Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Curriculum

Rationale

We want every girl to pursue her ambitions and be successful in modern Britain.  HAB welcomes the Government’s recent changes to the national curriculum, with a focus on providing academic challenge to for all.  The English Baccalaureate subjects (English, Mathematics, Sciences, History or Geography and a Language) form the core for HAB girls, along with a rich mix of arts and technical subjects.  The overview for each subject can be found here.

Music is one of our strengths.  Click here to find out more about HAB Music.

Further information for each year group is detailed below, including links to the schemes of learning that teachers will be using this term. Parents and carers should use these to discuss their daughter's learning with her and can find more detailed information on the Subjects page.


Year 7

In Year 7, girls are set according to ability based on both prior and the most current attainment data. Attainment data is reviewed regularly throughout the year to ensure that girls are placed in the best possible set to meet their needs and ensure appropriate support, challenge and progression.

Links to our Schemes of Learning are listed below (click here)
At the request of parents, we have included separate links to those for English, Mathematics and Sciences.


Year 8

In Year 8, girls are set according to ability based on both prior and the most current attainment data. Attainment data is reviewed regularly throughout the year to ensure that girls are placed in the best possible set to meet their needs and ensure appropriate support, challenge and progression. 

Girls make their subject choices for GCSE courses in the spring term of Year 8.

Links to our Schemes of Learning are listed below (click here)
At the request of parents, we have included separate links to those for English, Mathematics and Sciences.


Years 9 to 11

From Year 9, all girls study GCSEs in English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography or History, French or Spanish and Religious Studies. They also choose from a range of GCSE options for additional subjects. Choices include Art, Computing, Dance, Drama, Latin, Music and Physical Education. All girls take part in 2 hours of non-examined sport, fitness and dance.

Links to our Schemes of Learning are listed below (click here)


 

Assessment

Rationale

In order to ensure that every girl acquires the knowledge, understanding and skills that she needs to successful in her GCSEs and beyond, rigorous and regular assessment is at the heart of HAB teachers’ work. 

Homework, Exercise Books and Tests

Each girl is set homework at least once per week for every subject and it is often more so that she can make rapid progress.  Parents and carers can see what homework their daughter has been set by checking her homework diary.  We expect them to do this each evening and to sign to show that they have.

Girls’ exercise books contain marking sheets on which teachers will write judgements about a key piece of work each fortnight.  The sheets identify the particular knowledge, understanding and skills that the piece of work develops: it is a vital piece of home-school communication about girls’ progress.

In the penultimate week of each half term, girls sit tests or other assessment tasks in each subject.  The first test of each term is used to design interventions that will help her improve on any weak areas of knowledge, understanding or skills.  The second test of each term is used to formally measure her progress and is reported to parents and carers.

Reports to Parents and Carers

Parents and carers will receive three reports per year (one at the end of each term) about their daughters' progress.

Regardless of the year group that she is in, these will show what her Most Likely Grade (MLG) will be at the end of Year 11 if she carries on making progress at the same rate.

In accordance with Government changes, for 2016-2017:

Year 11 MLGs will be numbers in the range 9 to 1 for English and Mathematics, with letters in the range A* to G for all other subjects.

Year 8 to Year 10 MLGs will be numbers in the range 9 to 1 for all subjects.

HAB staff will give parents and carers more information about MLGs at their termly Progress Days.


SMSC

What is SMSC?

SMSC refers to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development that is integral to the education of all our girls.

Some examples of SMSC at HAB are:

Spiritual development

  • All girls study Religion & Philosophy up to GCSE RS full course, with the main focus on Christianity, as well as study of Islam and other religions.
  • There is structured reflection/worship in all assemblies. 

Moral development

  • In addition to Religion & Philosophy, subjects such as English, History and Geography include study of ethical decisions and British law.
  • Behaviour management at HAB is predicated on girls learning right from wrong and teaching empathy for others and their views or beliefs.

Social development

  • Within HAB, there are high levels of respect and tolerance for all.  The mixed age Learning Family mentoring structure underpins this.
  • Theme days deepen girls’ awareness of important social issues.

Cultural development

  • Any girl who wishes to do so can have free private instrumental or vocal tuition and we have 44 participants in our new Year 7 Music Scholarship programme.
  • HAB has been chosen as the partner school for the Commonwealth Festival Choir.
  • HAB has a photographer artist-in-residence who will be working with the HAB Feminist Society and other girls this year.

SMSC is a strength of HAB

HAB girls are able to apply a well-developed understanding of right from wrong in and outside school:

  • The Learning Family mentoring system gives girls a sense of immediate responsibility for others within the school community.
  • Extensive work with the Police Liaison Officer means that girls have a positive relationship with the police to a degree that is not common in the local area.

HAB girls are willing to participate in a range of activities requiring social skills and are given help to develop these skills:

  • Student leadership duties include hosting visitors and recruiting new staff.  New student leaders are trained by their more experienced peers.
  • Our large Business Mentoring programme allows girls from all backgrounds to develop a professional relationship with an adult from outside school, as well as networking and presenting at business and other events.

HAB girls have a well-informed understanding of the options and challenges facing them as they move through school and onto the next stage of education or training:

  • HAB employs an independent careers adviser who begins working with girls in Year 8 in the run-up to their GCSE options process.  Senior and middle leaders host Success Pathways assemblies and evenings for Year 8 and Year 11.
  • We are proud that for several years running, 100% of HAB girls have left for – and remained in – education, employment or training.

HAB girls are willing to overcome barriers to learning:

  • There is no stigma around receiving extra support such as 1:1 maths help, extra reading classes or counselling.
  • Positive relationships between girls, staff and parents/carers mean that HAB teachers are trusted to deliver, even when that involves stretch and challenge with ambitious targets.

HAB girls have a positive response to a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities provided by the school:

  • In addition to the cultural development described above, the broad and popular enrichment programme includes a new Saturday School for STEM and Performing Arts, involving HAB girls and students from other schools.
  • Sporting activities and achievements are becoming increasingly popular as a result of a focus on participation and enjoyment.  To support this further, we hope that HAB will have a large multi-use all weather outdoor games area by summer 2015.

Promoting British values

A vital part of the SMSC curriculum across all subjects and other aspects of HAB life is the promotion of fundamental British values, such as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Through SMSC, HAB girls:

  • develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • learn how to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  • accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the local community and to society more widely;
  • acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
  • acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures, thereby  furthering tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions;
  • show respect for other people;
  • and, show respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.

SMSC at HAB provides girls with an understanding of:

  • how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
  • an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
  • an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
  • an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
  • an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour;
  • and, an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.

The staff at HAB work hard to ensure we:

  • include in suitable parts of the curriculum (such as Theme Days, History, Geography and Religion & Philosophy) material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries;
  • give all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as Youth Parliament elections;
  • use opportunities such as general, mayoral or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view;
  • use teaching resources from a wide variety of sources to help pupils understand a range of faiths;
  • and, consider the role of extra-curricular activity, including any run directly by pupils, in promoting fundamental British value

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