Buckler’s Mead Academy is a medium sized secondary academy serving the east side of Yeovil and the villages that surround it. While most students join us from four local primary schools, students travel from the wider community to attend Buckler’s Mead. The close links we have developed with our local feeder primary schools allow us to work closely with students of all backgrounds and abilities through the transition process making for a personal and positive move from Year 6 to Year 7.
At Buckler’s Mead Academy we believe in ‘An Inspiring Education for All’ and the curriculum is developed with this key vision in mind. We believe that education should be inspirational as the students who attend our Academy deserve the very best education we can offer; they should be inspired by what they are learning to want to know more, understand more and be able to do more, which will ultimately lead to them having more happy, healthier and fulfilling lives. Students who attend our Academy live mainly within the local area, inspiring them to look further afield is essential. All students deserve the very best, regardless of their background or ability. We promote and strongly believe in this inclusive ethos and have designed a curriculum which we believe archives this.
Our curriculum is designed to promote the key Academy values of Community, Opportunity, Enjoyment, Ambition and Success.
The Buckler’s Mead Academy curriculum is designed by subject specialists in collaboration with colleagues from across the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership to ensure that all our students can achieve their individual potential and develop their own personal character. We believe in Sky High expectations of all our students. The curriculum reflects this through the challenge and rigour which is pitched at the right level for each individual student. Lessons are adapted to ensure the full curriculum is accessible by all. We get to know students quickly, enabling us to ensure, no matter what ability level they are at, we will meet their individual needs.
The Buckler’s Mead Academy curriculum is designed to not only meet, but to exceed the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3. At Key Stage 4 we provide a rich and varied diet of academic and vocational and alternative qualifications, which ensure our students have the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes needed to be successful in further education and ultimately go on to have happy and successful futures.
The acquisition of knowledge is central to the curriculum at Buckler’s Mead Academy. It is vital our students have a broad and deep knowledge of the subjects they are learning about as it allows them to:
Build on a solid foundation, enabling them to gain a more in depth understanding of the topics covered.
Acquire a rich vocabulary of words and phrases that allows them to express themselves effectively.
Develop the understanding, communication and language skills to be successful in their interactions with others, particularly in their future.
Literacy and reading is a central part of the curriculum, and even forms a key part of the school day. We aim to foster a love of reading through our Read to Succeed programme, where every student is read to, reads aloud and reads silently every day. This is a tutor group activity designed to engage students in reading, improve their reading fluency, improve their understanding of more complex words, and introduce them to new concepts, ideas and cultures.
More on Literacy and Reading at Buckler’s Mead Academy can be found here.
We aim to ensure that when students leave us they are well rounded, confident, ambitious and successful members of society. This is achieved through a strong PSHE programme, Careers Advice, Information and Guidance provision. Our wider curriculum offer includes social, moral, spiritual and cultural education. This ensures students have a far wider understanding of the diverse world around them and are far more ready for life beyond Buckler’s Mead when they leave.
More information on Careers Education can be found here.
Our PSHE programme is fully compliant with the most recent RSE and health education statutory guidance. It ensures that our students are kept safe online and tackles contemporary issues such as identifying and tackling harmful sexualised behaviour, prejudicial attitudes and peer-on-peer abuse.
Implementing the Curriculum
At Buckler’s Mead Academy the curriculum is taught through a two week timetable, where students have 5 periods of 55 minutes each day. In addition to this we have a 5 minute registration period each morning, 20 minute tutor time period, and 30 minutes for Read to Succeed.
The Academy Day*
*From December onwards Year 11 students are expected to stay between 15:00 and 16:00 for Period 6. Which is an extra session aimed at supporting them with their GCSE and alternative assessments.
Our curriculum is based on a five year learning journey, where in each subject area knowledge is built over the five year period students are with us. Subject specialists have planned these learning journeys carefully to ensure that learning is sequenced, meaning that knowledge can be built incrementally over time, with spiralling of the curriculum content allowing topics to be revisited to ensure knowledge is transferred to the long term memory.
Subject leaders meet regularly with their teams, and more widely with other teachers from across the Midsomer Norton Partnership Trust to ensure high quality curriculum content, checking it is current, relevant and high quality.
Students are taught how to recall information through a range of reinforcement techniques that help them retain the knowledge they are taught and unpackage learning so that all students can achieve their learning objectives. Retrieval practice is well embedded, through techniques such as low-stake quizzes helping teachers understand how much students have learnt and retained. Students are formatively assessed daily in all lessons with our key strategies including- cold calling, turn and talk, mini white boards, connect tasks and demonstrate tasks. Our formal assessments then help teachers to determine how well students can use their knowledge in different situations.
Our lessons are taught through the ‘Learning Cycle’. This is an evidence based approach to ensuring learning objectives are met for each student.
CONNECT tasks focus on retrieval practice through low stakes quizzes and Multiple Choice Quizzes which test and check that knowledge has been secured.
DESCRIBE section explicitly shares learning intentions and explores the tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.
NEW LEARNING is delivered through direct instruction, student-led investigation or modelled to autonomy by the teacher.
CHALLENGE tasks allow all students to apply their ‘New Learning’ with supporting resources and live differentiation from the teacher.
DEMONSTRATE tasks are independently completed by students after a body/composite of learning has been delivered to confirm they have secured this knowledge.
DIRT allows students to respond to formative and summative feedback from the teacher during silent Directed Independent Response Time.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum - Year 7 to 9
The curriculum at Key Stage 3 is designed to exceed the expectations of the National Curriculum. It is planned to build on the knowledge acquired at Key Stage 2 and much work is undertaken in ensuring our staff are fully informed of the content of the Key Stage 2 curriculums of our local primary schools. We recognise that students arrive with us with a range of different abilities and skills sets. Work is done early on to identify the strengths and areas for development of our students to ensure we can adapt our curriculums within lessons, to be highly aspirational for all.
The curriculum is academically aspirational. Our Core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, ensure that our students are able to develop their literacy and numeracy skills. Our students are exposed to a variety of subjects including Art, Music, Drama and Technology and PE. The Humanities and Languages departments prepare students for the full suite of EBACC subjects, which they are guided to take through to the end of Key Stage 4.
Allocated Curriculum Time (Lessons per fortnight)
Read to Succeed (30 minute sessions)
Design and Technology
Key Stage 4 Curriculum - Year 10 to 11
The curriculum at Key Stage 4 allows students to specialise in subjects which they feel they are capable of achieving in and enjoy. There is a strong emphasis on core subjects and we have seen a significant growth in the number of students choosing to specialise in the EBACC route (English, Maths, Science, a Humanities subject and a language) over the last few years. This prepares them well for A Level choices post 16.
For more information about our Key Stage 4 offer please click here.
Allocated Curriculum Time (Hours)
Each option choice (see below)
Level 1 and 2 Vocational Qualifications
Art and Design
NCFE Business Studies
BTEC Performing Arts
Cambridge National iMedia
Eduqas Food Prep and Nutrition
Cambridge National Sport
This is a route for students who the academy feel would benefit from alternative courses and qualifications. Students invited to this pathway will participate in a Foundation Learning programme led by the SENCo alongside other subjects. We will work with you to make sure that you choose the right blend of subjects and types of courses.
Curriculum Overview Documents and Learning Journeys
For each department area’s Learning Journey and Overview document please click here