The Curriculum Implementation outlines the structure of the school day, the structure of Ark Blake Academy’s Curriculum, the Base Learning Curriculum Entitlement, the Academic Knowledge-rich Subject Discipline Outline, and the Enhanced Curriculum Provision.

 

School Day

The school day provides the vehicle for Ark Blake Academy’s Vision, Mission, Values and Curriculum Intent to be Implemented. The Ark Blake Academy Curriculum Entitlement comprises of thirty lessons with two additional lessons of enrichment across Tuesday and Thursday respectively, and forty minutes daily of Tutor Time split across thirty minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon. Lesson lengths are fifty-five minutes. Ark Blake Academy offers a combined total of over thirty-two hours of learning a week.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday School Day:

 

Activity

Timings

Minutes

Line up then Tutor Time

8:25- 8:55

30

Period 1

8.55 - 9:50

55

Period 2

9:50 - 10:45

55

Break

10:45 -11.00

15

Period 3

11:00 -11:55

55

Period 4

11:55 - 12:50

55

Lunch

12:50 -13:30

40

Period 5

13:30 -14:25

55

Period 6

14:25 -15:20

55

Tutor

15:20-15:30

10

 

Tuesday and Thursday School Day:

 

Activity

Timings

Minutes

Line up then Tutor Time

8:25- 8:55

30

Period 1

8.55 - 9:50

55

Period 2

9:50 - 10:45

55

Break

10:45 -11.00

15

Period 3

11:00 -11:55

55

Period 4

11:55 - 12:50

55

Lunch

12:50 -13:30

40

Period 5

13:30 -14:25

55

Period 6

14:25 -15:20

55

Enrichment

15:20 - 16:15

55

Tutor

16:15 – 16:25

10

 

To ensure that we are constantly improving and reflecting upon our provision, staff training and meetings take place after school across Mondays and Wednesdays.

Structure of Ark Blake Academy’s Curriculum

The Ark Blake Academy Curriculum is structured into three different areas of focus:

Base Learning Curriculum

 

  • Key Stage Three

Pupils study a curriculum that is both broad and balanced in KS3, and one that is taught by subject specialists from day one. Content is mapped backwards from university study and is, therefore, ambitious, challenging and inspiring. The curriculum is designed to unlock the inherent greatness inside of all pupils. As such, pupils develop their core knowledge and skills by studying the foundational subjects, English, Maths and Science, for half of their allotted time. Pupils spend close to five hours studying the humanities, and close to three hours on a modern foreign language: Spanish or French. Pupils also have the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and interests further by studying Music, Art and PE, and in future years, Computing, Drama and Design Technology. Pupils are explicitly taught a ‘Character’ programme, in order to develop their understanding and appreciation of Ark Blake Academy’s values and learning dispositions, and to learn about Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education. Each pupil also benefits from two sessions of enrichment, on Tuesday and Thursday.

 

#

Subject

ABA Lessons per Week

School Hours per Week

1

English*

6

5.5

2

Maths

5

4.6

3

Science**

4

3.7

4

History

2

1.8

5

Geography

2

1.8

6

RE

1

0.9

7

MFL

3

2.8

8

Art***

2

1.8

9

Music****

2

1.8

10

PE

2

1.8

11

Character

1

0.9

12

Academic Enrichment

2

1.8

English Language and English Literature*

Biology, Chemistry and Physics**

Time shared with Design & Technology from 2021***

Time shared with Drama from 2021****

 

Pupils are split across six mixed prior attainment Tutor Group classes. There are three bands in Maths, English and Science, each with two classes, allowing broad setting by prior attainment where appropriate. Humanities, MFL, Art, Music, PE and Character will be taught in mixed prior attainment Tutor Groups.

 

The KS3 curriculum entitlement will adapt and develop as Ark Blake Academy grows.

 

  • Key Stage Four

Pupils study fewer subjects in greater depth, in preparation for GCSE examinations, and study beyond. All pupils will study English Language, English Literature, Maths, Double Science, MFL and either History or Geography.

 

For the additional subject choices, we discuss individual curriculum pathways with pupils and their parents at the end of Year 9, as pupils prepare for the transition to Key Stage 4. Each pupil will be interviewed with their parents by a senior member of staff to discuss their option choices. They will have the option to choose two further subjects, including

  • Art
  • Design and Technology
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education
  • Computing Science
  • Performing Arts

 

In addition to this, some pupils will study Further Maths, if the desire and attainment is there, and some pupils will work towards a heritage (home) language GCSE, supported by our Modern Foreign Languages department.

 

All of the options subjects offered at Ark Blake Academy will meet the qualification requirements for Best 8 subjects.

 

#

Subject

ABA Lessons per Week

School Hours per Week

1

English*

6

5.5

2

Maths

5

4.6

3

Science**

5

4.6

4

History or Geography

3

2.8

5

MFL

3

2.8

6

Option 1

3

2.8

7

Option 2

3

2.8

8

Core PE

2

1.8

*English Language and English Literature

**Double Science – worth two GCSEs. Some pupils will have the opportunity to study Triple Science – worth three GCSEs.

 

  • Key Stage Five

Ark Blake Academy will open its sixth form in 2025 after our 2020 founding pupils complete GCSEs. We will offer A Level courses across a range of academic subjects. Our subject offer will encompass all Russell group ‘facilitating subjects’ as well as a range of other choices, and will likely include the following:

  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Drama and Theatre Studies
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geography
  • History
  • French
  • Music
  • Media Studies
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Product Design
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Religious studies

 

We believe this offer will prepare Ark Blake Academy pupils to attend the best universities in the country or embark on a higher-level apprenticeship of their choice.

 

We also intend to offer a number of rigorous level 3 qualifications that have recently been introduced across the Ark network. They have been designed in close collaboration with partners from the commercial and public sectors and are complemented by a careers readiness programme, careers mentoring and business partnerships. Our offer is like to include both:

  • Applied Science Professional Pathway
  • Business Professional Pathway

 

A-Level subjects in Key Stage 5 will have 6 lessons per week. Most pupils will study 3 A Levels and some will study 4 (in particular, this will include those studying math and further maths).

 

Professional Pathways pupils will be taught a minimum of 15 lessons per week.

 

Academic Knowledge-rich Curriculum

Each subject discipline has generated and devised the following to ensure rigour and academic richness:

  • Curriculum Subject Intent – The identification of the nature of a subject, and the rationale for the design, scope, and sequencing of selected content, skills and concepts in that subject’s curriculum.
  • Curriculum Y7-Y11 Map – A term-by-term breakdown of content, skills and concepts covered in a subject’s curriculum.
  • Curriculum Content* – An outline of ‘what’ is taught in the subject’s curriculum.
  • Curriculum Skills* – An outline of the domain-centric skills and disciplinary thinking in the subject’s curriculum.
  • Curriculum Threshold Concepts* – An outline of the powerful, transformative concepts that alter pupils’ thinking on a subject.

*Curriculum Content, Skills and Threshold Concepts are outlined in each subject’s ‘Curriculum Unit Plans’ for respective schemes of work.

 

The definition and nature of each subject discipline is important to distill and share with pupils. We believe our subject disciplines are:

#

Subject

 

1

 

English Language

The forging of the linguistic keys that will unlock the whole curriculum and a life of learning.

2

English Literature

The exploration of the human condition through the study of literary texts.

3

Maths

The use of rigour and reason to solve problems grounded in numeracy, algebra and geometry.

4

Biology

The examination of all living organisms and their interdependence upon each other.

5

Chemistry

An analysis of the material world from atomic building blocks to universal bodies.

6

Physics

An explanation of the behaviors of non-living phenomena experienced in our daily lives.

7

History

The study of the phenomenon of society over time, and how people and societies behave through varied sources.

8

Geography

The understanding of the complex relationship between humans and the physical earth, so that both can thrive.

9

RE

The study of religion, religious and non-religious worldviews as well as their influence on the individual and society.

10

MFL

The study of communicating with precision through reading, writing, listening and speaking in other languages.

11

Art

A critical and creative exploration of a visual language that communicates to all.

12

Music

The development of our creativity through performance and composition.

13

PE

The exploration of a broad range of activities and sports that benefit health, fitness, and wellbeing.

14

Character

The practice and development of the virtues, habits and emotional intelligence that will enable students to cultivate ethical intuition.

15

Access & Inclusion

The adaptation of provision so that academic and personal success for all is a non-negotiable.

 

Ark Blake Academy’s ‘Teaching Tenets’

In ‘Expert Teaching: What is it, and how might we develop it?’, Peps Mccrea argues that teaching is the “greatest lever at our disposal for improving the life chances of the young people in our care” (2018)[1]. As such, there is a moral obligation to get teaching right to ensure that our pupils have the best possible chance to seize life’s opportunity and manifest their inherent greatness. Codifying best teaching practice is paramount to the success of our pupils, and Ark Blake Academy, as it enables us to implement the Intent of our curriculum appropriately.

 

Click for details on twelve Teaching Tenets for Ark Blake Academy: best practice encouraged across a series or sequence of lessons*.

*For more on the ‘Teaching Tenets’ please refer to the Teaching & Learning Policy.

 

Enhanced Curriculum

Our wide-ranging enrichment and extra-curricular programme will allow our pupils to develop their passions and interests, as well as gain in confidence and self-belief.  

 

Enrichment at Ark Blake will form part of the school day. Each pupil will have a choice of enrichment options to sign up to each term, including: Sport, Dance, Technology, Creative Writing and Journalism, Music, Art, Drama, Coding, and Languages. Additional clubs, such as Homework and Debating, will also be timetabled.

 

Regular trips and visits will make the most of museums, universities and all the best that London has to offer. There will be opportunities to participate in outdoor pursuits to build confidence and leadership skills. Pupils will have access to Ark events such as: Shakespeare Schools Festival, Debating competitions, Maths challenges and Sports days. Pupils can also participate in our annual shows, music concerts, the school choir or take up instruments.

 

  • Various facets of the ‘enrichment’:
    • x2 Enrichment Sessions per week
    • Assemblies
    • Tutor Time Programme
    • Character Programme
    • PSHCE
    • Drop Down Days
    • Educational Visits & Trips
    • Guest Speakers
    • Charitable Work

 

Tutor Time Morning Programme

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Schedule

Values Assembly

House Ruby Assembly / Reading for Pleasure / DEAR

House Sapphire Assembly / Reading for Pleasure / DEAR

House Emerald Assembly / Reading for Pleasure / DEAR

Ark Blake’s Anthology for Greatness

  • Pupils will have a weekly assembly that gives them the opportunity to explore one of the core BLAKE values on a half-termly basis: Bravery, Leadership, Aspiration, Kindness, and Endeavour. Key messages, current affairs, and inspirational talks will be the focus during these assemblies.

 

  • House Assemblies – Each pupil is attached to one of Ark Blake Academy’s three Houses: House Ruby, House Sapphire, or House Emerald. Regularly over the course of a half-term, usually twice, all pupils from a House Group meet together for assemblies, discussions, debates, or competitions. The regular House Assemblies enable pupils to develop a sense of belonging to their House, and to connect with others outside of their own Tutor Group. House Assemblies across all three Houses take place in the same week, so that messages are received at similar times.

 

  • Reading for Pleasure – Twice a week during Tutor Time, pupils have the opportunity to read a text for enjoyment, corporately with their Tutor and Tutor Group peers. This seeks to boost pupils’ pleasure in reading, and offers a shared experience with the others in the Tutor Group. Tutor Groups will be able to read three-five books over the course of the academic year, purely for enjoyment.

 

  • DEAR – DEAR is an acronym for ‘Drop Everything And Read’. Once a week during Tutor Time when pupils are not in their House Meetings, pupils have the opportunity to read for pleasure a book of their own personal choosing either from the assortment on offer in our brand-new library, or one from home. Pupils are able to gauge their knowledge on their reading book by taking a low-stakes quiz on the programme, Accelerated Reader.

 

  • Ark Blake’s Anthology for Greatness – On a weekly basis, pupils will explore a collection of excerpts, short stories, articles, biography extracts, speeches, poems and Ted Talks that showcase ‘greatness’ in a specific sphere and field, in order to encourage ‘greatness’ in pupils. This seeks to boost pupils’ cultural capital, and enrich their education experience.

 

  • In the afternoon for the ten-minute Tutor Time before school is dismissed, pupils have the opportunity to engage with DEAR daily. Additionally, this gives further time for the Tutor to check in with pupils, have important coonversations throughout the week, and to sign the pupil planners.

 

The Ark Blake Academy Curriculum comprises of thirty lessons with two additional lessons of enrichment, and forty minutes daily of Tutor Time. A combined total of over thirty-two hours a week of learning.

[1] Mccrea, P. (2018). Expert Teaching: What is it, and how might we develop it? London: Ambition Institute