Curriculum Overview

GOSFORTH JUNIOR HIGH ACADEMY CURRICULUM RATIONALE

RATIONALE – THE AIMS OF OUR CURRICULUM

GJHA - Curriculum Intent
The aims of our curriculum are to:
· Provide children with an introduction to the essential knowledge they need, empowering them to be educated and responsible citizens so that they can create their future.
· Enable children to retain and apply this essential knowledge
· Build upon prior knowledge to maximise the progress made by all children
· Inspire children to become life-long learners
· Create a culture of high aspiration through challenging content and therefore pride in achievement
· Promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children, including fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith
· Provide opportunities for developing self-confidence, self-awareness, independence, creativity, respect and resilience in children
· Promote knowledge and understanding of how children can keep themselves safe and healthy
· Develop children’s numeracy, literacy and oracy, including the sustained expansion of their vocabulary

Curriculum Implementation
The curriculum at Gosforth Junior High Academy is broad, balanced, enriching and challenging, and is based on the National Curriculum programmes of study. It provides opportunities for children to achieve their potential and to fulfil their aspirations by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards of academic achievement and pupil progress. Our Confidence Curriculum, at Key Stage 2, provides an enrichment programme to broaden horizons and, at Key Stage 3, enhances education in STEM, careers and enterprise. We ensure access to an extensive range of extra-curricular activities, to support our curriculum, and we provide an annual Enterprise and Activities Week, for all pupils, to broaden their experiences. Intervention sessions complement the curriculum to ensure that all children are supported in achieving their full potential. Our curriculum positively promotes the personal development, behaviour and well-being of pupils and provides the support needed for children to advance to the next stage of their education and helps equip them for the demands of life in the 21st Century. Pupils who have demonstrated a positive attitude towards school life are acknowledged by nomination into the golden book and effort, achievement and contribution to school life are celebrated at regular intervals through the school year.

Curriculum Structure

In all key stages at Gosforth Junior High Academy, there are 30 periods per week, each lasting 50 minutes with an additional 20 minutes at the start of each day for tutorial time, intervention and assemblies.
All students receive the same curriculum entitlement unless a more personalised approach to the curriculum would be beneficial to the individual by enhancing their personal and social development.
Students are set in English and Maths which allows for appropriate challenge and support in these core subject areas. Whenever possible we encourage literacy and numeracy through our student ambassadors in these areas and the use of Accelerated Reader, Rapid Readers, Timetables Rockstars and regular library sessions to encourage a love of reading across the school.
Curriculum leaders work closely with feeder schools to ensure that learning is seamless and sequenced, building on strengths whilst addressing gaps in knowledge. This will be a core focus at the heart of curriculum planning.
Any gaps in knowledge are identified through the use of assessments and question level analysis, which is then used to develop the curriculum and therefore, inform the planning of lessons and where necessary, interventions.

Key Stage 2 Curriculum
In Key Stage 2, all students follow the appropriate National Curriculum programmes of study. The subjects studied are English, Mathematics, Science, PSHE, History, Geography, Music, Spanish, Art, Technology, PE, ICT, Drama and RE. Teaching is undertaken by a specialist team of Key Stage 2 teachers following the primary model of most subjects being taught by the class teacher. Key Stage 2 provision includes our “Confidence Curriculum”: one afternoon per fortnight when students follow an enrichment programme, which aims to broaden horizons and instil greater confidence, whilst developing their social, emotional and moral awareness. Our work with the Newcastle United Foundation further embeds these skills.

We aim to give our children the best possible start to their upper KS2 education and build a platform, preparing them for the next stage in their education; this is as the very heart of the delivery of our Key Stage 2 curriculum. By laying the foundations of a love of learning and inquisitive nature, we are preparing our pupils to be successful both in the classroom and beyond. During the transition period, we work closely with our feeder school colleagues to develop our pupils’ strengths and continue to build on these from Year 5 onwards.

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum at Key Stage 2 that provides opportunities for children to learn both in and outside of the classroom using a variety of teaching styles and resources, developing independence, interest and resilience throughout the key stage.
The children are taught by their class teacher on a daily basis; this allows for smooth transition from feeder schools and builds a strong teacher-pupil relationship. We liaise regularly with our main feeder schools so that we have a sound knowledge of the children joining us and knowledge of the curriculum taught in those schools.
All aspects of the curriculum are taught within Key Stage 2 and where possible, cross curricular links are made. A variety of enrichment activities are also organised as we believe that these activities help to enhance the pupils’ creative skills with real-life experiences.

Homework is set regularly to revise, challenge and consolidate the skills and knowledge taught in the classroom. Reading outside of school is encouraged and students are rewarded for doing so. 

Key Stage 3 Curriculum
In Gosforth Junior High Academy, all students follow the appropriate National Curriculum programmes of study in Years 7 and 8. The subjects studied are English, Mathematics, Science, PSHE, Citizenship, History, Geography, Music, French, Art, Technology, PE, Computing, and RE. Teaching is undertaken by a specialist team of Key Stage 3 teachers, with students having a specialist teacher for each subject.

There is a timetabled enrichment programme to enhance students’ education in areas such as STEM, careers, and enterprise.

We aim to give our pupils the best possible start to their secondary education, and this is at the very heart of the delivery of our curriculum at Key Stage 3.

By laying the foundations of a love of learning and developing an enquiring and inquisitive nature, we prepare our pupils for success, both in the classroom and beyond.

During the transition period to Key Stage 3, we work closely with our Key Stage 2 colleagues to identify our pupils’ strengths and continue to build upon these from Year 7 onwards so that transition is seamless and no learning time is lost.

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum at Key Stage 3 that provides opportunities for children to learn both inside and outside of the classroom, using a variety of teaching styles, resources and techniques. This not only helps children prepare for examinations in Key Stage 4, but also fosters a culture of independence, curiosity and resilience to support them throughout their future educational and working life.

Personal development is an important part of the curriculum at Gosforth Junior High Academy.

We recognise the importance of e-safety and the education of this subject in keeping students safe. E-safety is delivered as both a discrete and stand alone topic across many curriculum subjects and is further supported through the delivery of assemblies and talks by specialists in this area. 

The teaching of British values is taught both throughout the curriculum and further supported through assemblies, school trips, visits and specialist workshops. This reflects the diverse make up of our school and supports students to understand their role in society and develop an appreciation of diversity and multi culturalism within Britain.
Careers education is taught as part of the Key Stage 3 PSHE curriculum and all students attend an annual careers convention at Gosforth Academy when they are in Year 8.

Our extra-curricular programme changes on a half termly basis and students are offered a range of opportunities (such as sports, performing arts and technologies) delivered by both GJHA staff and external agencies. These sessions are also opportunities for students to socialise across the year groups/key stages. 

RSE is taught across both Key Stages and incorporates the new guidance on RSE. We want our pupils to have the knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships and to build their self-efficacy. We also invite other health-care professionals into school and work closely with these bodies to ensure our RSE provision is tailored to our students.

Our assemblies are designed to be informative and thought provoking so that students can reflect on issues that are personal to them and their peers. Topical issues, celebrations and rewards are also an integral part of the assembly programme. Tutor groups are given the opportunity to plan and deliver an assembly of their choice which allows them to work collaboratively with their peers and helps to develop key skills such as public speaking. To support with transition into Key Stage 2, parents are invited into assemblies.