15 November 2019
Curriculum at Colonel Frank Seely Academy
Recently, I have taken assemblies with all students in Years 7 to 10 to discuss a range of important aspects of life at CFSA. These included the following themes:
- Attendance and how good attendance at school leads to better progress and how poor attendance limits life chances in the future
- How better progress and results leads to improved prospects of future success and life choices and that these results in examinations lay strong foundations for futures – this is what we call our ‘core purpose’. We discussed what progress means, from the end of Year 6 to the end of Year 11 and how this is measured
- The opportunities that come in life ahead having made good progress and having achieved well at school and beyond
- The importance of having much more than these vital qualifications, how making the most of opportunities that school gives you to help develop important skills and have wider experiences that will benefit you in life ahead and make you competitive for jobs and opportunities and help develop confidence and friendships
- The concept of competition and the numbers of young people in the Trust, England, Europe and the World that are of the same age as your child and how these young people will be in competition for the jobs and opportunities that are on offer in our increasingly small world.
In relation to attendance, I shared with students some national statistics that show the direct link to poor attendance at school (below 95%) and results and future employability. We discussed how 95% attendance, although considered good, is a bare minimum as 95% means you have had 9 days off in the whole school year, which equates to 45 hours learning time. We also explored how if you have had 95% attendance over your school life from year 7 to 11, then you have missed 45 school days which amounts to 225 hours of lost learning. We discussed the impact that this level of attendance would have on job security and the risks associated with this.
As part of the assemblies, I talked about how many of the different things that we do in school fit together as a ‘curriculum’ and I described the curriculum at CFSA being about ‘my life at the academy’. The main areas that I discussed as part of the curriculum are detailed below:
- The taught curriculum – the lessons and subjects that students study every day and how these provide them with skills and knowledge for lives ahead
- The wider curriculum, which encompasses our Opportunities Programme and extensive offer of activities that all students are able to access
- The meaning of our achievement points system, which rewards students for showing our key character traits.
- The importance of Pledges, where we take pride in recording in a personal passport all of the things we have done, both in our own school and the wider community. These passports are a vital part of what experiences and contributions young people have made in their time and which they can take into the wider world
- The purpose of our focus on reading, oracy, memory and recall as skills to help young people build resilience and confidence both in their school lives and lives ahead
In the assemblies, I was very impressed with the number of young people who are accessing our wider curriculum offer every day and are seeing the benefits that these opportunities bring to them. On our website, you will find detailed information about all of these opportunities and I encourage you look at them with your child and encourage them to take an active part in CFSA life.
I hope that this letter has provided you with an informative update into this most important of areas and we look forward to sharing further information about specific aspects of our curriculum in the coming weeks.
Many thanks for your on-going support
Mr J Gale