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Teaching and Learning
As part of the Academy’s offer to give Sixth Form students, regardless of background, a rich and deep learning experience, all subjects will adhere to the following standards:
- The needs of all students are met in all lessons.
- Teachers must demonstrate expert knowledge of their subject and have strong pedagogical content knowledge.
- Subject teaching must demonstrate a coherently-planned and sequenced curriculum which embeds subject knowledge and skills for future learning. As such, students are able to articulate how their current learning relates to the wider sequence and are aware of end points.
- Assessment effectively monitors the progress of all and provides direct feedback as well as checking students’ understanding systematically and identifies misconceptions and content for development.
- Teachers create environments that allow students to focus on learning and in which students are challenged and encouraged to apply wider subject conceptual knowledge and understanding.
- Classrooms demonstrate high levels of literacy and vocabulary and are opportunities for critical discussion, debate and exploration.
- Student work demonstrates progress, opportunities for extended writing and a depth of independent study beyond the classroom content. Marking is seen as an opportunity for further recommended reading/development.
- Where possible, homework is preparatory in nature, allowing teachers and students to engage with content on a critical and conceptual level in the classroom. To this end, materials are given well in advance to help students prepare for lessons.
- Students are encouraged to read widely around their subjects and have a good understanding of the work/industry/higher education opportunities for their subjects.
- Subjects provide students with regular extra-curricular events and trips.
Assessment is an integral part of the subject delivery and students will be assessed through a mixture of formal academy examinations, subject-based assessments and tasks, and regular student teacher dialogue.
In order to support the transition to the sixth form, Year 12 students will begin their Sixth Form study with a four-week induction period in the first half of the Autumn term. During this period, students may swap courses if they feel that they have made the wrong choice. After this period, course changes will not be permitted. All students will sit a 'progress assessment' at the end of the first half term.
Academic conduct for success
Sixth Form students will be encouraged to show resilience, composure, curiosity, meticulousness and ambition in all that they do, as all are necessary for academic excellence.
Students’ attitudes and conduct must demonstrate an understanding of appropriate workplace/professional behaviour, at all times, and they should remember that they are ambassadors for our core values and must, therefore, act as role models to the lower school students.
It is a requirement that Sixth Form students have high levels of attendance and punctuality in order to benefit fully from the educational opportunities available.
The expectations of scholarship should not be restricted to the classroom and the academy has created a timetable which allows students the space and time needed to deepen their knowledge.
Alongside the subject timetable, Year 12 students have an additional 160 hours a year of timetabled study periods in a dedicated study area and Year 13 have exclusive quiet study areas.
Homework and wider reading
Each subject studied will provide five hours a week of homework. The work will be relevant and appropriate to the current content studied and there is a firm requirement that students adhere to all deadlines. As part of that commitment, teachers will provide meaningful and timely feedback on work submitted. It is a student’s responsibility to ensure that their work folders and books are organised and structured to suitably aid study and revision. All materials should be available for inspection and review whenever necessary.
Submitted work must demonstrate the standard needed for Sixth Form study and students must take full advantage of the times allocated for learning and preparation in order that they are able to participate fully and effectively in the classroom.
Students will be taught how to effectively and independently research and read beyond classroom and this wider reading and study ought to inform discussion of the standard subject content, with teachers facilitating that application through extensive questioning in the classroom.
Harris Experience Advanced
Harris Experience Advanced is a Russell Group application programme providing expert guidance and individually-tailored academic opportunities for our most able sixth formers. The programme is aimed at our most academic students who have achieved outstanding grades at GCSE or who prove themselves to be making outstanding academic progress early in Year 12 and maintain this throughout their sixth form life. The programme delivers a range of opportunities such as the following:
- Trips, university visits and masterclasses
- Subject-specific societies to support academic stretch with subject specialist guides
- Specialist programmes for Oxbridge, medical and dentistry entrants
- Weekly bulletins and follow-up on a wealth of academic opportunities outside of school
- Guidance on writing competitive applications to Russell Group universities, as well as interview practice and advice.