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Intent

At Rushden Academy we provide opportunities for our pupils to gain knowledge and skills so that they can succeed and be highly successful citizens in modern Britain. We endeavour to make their learning experiences fun and relevant to real life situations. We aim to reach out to our community and beyond to celebrate local traditions and explore all possibilities to enrich their lives.

We believe that it is essential for pupils to master the basics, to make connections between topics and across other subjects. Our pupils revisit their work and learn new material well, they are expected to apply their learning in unfamiliar situations. New pupils to the academy have an opportunity to accelerate in English and Maths when they join Team Rushden so that they can excel in their lessons. We cater for pupils needs and work closely with pupils that are underperforming whatever their backgrounds.

We ensure that our curriculum provides skills under these 3 headings

Aspire

Pupils are taught to aim high, to appreciate the world of work and hold onto dreams and ambitions. We do this through our successful learning for life days and through our enterprise and careers activities. We set high expectations in lessons and throughout school. Here at Rushden Academy we nurture a can-do attitude and it is okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them thus building resilience and independence.

Explore

Pupils are encouraged to discuss their work, to share ideas and listen to other people’s views. Pupils explore their own heritage and that of other cultures so they have a diverse and rich understanding. Pupils actively explore and evaluate their strengths and take action to improve. The curriculum provides opportunities to develop explorative skills, for example to formulate questions, to analyse concepts and justify decisions. Pupils apply their skills to debating, presenting and performing so that learning is not only enjoyable but active.

Succeed

Pupils are expected to set goals, to do the best they can through hard work and determination so that they achieve their goals. Pupils build their knowledge and skills throughout key stage 3 so that they can accelerate their progress in year 10 and year 11 in preparation for their next stage of learning. They are provided with opportunities to succeed in many different aspects of school for example for their leadership skills, their community work, their creative skills and their debating skills.

Pupils at Rushden Academy are part of a holistic team, we call ourselves Team Rushden. Staff, governors & pupils work together for a common goal and that is to provide the best education and be the best we can be.

 

Setting policy

All teaching is in mixed ability groups for every subject apart from English, Maths and Science. For the ‘core’ subjects, when there are 6 classes in a year group there will be 2 top, 2 middle and 2 lower ability sets. When the year group contains 5 sets, Maths and Science will have 1 top, 1 lower and 3 middle ability groups whereas Science will have 2 top, 2 middle and 1 lower ability class. We believe that by having these levelled groups allows for greater collaboration between different ability pupils and will lead to better progress for all pupils over time. To eliminate the stigma attached to having a low number next to your set name we have called them after famous people associated with that subject.

Learning 4 Life Days

Pupils in Key Stage 3 and 4 follow a programme that includes careers, citizenship, spiritual, personal, social and health education which is delivered through faculties, form time and Learning for Life days. Learning for Life days take place throughout the year for all year groups. These days allow pupils to look at areas of the extended curriculum for longer periods of time. Pupils study topics including Sex and relationship education, Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, British values and Careers guidance. 

Extra-curricular learning

Although academic lessons form a majority of a student’s life in school, Rushden believes that opportunities for pupils to flourish in an extended curriculum are also important. We have an excellent reputation for developing skills and increasing participation in drama, music and physical education. There is an extensive programme of opportunities at lunch time and after school. Field trips and study experiences outside of school happen throughout the year, these are organised by individual faculties. There have been recent visits to Paris and Berlin so that pupils can immerse themselves in another culture as well as visits to see drama productions. The academy has been visited by both authors and theatre companies to deliver a range of experiences for pupils.

Drama at Rushden is a strength both in terms of the results that pupils achieve in their formal exams but also in terms of the experiences available to participate outside of normal school hours. Recent major productions have included ‘The Addams Family’ and ‘Our House’. The audience always comment on the high quality of these productions and the standard of student’s performances.

Sport is an important part of many student’s lives at Rushden Academy. The academy has tennis courts, Sports Hall, gym, fitness suite and a very large playing field. Pupils compete against other schools in various sports, including, football, netball, athletics and rounders.

 

Key Stage 3

The school provides a curriculum that is balanced and meets the needs of Rushden Academy pupils. All pupils study English, Maths, Science, Information Technology, Physical Education, Humanities (Geography, History and Religious Education), Creative Arts (Art, Photography and Graphics), Performing Arts (Drama, Dance and Music) and Languages (French or German). 

All pupils in year 7 and 8 have a timetabled Life Skills lesson per week. In year 7 this involves swimming lessons, basic first aid and cross-curricular skills such as debating, resilience, finances, etc. In year 8 pupils focus on the cross-curricular skills in the lead up to starting their GCSEs and the topics expand to involve study skills and stress relief amongst others.

For pupils who have not reached the expected levels for Maths and English at primary school we have introduced an extra Literacy and Numeracy strand to the curriculum. Identified pupils will receive 2 hours per week of catch-up lessons instead of studying a language, to allow them to close the gap with their peers.

Pupils follow a one week timetable and the allocation of hours per week is below;

Subject

Hours per week

Maths

3

Science

4

English

4

PE

2

Creative Arts

2

Drama

1

Dance

1

Life Skills

1

Music

1

French

2

Humanities

3

IT

1

TOTAL

25



Key Stage 4

Pupils at Rushden Academy complete a three year Key Stage 4, starting their GCSE/BTEC examination subjects in year 9. Pupils will build upon their knowledge and skills from Key Stage 3 when they enter Key Stage 4.

The Options process starts in March of year 8. Pupils are given guidance on the choices available and the appropriateness of courses for them through Parent’s Evening, the year 8 ‘taster Options’ lessons and the Options Evening.

Some pupils and their parents are given the option to only complete 3 Options subjects and to instead have extra Maths and English. We feel that this allows these selected pupils to access the rest of the curriculum in greater depth and will improve their progress across all of their subjects.

All pupils are given the opportunity to study EBacc subjects through to GCSE level. We offer French and German in both lower school and in Key Stage 4. Our languages department visit primary schools every week to provide support and teach lessons to pupils before they join us.

Pupils follow a two week timetable and the allocation of hours per fortnight is below;

Subject

Number of hours per fortnight

Maths

8

Science

10

English

9

PE

3

Option 1

5

Option 2

5

Option 3

5

Option 4

5

TOTAL

50

Rushden Academy

Rushden Academy

01933 350391

info@rushden-academy.net

KS3 Head of Years

Head of Year 7 - Mrs K Monkman

Head of Year 8 - Mr C Smith

KS4 Head of Years

Head of Year 9 - Mrs S Finney

Head of Year 10 - Mr S Harris

Head of Year 11 - Mrs A Gurnham

KS5 Head of Year

Head of Year 12 & 13 - Mr P Chapman

Deputy Head of Year 12 & 13 - Mrs A Owen

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Contact Information

Rushden Academy

Hayway, Rushden, Northamptonshire. NN10 6AG
Tel: 01933 350391
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TLT

This organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We operate a Safer Recruitment policy and all personnel involved in regulated activity will be required to complete an enhanced DBS disclosure.