An example of the qualities which will underpin our curriculum design;
Contribution – Each playing a part in producing positive results
Happiness – Satisfaction and contentment lead to a better learning experience
Empathy – A stable and comforting learning environment through shared feelings
Aspiration – Aiming for the top and seeing others achieve brings out the best in everyone
Resilience – Strength through determination and quick recovery from difficulties
Astrea Academy Trust academies have a curriculum that is values-led, which engages, motivates, and inspires pupils and which gives them the opportunity to translate learning into real and relevant skills application. The Astrea curriculum prepares pupils for life and work and enables them to achieve their potential both academically and creatively.
At Astrea Academy Sheffield, our curriculum is the purpose of our school. The curriculum is everything that we want our pupils to know and to understand. It includes learning about discrete subject disciplines such as the sciences, humanities and the arts and how these disciplines relate to one another. Our curriculum is also what we want pupils to achieve, the opportunities we offer them and the experiences we believe all pupils are entitled to.
An Inclusive Education
At every stage from the age of 2, to the age of 18, we ensure an inclusive and fully supportive approach to ensure we meet the needs of all students, including those who are, or have been looked after, those with special educational needs and disabilities and those who are able and/or gifted. The early identification of vulnerable 2 year olds, and outreach work with families of 2-4 year olds in their homes prior to the start of school, are both essential areas of our approach and a reflection of our commitment to meeting the individual needs of every child.
We believe that every child and young person matters and all pupils have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum integrated in to all aspects of Academy life. We ensure that pupils of all abilities have the opportunity to flourish. We welcome students of all abilities and from all backgrounds; our teachers will take the time to get to know and understand every individual. Whether they are doing very well, are struggling in an area of learning or need extra emotional or pastoral support, we will always work to meet their needs. It is crucial to identify a special educational need as early as possible and quickly implement strategies that support learning to promote achievement and attainment in all pupils.
At the first stage of a child’s formal education or the point at which they join the school, we work effectively with all other agencies supporting children and their parents, to enable early identification of any holistic needs, including: paediatricians, GPs, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, sensory impairment specialists, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, health visitors, children’s centres, portage, social and welfare services and any specialist or support services. Early identification enables us to close any gap before it has the chance to grow, which is particularly important in the case of speech and language development, which affect all other areas of learning.
Where pupils are underachieving and/or identified as having special educational needs, the school will provide for these additional needs in a variety of ways and will use a combination of these approaches to address targets identified for individual pupils.
The Astrea Experience
Unique experiences are an important part of going to school. At Astrea Academy Sheffield we work hard to plan and create these opportunities. Not simply because they are exciting and valuable life experiences, but because experiences build the characteristics we want pupils to have and appreciate the world and how it works. All pupils should have the opportunity to represent the school in competitions, perform on stage, visit the theatre a foreign country and experience the best the arts, humanities and science have to offer. Whilst at the school all pupils will have the opportunity to:
- camp in a field or a forest
- visit a foreign country
- do an adventurous activity
- take part in the Astrea Olympics
- display artwork in a public space
- climb a mountain
- Run an enterprise
- learn to play a musical instrument
- cook a meal for the family
- participate in a debate in an iconic building
- perform in an Astrea concert.
There are also opportunities for pupils from different Astrea schools to collaborate and interact, especially within our locality clusters.
High Aspirations for All
At Astrea Academy Sheffield we have the highest aspirations for our pupils and our teachers. With dedication, hard work and belief there is nothing that cannot be achieved. We set high expectations for the behaviour of all pupils and believe that excellent behaviour is a foundation of a successful school where people respect one another and fulfil their role within a learning community. This extends from the way they wear their uniform to the way they interact with peers and teachers. As pupils progress through the school, they take on additional responsibilities and from Key Stage 4 have the opportunity to fulfil leadership roles across the school. Our three school rules are simple. We expect all pupils to show Respect, Resilience and Responsibility.
Our school rewards system recognises and celebrates pupils who accept challenges and push themselves do their very best and we have high expectations for every child. From a young age, children will learn about career opportunities and discuss their ambitions. All pupils need to understand what is available and appreciate that they are entitled to it all, no matter what their background. From a young age, pupils will learn about university, the opportunities higher education presents and when, rather than if, they go.
Industry and Community Partnerships
Our curriculum is designed to provide opportunities for pupils to work closely with local businesses and organisations. This will include opportunities for pupils to visit and work in the local area, complete projects linked to a variety of industries and gain industry specific qualifications along the way leading to training and employment. Each term pupils will work on a ‘Big Problem’ themed day to complete a common task. The purpose of these days is to engage pupils in some of the problems and issues facing society, apply the knowledge and skills they have developed across the term and manage an extended task in a real-world context. Our partnerships with the local community will be a focus of these days and create further opportunities to deliver the school’s careers education and experiences programme.
From the age of 9, pupils will take part in enrichment activities during period 6 and period 7 on a Wednesday afternoon. The academy will offer an extensive range of opportunities for all pupils to opt into which will include sport, art, debating, crafts and additional languages. These opportunities will be born out of the interests, hobbies and expertise of academy employees, Sixth Form students and the expertise and skills in the local community. The academy will also offer a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities and clubs throughout the school year.
Assessment and Reporting
We aim to involve our parents/carers in all aspects of school life; to keep them fully informed of school events, and of their child’s progress. We do this through parent discussions, reading records, weekly newsletters, and our parent forums. We will also hold weekly coffee meetings for parent & carers in which the Principal and members of the leadership team meet with parents. · More formal contact is made during our termly parent/carer consultation evenings, when parents/carers are given the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher; additional contact will be offered for students with SEND, according to need. An annual written report is sent home during the final Summer Term. It is expected that all pupils will be present at these consultations. · Parents/carers are also encouraged to contribute to the life of the school by becoming a parent helper and/or school governor.