Our aim at Coal Clough Academy is to provide an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum that will challenge, inspire, motivate and engage every student and allow all to achieve their individual potential. Our school curriculum is continually reviewed to ensure it is coherently planned and sequenced and that it fully prepares our students for the next steps in their educational journey.
Ofsted commented in June 2018 that we provide ‘A curriculum that is specially adapted to meet the needs of pupils. They benefit from a wide range of subjects including vocational options. Pupils are well prepared for their next stages of their education, training or employment. They attain relevant qualifications that allow them to progress to further education, apprenticeships or training.’
Always at the heart of our curriculum design is ensuring that the programmes of study we offer are interesting, challenging and will ultimately lead to success for our students. From the moment students join us at Coal Clough Academy, they play a very active role in the curriculum they study especially from Year 9 upwards, where we offer a comprehensive Options Programme alongside the Core Curriculum. Throughout their journey with us, we ensure that students are happy in their learning, well informed about their learning and are making sustained progress.
Our curriculum at Key Stage 3 gives all students the opportunity to experience a wide range of subjects in line with the National Curriculum, across a period of time allowing for a smooth transition back to mainstream education. The Key Stage 3 curriculum at Coal Clough Academy consists of core subjects of English, Maths and Science alongside; PSHE, History, Geography, Art, ICT, PE and Outdoor Education. Students who require additional support may also receive targeted Core/Therapeutic interventions in order to accelerate and support their progress.
Our curriculum at Key Stage 4 builds on the foundations provided at Key Stage 3. The Key Stage 4 curriculum at Coal Clough Academy consists of core subjects of English, Maths and Science (combined) alongside; English Literature, PSHE, Art, iMedia, ICT, Sport, Outdoor Education, Motor Vehicle, Travel and Tourism, Food Technology, Enterprise, Performing Arts and Construction. Students who require additional support will also receive targeted Core/Therapeutic interventions in order to accelerate and support their progress.
The pastoral and wider curriculum at Coal Clough Academy is equally important as the academic curriculum. Students are organised into tutor groups using information gathered during the admission process. Students remain in these tutor groups for their duration with us, with the same form tutor who builds a rapport with the students and their families through weekly communication. Students receive weekly PSHE lessons delivered by their form tutor and have structured daily tutor time and assemblies once a week. This curriculum is further enhanced throughout the school year with a focus on enrichment opportunities, CEIAG and preparing for life after Coal Clough Academy.
Our staff team is the most valuable resource in our school – without them we could not offer the broad curriculum that we do. Our staff are knowledgeable, empathetic, passionate professionals who promote a love of learning in their subject areas. They systematically check students’ understanding, accurately identify misconceptions and provide clear, direct, constructive feedback. Our staff recognise that our students have gaps in their knowledge due to a variety of factors but our responsibility from the moment they join Coal Clough Academy is to address this as quickly and efficiently as possible, to give every student the best possible chance of success. Subject areas plan for these factors by building in robust assessment opportunities across a programme of study to check that the gaps are being addressed.
Students at Coal Clough Academy are well prepared for their next stages in education or training. They leave Coal Clough Academy with a new focus and re-engaged vigour to succeed despite a mixed educational experience prior to attending our school. Teachers systematically build students’ independent learning skills by developing their resilience when faced with difficulties. Students are encouraged to be inquisitive and are prepared to question things they do not understand or might disagree with in a professional, polite manner through the Oracy work we do across school. They can use modern technology well to support their own learning and develop independence. Students show respect for others and are confident and ambitious. Students are well informed about the opportunities that exist for them beyond school and how to achieve their ambitions through well-structured CEIAG and enrichment opportunities, such as work experience and college visits. All students go on to further their learning on courses or in training that match their aspirations.
The curriculum at Coal Clough Academy is underpinned by a range of assessment approaches, which allows teachers to support students to embed and use knowledge fluently, check understanding regularly and inform teaching. Our students develop knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well.
This is evidenced in our internal assessments and GCSE outcomes where students have consistently improved year on year in recent times.