenship opens our students eyes to how the country is run and how they can become an effective participant in our democracy. We look at who runs the country and how effective a system this is. We also look at law and order. This helps us to promote British Values. Beliefs and Values allows us to look at different religions and cultures and develop a respect for the multicultural society we live in. Life Skills allows us to develop skills in personal finance, cooking and household chores. Twice a year we will devote quality time for our students to develop skills in a sport they are interested in which will be supported by staff from Leger Education Sport. Lastly we have a careers programme which meets the governments GATSBY Benchmarks. We help students to identify courses and careers they are interested in, how to apply, how to be successful at interview and we also accompany them on higher education visits and workshops. We invite employers in to college to speak to and inspire our students, we visit careers fairs, offer work placements and also link with their mainstream schools careers advisors. As well as developing the student as a whole and helping them to be safe and appreciate the modern world we live in; they gain continual accreditation which boosts their esteem and confidence.
We work on the 8 key skills that students need to be successful in future employment. They spend 5 weeks working on each skill. These are speaking, listening, creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, aiming high and staying positive. We present students with descriptors of what a good listener looks like for example. They choose the level they think they are working at and what they would like to achieve and improve. Staff facilitate this with a range of fun, exciting activities which the students have chosen themselves. We take part in many visits in the local community to promote these skills as well as further afield.
We use AQA Credits to provide students with certification for work experience, core subjects, enrichment activities and employability skills practise. It is another way of providing continual accreditation for their efforts. Students are extremely proud of the wealth of certification they achieve including in Construction, Hair and Beauty, Farming, Animal Care, Health and Social Care, Psychology and Outdoor Education.