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Whole School Curriculum Intent

At The Link Academy our curriculum is underpinned by 5 CORE VALUES:

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We aim to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum which develops our learner skills, knowledge and vocabulary.

We place emphasis on our Curriculum Team Leaders being EXPERTS in their field, who have ownership of their curriculum and its evolution.

The overall aim of our curriculum is to provide our young people with a fair education, which gives them choices and outcomes which are not dictated by their background.

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Years 7, 8 and 9)

All learners have access to the mainstream curriculum, which is then tailored to their needs. For example in Year 7 our learners are assessed on entry using GL 11+ tests, the outcomes of which enable us to ensure that learners can access appropriate support in numeracy and literacy. For learners that require additional literacy support we offer Phonics Intervention and the Lexia Programme which supports reading, writing and speaking. We also offer small group tuition in basic numeracy to ensure that learners can access the mainstream maths curriculum.

At KS3 all learners access a wide variety of courses including English, Maths and Science of course! But also French, Computing, Geography, History as well as subjects in Creative Arts, Design Technology, Sport and Dance. Our KS3 curriculum is covered in 3 years and in spring of Year 9 our learners begin the options process to choose their KS4 programme of study.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Hours

Directors and Associate Senior Leaders (ASLs) lead their subject across Dudley Academies Trust.

The Key Stage 4 Curriculum (Years 10 and 11)

Key Stage 4 begins at the start of Year 10, we offer 25 subjects at GCSE/BTEC or Cambridge National levels which allows learners to access vocational options alongside the more traditional GCSE’s.

Learners study English Language, English Literature and Mathematics. We also offer both GCSE Combined Science, Separate Sciences and Computer Science. Most of our learners choose either History or Geography and then a further two option choices from a wide variety of courses on offer. The vast majority of learners complete Key Stage 4 with 8 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

We place a big emphasis on English and Maths, providing 121 or small group tuition for learners that need additional support at KS4.

In Year 11, all learners complete an additional lesson on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – these UPGRADE sessions allow us to focus our interventions specifically and we use a priority system as follows:

Tuesday Period 6 – English Upgrade Priority Learners (or options subjects)

Wednesday Period 6 – Maths Upgrade Priority Learners (or option subjects)

Thursday Period 6 – Science or Humanities Priority Learners (or option subjects)

Talented linguists are encouraged to choose French alongside their other courses and we plan to integrate Spanish at KS3 in summer 2022.

Multilingual Learners are offered the chance to take a GCSE in their native language and we now offer a wide range of courses such as GCSE German, GCSE Italian, GCSE Polish and more!

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Hours

GCSE courses in French, Computer Science, PE, 3D Design, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Art – Textiles, Art – Photography, Fine Art, Drama.In addition to the Core and Humanity subjects, options subjects include the following:

BTEC Level 2 courses in Health and Social Care, Music or Dance.

Cambridge National Level 2 courses in iMedia, Enterprise and Marketing and Sport.

Digital Learning (Online Platforms)

At The Link Academy we use a number of online platforms to support learner progress and home learning, these include:

HEGARTY MATHS – Used to set weekly maths home learning and to reinforce key concepts, support learners to complete missed lessons due to Covid or absence and to support effective revision for GCSE examinations. As part of our REWARDING EFFORT strategy, the maths team reward their HEGARTY HEROES with certificates and vouchers to acknowledge their commitment to maths outside of lessons! 

 BEDROCK VOCABULARY – Used to set supportive vocabulary tasks which narrow the word gap that exists between different groups of learners, this enhances outcomes across all subjects in the curriculum! This makes learners more word aware and gives them the tool to improve vocabulary. Bedrock supports our work in the academy on WORD CONSCIOUSNESS and FRAYER MODEL, both strategies are used by all subjects to expose learners to ambitious vocabulary. Weekly rewards are targeted at the best class in each Key Stage 3 year group!

GCSEPOD – Used to set short sharp revision Vodcasts which allow learners to focus on specific content and skills in preparation for their final GCSE exams. This helps to make GCSE learning stick and ensures that learners stick to key specification points without searching online for video clips that could confuse them! Teachers can also use this platform to set assignments, questions and GCSE exam papers.