Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is built upon a foundation of core knowledge and skills, providing our students with deep learning opportunities through a broad and balanced programme.
We believe it is crucial that our students grow up to be independent learners and so will encourage them to explore their thinking, and understand how they learn, within a curriculum which is relevant, engaging, creative and academically challenging.
Students are taught in mixed ability teaching groups for all subjects until the end of the first term in Year 7, giving them time to settle into their new school before being put into sets. They complete baseline assessments in September and again in December, after which they are set into ability groups for English, Mathematics, Science and Foreign Languages.
The subjects studied across Year 7 and Year 8 are:
- Creative & Performing Arts - Dance, Drama, Music
- Humanities - History, Geography, Citizenship, Religious Studies
- Foreign Languages*
- Physical Education
- Design & Technology
- PSHE - Personal, Social, Health Education
*We offer French and Spanish within our formal Key Stage 3 curriculum. Additionally, Latin and Mandarin can be studied through our extended curriculum.
Our subject specialisms
We have chosen to specialise in English and Mathematics, as the core skills of literacy and numeracy underpin a student's achievement across the curriculum. Over 25% of the timetable in Year 7 and Year 8 is therefore devoted to teaching English and Mathematics, and this is reinforced through thematic learning programmes running across subject disciplines, as well as whole school literacy and numeracy policies.
The role of ICT
ICT is absolutely fundamental to all aspects of 21st century education, and as such is an integral part of the Archer Academy vision. We believe that ICT skills should not be restricted to one subject within the Key Stage 3 curriculum, but instead should be embedded in all subjects, and used as an essential tool to enhance our teaching and learning.
Our school has invested in state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure and equipment, which supports innovative and creative uses of technology. This is seen in our high ratio of tablets and computers to students, as well as our provision of specialist equipment and software such as Photoshop, eBooks, interactive whiteboards, visualisers and our virtual learning environment.
Cross curricular projects
Central to the philosophy behind the Archer Academy curriculum is the importance of creative, analytical thinking. So in addition to emphasising the value of knowledge, we also teach our students to weigh up evidence and to be critical of what they hear, see and read. This is best achieved when students are able to work across subject disciplines.
Every half term, our students study a series of thematic learning projects that cross all subject disciplines. These are housed into two schools of learning: the School of Communication and Expression, comprised of English, Arts, Humanities and Languages, and the School of Logic and Invention, which consists of Mathematics, Science, Technology and Physical Education. Students spend six hours each week, working independently and collaboratively, to explore themes, evidence, knowledge and ideas across these subjects.
The resulting projects are assessed against the curriculum and celebrated in an exhibition at the end of each half term, to which parents and members of the community are invited. Year 7 begin their thematic learning with the topic Our School, Our Community.