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At Chobham Academy, we believe that what our students learn and the way in which they learn are fundamental components of the school. The curriculum shapes both of these aspects but particularly what students learn. The overriding principles which govern our curriculum strategy are:
- A broad curriculum which gives students access to a range of academic disciplines. We recognize the key importance of English, Maths and Science but also believe passionately in the value of languages, the humanities and the arts. At Chobham, all of these disciplines are represented within our curriculum.
- A balanced curriculum in which all subjects are given a reasonable proportion of curriculum time so that students may learn in depth and come to understand the nature of each subject.
- The principles of a broad and balanced curriculum are maintained until the end of Key Stage 4, notwithstanding the need for a degree of greater specialism when the students make their GCSE choices.
- There is a balance struck between giving all students a broad curriculum entitlement and ensuring that the individual needs and aptitudes of all students are recognized. In practice, we look to introduce a degree of greater individuality for students when Key Stage 4 begins.
- We currently begin Key Stage 4 in Year 10. This enables us to cover all subjects in greater depth to the benefit of students throughout Years 7-9.
- Wherever possible, our curriculum is designed to reflect the backgrounds and interests of our students. We want our curriculum to be relevant to their present lives and their future aspirations.
- Our Post 16 curriculum is designed to accommodate students with a range of academic abilities and aspirations. Consequently, we offer a range of A-Level and vocational courses.
- As well as the academic curriculum delivered through lessons the school is very aware of the value of PSHE, Citizenship and careers education. These form an integral part of our education through our half termly Innovation Days and through tutor time as well as in lessons whenever appropriate.
- Enrichment is an integral part of our curriculum on two days each week. Enrichment classes are a compulsory element of each student’s timetable and they give students an opportunity to extend their learning beyond the normal curriculum, increase their cultural capital and develop interests which will hopefully last a lifetime.
- The concept of the wider curriculum is embedded at Chobham. We believe that learning at school incorporates everything the students do between leaving home in the morning and returning in the evening. This includes the way the students build relationships, how they move around the school buildings and how they conduct themselves at breaks and lunchtimes.
- Homework forms part of every subject’s curriculum and we expect students to complete homework conscientiously.
- The effective and principled use of technology is built into our curriculum as a theme running across all lessons and other curriculum activities. We want Chobham students to be competent users of IT equipment and software who also understand the opportunities and potential perils presented by the internet and social media.
- Throughout the Chobham curriculum, we wish to encourage the development of key learning skills. Foremost among these are resilience, independent organization, problem-solving and inculcating a love of learning.
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Chobham Key Learning Concepts
As part of our desire to meet the particular learning needs of Chobham students, we have identified four key areas in which Chobham students in general need to develop their skills and attitudes.
These areas are;
Memory: if information is not stored in students’ long-term memory then they are not learning effectively.
Reading: the single most effective way to become a better learner.
Vocabulary: having a broad and accurate subject vocabulary is key to success in examinations.
Resilience: being able to keep going positively when things get tough or go wrong.
By helping our students develop in these areas, we believe their wider learning, academic and social skills will improve.
Each of our subject departments has looked at the key knowledge and skills students need to succeed. All of them have come up with five or six key learning concepts which underpin the curriculum in Years 7-9.
The Moral Dimension and Citizenship
There is a strong moral dimension to the curriculum at Chobham. We believe that there are beliefs and behaviors which our school should seek to inculcate and develop in our students in order that they may become active and happy citizens. As such beliefs can often provoke discussion if not disagreement, it is important to us that all members of the Chobham community are clearly aware of what the Academy stands for and therefore able to express informed views on our practice if they so desire.
The values central to our world outlook at Chobham are based upon the aspiration that all of our students should become global citizens, content with their place in the world and successful in their families, friendships, careers and communities. Foremost amongst the beliefs which support this ambition are:
- That all of our students learn to value democracy and the fundamental freedom of human expression
- That other core freedoms (for example in worship, relationships and political views) are equally respected
- That our students embrace, celebrate and will protect the diversity of local, national and international communities
- That our students will seek to always treat others as they would be treated themselves
- That our students always listen and seek to see other points of view
- That our students understand the threats to their natural environment and seek to challenge them
The enactment of our belief system is most visible in the relationships between students and staff across the school and the example given to students by staff. Our sixth formers are also very aware of their responsibility in setting a moral example to younger students through their behavior and the attitudes they display.
The Chobham curriculum has been designed to enable students to reflect on the themes outlined above. Across all of our academic subjects, teachers will encourage students to reflect more widely on issues arising and their relevance to the world around us. The curriculum has many opportunities for students to think, talk and write about topics which, as well as furthering their general education, have particular relevance to their local circumstances.
The moral dimension of our curriculum is further enhanced by those aspects of the curriculum which extend beyond academic lessons. Each half term we have an Innovation Day which allows students to explore themes relating to morals and active citizenship in greater depth. This includes activities which introduce students to aspects of our democratic system and also visitors from a range of faith backgrounds. Through our daily tutorial structure, students are encouraged to learn about and reflect upon key issues in our society (such as crime, drugs and the use of social media). They are then given the opportunity to discuss the moral dimensions of these issues and guided in developing their own views. One day each week is spent discussing a current affairs topic in tutorial. This assists students in developing their own perspectives on national and international issues.
Our weekly assemblies are also an important part of the Academy’s systems for developing the thinking and attitudes of our students. Every student is involved in a house or year group assembly each week. These assemblies discuss a moral theme for the week which is also addressed in tutor time. At the end of every assembly, students are given time for prayer or silent reflection.
In combination, these systems and practices help us in developing Chobham students to develop into the active and thoughtful citizens we hope for them to become. All of our curriculum content is constantly under review and will respond to new ideas, national and international events and changing student needs.
Chobham GCSE subjects:
- Art and Design
- Business Students
- English Language
- English Literature
- Physical Education
- Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
- Religious Studies