Year 7

We believe that Year 7 is the cornerstone of a good foundation into the secondary phase of learning.  For this reason, our transition curriulum is designed to nurture, support and challenge students so that they make accelerated progress in a motivating,  fun, challenging and secure setting.

Students are taught by a core teacher for 10 lessons each week.  The core teacher delivers a competency based curriculum using the framework of RSA Opening Minds.  By building a strong relationship at the start of their career, students become confident very quickly and make rapid gains in progress.

Our curriculum design is competency based,  using the framework  of the RSA Opening Minds Curriculum to develop learners’ knowledge, understanding, skills and aptitudes so that  students can become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.  We work with our students to examine how they are motivated, and ensure that the curriculum they experience is exciting, vibrant, relevant and meets their needs, talents and interests.

The key features of learning and teaching in the Year 7 foundation core at the academy include:

  • The creation of a collaborative learning community in each classroom, based on mutual respect , positive relationships and trust
  • Teachers working with students to establish rules and routines for the classroom, which are negotiated with every class member and form the basis of a class contract
  • Students frequently working in pairs, small groups and teams and occasionally whole groups with students assigned task roles to aid successful group process
  • Teachers sharing the success criteria and learning outcomes with the students, providing the ‘big picture’ to aid successful learning
  • Teachers and students reflecting on the learning from previous activities/lessons, connecting it to the current activity and enabling students to transfer the learning from one area to another
  • Students setting the quality criteria for their work, with their peers or/and with the teacher
  • Students exhibiting their learning to each other, including teaching each other where appropriate
  • Assessment for learning techniques throughout the lesson, including feedback and debrief with learning partners
  • Students reflecting on the product and the process of learning
  • Reflection and think time built into the lesson
  • Use of effective questioning techniques, including providing opportunities for students to ask questions
  • Students actively solving meaningful problems
  • Extensive use of ICT as a tool for learning
  • Teachers role includes teaching, guiding, coaching and facilitating the learning process
  • Students are encouraged to take risks with their learning
  • Consistency of language across each area of learning to ensure continuity and high quality of provision

The RSA Opening Minds Competencies are:

Competences for Learning

Students would:

  • understand how to learn, taking account of their preferred learning styles, and understand the need to, and how to, manage their own learning throughout life
  • have learned, systematically, to think
  • have explored and reached an understanding of their own creative talents, and how best to make use of them
  • have learned to enjoy and love learning for its own sake and as part of understanding themselves
  • have achieved high standards in literacy, numeracy, and spatial understanding
  • have achieved high standards of competence in handling information and communications technology and understand the underlying processes.

Competences for Citizenship

Students would:

  • have developed an understanding of ethics and values, how personal behaviour should be informed by these, and how to contribute to society
  • understand how society, government and business work, and the importance of active citizenship
  • understand cultural and community diversity, in both national and global contexts, and why these should be respected and valued
  • understand the social implications of technology
  • have developed an understanding of how to manage aspects of their own lives, and the techniques they might use to do so – including managing their financial affairs

 Competences for Relating to People

Students would:

  • understand how to relate to other people in varying contexts in which they might find themselves, including those where they manage, or are managed by, others; and how to get things done
  • understand how to operate in teams, and their own capacities for filling different team roles
  • understand how to develop other people, whether as peer or teacher
  • have developed a range of techniques for communicating by different means, and understand how and when to use them     have developed competence in managing personal and emotional relationships
  • understand, and be able to use, varying means of managing stress and conflict.

Competences for Managing Situations

Students would:

  • understand the importance of managing their own time, and have developed preferred techniques for doing so
  • understand what is meant by managing change, and have developed a range of techniques for use in varying situations
  • understand the importance both of celebrating success and managing disappointment, and ways of handling these
  • understand what is meant by being entrepreneurial and initiative-taking, and how to develop capacities for these
  • understand how to manage risk and uncertainty, the wide range of contexts in which these will be encountered, and techniques for managing them

Competences for Managing Information

Students would:

  • have developed a range of techniques for accessing, evaluating and differentiating information and have learned how to analyse, synthesise and apply it
  • understand the importance of reflecting and applying critical judgement, and have learned how to do so

You can find further information regarding Year 7 in the documents below:

New Year 7 Information Booklet 2014 final

Summer school flyer 2014