Main School

Curriculum Map and Intent Overview

 

CURRICULUM INTENT

Our aim at Barking Abbey is to enable students to achieve their best and to allow the widest range of career and further education opportunities to remain open to students up to and beyond the school leaving age. Teaching and Learning is built around the “B.A. Way” (see Figure 1) and the BEST characteristics (see Figure 2) which drive our core values. Our teachers are proud and passionate about their chosen subject, and enable our pupils to gain powerful knowledge, and make progress significantly greater than their peers nationally. Our bespoke CPD programme ensures teaching staff are up to date with all the latest educational research and are able to share outstanding practice. There is whole school awareness of meta-cognition, and the need to ensure “working memory” is able to deal with new information through the structure of our lessons (for example through “Connect and Review”).

At Barking Abbey we challenge Subject Leaders to explain “Why that? Why then?” to ensure progression throughout Years 7-13. Lessons are designed to be of “significance” (relevance) to our students; so that they are able to culturally connect. The curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards its clearly defined end points. These Sequences of Learning (SOL) include the best up to date knowledge in the discipline. This is linked to the National Curriculum/ subject content document at KS4 and 5 to show breadth of study.  In order to develop understanding, pupils connect new knowledge with existing knowledge. Pupils develop fluency and are able to apply their knowledge in different contexts using the skills they have developed.

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FIGURE 1: The “BA Way”

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Figure 2: BEST Habits

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CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION

1. Primary to secondary transition

Barking Abbey has extremely close partnerships with its main Feeder Schools. Collaborative Projects in key curriculum areas including all Core subjects ensure progression from Key Stage 2 to 3 and beyond. We view our curriculum as a journey from Key Stage 2 to Year 13, with curriculum “building blocks” mapped to ensure student knowledge is deepened and long term.

For example, the Barking Abbey English department designed a Year 6 inspired 'TAF' (teacher assessment focus) sheet for Years 7 and 8. This sheet is designed to avoid the potential transition dip in standards from primary to secondary (see Figure 3).

 

FIGURE 3: English Teacher Assessment Focus

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“Students felt that they have built on their learning from primary, they expand their knowledge here and if they are revisiting KS2 curriculum topics this was only to touch base and move on to the KS3 curriculum” (Peer Review Report, November 2019).  

 

2. KEY STAGE 3

Our Key Stage 3 Programme ensures pace, challenge and rigour for pupils at all starting points, whilst ensuring full coverage of the National Curriculum. Key Stage 2 to 4 Flight Paths are used to monitor progress (please see Figure 4); in response to “Assessment Without Levels” the school uses 4 key progress descriptors. In addition to Core Subjects (English, Maths, Science, Computing and P.E.), pupils also study Geography, History, Art, Design Technology, Music, Religious Studies and a dedicated PDC lesson (in which PSHE is taught).

Our curriculum is driven by our vision and values; Students complete their full national curriculum entitlement at Key Stage 3 in all subjects taught discretely (and includes Drama and Dance, which are non-Statutory). In addition, a large number of “Enrichment Clubs” are run at Key Stage 3 to provide engaging and challenging opportunities for our students. 

In addition to the taught curriculum, Key Stage 3 is used to launch the “Barking Abbey Way” to students, focused on the “BEST” Habits; this ensures that Culture Capital is embedded throughout the school ethos. BEST Habits are introduced during morning tutor time, assemblies and also embedded within the curriculum. 

SUBJECT

LESSONS PER WEEK

ENGLISH

4

MATHS

4

SCIENCE

4

P.E.

2

GEOGRAPHY

1

HISTORY

1

COMPUTING

1

FRENCH/ SPANISH

2

R.E.

1

ART

1

MUSIC

1

DRAMA

1

TECHNOLOGY

1

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM

1

 

25

 

FIGURE 4: Barking Abbey Key Stage 2-4 flight paths

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1. KEY STAGE 4 

The Key Stage 4 Curriculum is taught over 3 years: this enables Deep Learning to take place whilst preparing our pupils for their chosen post-16 pathways. As a result, our students make significantly more progress than their peers nationally: 

YEAR

PROGRESS 8 SCORE

2017

+0.29

2018

+0.33

2019

+0.32

 

Subjects go deeper into content and are broader than just the specifications called for by exam boards. For example, Drama have a “Relationships” unit at the start of Year 9 to develop partner work; Hospitality study the cooking of dishes from various cultures. In English, Year 9 is used as an “Enrichment year”, with the aim of broadening students’ literary knowledge, as well as developing their reading and writing skills.  

Barking Abbey is committed to providing a wide, inclusive and flexible curriculum: 93% of Key Stage 4 students were entered for 8+ GCSE qualifications (National 63%) and 73% for 10+ (National 23%); the average number of qualifications in 2019 was 10, which is in the highest 4% in the country. Our passion for the Arts is maintained from Key Stage 3: in 2019 81 students studied Art/ Graphic Design; 42 Drama and 25 Music (offering both GCSE and BTEC in brand new facilities). Dance, studied by 10 students, is offered at Key Stage 5 in a state of the art Studio. In addition, every Year 11 student studies Citizenship GCSE, to emphasise British Values and ensure our students become thoughtful and active citizens, who engage intelligently and enthusiastically with public life. Barking Abbey therefore has an entry percentage 97% above the national average for this qualification. 

GCSE courses are currently offered in the following subjects: English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science (either Combined or Triple), Computer Science, ICT, French (and Spanish introduced), Geography, History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Engineering Products, Art, Graphic Design, Drama, Citizenship (through which PSHE is taught), Economics, Business Studies and Music. In order to offer a vocational pathway, BTEC courses are offered in Hospitality, Health and Social Care, Sport, Dance and Music. 

 

SUBJECT

LESSONS PER WEEK

ENGLISH

4

MATHS

4

SCIENCE

4

COMPUTING

2

CORE P.E.

2

PDC/ CITIZENSHIP

1

OPTION SUBJECTS

2 x 4

 

25

 

 

1. KEY STAGE 5 

The Sixth Form provides a wide range of subjects at GCE Advanced Level as well as vocational courses, including BTEC Level 3 in Business, Sport, ICT and Dance. Many of our students proceed to Higher Education, Apprenticeships, and Sports Scholarships to the United States.

The vast majority of students choose 3 A-Level options, or a BTEC Level 3 equivalent. They have 5 lessons a week for each subject; the remaining lessons are spent in Supervised Study completing Independent Learning.

We have high expectations of every student and vary the level of challenge and support to ensure every child is encouraged to do their best. Where a student might have misunderstood a concept or be struggling to apply a skill, our teachers provide additional support in a variety of ways to help them make significant progress.

The percentage of our students staying into the Sixth Form is “Significantly Above National Average” (IDSR, November 2019). 140 of our Sixth Formers went on to study at the "Top Third Higher Education Institutions"; 103 Barking Abbey students (who had been with us since Year 7) continued on to a University course; 34 of these were Russell Group. Two alumni began apprenticeships with KPMG, and one a scholarship at the University of Oklahoma (12 students who joined our Sports Academy Programme also secured scholarships to United States Universities). 

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