We have 6 periods of 50 minutes every day making 30 periods in the week. There is a form period of 30 minutes at the beginning of each morning and a floating Positive Discipline lesson that takes place during a different period every week where students spend the lesson with their form tutor. Break (20 minutes) is between Periods 2 and 3 or between period 3 and 4 depending on year group, and lunch (30 minutes) is between Periods 3 and 4 or between periods 4 and 5. School starts at 8.40am and finishes at 3.00pm.

On two days each year, Years 7-11 have their own Be SMART Days that are specifically designed to cover aspects of PHSCE that cannot be delivered through other lessons. These days often involve outside agencies and guest speakers and cover issues such as drugs, bullying and careers. All students will attend at least one assembly each week that is well planned and coordinated to support the delivery of social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of learning, including the promotion of British values.

Curriculum Overviews

Art & Design
Business Studies
ICT and Computer Science

Key Stage 3: Years 7 and 8

Years 7 and 8 allows students to study a broad range of subjects that, at the end of Key Stage 3, enable them to make informed choices for their GCSEs. Students are taught in groups that reflect both their ability and their pastoral needs for all subjects. Subjects studied include: Art, Drama, English, Geography, History, Computing, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages (Spanish & French), Music, Religious Education, Physical Education and Science.

All students will study a Modern Foreign Language at Bruntcliffe Academy, this is either Spanish or French.

Students choose their GCSE course options in Year 8. To support your child in choosing their options, an options evening will take place in February for all year 8 students.

Key Stage 4: Years 9, 10 and 11

Students now begin their GCSE courses. Year 10 and Year 11 students will study both English Language and English Literature, along with Mathematics, and a Double Award in Science. Year 9 students will study both English Language and English Literature, along with Mathematics, and either a Double Award in Science and Statistics or a Triple Award in Science. All KS4 students also pick three options from a combination of GCSE and Level 2 vocational courses. They will also continue to have one Physical Education lesson per week. Students are placed on a Pathway before they choose their options.

Pathway 1 is a traditional GCSE route where at least one of the options a student selects must be a language, and one must be either History or Geography.

Pathway 2 allows students to select either History or Geography, plus two further GCSE or vocational subjects.A selection of the possible subjects which are available for students to select are: Art, Business Studies, Geography, Graphic Design, Health and Social Care, History, ICT, Performing Arts, Photography, RE, Spanish and Sport.

(Note: Certain subjects cannot be chosen together. Further details will be provided during options evening)

Subject Maths English Combined Science Geography or History Core PE
Lessons 6 6 6 3 1

Forensic Reading is delivered through English lessons.
Statistics is delivered through Mathematics lessons for some students.
The remaining curriculum will be selected by students based on their options choices.

Options include:

Option Type of course Lessons
Spanish GCSE 3
Computer Science GCSE 3
Drama GCSE 3
Art GCSE 3
Photography GCSE 3
Graphic Design GCSE 3
Health and Social Care Vocational 3
Performing Arts Vocational 3
Sport Vocational 3
IT Vocational 3
Music Vocational 3
Business Vocational 3

Some students will be able to study Triple Science from Year 10 if they have been successful in the acquisition of knowledge and skills during the study of Combined Science.

What will my child be taught?

All subject areas at Bruntcliffe Academy have Curriculum Maps, which cover five or in certain cases three years. Curriculums have been designed to ensure that all students are fully prepared for the demands of GCSEs. Curriculum Leaders started by identifying the key Assessment Objectives contained in the GCSE specifications and mapped backwards to ensure students are introduced to key skills and content during Keys Stage 3. It is also essential in order to promote learning cohesion across Years 7 to 11, thus enabling our young people to make progress over time and systematically develop the knowledge and ability to apply these skills in a range of contexts.

As parents and carers you will be able to see the topics and skills your child is currently working on and also what they will be going onto explore next. If you require any further clarification on how to support your child with these topics please contact Curriculum Leaders by sending an email to [email protected] or by telephoning the academy on 0113 2523 225.

As an academy we are also committed to ensuring that our young people are fully exposed to a variety of social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of learning (SMSC), including Fundamental British Values (FBV). It is for this reason that such opportunities are highlighted within the Curriculum Maps. Please click on the download link to view each subject’s Curriculum Map.

Underpinning our Curriculum

At Bruntcliffe Academy we take great pride in ensuring that all of our students are fully prepared for life beyond the end of their compulsory secondary education. To this end, we constantly strive to achieve the following in terms of our curriculum:

  • Our curriculum is designed and organised to ensure that students are constantly learning and consolidating knowledge in a coherent structure so that it is retained year on year;
  • Our curriculum is designed to be inspiring and engaging for students so that they develop a passion and enthusiasm for learning not just in the classroom, but beyond;
  • Our curriculum ensures that students are routinely exposed to challenging and difficult concepts and ideas where they are required to apply the knowledge they have acquired to different and challenging contexts;
  • Our curriculum develops the skills of independence and autonomy so that students are not over reliant on the support of others, including their teachers;
  • We place the development of literacy and numeracy at the centre of our work so that students have a mastery of the key skills needed to be successful in further education and employment.

Our Drivers for Improvement

Forensic Reading

As they spend their time with us our children and young adults will establish a costal shelf of knowledge, vocabulary, understanding, phraseology and experience that forms a basis for success in difficult examinations and the challenges of adult life beyond their time with us. Forensic Reading will expose students to challenging, complex and academic texts which will not only develop students’ vocabulary but also their ability to appreciate what makes a great writer.

Purple Zone

Students will be routinely exposed to challenging or difficult concepts which requires them to think and apply their prior knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. Purple Zone is designed so that students struggle with difficult concepts from which they will learn more.

The use and extension of Purple Zone activities is deep-routed in our work. Purple Zone work is formally linked to the process of assessment, linked in its own right to Iterative Assessment.

Curriculum/Rubric Mapping

Students experience a well organised and coherent curriculum which has been planned meticulously by expert professionals so that learning develops lesson by lesson, year by year.

The curriculum maps detail for each subject the knowledge to be taught, when it will be taught and how it might best be taught. Curriculum maps also directly link to homework and Iterative Assessments.

Iterative Assessment

Iterative Assessment is the process of assessing the accumulation of knowledge over time. We do not focus solely on what has been taught most recently, instead, we assess students in terms of current and prior learning.

Students will be regularly tested against the knowledge that has been delivered through the curriculum. The curriculum is driven through a detailed professional understanding of the curriculum and examination rubric.

Positive Discipline

Positive Discipline in the foundation stone upon which all success is built. Positive Discipline is an established aspect of student life at Bruntcliffe Academy and allows professionals, students and parents to drive a culture of high aspiration and achievement as behaviour around the academy and in lessons is exemplary.

Positive Discipline creates a culture of autonomy where students can become responsible for their own learning.