At the Gateway Academy we believe that for some subjects, students benefit from being taught in set groups whilst others are best taught in mixed ability groups. With these factors in mind, it is essential that we have a curriculum structure that allows for flexibility and meets the needs of all our learners. When your child joins us, their prior attainment is taken into consideration and, along with information from their primary school and our own baseline assessment, they are then placed into two bands. Each band has either one or two Grammar stream groups to enhance and accelerate academic rigour.
- The Grammar band groups are our accelerated learning groups and are set purely on high attainment and designed for more able students; the size of the grammar band will vary dependent upon the year cohort. We strive to ensure that the needs of all students are met and adjust the banding sizes accordingly. Triple Science is taught to all Grammar Band students from Year 10, and all students study Statistics from Year 9.
- X and Y bands are the largest bands and are copies of each other. Each contains three groups which are set for ability in Maths and Science and mixed ability for all other subjects.
Although students are placed into these bands on entry, they are reviewed termly and there are progression paths to ensure that no student is tied to their starting point if their needs change as they progress through the school.
The curriculum is organised into 60 or 65 minute periods over 10 days. Please see the structure of the day for specific information. In addition, students have access to a broad range of learning experiences promoting deeper learning and opportunities to learn outside the classroom. The Academy is keen for young people to develop skills and aptitudes in areas other than those provided in a traditional curriculum. All students are placed into mixed ability tutor sessions and participate in a 30-minute planned session per day in which topics are covered to enhance the PHSE curriculum.
There is an extensive extracurricular and additional-curricular suite of sessions available after school to further promote learning and support the interests of all students. This is constantly being reviewed and added to.
From Year 7, students study towards their GCSE Exams. At the end of Year 9, students then ‘personalise’ their curriculum by choosing options from a wide variety of subject areas (view our current options booklet here).
Promoting Life in Modern Britain at The Gateway Academy
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
At the Gateway Academy we believe all our students are entitled to a curriculum which strategically builds an understanding and respect for the values that underpin life in modern Britain.
Democracy is a theme which runs through the core of the Academy. Students have the opportunity to be heard through our student voice. An example of democracy is through the campaign and voting process to choose our Student Leadership Team Leaders.
Students are trained in the skills of leadership and run initiatives for change in the school.
89 students applied to be part of the leadership team and took part in a written and interview process. 60 students were chosen to take part in the Leadership training day over half-term looking at the qualities of a role model, growth mind-set, listening and communication and team-building. Cultural content such as Skype calls to Canada and the exploration of youth leaders such as Malala’s story of schooling in Pakistan/winning the Nobel Peace Prize inspired the sessions.
A final group of 48 students make up the Student Leadership Team and will work within the school and community to create initiatives which focus on the following key areas: student well-being, learning, community engagement and consequences for choices.
The Importance of Laws:
Whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us. Behaviour at the school is firmly underpinned by the policy of consequences for choices and rewards and sanctions applied to choices students make.
It is vital that students are encouraged to know and understand their personal freedoms, but also to exercise these safely. PAD sessions, deep learning days, assemblies and curriculum time all contribute to this area of development delivering understanding on issues such as E-safety to contraception.
Our core values are at the centre of our behaviour policy and the value of respect is fundamental in all relationships in the Academy. All adults are expected to model this behaviour in every interaction throughout the day.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
All areas of the curriculum (both pastoral and academic) are designed to enhance the students' understanding of Britain as a culturally diverse nation. The expectation is for teachers and students to take opportunities to show how being part of a diverse community can enhance their overall experience. PAD sessions are vital to the delivery of Promoting Life in Modern Britain.