This page introduces the nature of our curriculum, including its intent and design. Further details of the curriculum for each subject can be found on our subjects pages.
The curriculum is the single best opportunity that a school has to improve the life chances of its students. According to Christine Counsell and Michael Fordham, “the curriculum is the progression model” and means that we can assess that students are moving forward in their learning, year on year. The curriculum is split into three connected parts.
The macro-curriculum – the model of timetabling that a school chooses to use. This includes subjects selected to teach, the hours allocated for a subject to be taught, and the configuration of this allocation of time. This is the outer framework that a school chooses to use.
The formal-curriculum – the set-out learning and knowledge that makes up the subjects, and the actual material that has been chosen to be taught in a specific sequence. This encompasses the knowledge and skills that we wish for students to demonstrate. This is the content that fills a school’s outer framework.
The extended-curriculum – this encompasses the learning and experiences that takes place outside of lesson time. This involves exposure to cultural and sporting activities, opportunities for personal enrichment, and engagement with the wider world and their own citizenship. This is the content that helps to add character and personality to a school’s framework.
At Harris Academy Battersea, our vision is ‘to develop aspirational young people to thrive in a changing world.’ In order to enable this, we have high aims for our curriculum. We aim for our curriculum to be one that:
- Equips students with powerful knowledge
- Provides opportunities for students to develop interests and passion
- Enables students to develop cultural capital and become critical thinkers
- Empowers students to become masters of subjects they study now, and in the future
- Supports students in practising skills within subject-domains
- Engages students through personalisation
- Challenges students with ambitious content
- Is constantly evolving
- Encourages students to make links across other subjects
- Encourages students to take their learning outside of the classroom
- Is detailed, coherent and rigorous
- Is built to allow learning to last
We teach a curriculum that offers both breadth and depth. Students are enriched by learning powerful, foundational knowledge across Key Stage 3 that builds into Key Stages 4 and 5. Expert teachers educate their students with the aim of developing mastery, incrementally over time through retrieval, interleaving, direct instruction, modelling desired outcomes, and deliberate practice.
Lessons are eighty minutes so that students have extended learning time, and Key Stage 3 students enjoy reading for pleasure through our DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time.
All lessons have four fundamental aspects to them:
- Retrieval practice – students learning to recall important content easily
- Teacher input – students being exposed to excellent teacher exposition instructing them
- Assessment for learning – teachers checking that students have understood taught content
- Student application – independent, deliberate practice to reinforce and master learning