Curriculum Aims

At Ark Burlington Danes Academy, the curriculum in each subject area has been designed backwards from university study, through A-Level, GCSE and down to KS3. Our curriculum is a broad and balanced offer, built around the core disciplines of English, mathematics, science, humanities and languages. All subject areas prepare pupils for future study within this discipline, leaving no doors closed to pupils as they narrow their choices later in their education. 

Assessment plays a key role at Ark Burlington Danes. Frequent formative assessment in class advises students on how to improve their work and make progress. In key stages 3 & 4, books are marked fortnightly in accordance with the department marking policies to ensure students have regular feedback. A-level students have three-weekly short in-class tests, which ensure students are on track.

Our curriculum is organised into three cycles, and formal examinations take place during Assessment Point 1 (Nov/Dec), Assessment Point 2 (March), End of Year Exams (June/July). These summative assessments every term allow students and staff to measure progress against national standards, and inform our interventions to support students. Assessments are more frequent for students preparing for state exams: year 11, have four key summative assessment points to track progress (two in autumn and two in spring).

We believe that students perform best when working with peers of a similar ability in core subjects, and as such our classes are set, with opportunities for students to change classes according to the progress they are making. However, our house tutor groups are mixed, facilitating collaborative work across all abilities. We also offer opportunities for students to work vertically (outside of their year group) during our cross-curricula project week and create opportunities for our Sixth Formers to work with younger students through the ‘Give Back Programme’. 

Our primary phase curriculum benefits from the specialisms in the secondary phase where subject expertise is shared, for example, in physical education and modern foreign languages to ensure stretch and challenge is provided.

KS3 Curriculum Offer

Our students are exposed to a challenging curriculum. We have a strong focus on the core subjects English, maths and science and each pupil also studies computer science. Throughout key stage 3, students study three humanities subjects (history, geography and religious education) and a language. In addition to this, students have the experience of technical and visual arts subjects, including music, drama, art and design and technology. These subjects are taught through a carousel which changes half-termly. 

The full subject offer is outlined below. The total number of periods per week is.

Subject

No of periods per week

Y7

Y8

Y9

English

6

6

6

Maths

6

6

6

Science

5

5

5

History

3

3

3

Geography

3

3

3

RE

2

2

2

French

4

4

4

Spanish (sets 1&2)

2

2

2

PE

3

3

3

Music

3*

3*

3*

Drama

3*

3*

3*

Creative Design (Art, Catering)

3*

3*

3*

Literacy (sets 6&7)

2

1 or 2

1 or 2

*These subjects are run on a carousel; pupils rotate every half term

 

KS4 Curriculum Offer

Our key priority at key stage 4 is that students have the essential skills of literacy, numeracy and are prepared for further study, employment and life after school. All Ark Burlington Danes students follow a common core of English language and literature, mathematics, science, PE, RE and PSHCE (delivered through the character programme). Pathways through mathematics vary according to the higher and foundation tier. In science, pupils either study the triple science pathway (biology, chemistry and physics) or combined science (two GSCE qualifications).

In addition pupils choose three or four option choices from a range of GCSEs and BTEC courses. We also offer students following the Btech route extra support in English and maths to ensure they reach a high standard of literacy and numeracy.

We offer a full enrichment programme to students to supplement the core curriculum.  Please see our enrichment booklet for details.

We run an extensive range of trips in all curriculum areas to support and enrich curriculum learning.  We utilise all the capital has to offer such as The Imperial War Museum, Keats’ House, The Houses of Parliament, The National History Museum, Barclay’s HQ, The Old Vic Theatre, The Tate Modern and many universities.  We also offer residential visits to Athens, Rome and Amsterdam, Lille, Barcelona and Paris to stretch our students’ horizons so they can apply their knowledge and skills in different contexts.

In addition to this, year 11 are offered intervention classes to prepare them for exams after school, 4 times per week.

 

Subject

Qualification

Type

No of periods per week

Y10

Y11

English

GCSE

Core

5

5

Maths

GCSE

Core

5

5

Science

GCSE

Core

6 or 9*

6 or 9*

RE

GCSE

Core

3

3

PE

N/A

Core

2

2

History

GCSE

Foundation

4

4

Geography

GCSE

Foundation

4

4

French

GCSE

Foundation

4

4

Spanish

GCSE

Foundation

4

4

Music

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Music Technology

BTech

Foundation

3

3

Drama

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Fine Art

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Photography

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Sociology

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Media

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Business

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Economics

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Catering

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

PE

GCSE

Foundation

3

3

Sport

BTech

Foundation

 

5

Music

BTech

Foundation

5

 

Health & Social Care

BTech

Foundation

5

 

Business

BTech

Foundation

5

5

Media

BTech

Foundation

5

 

Literacy

N/A

 

 

 

Numeracy

N/A

 

 

 

*Triple scientists have 9 periods of science and one less option subject

 

KS5 Curriculum Offer

Ark Burlington Danes Sixth Form supports pupils in fulfilling their potential and reaching their personal targets. Our primary focus is university preparation. We support every pupil in choosing the right university pathway and career with confidence. We run a comprehensive tutor support programme and weekly PSHE, Careers and University preparation. The array of universities and courses to which our alumni have progressed is testament to both the hard work of the young people who choose to study with us and the striving, aspirational ethos that helps propel them to success.

Pupils in Ark Burlington Danes Sixth Form are offered an academic programme encompassing 3 A-Level subjects. We also offer a Professional Pathways qualification in business and IT (from 2019). We currently offer Health and Social Care and Sport Science L3 Btech qualifications.

In addition we offer pupils the opportunity to complete the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) where they receive support and guidance from a specialist tutor.

Finally we offer pupils a re-take in English or mathematics GCSE as needed to support with their Higher Education applications and life skills.

The total number of periods per week for Sixth Formers is 21. With additional timetabled study periods (7 periods).

Subject

Qualification

No of periods per week

English Literature

A Level

7

Maths

A Level

7

Further Maths

A Level

7

Core Maths

A Level

7

Biology

A Level

7

Chemistry

A Level

7

Physics

A Level

7

History

A Level

7

Geography

A Level

7

French

A Level

7

Spanish

A Level

7

Music

A Level

7

Art

A Level

7

Drama

A Level

7

Psychology

A Level

7

Philosophy

A Level

7

Sociology

A Level

7

Government & Politics

A Level

7

Photography

A Level

7

Economics

A Level

7

Media

A Level

7

Business

A Level

7

Business

BTech

21

Health & Social Care

BTech

14

Sport

BTech

14

EPQ

 

2