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Haberdashers' Borough Academy

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Curriculum Principles & Overview

Across our Trust, our aim is for all our pupils, whatever their background or ability, to make exceptional progress and to achieve better than their peers nationally.

We aim to provide a curriculum that: 

  • provides challenge and aspirational goals for all pupils
  • supports progress throughout the different key stages
  • prioritises the development and mastery of key numeracy and literacy skills
  • is knowledge rich
  • recognises the importance of context and is relevant to the local and global educational and employment situation

Students follow a three-year Key Stage 3 curriculum in classes set by ability in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science and offering a wide range of curriculum subjects across many disciplines.

The school uses termly assessments (formative/summative) to gather relevant information about student progress. These are used to inform judgement about their learning in lessons and across subjects, enabling curriculum adjustments to improve teaching.

Personal, Social, Health & Careers Education (PSHCE) and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) is embedded in our tutor programme and curriculum. It is taught through all Key Stages. As a cluster of schools we offer an effective transition from Key Stage 2 (Year 6) to Key Stage 3 (Year 7), with a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy.

Our curriculum has been designed so that it is accessible for those with disabilities or SEND and is compliant in the Equality Act 2010 and SEND Code of Practice 2015. Each subject has carefully considered the threshold topics central to the understanding of a subject, and revisits them periodically throughout the curriculum journey. By revisiting threshold topics and by identifying them in our topic knowledge organisers each subject is carefully considering the needs of students with SEND. Further details of our SEND policy can be found here.

Subject leads have also carefully considered how their curriculums reflects the values of our Federation in terms of equality, diversity and fairness. Additionally, the curriculum also caters to the individual needs of pupils. This is supported by ensuring that teachers and support staff have the necessary skills to provide quality first teaching that meets these needs, enables progress and raises levels of achievement for all pupils including those with SEND.

What we offer - Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to be rich, varied, challenging and inspiring.

We aspire for all students to achieve their potential and succeed beyond what may be seen as their best, whatever their starting point. Our three-year Key Stage 3 curriculum consolidates key learning skills, fosters creativity, and enhances knowledge across a wide range of subjects.

We set the bar high for achievement, making every teacher accountable for the progress of the students they teach. Both formative and summative assessments are used to help pupils by providing feedback on their performance which helps them develop and learn. Heads of Year and Heads of Department work closely together, focusing on the academic achievement of students in their year groups and subject areas.  This ensures that underachievement is quickly identified, and high impact interventions are implemented to ensure all students achieve their targets.

Teachers are encouraged to plan imaginative and enjoyable lessons, which provide memorable learning experiences. A range of strategies are used to engage all students and encourage them to become independent learners. Careful questioning and structured student talk in lessons also help to deepen and develop students’ understanding of the curriculum at Key Stage 3. 

What we offer - Key Stage 4

Our Key Stage 4 curriculum aims to be rich, varied, challenging and inspiring. We offer a traditional but broad curriculum. Pupils usually choose to study English, Maths, Science, PE, a language and/or a humanities subject in addition to their chosen subjects.

Courses are shaped by the GCSE Specification, but are grounded in the concepts and ideas explored at Key Stage 3. Subject leaders have designed opportunities which enhance the study of the KS4 curriculum, from gallery and museum visits, to fieldwork, performances to exhibitions. At the end of the programme of study, pupils are well equipped to pursue their study at Key Stage 5. 

The courses on offer at Key Stage 4 are listed below.

GCSE courses

  • Art & Design
  • Art & Design Graphics
  • Art & Design Photography
  • Combined Science
  • Triple Science
  • Computer Science
  • Drama
  • English Lang
  • English Literature
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Maths
  • Music
  • P.E.
  • Religious Studies

Other courses

  • ASDAN Level 1 Certificate
  • Creative iMedia Cambridge National
  • Food Tech Level ½ Vocational Award in Hospitality and Catering

Looking ahead to Key Stage 5

We are looking forward to opening a Post 16 Provision in September 2024. This will be a broadly traditional offer, which builds on the subjects studied at Key Stage 4, to pursue academic A Level programmes of study. 

You can learn more about our proposed programme of study by clicking on the link here. 

Beyond the classroom

At all key stages the curriculum is supported by an extensive extracurricular programme provided as part of the extended day, to broaden and enhance the learning experience. Click here for further information on enrichment.

Careers education, enterprise education and financial capability are integral to all areas of the curriculum. Click here for further information on careers education.

More Information about our curriculum

You can learn more about each subject discipline by visiting the subjects pages.

Please contact Miss J Monk, j.monk@habstrustsouth.org.uk, Senior Vice-Principal Quality of Education, for more information about our Curriculum