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At Harris Academy Rainham the curriculum is designed to fulfil two key goals. Firstly it must enable students to gain qualifications that enable them to choose their career and path in life. Secondly the curriculum must help our students to become profoundly human by helping them to engage with the greatest that has been thought and said.
To fulfil this aims we have developed a knowledge-rich curriculum that ensures our students acquire knowledge that enables them to think deeply about their subjects. This curriculum along with our approach to teaching enables our students to analyse, evaluate and perform other subject-specific skills in a rich and profound way.
All students study a core curriculum that develops both breadth and depth. We provide considerable time for students to study the core – English, Maths and Science – and our two-hour lessons enable a deep exploration of subjects. At the same time our 'carousels' ensure all students still study both design technology and the creative arts. Our curriculum approach enables us to provide this balance.
Students begin to make some subject choices at the end of Year 8. However, Year 9 continues to be part of Key Stage 3. Students do not begin studying GCSE content in the vast majority of subjects until they reach Year 10. We believe that beginning GCSE content too early leads to a narrowing of our students experience and impoverishes our curriculum.
The Key Stage 4 curriculum is followed by years 10-11. All students will study Mathematics, English, Science and a PE option and the vast majority study a humanities subject and a modern foreign language. The list of optional subjects is extensive and gives students real choice.