Challenging Every Learner Every Lesson Every day

Quality of Education

Overview

At Horizon our vision is to develop students who are ‘School ready; Work ready; Life ready’ 

We deliver this vision through 

  • the quality of education students experience 
  • the behaviour and attitudes students develop  
  • the personal development opportunities students enjoy.

Curriculum (Intent)

Our curriculum aims to provide an education which enriches students’ ambitions and love of learning and equips them with the skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to access aspirational post-16 pathways and the responsibilities and experiences of later life. It underpins everything we do as a college, challenging and supporting students in their academic, social and moral development. 

Subjects at Horizon then have their own individual curriculum intents with long-term curriculum plans that outline 

  • the key subject-specific strands they are developing  
  • how their learning journey is sequenced, spiralled and/or interleaved across years 7-11. 

Schemes of learning and individual lesson plans then detail when and how this learning will take place.

Curriculum STRUCTURE

At Horizon, students follow a 3 year Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) and a 2 year Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11). At the end of Year 9, students opt for subjects they will study in Years 10 and 11, which they complete at the end of Year 11.

Across Years 7, 8 and 9 students study a total of 18 subjects – the aim being to broaden their horizons and develop specialists across a range of disciplines. At the heart of this curriculum sit the Ebacc subjects of English (Language and Literature), Maths, Science, Geography, History and French or Spanish. Students also study PE, RE, Computing and Citizenship, as well as a wide range of more creative subjects: DT (Graphics, Textiles, Engineering), Cooking and Nutrition, Art, Drama, Dance and Music.

Across Years 10 and 11, students further develop their specialist knowledge but also prepare for GCSE and Vocational exams. The Ebacc subjects once again sit at the heart of their curriculum, all students studying GCSE English Language and English Literature, Maths, Science (either in the form of Combined Sciences or Separate Sciences) and Geography or History. The majority also continue to study a Modern Foreign Language. Students are then able to choose from a wide range of option subjects, both creative and academic, to suit individual preferences and future career aspirations. All students continue to study PE and Core RE.

Teaching and learning (Implementation)

Our Quality of Education mantra of ‘challenging every learner, in every lesson, every day’ ensures every student knows more, remembers more and can do more.

We develop this to ensure the highest quality of classroom practice and the most effective delivery of our curriculum. Our pedagogical approach, individualised and developed at subject level, is based on: 

  • Ambitious academic goals and positive relationships  
  • Explanation and modelling 
  • Questioning, retrieval and discussion 
  • Responsive teaching (be ready to go back as well as forwards) 
  • Independent practice and scaffolding 
  • Growth mindset and metacognition  

 

We develop a culture of reading – for understanding, for knowledge and for pleasure, to ensure students are able to successfully access their learning across all subjects and widen their understanding of the world around them.   

We use formative and summative assessment to systematically check for understanding, to inform future planning and to support students in maximising their academic potential.

Outcomes (Impact)

Our students achieve well, taking pride in the work they produce and achieving outcomes considerably above the national average. They leave us with the character and skill set they need to flourish in the next stage of their education, employment or training.  

Meet the Team

OUR CURRICULUM

Our curriculum aims to provide an education which enriches students’ ambitions and love of learning and equips them with the skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to access aspirational post-16 pathways and the responsibilities and experience of later life.

Our curriculum design includes six key principles which operate in synergy.

Our curriculum supports the College vision: School Ready; Work Ready; Life Ready.

AMBITIOUS

Our curriculum is ambitious for all students. It allows them to challenge themselves academically, broaden their horizons and develop cultural literacy. It enables students to apply their knowledge and skills to solve problems and think critically for themselves

APPROPRIATE

Our curriculum is carefully planned so that it is cognitively demanding for all learners. It seeks to develop a deep understanding of subject knowledge and skills.

Balanced

Our curriculum promotes intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative and physical development. It celebrates diversity and equality, helping students understand the world around them and their place in it.

BROAD

Our curriculum allows all students to explore a wide range of academic and vocational subjects at Key Stage 3 and 4, meeting and exceeding the demands of the National Curriculum.

COHERENT

Our curriculum is purposefully structured and sequenced. It identifies and teaches the most important disciplinary knowledge and skills within a subject. We teach these in a sequence that maximises progress across 5 years.

CONNECTED

Our curriculum is designed to link knowledge, skills and personal development both within and between subjects. Enrichment opportunities deepen classroom learning. It builds on Key Stage 2 learning and provides the key to success in post-16 education, employment, training, and wider adult life.

What are students learning this half term?

Year 7 Curriculum Overview

Year 8 Curriculum Overview

Year 9 Curriculum Overview

Year 10 Curriculum Overview

Year 11 Curriculum Overview

SUBJECTS

Teaching & Learning

Challenging every learner every lesson every day

Teaching and Learning at Horizon ensures that, through effective pitch and differentiated resources, all students can access an engage with a well-planned and aspirational curriculum, so that we “challenge every learner, every lesson, every day”. Research and evidence-based practice inform the six elements of pedagogy that we believe underpin quality first teaching at Horizon.

ambitious academic goals and positive relationships

Aspirational outcomes set for students that challenge and motivate them. These are supported by clear and consistent routines which foster a positive climate for learning both academically and personally.

Explanation and modelling

Teachers plan opportunities to share subject-specific expertise, so that students understand and become confident to engage with new learning.

Questioning, retrieval and discussion

Opportunities are created to support student recall of previously learned knowledge and engage them with pre-planned thought provoking questions which deepen subject-specific understanding.

Responsive teaching (be ready to go back as well as forwards)

Teachers use a variety of techniques to gauge and respond to students’ understanding within a lesson.

Independent practice and scaffolding

Activities are appropriately pitched and designed. This ensures that all students are able to work independently; achieve challenging outcomes and make progress.

Growth mindset and metacognition

Teachers provide opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and articulate their successes and areas for development. The aim is to develop independent learners.

Assessment and Reporting

Assessment, in all forms, is an important part of any learner’s academic journey and goes far beyond national and end of year exams. At Horizon, a variety of assessment is used throughout the year to help students and their teachers identify progress being made and areas for development. 

Assessment falls in to two categories: Assessment for Learning (Formative) and Assessment of Learning (Summative). Formative Assessment is described by William and Black as “encompassing all those activities undertaken by teachers, and/or by their students, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged”. Formative assessment at Horizon is low stakes and implemented through home learning, teacher questioning and regular progress checks, which check on-going learning. Summative assessments are a more formal way to help us understand learners’ progress over time and take place at set points throughout the year. However, the timeline for these is bespoke to each subject area and year group – Assessment and Feedback Policy. These support a wider understanding of the long-term impact of the curriculum and enable students to identify next steps on their journey towards meeting their targets. 

Students are set academic targets based on Key Stage 2 performance, or baseline testing where this is not available. At Key Stage 3, they are given a single target across all subjects; this can be either ‘Approaching Standard’, ‘Age Related’, ‘Greater Depth’ or ‘Greater Depth Plus’. At Key Stage 4, they are set an individual target for each subject; this can be either a GCSE or Vocational grade. Each target represents the minimum a student should be aiming to achieve in that subject at the end of the key stage and gives them a reference point against which to measure their progress. 

Parents receive a Progress Report three times a year. This provides details of each student’s academic achievement but also their effort within lessons. Effort grades are awarded using the criteria below: 

Outstanding

Always demonstrates outstanding effort

• You always put outstanding effort into your class work and when completing home learning. You take great pride in the work you produce.

• You always arrive on time to lessons and are equipped to learn and always bring your exercise books.

• You always engage with all work promptly, face the front, follow instructions, and track the speaker.

• You always ensure key pieces of work are finished and you always complete your home learning.

• You always answer questions in class when asked. You always respond to feedback and revisit work to improve it with high levels of effort when asked to.

• You are always supportive of your peers and value their effort.

Consistent

Demonstrates consistent positive effort

• You put consistent effort into your class work and when completing home learning.

• You consistently arrive on time to lessons and are equipped to learn and regularly bring your exercise books.

• You consistently engage with your work promptly, face the front, follow instructions, and track the speaker.

• You consistently ensure key pieces of work are finished and you regularly complete your home learning.

• You consistently answer questions in class when asked and respond to feedback and revisit work to improve it.

• You are consistently supportive of your peers and value their effort.

Inconsistent

Sometimes demonstrates a positive effort

• You are inconsistent in the effort you put into your class work and when completing home learning.

• You are sometimes distracted from your work, you usually follow instructions (though not always at the first time of asking) and track the speaker when reminded to; however, you are likely to be inconsistent in these behaviours.

• You are sometimes late for lessons. You may also be inconsistent in terms of being equipped to learn and sometimes forget your exercise book.

• You are likely to ensure some key pieces of work are finished but not all and you complete some of your home learning on time.

• You may answer questions in class when asked but will rarely persevere or show resilience if you are unsure. You sometimes engage with feedback to improve your work but, again, inconsistently.

• You may sometimes be unsupportive of the learning of your peers, and on occasions, you may cause low level disruption.

Unsatisfactory

Rarely demonstrates a positive effort

• Your effort is unsatisfactory. You will generally make little effort in your class work and show little or no pride in your work.

• You may lack focus in class, may often turn around and talk to others and disrupt the learning of others. You may regularly fail to follow instructions on the first time of asking.

• You may often arrive late to lessons. You may often lack the correct equipment or forget your exercise books.

• You are likely to leave key pieces of work unfinished on multiple occasions and have a very poor home learning completion record.

• You may rarely respond to feedback and improve pieces of work when instructed to. You may refuse to answer questions in class and will rarely engage with teacher support to help you respond.

• You may often struggle to respond to the Consequences system and may have been removed from the lesson on occasions. You are often not supportive of your peers.

Literacy (Reading)

Effective literacy skills not only underpin learning but also provide a springboard for success in both career and life. At Horizon, for the academic year 2023-24, we have chosen to focus on literacy as a whole, believing that this will support students to access all areas of the curriculum successfully, overcome barriers to learning and encourage a positive attitude to college life.

At Horizon we have three key priorities for Literacy for the academic year 2023-2024. These are:

Support students who are currently not reading at their chronological age. This involves:

1. Identifying reading abilities using NGRT.

2. Ensuring quality wave one teaching addresses reading needs of all students.

3. Ensuring students who are reading significantly below the chronological age have access to high quality interventions that meet their individual needs.

Promote reading within the curriculum using disciplinary literacy to underpin this. This involves:

1. Ensuring targeted vocabulary instruction is in every subject.

2. Developing students’ ability to read complex academic texts.

3. Promoting the ‘think it, say it, say it again better’ strategy.

Develop a culture of reading for power. This involves:

1. Continuing to develop and embed ‘Reading Journeys’ into year 7 and 8.

2. Continuing to raise the profile and quality of the library provision.

3. Promoting reading through extra-curricular opportunities.

What does this mean for our students

Year 7

This means that:

· there is a focus on disciplinary literacy in lessons;

· World Book Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;

· National Poetry Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;

· guest authors work with us providing writing workshops;

· students have access to the library before school, at lunchtime and after school everyday;

· the library is well stocked and updated regularly to include a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles, such as new releases and graphic novels

· students will have regular opportunities to enter national writing competitions.

· teachers use NGRT* data used to inform teaching

· students are encouraged to read a wide range of genres through our in-school initiative called Reading Journeys

· students have access to an online platform called Bedrock Learning, to improve their vocabulary and literacy skills. This is set weekly as their English home-learning

· students who are reading significantly
below their chronological age complete further screening to determine their intervention pathway.

· Students who are reading significantly below their chronological age have access to a peer reading program.

Year 8 / 9

This means that:
· there is a focus on disciplinary literacy in lessons;
· World Book Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;
· National Poetry Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;
· guest authors work with us providing writing workshops;
· students have access to the library before school, at lunchtime and after school everyday;
· the library is well stocked and updated regularly to include a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles, such as new releases and graphic novels
· students will have regular opportunities to enter national writing competitions.
· teachers use NGRT* data used to inform teaching
· students are encouraged to read a wide range of genres through our in-school initiative called Reading Journeys
· students have access to an online platform called Bedrock Learning, to improve their vocabulary and literacy skills. This is set weekly as their English home-learning
· students who are reading significantly below their chronological age complete further screening to determine their intervention pathway.

Year 10 / 11

This means that:

· there is a focus on disciplinary literacy in lessons;

· World Book Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;

· National Poetry Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;

· guest authors work with us providing writing workshops;

· students have access to the library before school, at lunchtime and after school everyday;

· the library is well stocked and updated regularly to include a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles, such as new releases and graphic novels

· students will have regular opportunities to enter national writing competitions.

· teachers use NGRT* data used to inform teaching

· all students are set English home-learning via the online platform called Seneca, which continues to build and develop their literacy skills.

What does this look like in the classroom?

Oracy

 THINK IT, SAY IT, SAY IT AGAIN BETTER

 1. Pose a question and give thinking time.

2. Take an initial response.

3. Build on this by challenging someone to add more detail, use more specific vocab, rephrase in a more succinct / concise way.

4. Can anything else be done – could you record words in an expert vocab list? 

5. Could anyone develop it even further?

– Rephrase what we have just said using said word.

– Rephrase what we have just said to your partner.

Developing reading fluency

 ECHO READING

Teacher models a paragraph.

Students re-read the same paragraph.

 PAIRED READING

Students read in pairs, taking turns until they reach the end.

They switch and start again.

Deliberate Vocab Development

 CHORALLY / MY TURN, YOUR TURN

All students repeat the words in call and response style.

IN PAIRS

Provide students with opportunities in pairs to discuss using key words from the topic / lesson.

QUESTIONING

Check individuals students can use the words through individual questioning.

FREYAR MODELS

Graphic organiser to help students organise their understanding of a new academic term or complex vocabulary choice.

GLOSSARY

Pre – populated from the topic.

Space for students to add more vocab in during the topic.

Time given to allow students to do this.

Numeracy

We believe that everyone should be taught the numeracy skills that will enable them to be successful across the curriculum, in the career they choose and in managing their personal finances in everyday life.  

At Horizon, we take a ‘no tricks’ approach to the teaching of numeracy, wherever mathematical content appears across the curriculum, especially in Geography, Business or Physics. Whenever a student is taught a mathematical concept, our Corporate Methods Guide is developing a consistent approach, regardless of the year group a student is in or the subject they are learning, to reinforce understanding and develop fluency.      

We are committed to helping students appreciate the value of numeracy beyond the classroom. For example, our Financial Awareness Week shows students how to apply mathematical skills they have been taught to an array of everyday contexts. These were chosen with the context of our community in mind, as well as covering day-to-day budgeting, understanding student loans, owning a credit card, buying a car and taking out a mortgage.     

Home Learning

At Horizon, we believe Home Learning is essential to help develop independent learners.

Students are set a variety of Home Learning tasks in each of their subjects which may include using online platforms and / or retrieval practice to embed previously learnt knowledge and information. This helps to make learning within lessons even more purposeful for students, as important knowledge is therefore ‘readily available’ to be added to, supporting rapid progress.

Online Platforms

Sparx Maths

This is an online platform providing students with targeted self-marking, skilled based questions, each with a supporting video to enable students to work independently and receive instant feedback on their progress.

Maths: Use the online platform Sparx Maths

Bedrock

English use Bedrock at KS3 to develop student vocabulary and teaches the language students need to be successful in school.

English KS3: Use the online platform Bedrock

SENECA

Seneca is used by English at KS4 and Science, providing content that supports revision for each subject which reinforces content taught in lessons. Like Sparx Maths, these are self-marking, skilled based activities that support student learning.

Use the online platform SENECA

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides students with access to lesson resources and tasks or assignments set by their teacher. This online platform is used for remote teaching and learning when necessary.

Use the online platform Microsoft Teams

Reading Plus

Reading Plus provides students with activities to improve their reading fluency. Students will complete set activities at their own pace to build their confidence with reading.

Use the online platform Reading plus

Retrieval Practice & knowledge organisers

Retrieval practice is when students deliberately practise recalling information. They are encouraged to use one of four retrieval strategies when completing their home learning: Look, cover, write, check · Brain dumps · Mind maps · Flash cards (self-quzzing). Details about how to use each of these strategies are provided in the Student Planner on page 80. In addition, students are shown examples of teachers modelling good practice of these strategies in the weekly student bulletin during form time.

What are knowledge organisers?

A knowledge organiser breaks down the key knowledge students need to learn within a scheme into small chunks. These support and help to organise students as they complete their retrieval practice each week. To find out how to use a knowledge organiser (Click Here). Students receive a physical copy of all their knowledge organisers but they can also download them from the student hub. (Click Here) if they need to.

 

Other home learning tasks

In all subject’s teacher’s may set alternative home learning to support understanding in their subject. This may include but isn’t limited to:

· Research for project work

· Preparatory reading

· Practical tasks

Intervention and Tuition

Intervention and Tuition

Our curriculum, delivered through high quality teaching, is designed to ‘challenge every learner, in every lesson, every day’. However, there may be times when we feel students would benefit from intervention/tuition, to help them secure the progress they are capable of. This is especially true following the disruption to learning caused by the pandemic – as recognised by the government, who has provided schools with some additional funding to help us target tuition where we feel it is most needed.

Intervention/tuition will always tailored to need and so will differ from person to person, from group to group and from year to year and it may be provided during lesson time or before/after the school day.

Across the 2022/23 academic year, Horizon Community College will have provided almost 7000 hours of intervention/tutoring across Years 7 to 11.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7-9, we initially focused our support on students within English and Maths. We believe the literacy and numeracy skills developed here provide the bedrock for future success, both across the rest of the curriculum and in adult life. Maths tuition has been provided for groups of Year 7 students before school; individual and small group reading interventions have been provided through withdrawal for students in Years 7 and 8, and after school tuition has been run for small groups of Year 9 students in English.

Across the Summer term, the college has provided groups of Y7, Y8 and Y9 students online tuition in Maths, English and Science, provided by MyTutor. The sessions have taken place both during and after the school day.

Key Stage 4

In response to the pandemic, we included an additional timetabled period every day for our Year 11 students this year, which means they had enjoyed over 150 additional hours of learning by the time they sat their final exams in May. In addition, after school online tuition was offered to support the final Year 11 revision process in English, Maths and Science.

Within English, small group interventions has been provided during lesson time for students in both Years 10 and 11, whilst Maths have offered tuition to targeted groups of Year 10 students on a rolling programme.

All Year 11 students were offered intervention support during our Easter School and May half-term revision sessions, both in-person and online, in a range of options subjects as well as English, Maths and Science.

Y8 students taking part in online tutoring through the MyTutor platform

Future Offers
The college continues to review its intervention and tuition offer regularly to make sure it is most effective for the students who need it. If we believe your child would benefit from an intervention or tuition, we will always contact you beforehand to discuss this.

Year 9 Options


SUBJECT VIDEOS

Please watch our subject information videos.

Deadline for submitting your options form is Wednesday, 6th March.

College Calendar

  • Tuesday 6th February – Y11 Parents Evening 2
  • Tuesday 27th February – Y9 Parents Evening
  • Tuesday 16th April – Y10 Parents Evening
  • Tuesday 30th April – Y7 Parents Evening

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