Curriculum Overview


Montgomery Academy Curriculum

Intent

At Montgomery Academy we have a reading rich curriculum that blends traditional academic subjects with the vocational opportunities that Blackpool excels in - travel, childcare, catering, enterprise and entertainment. Across their five years students study the full National Curriculum enriched with community based opportunities to complement their academic education.

The school has a strong transition partnership with local primaries and links through FCAT, our all-through academy chain. The Y5-8 curriculum has been a focus of our work. Strong links with local Sixth Form and FE colleges mean that ambition and future is a key focus for our students.

This is an exciting time in our curriculum development with our new 2 year KS4 curriculum model in place for September. Identified gaps in knowledge are being filled in upper school whilst a mastery approach ensuring students know more and can do more permeates the curriculum in lower school. Teaching of the core subjects is very much a five year journey with the aim of developing students that are highly literate and numerate – with above national proportions moving on to local colleges and apprenticeship providers (IDSR).

The Academy invests in the currency, character and culture of all our students. A strong pastoral ethos helps to nurture and support our students, many (and above national) from challenging backgrounds. We have the highest expectations, hopes, dreams and ambitions for their academic success. We will provide the cultural capital to ensure our students are equipped to flourish as British Citizens in the twenty-first century.

 

Implementation

The curriculum at Montgomery Academy is under development. A full review has been undertaken with teams planning and sequencing content vertically and horizontally so that learning is organised and sequential. Learning in all subjects is frequently reviewed and gaps in knowledge filled. Entry tasks at the start of every lesson review previously studied content with the aim of embedding key concepts into long term memory. All subjects have a LIFT lesson review cycle where student’s progress is closely monitored and assessment is carefully used to pinpoint gaps in knowledge and then time is allocated to correct any misconceptions and fill the gaps. Where underachievement is identified a variety of interventions are put in place. This may be small group teaching, SEND support, invitations to tutor time or extracurricular* intervention sessions or a referral to the school’s Life Coach.

All year groups have a formal assembly each week to celebrate achievements and discuss important topical issues.* Students are under the care of their progress tutor who is responsible for their general well-being in school. There is a registration time each morning where standards equipment checks and current affairs / photo news discussions and debates take place alongside the new reading canon programme. Year 11 students also have some short burst interventions during this registration time.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are supported through our SEND department based in the specially resourced Student Support Centre (SSC)*.

 

Year 7 to 11 Core Curriculum time allocations (hours per week)

 

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

English

4

4

4

4

5

Mathematics

4

4

4

4

4

Science

3

3

4

6

6

 

Years 7 ,8 and 9 students follow an academic curriculum in which all students study English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, RE, Computing, Physical Education, Design Technology, Music*, Art, Drama and PSHE. The vast majority also study French with a small number of students receiving additional literacy support. Pupils are set into groups, according to their ability where possible, so that lessons are matched to the needs of each individual pupil.

 

Year Group

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Geography

2

2

2

History

2

2

2

RE

1

1

 

1

PSHE

1

1

French/Literacy

2 or 2Lit or SSC

2 or 2Lit or SSC

2 or 2Lit or SSC

Computing

1

1

1

DT

1

1

2

Expressive Arts

2

2

1

PE

2

2

2

 

Previously students have opted for their KS4 courses at the end of year 8, to then follow a three year option subject course. In 2019/20 there was no options process and the new year 9 students will opt in February of 2021 to revert to a two year KS4. Students are guided through this process in several ways. This includes: information assemblies, taster sessions, options evening, tutor activities and an individual options interview.* We believe that reverting to a three year KS3 will enable students to develop a passion for humanities and language subjects and spend the time needed to learn these subjects in the depth required to be successful at GCSE and beyond. 

In Years 10 and 11 students will be studying towards their GCSE and Vocational qualifications. For these year groups the curriculum consists of their three personal option subjects alongside the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education and PSHE (year 10). The PSHRE curriculum has been developed following the National PSHRE Association guidance.

The core curriculum and free options choices ensure students achieve a broad and balanced curriculum. English Language and Literature, Mathematics and at least two facilitating science subjects occupy five of the subject allocations. Students then study either Geography, History, French or Computer Science and a further two option choices from a range of traditional GCSE and BTEC/vocational courses. This ensures our students have the necessary qualifications to advance to higher education should they wish or appropriate vocational qualifications to pursue careers in the opportunity rich local context. 

We expect students to be committed to themselves and their own learning and to be actively, positively involved within the greater school community. There is a strong, high profile, Student Leadership Team and students in year 10 and 11 are encouraged to apply for a position within the team. Peer mentoring (which is certificated) is just one of the responsibilities of the Student Leaders. Students are encouraged to develop good study habits, to think for themselves, engage in their own learning and to have high aspirations. As part of this students can make use of the library and ICT facilities both before and after school*. These are staffed facilities where support and advice can be sought when needed. Participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme is available to all.

A full careers education programme* includes PSHRE sessions, aspiration assemblies, workshops with providers, drop-ins at lunchtimes from colleges, external providers holding mock interviews with our entire year 10 cohort and each year a careers market place with almost 30 providers. All year 10 students visit the local Sixth Form College and FE College for raising aspiration workshops. Time is also given to completing application forms for post GCSE courses. Our dedicated team give individualised careers advice to students choosing options and then guiding college application processes. All disadvantaged students have a one to one interview with our careers advisor to support them with future choices and application processes. In order to complete 100% compliance in the delivery of the Gatsby Benchmarks the school is working towards work experience placements for students. We are excited about the completion of the new ‘Futures Room’ where lecture style presentations and workshops with local colleges and careers providers are to take place.

 

Year Group

Year 10

Year 11

PE

1

1

Option 1

3

3

Option 2

3

3

Option 3

3

3

PSHE

1

Registration

 

A bespoke alternative curriculum with fewer subjects and including work placement opportunities is offered to a very small number of students that the traditional option choices are not appropriate for.

Impact

Changes and improvements to our curriculum are expected to show an impact on academic outcomes over the coming years. There have been signs that outcomes are improving over time with a quarter grade improvement in P8 in 2019 and improvements at 4+ and 5+ basics.

From the biggest secondary school in Blackpool the percentage leaving school and not moving into further study, employment or training is small. Over three years 2014 to 2017 the school maintained 93% students accessing sustained education, employment or apprenticeships with significantly above the national average going to Sixth Form College or apprenticeships.

For the 2020/2021 academic year there was a 22% rise in first choices for a place at Montgomery Academy.

Important documents to be viewed in conjunction with this policy are:

  • School Prospectus
  • Year 9 Options brochure
  • Subject Curriculum Statements of Intent 
  • Subject overviews showing assessment and topic schedules linked to schemes of work

Important annual events* explaining the curriculum to parents/carers further are:

  • Year 7 information evening
  • Options evening year 9 parents
  • Options interviews for year 9 students (and parents by arrangement)
  • Careers market place years 9-11
  • Year 11 examination preparation events
  • Whole school open evening in October
  • College open evenings
  • Sixth form and college study days
  • Annual student reports and parents’ evenings

 

*Some activities have been postponed or amended under COVID Risk Assessment