At The Warwickshire Academy we believe that the “Curriculum is the total learned experience of the child: formal, informal, within the classroom and beyond.” (Dr Barry Dufour – University of Leicester) We deliver a holistic curriculum that holds high academic aspirations whilst acknowledging progress and attainment is facilitated through the development of the child as a whole. Our aim is to improve the quality of life for all our pupils and each pupil’s offer is adapted appropriately to ensure the best opportunities to reach their individual potential.
The Warwickshire Academy delivers the National Curriculum for core and non-core subjects, and these include English, Maths Science, Art, Citizenship, RSHE, Life Skills, Outdoor Learning, Technology, PE and Humanities. Our curriculum offer is varied and is for children and young people aged between 9 and 19 years who have a predominant need of Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties alongside conditions such as ADHD, ASD and attachment disorder.
Pupils are placed from Warwickshire and Coventry Local authorities, and all have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). As a result of previous difficulties, many of our pupils will have been unable to access an educational curriculum effectively. Our aim is to provide a curriculum that is varied, broad and balanced, based on the realities of modern life and delivered in a therapeutic learning environment.
At the Warwickshire Academy our aim is to close the attainment gap that many of the pupils have when they join the academy. Our objective is to improve quality of life and life chances through pupils achieving qualifications, employment, positive relationships and positive social roles in society. Our aim is that all pupils achieve a GCSE qualification, or equivalent qualification, in every subject that they study. If this is not appropriate for individual pupils, alternative levels of qualifications are studied. In Key Stage 4, pupils will be offered vocational qualifications in an environment that is built around preparing the pupils for their next steps in life through their individual programme of study.
Academically the children are led by a spiralling curriculum allowing them to be introduced to basic knowledge, gradually building upon this, learning more complex ideas as they progress though each stage of their education. This academic strand of the curriculum is then further underpinned by therapeutic approaches and interventions in order to cater for the needs of the whole child.
Spiralling the curriculum allows children at TWA the opportunity to be introduced to basic knowledge in all areas that is differentiated to their ability; gradually then building on their knowledge and learning to develop more complex ideas and understand across subjects.
Spiralling curriculum design is grounded in cognitive science and brain-based learning. It enables the children to go back and look at prior learning and subject content, bringing together new details with old knowledge. The new knowledge has a context to relate itself to, which was built in previous lessons. Slowly creating lasting knowledge by way of repeated exposure works in alignment with how our brains work, rather than striving to remember a whole complex concept all at once, in a single school year. The spiral structure also allows for opportunities to make cross-curricula connections between topics in other subject areas.
- The curriculum allows a logical progression of a topic from simplest ideas to more complex.
- Learning difficulties can be addressed in early phases of the spiral and interventions can be implemented when required as they move through the later stages.
- The information is reinforced or strengthened each time the child revisits the topic.
- Children are encouraged and taught to apply their knowledge from earlier learning.
In order to achieve our aims, we recognise that our role is to provide the highest level of attention, nurture and individual support that our pupils require in order to succeed at their best. We work closely with our pupils to help them to recognise and understand their emotions and manage them whilst developing empathy and social skills when interacting with others. We do this through the LACES (Life, Academic, Communication, Emotion, Social) approach which underpins our ethos and approach to developing ‘the whole child’ at The Warwickshire Academy.
To find out more about our curriculum please contact Stef Jones - Deputy Headteacher email@example.com