'Students...make outstanding progress and the standards that they reach are high across the whole curriculum.' Ofsted
At Wren, we combine our ambition for students to achieve outstanding academic results with an emphasis on developing the skills to help them become accomplished life long learners.
A broad and balanced curriculum helps students develop as independent thinkers and learners beyond the boundaries of traditional lessons. All of the traditional subjects you would expect to see in a school curriculum are represented at Wren. We also ensure our students all receive a good grounding in sports and in the arts. The importance of core skills and knowledge are recognised with substantial time being devoted to English, maths and science.
Learning also extends beyond the boundaries of the core curriculum as incorporated into the timetable each week are two hours of curriculum enrichment activities to extend learning and to give opportunity for students to focus on personal interests and strengths.
The core curriculum subjects, English, maths and science, are taught in single sex classes which we believe help students to express themselves, build confidence and improve achievement.
Wren provides courses to meet the aptitudes and aspirations of all of our students. The Academy has a three year Key Stage 4 with GCSE courses in most subjects beginning in Year 9. Throughout their careers at the Academy, we ensure that those who require extra help are given it - be they academically gifted or with statements of educational need. We have a wide ranging and carefully targeted intervention programme to ensure that all students are able to make the best progress they are capable of. The Wren curriculum supports students in achieving as highly as they can and in making sure they make the right choices for the college, university and career opportunities they wish to pursue.
A computerised tracking assessment system is used by teachers to help evaluate and improve each student's progress. However, we also recognise the fundamental importance of effective marking and of giving students verbal and written feedback which helps them to improve. Parents also receive regular feedback throughout the year and we encourage a continuing dialogue about each student's performance between Wren and home.
Our specialism in Design and the Built Environment enhances teaching and learning across the curriculum, providing all young people with a range of exciting, thought-provoking and innovative opportunities to learn.
We are very aware of the changes taking place to the secondary curriculum at present and in the years to come. These changes will affect both subject content and the ways in which subjects are taught and assessed. Some of the key issues we are encountering are:
- the move to a greater emphasis on the final examination at GCSE, with a related decrease in ongoing assessment exercises. This means that our students will need more practise in taking examinations and in memorising all of the learning they have encountered during each academic year.
- more curriculum content. We will have to amend subject programmes of study and adapt the way we teach to ensure that we cover the range of required curriculum content in depth. We will be working with students to ensure they develop the skills necessary to assimilate larger amounts of information.
- greater subject complexity. It is our job to make sure that teachers are properly trained to deliver the new GCSE programmes of study. Part of our work will be to ensure that all of our teachers are subject experts and able to impart their knowledge to students in an expert, clear and digestible way.
Making sure that students and their parents understand these changes is an ongoing part of our daily practice. As well as talking to students in assemblies and in lessons we will continue to hold information events for parents on curriculum development. Updates will also feature regularly in our Newsletters and here on the website. We are also keen to ensure that parents have access to the Academy to ask any questions on curriculum change as they arise. Parents can post their questions on the website’s Contact section.