Curriculum Overview

As an Academy, we have far more freedom than many schools to provide a varied, innovative and stimulating curriculum that offers all students the chance to develop according to their talents, interests and ambitions.

Key Stage 3
For more information contact our Assistant Principal (KS3) Mr David Jenks – david.jenks@oatforge.co.uk

Every student at Forge does not begin their secondary school journey in September of year 7, but in the transition programme we provide during year 6. All students spend at least 6 days (over a three-week period) during June and July meeting their new classmates, new staff and experiencing what life will be like at Forge.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum focuses on embedding the skills needed for GCSE. Our two-year programme offers a wide range of subjects including art, music, geography, history, technology, religious studies, languages and ICT, but at its foundation has the core subjects of English, maths and science.

Most students have four hours of English and maths a week, with literacy and numeracy skills embedded to help students make maximum progress in all of their subjects. Students whose literacy and/or numeracy skills are significantly below those expected for their age may receive additional timetable hours to develop these skills as part of our “Flying Start” programme. Some students may be taught in a smaller nurture group to accelerate their skills, or cater for any additional needs.

All students are set challenging individual expectations in all their subjects based on their different starting points. This may be as a result of their Key Stage 2 SATs results, or through a series of baseline tests during the first few days in year 7. During the year, regular formative and summative assessment takes place, and the academic and pastoral staff work together to ensure that any students at risk of underachievement are supported.

Students who are identified as needing more specialised support are taught within the Success Centre where they follow a balanced curriculum alongside individualised mentoring and support. 

During year 8, subject pathways are also chosen in preparation for GCSE studies in years 9-11. As a result, taster sessions of subjects such as business studies, health and social care and classics are offered. Alongside parents/carers, all students will have the chance to speak to a member of the Senior Leadership team about the important choices that will guide their future.

All students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities designed to promote and reinforce the core academy values of aspiration, resilience and respect – these range from working with the business world and mentoring programmes, careers trips and guidance to partnership work with charities and the local community. The Forge Year 7 Quest award aims to build well-rounded students by focusing on building their leadership and independence skills whilst rewarding their effort and commitment in the classroom.

Key Stage 4
For more information contact our Assistant Principal (KS4) Mr James Kay – james.kay@oatforge.co.uk

All students study mathematics for four periods per week and English language and literature for five periods per week in years 9, 10 and 11. Science is delivered for five or six lessons per week allowing access to all three science areas with students following one of two pathways that suits their ability and future aspirations. Statutory religious studies is also taught to all students, working towards a full course GCSE, recognising the importance the Academy gives to developing the broader moral understanding of the young people in our care. All students also continue to have one lesson per week of statutory physical education per week throughout key stage four.

All students take a GCSE in a technology subject, having the choice of a qualification in resistant materials, catering, graphics or textiles. Students choose to study either geography or history and then either one or two further options depending on whether they continue with the language studied in key stage three. A full complement of optional GCSE subjects is supplemented with vocational options in sport, performance and health and social care.

An individual programme of study is the priority for each student with an emphasis on encouraging them to choose subjects that they enjoy, are good at and provide an insight into any potential future career. All option subjects are taught in mixed ability groupings and all core subjects are set by ability. Students and parents are supported through the options process with a comprehensive IAG programme involving tutors, one to one conversations and an extensive offer of information sessions and events.

Key Stage 5
For more information contact our Assistant Principal (KS5) Darren Grimes – darren.grimes@oatforge.co.uk

Students can study a range of courses over two years. There are over 20 different A level and BTEC courses to choose from. Students can choose courses dependent on their aspirations, career and university options or merely just the subjects they enjoy or are good at.

Students are expected to choose 3 or 4 A level courses or a BTEC course that is equivalent to 3 A levels.  In order to give students flexibility when choosing their post-16 options, it is possible for them to combine A levels with BTEC courses  if they so wish. All students are required to combine their subjects with work experience and an enrichment qualification such as financial studies, the Extended Project Qualification or the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness, each of which provides UCAS points in preparation for university. Furthermore, there are a range of other enrichment opportunities such as first aid courses, reading support or activities designed to develop student’s personal development, leadership skills and readiness for life after sixth form.

When not in lessons students have the option of working within the dedicated sixth form centre in either the common room or the study room.  They also have daily access to a careers advisor who is based in the sixth form centre, as well as graduate mentors who visit the sixth form each week to provide support  and assist with university applications. 

 

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Ormiston Forge Academy, Wrights Lane, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 6QU. Tel: 01384 566 598.