At the Birley Academy, our curriculum is designed to provide a dynamic educational experience that equips every pupil with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to become confident, compassionate, and capable leaders in an ever-changing world. 

We aspire to foster a vibrant learning community where pupils are: 

Ready – pupils have studied a breadth of knowledge, discipline, and cultural capital so that they can better interpret the world around them and are well prepared for future learning and employment. 

Respectful– pupils are encouraged to explore their passions, embrace diversity, and develop a deep sense of responsibility towards themselves, their community, and the wider global society. 

Resilient – pupils use the curriculum to build mental and emotional strength that will allow them to navigate difficulties and emerge stronger. They will learn to often transform challenges into opportunities for growth (to DRIVE). 

Our vision for the Birley Academy curriculum is built upon the following principles: 

Academic excellence: We are committed to delivering a rigorous, ambitious, and engaging curriculum that challenges pupils to think critically, solve problems creatively, and achieve high academic standards (to ACHIEVE). Our teachers are dedicated to inspiring a love for learning among our pupils and nurturing intellectual curiosity. This is so that our pupils can integrate new knowledge into larger ideas and, over time, build an ever deeper understanding of the world around them and apply this knowledge to new situations beyond the classroom. 

Pastoral development: We believe that education extends well beyond the classroom. Our curriculum promotes the personal development of pupils, emphasising not only academic achievements but also the importance of physical health, emotional well-being, and ethical values. 

Character building: Our curriculum places a strong emphasis on character education, instilling in pupils the values of integrity, empathy, resilience, and a commitment to social justice. We aim to nurture responsible global citizens who are compassionate, ethical, and culturally aware (to EMPOWER). 

Accessibility: We believe in recognising and celebrating the unique strengths and interests of each pupil. Our curriculum is designed to offer a wide range of subject choices and extracurricular activities, enabling all pupils to tailor their educational journey to their individual aspirations regardless of background or prior attainment. 

Sense of Place: In an increasingly interconnected world, we aim to broaden our pupils’ horizons by promoting global awareness and cultural sensitivity. Our curriculum includes opportunities for pupils to explore local and global issues. 

Through our carefully sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum, we envision preparing our pupils to not only excel academically but also to make meaningful contributions to society, lead with integrity, and become agents of positive change to make a lasting impact on the world (to LEAD). 

The Birley Academy Curriculum can be better understood by separation into its component parts: 

The Academic Curriculum

  • Sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum mapping designed by our teachers for our pupils. 
  • 30 lessons per week. 
  • Prioritised, guided reading for all pupils. 
  • A broad range of GCSE options including vocational qualifications is available to all pupils. 
  • Curriculum focused trips and visits. 
  • Development of effective study habits. 
  • Formative, summative & evaluative assessment. 
  • Careers information, support and guidance. 
  • Events and performances. 
  • Improving outcomes over time. 

The Pastoral Curriculum

  • Rewards and celebration. 
  • Development of positive behaviour habits (our behaviour curriculum) 
  • 5 extended tutor periods per week. 
  • Weekly assemblies. 
  • Timetabled PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education) & RSE (Relationships and sex Education) 
  • Mental wellbeing & mentoring. 
  • Physical health. 
  • Anti-bullying agenda. 
  • Citizenship. 
  • Character 
  • British Values. 
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion. 
  • Global awareness. 
  • Pupil leadership opportunities. 
  • After-school clubs. 

The Inclusion Curriculum

  • Ambition for all pupils regardless of background or prior attainment. 
  • Robust assessment and identification of SEND. 
  • Specialist resource provision for pupils with speech, language and communication needs. 
  • Individualised support. 
  • Academic intervention. 
  • Specific reading intervention. 
  • Behaviour intervention. 
  • Catch-up support. 
  • Access for all pupils to all subjects in line with the academy accessibility plan.
  • Community engagement. 

The Staff Curriculum

  • Weekly professional development and planning time [PDPT]. 
  • Evidence-led training. 
  • Developmental feedback. 
  • Staff workload and wellbeing initiatives. 

Click here to see our curriculum plans.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss any specific curriculum queries you may have. Please email [email protected] or call (0114) 2392531