Our Curriculum Model Rationale and Entitlement

Outwood Academy City serves our community in Sheffield, the city of steel; it is the crucible from which young people develop our hallmarks:
Industry - We work hard. We are resilient and show the strength required to persevere until we get it right. We take on new challenges positively and do what it takes to get the job done.
Innovation - We change for the better. We seek out new experiences and find joy in new knowledge and understanding. We work together to make tomorrow better than today.
Integrity - We do the right thing for the right reasons. We are honest, kind, and don’t make excuses. We believe that integrity is at the heart of success.

These hallmarks are made through the study and participation in a broad and ambitious curriculum that is knowledge led and taught by experts. We read widely, develop oracy and take opportunities to expose students to the best that has been thought, said and done. We explicitly develop the character of students and place an emphasis on the trust between staff and students.

Through this focus on the industry, innovation and integrity of everyone in our community we put students first, raise standards and transform lives.
Our curriculum model is designed to ensure we effectively deliver our Trust’s shared curriculum intent by providing a broad and balanced curriculum and rich educational experience. We also design our academy’s curriculum model to best meet the needs of our students and locality reflecting upon courses that support the local and national job market and those that have been positive destination subjects for our students. It is designed entirely around the needs of the student; it is highly personalised while maximising the opportunity to succeed. 


Our academy’s Curriculum Model is designed entirely around the needs of the student; it is highly personalised while maximising the opportunity to succeed. 


We serve a vibrant city that is a centre of artistic, engineering and sporting excellence. We educate all students through an ambitious five year curriculum so that they develop a broad knowledge base. They learn about their local context and the best that has been thought, said and done in each subject discipline. This is supported by a focus on reading and oracy in all subjects where relevant. Students study a full three year key stage three and meet the ambition set out in the national curriculum.

An Outwood Academy City education provides a rich, memorable experience for our students allowing them to grow academically and personally, whilst having an appreciation for the needs of all students. We promote an inclusive and caring culture and ethos encouraging students to be industrious; be innovative and act with integrity. As a result our students will act with kindness, tolerance, inclusivity, safety, respect and responsibility. These values are consistently promoted through our intrinsic curriculum.  
The curriculum is carefully designed to sequence subject knowledge, understanding and skills in order to aid and secure learning and knowledge. We believe in education beyond the classroom and our elective curriculum offers a wealth of enriching opportunities and memorable experiences that our students can participate in, further equipping them with the knowledge and cultural capital that they need to succeed in life. 

The rationale for our academy’s curriculum model is that we believe students should be given a broad range of experiences in order to discover their talents while also being provided with the opportunities to specialise, in ways that link to their career aspirations. For this reason, students study a full five year curriculum in English, Maths and Science. All students follow a full three year key stage 3 in the foundation subjects so that students are exposed to cultural capital across a broad and ambitious curriculum up to the age of 14. 


For their third school year, students choose a specialism in the Arts, Sports, Engineering, Catering or Social Care which they will then study for two years. In their final year they can deepen their study of their specialism; for example by studying photography if their specialism is Art, or Manufacture if their specialism is Engineering. This meets the growing sectors of employment in our city, and allows students to benefit from the world class provision that we have to offer on our doorstep. It is even possible within our curriculum model for students to utilise their curriculum time to deepen their learning by selecting non-certified, personal development opportunities such as pursuing excellence within music or the arts, exploring career aspirations, or further studying areas of interest simply to enhance their enjoyment of learning. 


We promote study of the English Baccalaureate and value the study of languages.  Sheffield is a multicultural city and studying languages will promote an understanding of different peoples and cultures, develop an empathy with those who are non-native speakers and provide opportunity and choice in our globalised world. We therefore ensure all students study languages in their third school year and promote the cognitive, cultural and economic benefits of taking this to GCSE level. Students who wish to develop their artistic talents can do so through their choice of specialism and by choosing subjects across the Arts. We provide a real alternative for those who seek a vocational education in Sports, Health and Social Care, Engineering, Catering and the Performing Arts. We have a high level of ambition built into our curriculum that all students benefit from.

We celebrate the industry and innovation of our city by providing an exceptional Science curriculum with expert instruction and extensive curriculum time. Students will gain a deep theoretical and practical understanding of the scientific method and the big ideas that have developed through the application of this philosophy. Those students who would like to study Science at A-level and beyond and work with industry will take Separate Sciences. All students will study at least two Science GCSEs which will allow them to gain places at the best universities or careers in Engineering, Law, Medicine or the Sciences.
A key feature of our curriculum design is the application of cognitive science principles and knowledge-led curriculum design; all rooted in the best possible evidence and data. Powerful knowledge has been identified in each domain, and then carefully sequenced to meet clearly identified curriculum end points. This knowledge is interleaved, distributed and spaced with regular opportunities for rehearsal and retrieval. Teachers follow Rosenshine’s Principles in their lesson sequence so that students will encounter powerful knowledge and learn this to automaticity before benefitting from teacher modelling, deliberate practice and finally creative opportunities to demonstrate their newly acquired skills. 
Students will commit powerful knowledge to their long term memory through a rigorous and evidence based revision programme which builds on the work on Dunlosky (2013). A series of simple techniques will be taught directly to all students in each year of study, so that they regularly self-quiz and check their understanding of knowledge that matters in each of their subjects. 

The curriculum progression from Y7-11 is summarised here in this table:



The strength of our curriculum is its ability to be highly personalised to every student's needs, allowing each to shape their own progression route, build high levels of self-belief, nourish their mental health, and instil a passion for learning that will extend far beyond their time at school. In short; we put students first, raise standards and transform lives.


Elective Curriculum

Throughout our students’ entire secondary education, this curriculum model ensures an entitlement that is enhanced with opportunities, through our elective curriculum, for subject mastery and further breadth where we offer a range of clubs, enrichments and societies; this will include sports clubs, elite sports, performing arts and subject clubs. Students are encouraged to study a broad range of subjects to deepen their educational experience and build a solid foundation of subject knowledge and skills.
Each subject has carefully considered the appropriate point in the academic curriculum for trips, visits and outside providers to enhance the teaching within the subject. Students should expect to be exposed to world class performances, visits to sites of historical interest and complete case studies where this improves the overall offer.