Seahaven has a rigorous and challenging curriculum designed to provide students with powerful knowledge through a broad and balanced education. Our students are challenged to be the best that they can be, whatever their starting point. Whilst our curriculum is designed to give students the skills and qualifications they need to pursue successful careers it also seeks to give students a lifelong love of learning. We want Seahaven students to enjoy their lessons and be inspired to engage with all opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.
Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life. Our curriculum is designed to provide students with the core knowledge they need for success in education and later life, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person and the talents of the individual so that Seahaven students become active and economically self-sufficient citizens.
Our vision at Seahaven Academy is to deliver a knowledge-rich curriculum that is cohesive, cumulative and purposefully sequenced. This approach is designed with long-term memory in mind; students’ knowledge, skills and understanding are cemented by frequent and systematic revisiting. At the heart of this approach lies a respect for the subjects that we teach and the insight that each provides into the world around us. By drawing on the best that’s been thought, said and done in each subject, we hope that our curriculum enables students to appreciate and participate in the full richness of the human experience. Wherever possible, the curriculum is sequential and chronological, contextualising content to secure students’ understanding of how the small details form a part of the bigger picture and how it’s relevant. This not only helps students make links within subjects but also between their subjects.
Our curriculum has been developed to meet the needs of Seahaven Academy students and has been designed with them specifically in mind. It aims to provide opportunities for students to learn without limits, achieve beyond expectations and have true choice through social mobility. As such it is a transformational curriculum.
The Seahaven Curriculum represents the highest standards in educational practice because it uses the ‘United Learning Core Curriculum’ as its basis, developed with the support of hundreds of teachers across our group of schools. The United Learning curriculum is founded on four key principles, and they are also the principles that guide us at Seahaven Academy:
Entitlement – We believe all students have the right to learn what is in the Seahaven Academy curriculum; we have a duty to ensure all students are taught the whole of it.
Mastery – We want all students to achieve a full understanding of the knowledge specified in the Curriculum for each year, and teaching should not move on until this is achieved. We use rigorous whole school assessments twice yearly and constant in-class assessment to judge the progress of our students and plan for teaching to move on.
Stability – We won’t constantly amend the curriculum; while we make occasional adjustments in the light of feedback and experience, we will aim for stability over many years, so that teachers can develop expertise, and we constantly build assessments and teaching materials to support the curriculum.
Concepts not context – Our curriculum specifies the knowledge that should be taught, provides resources to assist with this and exemplifies successful learning. Our teachers are empowered to utilise their individual skills, knowledge of classes and experience to bring that learning to life.
Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. We have used Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2012) and our own experience of what works in the classroom to develop the Seahaven Pillars:
1) Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy
2) Resilience and Independence
3) Stretch and Challenge
4) Feedback and Marking
In addition to these, we ensure that Literacy development provides a foundation underpinning our planning.
The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time, and we are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers within the same subject to meet, plan and develop together. Our subject expertise is strengthened by the support of our United Learning subject advisors.
As we provide a ‘mastery curriculum’ our students study fewer topics in greater depth, with the expectation that we don’t move on to the next topic until students have a secure understanding of the current topic. In our lessons you will typically see all students grappling with the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for students who need it. Rather than moving on to new content, our higher attainers are expected to produce work of greater depth and flair.
In order to allow the mastery approach to be effective (i.e. children learn what they are expected to in the year they are expected to), early catch up is essential: we aim to promptly identify and support pupils who start secondary school without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics so that they can access the full curriculum. We use information from primary schools, SATs results and the NGRT reading age tests to gain information about our new Year 7 in the summer they are in Year 6 so they can begin at the Academy with the support they need.
Everything from which children learn in school – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the co-curricular provision and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – are to be seen as part of the school curriculum. Our principle of ‘Education with Character’ is delivered through the curriculum in this broadest sense.
The Mechanics of Implemention
At Seahaven Academy we operate a two week timetable with 50 hours timetabled across the two week cycle. There are 5 x 1 hour lessons each day. The core school day is from 8.00am – 2.15pm.
Students are encouraged to use the Supported Study facility before school (from 7.15 – 8.00am) and after school (from 2.15- 4.15pm) for homework and additional time with teachers and teaching assistants.
Year 11 students are expected to attend an additional lesson, ‘Period 6’ from 2.15pm onwards for targeted ‘Progress Acceleration’ sessions.
A wide range of clubs and activities run at lunchtime and after school throughout the year. All students are encouraged to participate in a variety of enrichment activities during their time at Seahaven Academy.
We teach a traditional academic curriculum built around the core disciplines of English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Languages (the EBacc suite of subjects). For the full curriculum structure please click here
Seahaven Academy ensures that the broader curriculum provides breadth and balance; Technology (Design and Information Technology), the Arts (music, art and drama), PE, RE and PSHE are all taught in the core at KS3. At KS4 Humanities/ MFL, PE and RE/ PSHE are included in the core provision, Technology and Arts subjects are option subjects.
The Key Stage 3 Curriculum is taught in Years 7, 8 and 9. Students who enter the school in year 7 needing additional support in literacy take part in a targeted catch- up programme. Participation in the programme is reviewed at regular intervals. PSHE is operated on a rolling programme throughout the school on a fortnightly basis. A full programme of class activities, speakers and visits is organised for each year group.
We operate a 2 year Key Stage 4 programme of study. In addition to the core subjects of Maths, English Language, English Literature, double or triple Science, History and/ or Geography and/ or a Modern Language, students can choose from a range of subjects based on their successes, interests and strengths in Key Stage 3.
Assessment plays a key role at Seahaven Academy. Twice yearly assessments allow staff and students to monitor progress towards targets and plan appropriate intervention where needed. Assessments are always accompanied by an Assessment Manifest which indicates the topics to be revised. All year groups have regular formal exams which allow students to revise previous learning as well as test more recently acquired knowledge, understanding and skills.