Our all-through, backwards planned curriculum drives progress through establishing a rigorous knowledge base and a life-long love of learning.
As an all-through school, Reach Academy has considered the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required to achieve academic excellence in each subject at A Level and beyond. Subject leaders and teachers then plan backwards from this point. This ensures that pupils in each phase receive a rigorous, coherent and intelligently sequenced curriculum, which builds on what has come before. The curriculum at Reach is grounded in the strongest available evidence about how pupils learn and retain knowledge in the long term – focusing in particular on research from cognitive science.
Coherence. Consistency. Curiosity. Challenge.
Each subject is unique, and includes its own substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge. Substantive knowledge relates to the core facts, ideas and concepts which are central to a subject (for example how nations make treaties, such as the Treaty of Versailles). Disciplinary knowledge, on the other hand, relates to how scholars and academics within each subject (or discipline) arrive at this knowledge – for example, how physicists use the scientific method to arrive at general principles through observation and systematic experimentation. Our curriculum ensures that all pupils carefully build a comprehensive understanding of both.
At Reach Academy, all staff think about curriculum at three levels. The first is the intended curriculum – what we intend pupils to learn. Subject specialists at Reach set out this detail meticulously, drawing on their academic knowledge, the national curriculum and experience of what is necessary to flourish in their discipline. The second level is the implemented curriculum; the resources teachers use to deliver the curriculum. An example of these are the knowledge organisers and bespoke work booklets that teachers write for each subject and year group. Finally, we emphasise the importance of the enacted curriculum, where our skilled teachers bring all of this knowledge to life in a way that will be meaningful and exciting for the pupils that they know so well.
We are confident that this approach offers a truly broad and balanced curriculum to all pupils. It offers the chance for all pupils to encounter and understand the very best that has been thought, said, sung, danced, made and played. We believe that this will inspire pupils to go on and excel in their chosen field, with the widest range of opportunities available to them.