Biddick Academy - Curriculum



More information

Please contact Mr. P. Brown, Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Curriculum & Courses

T: 0191 5111600



All students have an entitlement to study a broad and balanced range of subjects. Classwork at Biddick Academy is structured to cater for all ability levels and learning needs, and wherever possible there is an emphasis on individualised learning.

Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and are well supported by a highly committed and skilled staff, excellent facilities and an extensive range of resources. This guarantees that equal opportunities are provided to all.

Parents/Carers who wish to withdraw their child from any aspect of the curriculum should contact the Headteacher.

Biddick Academy Curriculum

Our curriculum is broad, balanced, engaging and stimulating, offering our students personalised pathways to success. We are proud of our year-on-year upward rise in standards and outstanding curriculum offer. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge, skills and characteristics to providing the very best education and producing well-rounded individuals who are thoroughly prepared for life.

Each year group is divided into 8 tutor groups each having children of the full range of abilities.

Key Stage 3

From Year 7 through to Year 9

This is delivered through lessons in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, French, Spanish, Tutorial and Citizenship, Theology and Philosophy, Humanities, Physical Education, Dance, Music, Art, Drama, Design Technology (including Textiles, Resistant Materials, Engineering, Graphics and Food and Nutrition), and Computing.

Key Stage 4

In Years 10 and 11 our students have the opportunity to study for a range of Level 1, 2 and 3 qualifications.

All students study for GCSEs in English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, History and/ or Geography. Tutorial, Citizenship and Physical Education are also part of the curriculum. They can choose to take additional BTECs and GCSEs in subjects including  French, Spanish, Art and Design, Fine Art, Digital Art, Philosophy and Ethics, Business Studies, Physical Education and Sport, Textiles, Music, Computer Science, Hospitality and Catering, Information and Communication Technology, Drama, and Dance.

We have outstanding vocational facilities at our Academy.   A range of accredited courses are offered to KS4 students. They include Hair and Beauty and Engineering in our new state of the art facility.

Cross Curricular Dimensions

In addition to the National Curriculum subjects, Biddick Academy addresses cross- curricular themes and issues that include:

  • Enterprise
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Identity and Cultural diversity
  • Community participation
  • British Values

These are explored within subject teaching, but are also included in the Thematic Learning Programme and curriculum weeks.

Theology and Philosophy And Collective Worship

The Theology & Philosophy [TP] curriculum at Biddick Academy follows current Department for Education guidance, which has been discussed, agreed and ratified by our Board of Trustees. At Biddick Academy, Theology & Philosophy are taught under the auspices of the Humanities Department.

At Biddick Academy the academic study of Theology & Philosophy provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops our students’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions, and other world views that offer answers to these challenging questions. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances our students’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures. TP at Biddick Academy encourages our students to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions, while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It challenges our students to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.

At Biddick Academy, TP encourages our students to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society and global community. TP also plays an important role in preparing our students for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables our students to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables students to combat prejudice, discrimination and hatred.

There are varied arrangements for daily worship. All parents have a right to withdraw their child from the collective worship, or from TP. If you wish to withdraw your child from these parts of the life of the Academy, please contact your child’s Form Tutor or write to the Head Teacher.

The promotion of British values at Biddick Academy

All maintained schools must meet the requirements set out in section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their students. Through ensuring students’ SMSC development, schools can also demonstrate they are actively promoting fundamental British values.

The Government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These new regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school. Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British values:

• democracy
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At Biddick Academy students encounter and learn about these principles throughout everyday school life, in particular, our promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education.  The curriculum is mapped in detail across the whole school.

Our inclusive ethos and philosophy, supported by effective relationships throughout the school, and the provision of relevant activities beyond the classroom are all ways we ensure our students’ SMSC development is at the heart of the life of the Academy. In every aspect of school life, our students and others are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with utmost respect and tolerance. 

Sex Education

The content of our sex education teaching has been drawn up in accordance with Sunderland City Council’s guidelines and guidance from the Department for Education and has been approved by the school’s governors. It includes education about HIV / Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.

It is part of the cross-curricular theme of Health Education and is therefore taught through most of the complete range of subjects. The form ranges from talks and films from outside agencies to the discussion of moral issues through structured work, which reflects the development stages of our pupils. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from this programme.

Work Related Studies, Careers Education and Guidance

Careers education is implicit within the whole school curriculum but is given particular emphasis from Year 8 onwards, We work closely with Connexions and local employers and post 16 providers. A section of the library contains a Careers Resource area. Our aim is to secure independent careers guidance in order that students are supported in developing high aspirations and that they are able to consider a broad and ambitious range of careers.

All Year 10 pupils have a one-week Work Experience placement in the summer term. A Record of Achievement is prepared by each pupil to provide a rounded picture of individual achievements and is taken with them for development beyond 16+ age range.

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