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Statement of Curriculum Intent
Plume Academy is the only 11-18 secondary school situated in the historic town of Maldon, Essex. In recent years, the number of students on roll has increased significantly, with many families moving into the various new housing developments in the area and many more from out-of-catchment electing to send their child to the academy. Consequently, the academy is heavily over-subscribed.
As the town’s sole provider of state secondary education, the academy considers itself to have a moral duty to offer the learners in its care the broadest possible educational experience, and one that will enable learners of all abilities and interests to thrive whilst at the academy and when they leave – be this to pursue work, further education – or a combination of both.
Leaders at the academy also acknowledge that pupils join the academy, mainly in Year 7, from approximately thirty primary schools, many of which are situated in rural areas. As a result, students, including our growing community of disadvantaged students, often rely on bus services to reach the academy. It is therefore vitally important that students access a very broad spectrum of subjects during their time at the academy. At Plume, cultural capital is necessarily gained through intra- and extra-curricular activities. For example, all students access creative subjects such Art, Music, Drama, Dance, Technology (including Product Design, Food and Textiles) and Physical Education lessons as part of their normal timetabled provision when they join the academy.
The academy believes that a three-year Key Stage 3 programme is the best option for our learners, as it enables them to experience the broad spectrum of educational experiences. At Plume, students have an entitlement to knowledge. The acquisition of knowledge over a three-year period, in a range of subjects, provides them with rich opportunities to build cultural capital and the ability to make informed choices about the subjects they wish to study in greater depth when they move into their next Key Stage.
This is not an academy that has narrowed its vision – students pursue a rigorous and well-planned academic curriculum that encompasses a wide range of EBacc and STEM subjects, as well as the creative arts of Dance and Drama. Physical Education extends beyond the classroom and into a vast array of extra-curricular experiences, as do the creative arts. The academy also places a high value on reading and scholarship – all students are gifted a novel on joining the academy in Year 7.
When students move into Key Stage Four, the curriculum is personalised even further, with a continued focus on offering rigorous but appropriate degrees of challenge for at all learners, including a small and growing number of vocational programmes for those learners who learner better in such environments. In addition to a core compulsory programme of English, mathematics, science and Personal Development (with most learners studying stand-alone courses in all three science disciplines), the academy continues to offer a full range of technology, physical education, foreign language, computing, humanities and creative arts subjects. Additionally, students also have the option to study less-frequently offered subjects at Key Stage Four, including child development, psychology and sociology.
Plume Academy also offers a very inclusive Sixth Form experience. A range of level two and GCSE English/Mathematics resit courses are offered as pathway for those preparing to enter the world of work. Similarly, Plume College prides itself on offering a rich range of academic qualifications, qualifications that enable students to progress onto prestigious university courses, include Oxbridge and Russell Group universities. The academy also sets much lower entry requirements for entry to its Key Stage 5 programmes, with many students who would not be able to access these courses in other institutions going on to achieve well.
Cutting across all Key Stages is our pastoral, Personal Development, extra-curricular and cultural capital programme, which also champions reading, broadens student horizons and is designed to assist students in the journey to becoming responsible citizens of the world.
Parental guides for each subject in each year group can be found by clicking on the year group tabs.