Cliff Park Ormiston Academy is a supportive and inclusive academy in which all students are encouraged to “do their best” and to reach their full potential. We welcome students of all backgrounds and abilities on a non-selective basis. Students are “set” according to ability for our Core provisions of English and Maths but are generally taught in mixed-ability groupings across the rest of the curriculum.
A 21st Century Curriculum
Our curriculum and co-curriculum has the key skills of Literacy and Numeracy at its heart but is also designed to develop other important skills such as, creativity and leadership alongside a sense of belonging and commitment to community.
Success in the 21st Century requires knowing about learning and how it works. We place great importance on teaching and learning and have devoted a great deal of time to planning new and challenging programmes of study in response to the government’s more rigorous National Curriculum. We are particularly trying to develop the learning attributes of reflectiveness, resourcefulness and resilience for example, through our “Be the Best” lessons in Year 7.
Our curriculum prepares our students for the challenges of any career and personal success in the 21st century. Our growing relationships with our feeder primary schools means that we are getting better at building on and extending the knowledge, skills and understandings that students have acquired at Key Stage 2. The first two years (Year 7 and 8), therefore, provide a solid foundation of learning in all subject areas in preparation for the more rigorous demands of the revised GCSEs.
At Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11) all students continue with the essential core curriculum of English, Maths and Science; most students will also continue to study an ‘English Baccalaureate’ subject but they are also able to select freely from a wide range of options.
We offer all the traditional academic subjects the current government classes as part of the ‘English Baccalaureate’, as well as Expressive and Creative Arts and a variety of vocational options including Construction, Child Development and Hairdressing.
In order to prepare students for our increasingly scientific and technological society we deliver all three sciences separately, Engineering and a variety of technology options. We promote “achievement for all” in these subject areas with some of our highest grades coming from both our male and female students. All students study ICT and we are expanding our use of electronic resources to enable students to learn in ways suited to the changing world of work.
In addition to French, students may also study Spanish and German.
SMSC, PSHE and IAG
All our subject areas provide opportunities to promote SMSC and PSHE by covering important topics such as, sex education where appropriate and by incorporating activities that are designed to encourage effective relationships etc. In addition to this, however, explicit opportunities to cover these areas and to develop pupils’ sense of themselves as “global citizens” is provided in discrete SMSC lessons from Year 7 through to 11.
Our Pastoral Programme includes personal, health and social education, citizenship activities and collective worship.
Pupils are encouraged to have a say in the life of the school and to contribute to the wider society, through our active Student Voice and our Leadership Programme activities.
Careers guidance is built into the Form Time programme at Key Stages 3 and 4 and some form of work experience and/or work shadowing is offered to all students in Years 8 and 10. We have two external Careers Advisors and a growing number of partnerships with local colleges, businesses and other organisations such the UEA.
All students also participate in some form of Project Based Learning during the academic year. This involves students designing, planning and carrying out projects which capitalise on what has been learnt in class but which also have validity in the “real” world. Through such projects we hope to develop further the important skills of enterprise, communication, collaboration, problem-solving, resilience and time management.
Enrichment and the Co-Curriculum
We believe that learning outside the classroom and beyond the academy timetable is indispensable. We provide our students with a wide range of experiences including the D of E and a variety of fitness and sporting activities through our extensive Out of Hours Learning Programme to enable them to enjoy and value a healthy lifestyle.
Students are also given the opportunity to take part in enrichment activities after school. Some examples of the opportunities available include first aid, cookery, roller skating and expressive arts.