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 initially taught in mixed ability groups for all subjects when they join us 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 October, after which they are set into ability groups for English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and PE, with setting for Foreign Languages taking place later in the year. Sets are reviewed each term to ensure that each student is in the right set for them.
The subjects studied across Year 7 and Year 8 are:
- English Language and English Literature
“The impressive curriculum provides breadth, balance and challenge. It meets the needs of students very well.” Ofsted, June 2015.
- Science - Physics, Chemistry and Biology taught separately
- Creative & Performing Arts - Dance, Drama, Music
- Humanities - History, Geography, Citizenship, Religious Studies
- Foreign Languages*
- Physical Education
- Art, Design & Technology
- PSHE - Personal, Social, Health Education
*We offer French and Spanish within our formal Key Stage 3 curriculum. Additionally, Latin, Italian and Mandarin can be studied through our extended curriculum.
Our subject specialisms
We 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 the teaching of these two subjects, and the corresponding skills are reinforced through thematic learning and built into all areas of the curriculum.
The role of ICT
ICT is fundamental to all aspects of 21st century education, and as such is embedded in all subjects as an essential tool to enhance teaching and learning. Digital literacy is considered a core skill and the teaching of packages such as Powerpoint, Photoshop and Excel takes place across the curriculum.
Students have access to state-of-the-art technology which supports innovative and creative learning. This is seen in our high number of tablets and computers, as well as our provision of specialist equipment such as eBooks, interactive whiteboards, visualisers and our virtual learning environment.
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 projects which cross all subject disciplines as part of our Thematic Learning curriculum. 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 work 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 curriculum with the topic Our School, Our Community.