At Darwen Aldridge Community Academy we believe that students are entitled to a curriculum that is engaging and prepares them for the next stage of their lives.
“OUR GOAL is that, by the age of 25, all Aldridge graduates will have experienced an outstanding and enjoyable education and be able to sustain the life of their choice. They will be independent, thriving economically and making a real, positive contribution to their communities.”
At KS3, students study a broad range of subjects over 3 years. In addition to the core of English, maths and science, students are taught history, geography, RS, French, Spanish, art, drama, music, PE, IT and technology. Our English and maths lessons are delivered using a ‘Mastery Model’ which is complemented further with literacy development using the Accelerated Reader scheme. This provides a strong platform on which to choose options for KS4. During Year 9, we work with families to ensure that this options process is rigorous. This is important because we want to set students up for success.
At KS4, we provide students with the opportunity to personalise their experience and provide a wide suite of options choices from which they can choose. This allows students to concentrate more specifically whilst still maintaining sufficient breadth so as not to limit their experiences. Courses are mainly GCSEs with a small selection of other GCSE equivalent courses to complement these. All students continue to study English, maths and science and, in addition to these, choose 3 further options. As part of our commitment to health and well-being, all students also have PE. All of our KS4 courses lead to courses at KS5.
At KS5, specialising is the key. Students are encouraged, following high quality information, advice and guidance, to make decisions about which courses will facilitate the next steps of their journeys. Our successful 6th Form offers a range of level 3 courses that are a mixture of A Levels and Applied General qualifications.
Structure of the day
We have 5 lessons each day which are 60 minutes long. We believe that this this is the optimum time for high quality learning to take place. It provides more opportunities throughout each week to revisit learning and embed skills.
Each day begins with tutorial time during which a full programme of personal development is delivered. This comprises the statutory elements of PHSE, RSE, British values and citizenship alongside skill development centred around the 6 Aldridge entrepreneurial attributes; Passion, Creativity, Determination, Teamwork, Risk-taking and Problem Solving. All this is designed to support all facets of our students’ development, skills and confidence.
At Darwen Academy we believe that learning continues beyond the classroom. We’ve designed a programme of activities that enhance the learning experience and help students gain skills that are not necessarily taught through the curriculum. Staff and students have worked together to produce the DACA100 – 100 experiences that our students will have the chance to participate in during their time with us. This includes a varied programme of clubs, activities and educational visits. All Year 9 students have the opportunity to begin the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.