Key Stage 3
Students begin their study of English with a transition unit on spooky stories and develop their oracy skills through a range of teambuilding activities. Following this, they develop their skills in reading and writing, including poetry, non-fiction and Shakespeare’s Best Bits.
Broadly students are taught in mixed ability groups, however those students who require additional support in reading are taught in a specialised group to fast-track their progress.
In Year 8 students are set in ability groups and continue to hone skills in analysis and writing for specific purposes, which will feed into their GCSE studies. Topics include: Victorian literature, Dracula and narrative writing.
During Year 9 students graduate from studying Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 in the Spring term, when they begin studying their GCSE texts.
GCSE English Language (Exam Board: AQA)
Students will study separate GCSEs in English Language and Literature. Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus (Non-fiction and Fiction from the 19th, 20th and 21st Century) and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills.
In GCSE English Language, students work towards 100% terminal examinations. This is comprised of two papers:
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (50%)
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (50%)
GCSE English Literature (EDEXCEL)
In GCSE English Literature, students are also assessed with 100% terminal exams. The papers students sit are:
- Paper 1: Shakespeare and Post-1914 Literature (50%)
- Paper 2: 19th-century Novel and Poetry since 1789 (50%)
Typically, students study Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, A Christmas Carol and the Conflict poems from the Edexcel Anthology.
There are no longer tiers to the exams, and all students sit the same exam papers, which can be awarded a Grade 1-9.
In order to achieve highly on the course, students should read widely outside of lessons and ask questions about texts.
The Maths Directorate is a large and exciting area of the Academy where we encourage students to use their problem solving skills such as logical thinking and creativity.
Our mathematics curriculum has recently been updated to incorporate the three aims of the new National Curriculum:
- Fluency – accurately apply procedures and rules to answer questions; select the most appropriate method for solving a problem;
- Reasoning – follow a line of enquiry; developing an argument and justifying or proving it using mathematical language
- Problem Solving – applying mathematics in a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication; break down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevere in finding a solution
Challenging problems are set so that students can discuss their work with their peers in order to strengthen their understanding of the topics.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 all students will follow the same curriculum so that they can all access work suitable to their ability.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 all students study GCSE Mathematics, following a linear syllabus where they sit examinations at the end of the course. The AQA course followed in the department has two tiers of entry. The Foundation tier covers grades 1 – 5 and the Higher tier covers grades 4 – 9.
Key Stage 3
In year 7 and 8, students are guided by a bespoke science course, supported by the Exploring Science scheme of work that provides a practical, rich learning experience.
The curriculum is based on five big ideas that underpin all content:
- Knowledge and Application – describing and explaining scientific processes and phenomena.
- Research and Independent Learning – extending learning at home by choosing relevant facts and ideas from a range of sources.
- Investigating – planning ways of collecting valid, reliable, accurate and precise data to use as evidence to answer hypotheses
- Data Handling – analysing and interpreting data including drawing graphs and manipulating data using equations
- Concluding and evaluating – evaluating the merits of collective data and drawing valid conclusions from a range of sources
In year 9, GCSE content is introduced whilst still building on and consolidating skills from KS3.
Key Stage 4
Students follow the OCR Gateway A suite of Science courses. The specific course students will follow depends on a number of factors including performance during year nine and discussions with parents. All students have the opportunity to study ‘Combined Science’ whilst a number of students will be offered the choice of ‘Triple Science’. In both routes, students will study all three Sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The route taken does not affect the chances of students being eligible to study A Level Sciences at post-16.
Assessment is by 6 examinations which cover the content below:
- Biology: Cell-level systems, Scaling up, Organism-level systems, Community level-systems, Genes, Inheritance and Selection
- Chemistry: Particles, Elements, Compounds and Mixtures, Chemical Reactions, Predicting and Identifying reactions and products, Monitoring and Controlling chemical reactions
- Physics: Matter, Forces, Electricity, Magnetism and magnetic fields, Waves in matter, Radioactivity and Energy
Key Stage 3
Students will study French during Years 7 and 8. From the very beginning, students will develop their skills in 4 main areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing. They will have a multi skills assessment at the end of each term, which will include a translation, and they will complete several pieces of assessed writing throughout each year. Students will initially learn the basics including numbers, colours and school subjects before progressing from word to sentence level and developing the ability to express and explain opinions.
Key Stage 4
Students will build on their basic knowledge from Key Stage 3 and will apply it towards the GCSE specification. They will further develop each of the 4 skill areas and will practice regularly in lesson and at home. Students will also come into contact with several literary French texts, in order to develop their comprehension and analytical skills. The GCSE content in French is split into three themes:
- Identity and Culture
- Local, national, international and global areas of interest
- Current and future study and employment
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 students will begin to learn about the skills needed to be a successful historian, but with a strong focus on deep knowledge and understanding. Students will learn about the Battle of Hastings and the impact of the Normans, what life was like in Medieval Britain including the Black Death and Peasant’s Revolt, focus on the religious changes in Tudor Britain from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, as well as investigating the causes and effects of the English Civil War.
In Year 8, students will build on their skillsets and deep knowledge gained in Year 7 by looking at the making of modern Britain. They will consider the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution, whether the British Empire was a force for good or evil including a study of slavery, while also looking at life in the First World War and how it has been remembered. From then, students will consider the differences between democracies and dictatorships through a study of Hitler’s Germany, the turning points of the Second World War, plus how the persecution of Jews changed throughout the Holocaust.
Key Stage 4
At the start of Year 9, students will study a thematic unit of Crime and Punishment through Time, followed up with a wider world depth study on the Cold War. This is in preparation for when they officially start their History GCSE in the January of Year 9.
At Key Stage 4, students work towards their GCSE History qualification, which is awarded by the AQA exam board. Students sit two exams at the end of Year 11, which make up 100% of their GCSE grade (9-1). Students will study 4 different units:
Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World (1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of final grade)
• Conflict and Tension, 1894-1918 (studied in Year 10)
• America 1920-1973: Opportunity and Inequality (studied in Year 10)
Paper 2: Shaping the Nation (1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of final grade)
• Britain: Health and the People, c.1000 to the present day (studied in Year 9)
• Norman England, c1066-c1100, including the Historic Environment study (studied in Year 11)
Key Stage 3
Throughout KS3 pupils will be looking at how physical and human geography interact and will also be taking part in various practicals and fieldwork throughout their time in Geography.
Students will initially study geographical skills and world knowledge, which includes latitude and longitude, moving on to the UK and grid referencing. In the second topic student’s will focus on the water cycle, the role water plays in our weather, and the question we all ask ourselves: “Why is the UK weather so changeable?” Students will then look at Extreme Environments, studying the tundra, deserts and rainforests.
In Year 8, students will build on their existing knowledge by looking at what development is, how development is measured, as well as the inequalities that exists between counties such as Malawi, China and the UK. Students will then learn about hazards around the world, such as volcanoes and earthquakes. How are they formed? What effects do they have socially, economically and environmentally? Finally they will be looking at the relevant issue of sustainability and how we can secure a sustainable future. This includes the debate around nuclear energy and renewable energy, as well as case studies such as tidal power in Swansea.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students work towards their GCSE Geography qualification which is awarded by the Edexcel exam board. Students will learn about the dynamic nature of our planet and the current issues affecting people and the environment today. Students will develop their practical and analytical skills, values, problem solving and decision making abilities through the study of these 3 areas:
Paper 1: Global Geographical Issues (1 hour and 30 minutes, 37.5% of final grade)
• Hazardous Earth (Climate and Tectonics)
• Development Dilemmas
• The Challenges of an Urbanising World
Paper 2: UK Geographical Issues (1 hour and 30 minutes, 37.5% of final grade)
• 4A) Coastal Change and Conflict and 4B) River Processes and Pressures
• 5A) Dynamic Inner Cities and 5B) Changing Rural Settlements
Students will undertake 2 full days of fieldwork in preparation for Paper 2. One of these will be on a Physical Geography issue (Rivers) and the other will be on a Human Geography issue (Contrasts in the Nottingham urban area).
Paper 3: People and Environmental Issues (1 hour and 15 minutes, 25% of final grade)
• People and the Biosphere
• Forests Under Threat
• Consuming Energy Resources
Physical Education is delivered at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy to help individuals develop into well rounded citizens through the medium of sport. PE lessons are driven by core values ranging from sportsmanship to leadership which allow our students to perform and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. We believe that by offering a rich variety of different sports across the academic year our students have the opportunity to be good at a variety of personal and sporting skills. PE promotes high expectations by instilling a sense of belonging and self-belief. We encourage students to appreciate the importance of exercise and its role in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. It is our aim in Physical Education to promote a competitive environment which encourages desirable personal qualities and promotes lifelong skills.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 students are given the opportunity to learn about at least 6 different sports throughout the academic year. Whilst practising new skills and tactics the students are also introduced to the scoring systems, rules, regulations and responsibilities of each of the officials in order to play the sports.
Key Stage 4
In Key Stage 4 students develop their skills from Key Stage 3 in more game based activities. This extra time focussed on game based activities allows the students to engross themselves in how to achieve success whilst keeping fit and having fun. The students will also be given more responsibility in the lessons ranging from running their own warm ups to organising tournaments in a given sport.
We offer a wide range of sports that are driven by our students’ needs and abilities. Where possible we also offer seasonal sports to coincide with the sports leagues in this country. An example of this would be football in the winter and athletics in the summer. At the end of Year 8 pupils are given the choice of BTEC Sport in their options. We are currently delivering the Edexcel BTEC L2 First Award in Sport. This course is assessed both internally in the form of coursework and externally by computer based examinations.
Key Stage 4 BTEC Sport Level 2 (NQF) (Exam Board – Pearson)
BTEC SPORT is a vocational course which delves into all aspects of the sport and health industry. It is designed to develop and apply knowledge, skills and understanding of physical education and sport. Students are given the opportunity of a wide and varied experience of what is required to work in the sports industry and how best to access it.
Throughout the course students will have access to varied assessment options to push and stretch student’s creativity. In addition to theory work students will be given the opportunity to perform and improve physical sporting performance.
The course is divided into 4 separate units:
Unit 1 – Fitness for Sport & Exercise
Students will look at various ways and methods to improve theirs and others fitness. They will also look at some of the barriers to improving physical fitness. Assessment – external online exam
Unit 2 – Practical Sports Performance
Students look at the rules, regulations and origins of sport as well as the roles of officials. They must also have a clear understanding of what makes a good or bad performance.
Assessment – external online exam
Units 3 & 4 – Various Options
Students will be assessed on 2 more options dependent on their strengths and weaknesses. These will range from: Sports Leadership; The Sports Performer in Action; Running a Sports Event and Lifestyle and Well-being.
Computing has become a major part in people’s lives. Everything we do today involves using some form of computing, from creating a document to more advance things like creating apps for mobile devices. As a result we have decided to make Computing high in priority in what we offer at the BBA.
Within Computing, pupils are offered a varied and personalised curriculum, where they are all encouraged to fulfil their potential in an enthusiastic, yet supportive and challenging environment. We aim to inspire and develop their confidence whilst providing pupils with the opportunity to encounter new concepts, develop their logical thinking and apply knowledge to solve real life problems.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 and 8, all pupils receive one lesson of Computing per week, where the curriculum is based around three key strands:
- Computational Thinking
- Computer Systems
- ICT & Digital Literacy
Pupils will work towards completing these strands through a range of different topics that will allow them to progress into Key Stage 4 with the knowledge, understand and skills to achieve the highest possible grade by the end of Year 11.
- Using Computers Safely & E-Safety – looking at the impacts the digital world has on people’s lives and how pupils can protect themselves from online dangers
- Emailing – getting pupils to know the difference between sending informal and formal emails and knowing how to use the tools within the email application.
- Algorithms – pupils will experience new ways of thinking to solve a problem through a range of different activities.
- Understanding Computers – looking at how a computer actual works from the inside
- Computer Crime – looking into more detail on how pupils protect themselves from cybercrime such as phishing, viruses etc., as well as legal documents / acts.
- Data Representation – exploring the methods used internally to represent information stored in a computer.
- Numbers & Text.
- Graphics of many varieties (stills, video, animation).
- Developing Programs – helping pupils to further understand how programs are developed and used in today’s society.
- Networking – looking at the connectivity of a computer in relation to the different type of network topologies.
Key Stage 4
In Key Stage 4 we have made it compulsory for all pupils to do an ICT qualification that brings everything they have learnt in Key Stage 3 together. All pupils will have 1 hour per week and will be pushed to the limits all the way. Students also have the option to choose Computer Science which they will do alongside the ICT qualification and will have a further 3 hours a week.
OCR Creative iMedia Level 1/2
This vocationally-related qualification takes an engaging, practical and inspiring approach to learning and assessment. It will equip pupils with a range of skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively. The hands on approach has strong relevance to the way young people use the technology required in creative media.
- Unit 1 R081: Pre-Production Skills (Examination – 25%)
- Unit 2 R082: Creating Digital Graphics (Practical Project – 25%)
- Unit 5 R085: Creating a Multipage Website (Practical Project – 25%)
- Unit 7 R087: Creating Interactive Multimedia Products (Practical Project – 25%)
OCR Computer Science GCSE 9-1
This qualification will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study. The content has been designed not only to allow for a solid basis of understanding but to engage students and get them thinking about real world application.
- Unit 1: Computer Systems (Examination – 40%)
- Unit 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming (Examination – 40%)
- Unit 3/4: Programming Project (Non-Exam Assessment – 20%)
Key Stage 3
Students in Years 7 and 8 focus on drawing skills, the use of materials, techniques and technologies within art and design. Each project at Key Stage 3 has been designed to help students have a better transition in to the BTEC Art and Design course studied at Key Stage 4.
Students will gain knowledge and understanding of specialist pathways. Students will develop an understanding of how artists, designers and crafts people use their skills. Students will learn how to respond to a project brief scenario and will understand how the context of the work produced can be developed from a starting point through to a final design.
Key Stage 4
Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Art and Design
Who is the qualification for?
This qualification is equivalent in size to one GCSE. It is a Technical Award designed for pre-16 students working at level 2 who want to include a practical and technical study of the art and design industry.
The BTEC provides an introduction to some of the key themes within the industry, enabling students to develop and apply their knowledge of the sector while also developing a range of relevant practical skills and techniques. The content enables students to develop personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working in the creative sector and to explore a range of specialist disciplines.
What will the students study as part of this qualification?
This qualification develops students through an engaging and stimulating introduction to a range of art and design disciplines, including design crafts, fashion and textiles, photography, product design, visual arts and visual communications.
The qualification consists of two mandatory units making up 50% of the qualification and a choice of two (from four) optional units. The mandatory units provide the essential knowledge and skills for the sector, while the optional units provide the opportunity to choose from the key vocational themes in art and design, including 2D and 3D visual communication, the use of contextual references and the management and development of a personal portfolio.
What knowledge and skills will the student develop as part of this qualification and how might these be of value in further studies?
Students will develop broad knowledge and practical skills related to the creative art and design sector, enhancing their knowledge of art and design techniques and processes. Students will be able to apply knowledge gained in the context of a range of art and design industries such as fashion, textiles, photography, product design, web design, advertising, illustration and fine art.
This will provide a sound basis for progression for those students who wish to study a related qualification at level 3, such as BTEC art and design and/or an apprenticeship.
Key Stage 3
Students will begin their drama studies learning the basic necessary drama skills such as freeze frames, thought-tracking, and vocal expression. Students apply their newly developed skills to devised pieces of work from a syllabus. They are encouraged to develop successful team work skills, self and peer appraisal skills.
Students further develop their drama skills, focusing on more challenging techniques such as stylized theatre and physical theatre. They explore using scripts and texts through monologue work. Key Stage 3 Drama prepares students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to be successful at Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 4
Students build upon their knowledge, skills and understanding studying towards the BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Performing Arts. Students develop the key skills required to work in the industry, including the flexibility to follow an endorsed pathway in any one of the following areas: performance, acting or production. Here they focus on the key concepts and principles related to the world of Performing Arts. Over the course, students prepare for 3 internally and externally assessed practical exams. The components compliment other subjects well and give students an opportunity to develop enquiry skills, such as problem solving, team work, communication, and most importantly – confidence.
Key Stage 3
Students begin their musical journey with an understanding of using their voice as an instrument and the elements of music. The skills of performance, composition and critical thinking are embedded through practical music-making, using real instruments such as ukuleles, samba drums and keyboards within the classroom. Projects involve timbre, scales, harmony and structure.
Students start the year by learning about film music techniques. They build on the instrumental skills from Year 7 and apply them in the context of a band. Performance skills are developed by working on a solo performance project. Other projects include hooks and riffs, MOBO and song writing. The skills taught at Key Stage 3 are a sound introduction to what students will study at Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 4
Students study towards the BTEC Level 2 Award in Music. This can help students take their first steps towards a career in the music industry. Students will learn essential skills from performing and composing to producing, sound engineering and promoting a new track, album or concert. Students will take part in a variety of practical activities as a group and as a soloist, work as a studio engineer, complete coursework involving research and presentations and one formal examination about the industry.
Key Stage 3
The Technology Department is a vibrant and exciting place, where all students are taught the design process. They will plan, make and evaluate products which will enable them to develop skill sets in their chosen area of expertise.
Design and Technology is taught to all students in Years 7 and 8. They will produce a mixture of practical and theoretical assignments. Students spend each term in different disciplines on a rotational basis. These include;
• Food Technology
• Resistant Materials
• Textiles Technology
• Graphic Products
Key Stage 4
GCSE Design and Technology is part of everyday life and is constantly evolving. Our qualifications focus on developing practical skills within a particular material area, allowing students to manufacture high quality outcomes. They’ll learn about commercial processes and careers in related industries, as well as developing core transferable skills, such as collaboration and communication.
We also offer vocational options in Design and Technology.
Creative Craft V Certs Level 2 qualification is designed for learners with an interest in craft and covers a range of craft areas. The areas of craft include wood, textiles, fashion and food. The qualification will provide students with an opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in each craft. The course includes development of practical skills in each craft, assessments in coursework and written tests.
GCSE Business Studies (Exam Board: Edexcel)
The Business Studies qualification is designed to develop Business and IT skills, along with team working and preparation for employment. The course includes guest speakers, presentations and industry visits.
Students are assessed by two externally-examined papers. Students will study:
•Theme 1: Investigating small businesses – topics in this section will include business revenue, costs and profits; the marketing mix; business stakeholders and the impact of technology.
•Theme 2: Building a business – topics in this section will include methods of business growth, international trade and business ethics.
BTEC Award in Business Studies
We also offer a vocational option in Business Studies.
This qualification is a Technical Award equivalent in size to one GCSE. It is designed for pre-16 students working at level 2 who want to engage in a practical study of how real world businesses work, develop and make a profit, while developing some technical business and employability skills within their Key Stage 4 curriculum.
What will the student study as part of this qualification?
This qualification provides an engaging, practical and relevant introduction to the world of business. It encourages students to explore the range of business types and understand the factors that influence success through analysing business models. It enables students to develop, enhance and apply their research, practical, communication and technical skills through creating and presenting a business plan for a realistic business start-up in their local area.
• ‘Finance for Business’ – this unit covers the key aspects of finance that underpin all businesses such as profit and loss, financial planning and cash flow forecasting.
• Enterprise in the Business World’ – covers the development of business models and looks at the key trends, structures and other factors that help a business become successful.
Students will build on the knowledge gained in the two mandatory units by studying two further optional units.
Key Stage 4
This qualification has been developed to provide an engaging and stimulating introduction to the travel and tourism industry. The qualification gives knowledge and understanding in the development of UK tourism, international holiday destinations and factors affecting travel and tourism worldwide.
The Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Travel and Tourism includes an externally assessed unit in the core to introduce externality into vocational programmes of study. This will assist learners as they progress either into higher levels of vocational learning, or to academic qualifications.
The rationale for all qualifications in the BTEC First suite in Travel and Tourism is to:
- inspire and enthuse learners to consider a career in the travel and tourism sector
- give learners the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of, and develop skills in, the travel and tourism sector
- support progression to a more specialised level 3 vocational or academic tourism course or an apprenticeship
- give learners the potential opportunity, in due course, to enter employment within a wide range of junior job roles across the travel and tourism sector, for example posts in travel agencies, visitor attractions and the tourist information centre.
The core units are:
● Unit 1: The UK Travel and Tourism Sector – this unit covers the main types of tourism in the UK, the contribution that travel and tourism makes to the UK economy and the different component industries that make up the UK travel and tourism sector.
● Unit 2: UK Travel and Tourism Destinations – this unit covers what the different types of UK destinations have to offer, as well as locating tourist UK destinations and routes.
Hair and Beauty focuses on the skills, knowledge and experience required to develop a career in the hair or beauty industry, with courses specially selected to allow students to gain experience progressively through a simulated salon environment. Although the hairdressing programme is about developing practical skills, there is an underpinning knowledge and understanding element.
In order to achieve success in the hairdressing qualifications, students are expected to undertake a variety of assignments, a proportion of which are done as homework.
Level 1 is an ideal starting point in hair and beauty and provides an understanding of the industry – enough to succeed in a job in the area or to move on to further study. The areas that are covered are:
- Professional standards
- Personal presentation
- Shampoo and conditioning hair
- Skin care
- Nail art application
- Styling men’s hair
- Styling women’s hair
Year 10 and 11
The VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy (VRQ) is a Technical Award specifically for 14-16 year olds. This qualification aims to support young people to:
– develop a broad and comprehensive understanding of the hair and beauty sector
– develop knowledge which spans the entire vocational sector and related industries
– develop academic study and transferable skills that will support progression within the hair and beauty sector and more broadly
This qualification includes two mandatory units that can be applied to any sector or vocational area. In this qualification, learners will use hairdressing and beauty therapy and related industries (i.e. retail, leisure, fashion, marketing, media, business) to develop themselves and, in particular, the skills and attributes prized by employers, further education colleges and higher education institutions.
In Years 7, 8, and 9 students have access to 1 hour of Citizenship per week, which includes Personal, Social and Health Education, as well as elements of Religious Education. In Years 10 and 11, students gain these valuable skills through sessions in their tutor groups.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is a legal requirement of your child’s education. It involves teaching your child about reproduction, sexuality and sexual health. It doesn’t promote early sexual activity or any particular sexual orientation. As a parent, you can withdraw your children from all other parts of sex and relationship education. Please see Bluecoat Beechdale Academy’s Sex and Relationships Education Policy for more details.
Below is an outline of the units which your child will learn, discuss and reflect on from Year 7 through to Year 11. For further details on the purpose, objectives and content of Citizenship and PSHE Education, please see the links below.
|Year 7||My New School and Me|
|Puberty, Hygiene and Healthy Living|
|Friendship and Bullying|
|Desert Island Living|
|Year 8||Cyberbullying and E-Safety|
|My Future, My Choices|
|Relationships and Sex Education (1)|
|Drugs and Alcohol Education|
|Discrimination and Tolerance|
|Year 9||Democracy and Elections|
|Relationships and Sex Education (2)|
|Living in the Wider World|
|Who decides right and wrong?|
|Year 10||Study Skills (1)|
|Looking After My Body|
|Careers, Employability and Work Experience|
|Relationships and Sex Education (3)|
|Year 11||Life After School|
|Study Skills (2)|
|Private Study Skills and Practice|