Teaching and Learning in Stephenson Academy
As outlined by the Executive Principal, teaching and learning is at the heart of what we do here at Stephenson Academy and so, using the SEND Graduated Approach model, our curriculum is designed to meet students’ individual needs, with an appropriate balance between academic, vocational and social education.
The aim of the curriculum offer at the academy is to encourage, inspire and engage students in learning, so that through innovative and personalised timetables, students can achieve success and be ready for their next stage of education, training or employment once they leave us.
We are extremely ambitious for our students and so the breadth of the curriculum we offer enables all students to leave the academy with at least 5 GCSE, or equivalent, qualifications, most of whom will gain considerably more – up to 12 – depending on their chosen pathway. The range of subjects studied also allows students to access a wide range of options at post 16, both at the academy and alternative post 16 providers.
There are well equipped, specialist vocational teaching areas and courses have external accreditation, including GCSE, A Level, BTEC and NCFE. We aim to ensure that all students leave with the relevant, nationally recognised qualifications they need to help them make the next step to college, employment or apprenticeships. Furthermore, we also offer a range of programmes for students to engage in, such as Prince’s Trust and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, that are recognised nationwide by employers and colleges as evidence of the personal and social skills needed alongside subject content knowledge and skills, to achieve and succeed in education, employment, and life.
In Years 7 and 8, students follow a Nurture and Foundation based curriculum, with a focus on building confidence in literacy and numeracy skills, social skills and emotional regulation through self-understanding and management.
In Year 9, the focus is on securing basic skills and preparing for the transition into the Key Stage 4 curriculum. Students in Year 9 have the opportunity to gain entry level qualifications, boosting familiarity, confidence and success in the exams process. In addition, they are able to explore a ‘taster’ style series of subjects in preparations for their Key Stage 4 Option choices.
In Years 10 and 11, alongside the core curriculum student’s work towards formal qualifications in their range of option choices, supporting their development as independent and responsible learners. There is also a parallel focus on life skills, work skills and transition to post 16 education and training.
At Key Stage 5, in Years 12 and 13, students are able to develop skills in many of their GCSE Option choice subjects and extended their qualifications in preparation for apprenticeships, employment or higher education, if this is something they wish to pursue. The curriculum and timetable for our post 16 learners encourages more independence and ownership of learning, alongside programmes of support in key life skills to better prepare them for adult life.