Curriculum rationale 2018-19

The curriculum rationale at Park Lane Academy is focused on improving the life chances of students, supporting effective transitions and creating opportunities in life for our students to lead diverse and successful lives. Our curriculum supports social mobility for our community, as our students are encouraged to follow an aspirational curriculum model which we review termly, to ensure that students are following the pathway which supports their future long term career goals and does not cap their potential. At the core of our curriculum are the qualifications our students require to flourish and progress to either an academic Key Stage 5 pathway or follow an alternate apprenticeship or technical pathway.

Our curriculum option choices reflect a labour market evaluation, completed annually, to ensure our offer meets the needs of our local employability market, addressing the growth industries. In January 2018, these included creative digital, hospitality and catering and health and social care employment. All of these employment areas have expected growth in the Calderdale area in the forthcoming years.

Underpinning our curriculum are key skills and attributes which have been identified in consultation with local employers, who have been key stakeholders in our consultation process. These key skills include resilience, problem solving, and the application of knowledge, the latter of which also addressed the new reformed qualifications, of which 85% of the examination papers reflect application questions to unfamiliar contexts.

All students access a curriculum which is broad, balanced and reflects character education, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural learning opportunities as well as embedding British Values. Throughout our students’ educational journey there are many opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills, develop into responsible citizens, embrace charity work, exercise tolerance and utilise their democratic votes on whole school decisions. All these opportunities have been put in place in order that Park Lane students enjoy success in their chosen fields of employment and prosper in their personal lives in our society.

From September 2018, a new weekly activity programme will be available to all Park Lane students will to strengthen their skills and attributes in leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative, and communication. Again, this reflects our commitment to the development of the whole child.

We follow a 2 year accelerated KS3 curriculum. This accelerated KS3 is focused upon building upon knowledge already gained at KS2, avoiding repetition, thus preventing disengagement and maintaining the pace. Students move from developing new knowledge and skills to mastery level. This strategy has been employed to address the historic Y8 progress lag. This builds upon the findings of the DfE ‘Evaluation of the Two Year Key Stage 3 Project’. Early entry is promoted, where students’ progress demonstrates that they are capable of reaching or exceeding their target grades in the creative subjects. Our two year KS3 model also creates more opportunities for intervention in Y11 for the qualifications fundamental to successful progression, with the aim of reducing NEETs figures (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Our curriculum model is ever evolving to address historic gaps in learning and ensure that Park Lane builds upon the strengths in both teaching and learning and where student outcomes demonstrate strong progress is being made. Where students have areas for development, such as low reading ages, our different curriculum pathways provide extra intervention opportunities for reading intervention and for bespoke phonics support. All students’ reading ages are tested systematically.

Our vision is to ensure that our curriculum enables all children to meet their full potential and join our employment community successfully and will ensure that our NEETs figures reflect increased success.

Park Lane’s curriculum supports our students to aspire to be the best in everything they do.