Curriculum Overview

The Jam Academy is committed to providing students with a comprehensive and integrated educational experience. We strive for the curriculum to be academically rigorous, while delivering it in a stress free environment for students who struggle in large state-school surroundings. We are passionate for students to see the connections between different subject areas and appreciate the need for skills that underpin life and support lifelong learning in their future careers. At the core of the curriculum are the academy’s values of respect, trust, truth and empathy for others. The curriculum enables students to develop their intellectual curiosity whilst becoming independent lifelong learners with the skills to respond positively to the challenges of a rapidly changing world. The curriculum framework affords greater opportunities for creativity, personalisation and independent learning. The Jam Academy Curriculum Policy enshrines the academic aims of the school: To enable students to realise their full potential. To encourage students to measure achievement by their own potential rather than primarily by the achievements of others. To establish good working habits leading to increasing autonomy in learning. To prepare students for adult life where they are happy, fulfilled and kind to others. The Jam Academy’s curriculum is split into two main age bands: School years 6 – 11 (which is a mixed class of up to12 students) Sixth Form (which includes up to 18 students learning specialist performance and production arts subjects). Although all full-time students attend The Jam Academy (which is registered with the Department for Education), we often refer to the younger age band as the Jam Creative School, for reasons explained below. The Jam Creative School (School Years 6 – 11, Key Stages 3 & 4) Key Stage 3 and 4 students at The Jam Academy are often referred to as the Jam Creative School. The reason for this is to ensure that parents and students understand there is a clear distinction between the broad curriculum approach for Key Stage 3 & 4 and the specialist approach of our Sixth Form. Our Year 6s – 11s are NOT at a performing arts school! They are at a small secondary school that covers normal school subjects in a more creative and holistic way, that appeals to some students who struggle at large state schools in the area. We are restricted to one mixed aged class of 12 students, which is often described as being home-schooling but in a full-time group. In fact, many of our students are children who have been home-schooled, others are school refusers or have low attendance at previous schools due to a variety of reasons including mental health issues such as anxiety or the victims of perpetual bullying. The Jam Creative School curriculum can be divided into four different types of sessions: 1. Project Work These classes cover the science and humanities curriculum through a holistic approach. Some sessions are theory based - taught from the front as you would find in many schools. However, there is always an over-arching theme or product to design/create which helps students connect the theory to the real world. Science - Teaching the three sciences in isolated lessons by different teachers in different rooms spread over a two-week timetable can often be confusing and disorientating for some students. Our approach clearly embraces the cross-over between the three sciences as well as the cross- over into ICT, Design Technology, Food Tech, Healthy Living, Geography, Current Affairs, Politics. History - Projects may look at specific events or historical periods for a week of lessons, but we see history in everything! Whether it helps understand the context to theories in science, how these have developed and changed, or whether it is understanding the religious implications for conflict and resolution. Our students understand that the need to study history is to learn from it, to ensure our communities (whether local or international) can use history to ensure we make the right decisions today. Religious Education - Although the Religious Education curriculum is covered with project work specifically aimed at learning about different religions and beliefs, it is focused on being tolerant to others. At the Jam Creative School there isn’t a week that goes by without discussions of religion and how this has shaped what we are learning, how it has shaped history and appreciating how this may influence others peoples views, always with a focus on respect. The Broader World - Howard Gardner encourages that ‘Intelligence is the ability to find and solve problems and create products of value in one's own culture.’ Hence, at the Jam Creative School we encourage our students to design and create something that is useful in their local or global communities. This gives a relevance to our students for the skills and knowledge that the curriculum and examinations require for them to succeed to the next level of education or training. Our projects teach our students across sciences, humanities, religious education, PSHCE, ICT, Design Tech, Food Tech, Healthy Living, Current Affairs and Politics. Please see our facebook page for past examples of these projects. 2. Skills Sessions Experience supports our theory that when we treat Maths as simply a skill, alongside playing a musical instrument or being able to draw, students see the sessions more positively. The skills to use maths are then something they simply need to master, often by going over and over again with the same exercises like a dancer would to learn to turn correctly and ‘spot’. Our teachers and students have a ‘Growth Mind Set’ - everyone can develop their skills to be a mathematician, in the same way as they can build muscle strength through sports. They also understand how the adolescent brain is having a complete remodel, which will continue into their early 20s. Connections in the brain, as they grow and change through the teenage years, need as much stimulation as possible not a narrow focus. This is why all our students learn to play an instrument alongside having specific spelling and times tables sessions for example. We want our students to develop good habits that will be with them for a life-time. Weekly sessions could include: Maths, Times Tables, English Grammar, Creative Writing, Spellings, Guitar, Understanding Music, Sports, Health & Fitness, Art, Novel Reading/Literature, Soul Food, ICT 3. Personal Development Our students are encouraged to be pro-active in their learning. They are not robots to be programmed by teachers, they are unique individuals who need to explore their own passions as well as developing their basic skills in maths, literacy and science. Personal development time includes personal reading time, current affairs, personal project time and study time where their extension work is completed before they leave for the day, allowing for them to spend their evenings exploring what makes them unique and importantly to us - happy! A session which is crucial for students’ personal development and PSHCE curriculum is ‘Soul Food’. This is listed under our skills sessions, for the good reason that it provides students with the skills, techniques and knowledge to be able to be kind to others AND themselves. Our visiting counsellor Lucy Cavendish can be booked by any student and attending a session is regarded as just as normal as attending a private singing lesson. Mental Health at the academy is a positive part of the curriculum and students’ development. 4. Jam Classes The Jam Creative School is not a performing arts school! However it is connected to a professional theatre company with a team of specialist professional staff. All students attend our Saturday Theatre School called JammEd. This is where students get to participate in activities as they would in any school for drama, music and dance. This is also an opportunity for our students to mix with another 80 students of their own age from over 25 other schools, giving them the opportunity to make friends with like minded people and grow in confidence in a wider community. Jam Creative School students can attend after school classes provided by Professional theatre Company Jam Theatre. These include: Dance Classes: Dance Tech, Commercial, Tap, Ballet, Point, Individual singing lessons, piano lessons and vocal ensembles Specialist acting class Music production Jam Theatre Studios

JAM CREATIVE
SCHOOL (10-15)

The Jam Academy

The Jam Academy

&  Jam Creative School