Curriculum & Faculty Overviews
Outstanding Achievement For All
At Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, we teach the full National Curriculum. As of September 2019, students remain in the Lower School for 3 years and make their options choices at the end of year 9. 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 the community.
We have devoted a lot of time to developing the quality and pedagogy of the curriculum. As a part of this curriculum review we have been working on the sequencing of learning, as well as the assessment and feedback which enables pupils to understand their learning and how to improve.
The Lower School years provide a solid foundation of learning in all National Curriculum subject areas in preparation for the more rigorous demands of the revised GCSEs. In addition to this we are particularly trying to develop the learning attributes of reflectiveness, resourcefulness and resilience through our restorative approaches and our Cliff Park Cultural Capital Programme.
In the Lower School, students are largely taught in mixed ability groupings with the exception of Maths and Science.
The advantages of mixed ability groupings are that students have the opportunity to learn about differences, students learn to work together and learn from each other. It supports students to consolidate their learning and develop their mentoring skills. Students with lower prior attainment are exposed to higher thinking and problem-solving. It is part of the academy’s fervent belief in the highest expectations for all. Differentiation ensures that all groups are challenged.
Ability setting is deployed within both Science and maths due to the spiral nature of their curriculum structure.
In the upper school, all students continue with the essential core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, and Physical Education; most students will also continue to study at least one other ‘English Baccalaureate’ subject but they are also able to select freely from a wide range of options. We have increased the focus on Sport and Fitness in response to the context of both the local area and the national issue of poor health and obesity. We have dedicated 4 hours per fortnight to the teaching of physical education to enable students to stay active and with the aim that they stay involved in sport and fitness long after they have left school. In the Upper School all young people have the opportunity to complete a qualification in BTEC Sport.
In the Upper School students are taught in ability groupings within their core subjects. Where possible, students are also taught in ability groupings within their option subjects. However, due to student numbers, this is not always possible.
We offer all the traditional academic subjects the current government classes as part of the ‘English Baccalaureate’ such as Humanities, Modern Foreign Languages and Computer Science.
Furthermore, students can choose from the Expressive and Creative Arts and a variety of vocational options appropriate to employment opportunities in our local context, including Health and Social Care, Catering, and Leisure and Tourism.
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 have discreet ICT lessons until the end of year 9 and continue to cover key National Curriculum ICT topics in the Upper School as part of their PSHE curriculum.
Subject choices are made in consultation with parents following a Parents’ Information Evening and Parent Teacher Consultation meetings with subject teachers. It is the academy’s policy to enter students for GCSE or equivalent examinations in at least 8 subjects.
SMSC, PSHE and CIAEG
Whilst all subject areas provide opportunities to promote SMSC, PSHE, CEIAG, SRE, RS and British Values by covering important topics such as The Holocaust and abortion, we have also introduced lessons across all year groups in order to provide dedicated Social Moral Spiritual Cultural (SMSC), Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE), Sex Relationships Education (SRE), Religious Studies (RS) and CEIAG education.
Pupils are encouraged to have a say in the life of the academy and to contribute to the wider society through the academy’s active Student Voice and Leadership activities programme.
The academy has embraced The Gatsy Benchmarks and all our students are able to gain experience of the world of work through careers events, visits and a variety of workshops. Some form of work experience and/or work shadowing is offered to all students in Years 8 and 10. We have an external Careers Advisor and a growing number of partnerships with local colleges, businesses and other organisations such as the UEA. For more information, please visit our Careers Education page.
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 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. Each year, a drama production is presented by the students of the academy and our students regularly perform in local and national events, including Latitude and Wembley Arena.
For more information regarding our curriculum, please read our Curriculum Statement of Intent 2020