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Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is at the heart of a school’s purpose and our curriculum reflects our values: Strive, Believe, Achieve. At Tile Cross Academy we aim to offer a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the disadvantaged and those with SEND needs the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We offer this through our curriculum which is sequenced for knowledge retention and developing skills for future learning and employment. We want our learners to engage in a range of enrichment that allows them to build on their cultural capital and exposes them to the wider world, enjoying a vast range of extra-curricular activities, during and after school, including excursions abroad.

We offer a full, broad and balanced curriculum with a diverse range of subjects over a three-year KS3 and two-year KS4 curriculum.

Within our curriculum, we are striving to improve literacy across all age groups so that our learners are articulate, speak to a high standard, listen to their peers and respond with fluency and expression, read widely and with enjoyment and write with confidence. 

We expect all our students, no matter what their background or previous social and academic experience, to leave school as well qualified, resilient, reliable, responsible, ready, reflective (our character values) and confident young adults, ready to make a highly positive contribution to their community and wider society.

In a rapidly changing world, we feel strongly that our students should show adaptability and resilience as well as demonstrating respect, kindness and tolerance of people from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds.

Broad and Rich Curriculum

The curriculum is broad, and students experience the full National Curriculum demonstrated through each subject’s learning journey, giving them opportunities to explore each subject whilst learning the key knowledge and principles required.  Each scheme of work is carefully planned for all to make progress towards goals, sequenced to make sense and build on prior learning as demonstrated for students through their learning journeys.  It offers a clear and coherent sequencing of ideas, concepts, knowledge, and techniques both within each year and across years so that new ideas are built on the firm foundations of existing ones.

The curriculum journey in each subject is not standalone and there are many links between subjects that we aim to build on. Enrichment along with PHSE, Personal development, our reading program  and themed work in Character Days allows us to cover the skills and knowledge needed to prepare our students for Key Stage Four.  At KS4, the courses are carefully planned to ensure that that previous content is thoroughly revisited and new content is delivered well, which prepares students for external examinations at the end of the course.​

Curriculum Implementation

National curriculum content is carefully tracked to ensure that pupils have covered all areas. Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics.  Teachers plan learning that allows pupils to embed and recall knowledge through interleaving of topics, a spiral curriculum, spaced practice and techniques such as Smart Starts at the start of lessons, which are designed to recall previous knowledge and skills. The lessons are adapted well to ensure that all students are challenged and supported.​

We know that excellent planning forms the foundation for highly effective teaching and consequently, pupil learning. The most important component in planning high quality learning experiences is the thinking time put in at all stages and reviewing the curriculum offer is no exception.

​1. We have reviewed and refined our curriculum. Planning of learning journeys and schemes of work in each subject are a key focus in senior/middle leadership line management meetings. â€‹

2. Following each assessment point, subject leads will evaluate the effectiveness of the planning for each year group and identify specific improvements to be made. Changes to schemes of work from the preceding term, including re-planning of lessons or units of work, re-sequencing and/or adjusting the weighting of time spent on particular topics.​

3. Faculty curriculum reviews are scheduled once every half a term with the aim to coach and develop all HoFs and faculties. The meetings are used to discuss, support and drill down on the Intent of a subjects’ curriculum. And an opportunity to see the faculty in action and focus on teacher consistency.

Curriculum Impact

At TCA, our curriculum will: 

  • ensure that the sequence of learning builds on previous knowledge whilst supporting future progression.

  • lead to qualifications that are of worth; for employers and for entry to further and higher education.

  • enable all to fulfil their potential.

  • meet the needs of students of all abilities.

  • develop students into outstanding learners and active, contributing and content citizens.

  • allow pupils to acquire an appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures.

  • prepare pupils to make informed choices at the end of KS3, KS4 and beyond.

Our ambitious curriculum is designed to engage and stimulate our learners and develop their knowledge and skills to achieve high quality outcomes.

Our learners will:

  • Experience a diverse and challenging curriculum with a wide range of exciting enrichment opportunities designed to develop their character.
  • Learn the subject knowledge, and subject expertise of a broad curriculum with meets their needs and inspires them.
  • Develop their independence, collaboration, resilience in line with our CORE skills.
  • Be supported and challenged as they aim to reach their true potential.
  • Be literate, a CORE skill, which will enable them to access the wider world and be successful in their future life
  • Develop and nurture their cultural knowledge and experiences thorough both the timetabled and our extensive programme of extra-curricular enrichment activities.

Tile Cross KS3 Curriculum

At Tile Cross we have developed an intensive three-year Key Stage 3 which has been designed to support progression and the successful transition from Primary School. Students are supported from individual starting points and a range of pathways have been introduced to ensure all students make rapid progress through KS3. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum will allow students to experience a range of exciting subjects which will equip them for Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Our KS3 students are generally taught in mixed ability groups

Each curriculum area has a vision and an overview of course content for Years 7, 8 and 9 which can be found on the Subject Information page.

Subject Information

Grouping of Students at KS3

As students’ progress through KS3, they will be placed in a variety of teaching groups according to their ability and the needs of individual faculties. Groupings are reviewed on a regular basis and changes are made throughout Years 7, 8 & 9. Students who require extra support in KS3 are supported within our skills school classes. Here students are supported with their literacy and numeracy skills to bridge the gap between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. Students who reach expected progress will then experience the full curriculum as they will be equipped with the skills to achieve.


Tile Cross KS4 Curriculum

At Tile Cross students study a core programme of GCSE English Language and Literature, GCSE Mathematics and Physical Education. Students also have opportunities to study GCSE Triple or GCSE Combined Science. Where appropriate, students are encouraged to continue with a GCSE Modern Foreign Language and a GCSE Humanity subject. In addition, students choose up to three additional subjects from a wide range of options. At Tile Cross we offer a wide range of GCSE and Vocational Subjects to study throughout KS4 which allows our students to deepen their skills and knowledge while continuing to access a range of subjects. There are many opportunities for students to revisit, consolidate and apply their learning.

Subject Information Link 

Grouping of Students at KS4

As students’ progress through KS4, they are placed in a variety of teaching groups according to their ability and the needs of individual faculties. The groups are generally mixed ability. Groupings are reviewed on a regular basis and changes are made throughout Years 10 & 11. Students who require extra support in KS4 are supported within our personalised curriculum pathway.


Enrichment & Character Curriculum

Throughout Tile Cross all students are given the opportunity to take part in a wide range of enrichment activities.  These range from trips within the UK and abroad, lunchtime and afterschool clubs for Sport, Arts, STEM etc, Visits from external providers, Careers encounters from a range of local employers and even opportunities to join the Sea Cadets and take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. We also have developed a range of Character days in which students take part in an exciting range of activities targeted towards specific themes.

All students study PSHE & Citizenship throughout KS3 & 4 and these themes are reinforced in regular weekly assemblies.

Character Development at Tile Cross  Rs1

Our extended curriculum at Tile Cross Academy aims to develop a culture which develops the ‘whole student’ to inspire and expand students as individuals, develop personal attributes that are essential for employability and life, help students discover their own strengths. Whilst preparing leavers for life and citizenship after Tile Cross to give students a competitive edge in the recruitment process therefore leading a happy, successful, productive life.  

We reward students for demonstrating positive character virtues for being Ready, Respectful, Responsible, Resilient and Reflective (our 5Rs). We understand the importance of Enrichment in developing a student's character and reward students for attending clubs. Our individual Character Diamond showcase’s a students’ Character. Students can see how their Character is developing as their Character Diamond expands and can enjoy reflecting on how their Character has developed each term in their Character Diary.  

Diamond 1                                                         Rs2

For more information on our curriculum, please email the Academy and put ‘curriculum’ in the subject line.