At The Thomas Lord Audley School, we are ambitious for all our students. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum that equips our students with the knowledge and skills needed for life in 21st Century ‘Modern Britain’.
Our curriculum is challenging and has an emphasis on English, Maths and Science (including Computing) and the other EBacc subjects (Geography, History, French or German), whilst also ensuring that students have the opportunity to develop their character and creativity through a range of practical courses and a programme of extra-curricular activities including performing and creative arts and PE. We are currently developing our student leadership programme and aspects of curriculum enrichment to engage students in the wider curriculum and further develop confidence and self-esteem.
Our students choose their GCSE options in Year 8 and begin their three-year GCSE programme of study in Year 9. We believe that this enables our students to access a range of ‘academic’ GCSEs and deepen their knowledge, skills and understanding. Students enjoy their learning and achieve good outcomes. The students choose four options with a significant majority of students studying either History or Geography to GCSE, or both. A very small minority of students choose two or three options that enables us to timetable pre-teaching of subjects or access an alternative provision where appropriate. This has had a noticeable impact on the well-being and achievement of those students. We endeavour to meet a wide range of individual choices whilst encouraging students to be ambitious and be aware of the requirements of courses post-16. We collaborate with other Colchester Sigma Trust schools in order to enhance our offer, for example, offering joint provision in Dance and RE at GCSE.
We believe strongly in the importance of ‘Literacy for life’ and the fact that a robust level of literacy underpins academic achievement. This is reflected in our long-standing whole school approach to literacy which includes fortnightly tutorial sessions, a cross-curricular focus on specific areas of literacy and interventions that are put in place to support those who find literacy more of a challenge. A Deputy Headteacher leads the Literacy programme. We are currently developing the three strands of our approach to reading including, reading for pleasure, reading across the curriculum and reading interventions.
Numeracy across the curriculum is led by our Numeracy Coordinator and includes a fortnightly programme of tutorial activities. Our students’ mathematical skills are further enhanced by challenges and competitions internally and in collaboration with other Sigma Trust schools. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is an important part of the curriculum with all students at KS3 studying Computing and Technology. Students also have the opportunity to attend enrichment activities provided by the STEM Club and related activities and visits as part of our Careers Education programme.
Our students are encouraged to show the highest level of commitment and ambition with the setting of challenging, aspirational targets; access to a range of student leadership opportunities and the expectation that they will achieve the highest levels on our Learning and Homework Profiles. Students are rewarded accordingly though our reward system.
A resilient, “Growth Mindset” approach is adopted in lessons with students expected to respond to their assessed work by making improvements, as directed by their teacher, their peers or from self-assessment. They are also encouraged to problem solve, think independently, and learn from mistakes and misconceptions whilst supporting the learning of others.
Within the classroom, students follow our agreed Behaviour Policy. They show compassion in their ability to empathise with others whose experiences and situations may differ to their own and fully appreciate the importance of the British values of tolerance and mutual respect within the law. These values underpin our programme of pastoral care, our approach to SEND and the implementation of our Behaviour Policy, which endeavour to both meet the needs of the individual and the school as a whole.
Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) and Careers Education are important parts of our curriculum and there is a coherent programme across the year groups. The PSHE and Careers programmes are overseen by a Lead Teacher for PSHE, and a Careers Leader and delivered by form tutors in tutor time and by external providers in a number of additional sessions and ‘drop down’ days. There are specific lessons in Citizenship in Years 7 and 8 and the subject is an option in KS4. Furthermore, students participate in a range of ‘House’ activities including inter-house competitions and charity events.
We are immensely proud of our curriculum and endeavour to balance a wide range of factors in its construction and implementation. The impact is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it meets the needs of all our students ensure a successful transition into the next stage of life.