In designing the curriculum at Isaac Newton Academy we have asked two key questions:
How can we impart knowledge whilst instilling a love of learning and developing learning power?
How can we develop in our students the character necessary to translate that knowledge and learning power to success in life?
Delivering a challenging, academic, creative, interesting and inspiring curriculum is central to achieving our ambitious goals.
At Isaac Newton Academy it is important that the curriculum provides:
|Depth||so that students become proficient in Literacy and Maths skills and core academic subjects quickly
so that students develop the depth of learning required for success at the highest grades and to progress to more advanced levels
|Breadth||so that, building upon that foundation, students gain knowledge, skills, understanding and qualifications that demonstrate academic, aesthetic, creative, human, social, political, physical, manipulate, linguistic, literary, mathematical, moral, ethical, scientific, spiritual and technological qualities and awareness|
|Skills & Character development||so that students leave the academy with the learning dispositions and character traits necessary for success in life|
|Academic rigour & knowledge acquisition||preparing students to compete successfully against their highest performing peers nationally for places at top universities|
The curriculum centres on the essential academic subjects, including Maths, English, Sciences, the Humanities and Languages. At the same time, with a specialism in Music and with first class Sporting, Arts and Technological facilities, the school encourages students to expand their horizons, develop a wide range of skills and talents and have fun.
Isaac Newton Academy is continuing to use levels as part of a rigorous approach to assessment and monitoring of progress. We are working with other educational groups to research future models of assessment as part of a continual drive for improvement.
MATHS AND MUSIC
All ARK schools specialise in mathematics. High standards of numeracy are important in every walk of life, so we support and coach students to ensure that all can become confident mathematicians, at ease with both its theoretical and practical applications.
ARK Schools runs a network-wide music programme to support teachers and music departments in building a culture of participation, celebration and success in music-making. At Isaac Newton Academy students study music for two hours per week and every child is given a musical instrument at the start of Year 7 so that he/she can learn to play and perform as part of a class Big Band. Students are encouraged to join the choirs and ensembles that run as part of the extra-curricular programme.
THE Key Stage 3 CURRICULUM MODEL
The academy follows a two-week timetable comprising of 58 lessons. Lessons are of either 55 or 60 minute duration.
Number of lessons per two-week cycle
|Humanities (Geography, History, RE)||
In Year 9 there is no Reading lesson: the period is allocated to Humanities to allow them to have 4 periods of History, 4 of Geography and 2 of RE each fortnight (taught by subject specialists).
The 180 students are divided into 8 tutor groups in year 7 (4 on each year half). These are mixed in terms of prior attainment, feeder primary, gender, ethnicity, SEN, FSM etc.
Students study the following subjects in their tutor groups: MFL (year 7), Art, Technology, Drama, Music, BRIDGES, Big Band, Reading, PE (although there are some single gender PE lessons). In Years 8 & 9, students are in MFL groups according to the language they study. The 4 tutor groups in each year half are arranged into 4 sets for Maths (according to prior attainment in Maths), Science (according to prior attainment in Science), English (according to prior attainment in English) and Humanities.
THE KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM MODEL
Building on our successful Key Stage 3, our Key Stage 4 curriculum centres on essential academic subjects, providing our students with an excellent foundation for further study and the option to continue their studies at a top university.
All students study a compulsory core GCSE curriculum of English (2 GCSEs), Maths (1 GCSE), and Science (Double Award) over 2 years. In addition, all students follow a programme of non-examined PSHE, Cultural Studies, and Sport and Fitness.
All students study an additional four optional GCSE courses over 2 years. All students are encouraged to include Geography or History, along with a language, providing a rounded and secure academic foundation for further study, as well as satisfying the requirements of the English Baccalaureate (Ebac). All students are required to study at least one Ebac option (Geography, History or a language).
We offer the following courses at Key Stage 4
KNOWLEDGE THROUGH UNDERSTANDING
At Isaac Newton Academy we encourage intellectual curiosity and a life-long love of learning. We want our students to have imaginative, questioning and active minds. Wherever possible, students work with teachers and each other through collective discussion, debate, problem-solving and experimentation. We know that active engagement in lessons makes learning more enjoyable, deepens understanding and leads to greater examination success. Students requiring additional support find it in small "nurture groups." Meanwhile, all students are encouraged to learn beyond the classroom and staff are keen to provide them with challenging assignments, additional reading from a well-stocked library and after hours activities and clubs mentored by Academy staff. All students are set Independent Learning for at least 1 hour per night.