Learning and the curriculum
Our aim is to develop both staff and students to ensure all students excel in lessons and achieve the highest outcomes.
As a school we have adopted the mastery approach to the curriculum and to curriculum delivery. This allows our children to succeed in the modern world. The curriculum for every department is knowledge rich and emphasises the development and securing deep knowledge prior to the development of skills. Teachers and students alike, plan learning around carefully compiled Knowledge Organisers. Our curriculum is designed to provide a flexible, personalised education – knowing that one size does not fit all and preparing students for their future lives.
Teachers at Smith’s Wood are asked to adopt the mastery style of teaching. The Mastery approach is based on 6 key principles:
- Deliberate practice
- High quality feedback (in the lesson)
- High expectations
- Smith’s Wood aims to support every member of staff in becoming an outstanding teacher. A varied professional development programme is provided that caters for teachers at all stages in their career; teachers are encouraged to share their ideas and learn from each other. Our Coaching Programme has been well received by staff and is highly effective in terms of developing teaching and learning.
Our commitment to student welfare
The pastoral care and support for our students is a priority for the Academy. We have a strong pastoral support network to ensure that no child is forgotten and that we effectively meet their pastoral needs.
Each student is placed into one of 4 houses; Ash, Elm, Bay or Yew House. Each house is led by a non-teaching Head of House and a Deputy Head of House. The House system permeates most aspects of school life and generates healthy competitive spirit. The quality and range of extra-curricular activities help students to develop the self-esteem and confidence to succeed.
This support network also includes:
- an SEND team comprising a SENDCo, Deputy SENDCo and a team of Teaching Assistants;
- A Behavior Support Team;
- A non-teaching Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and 3 Deputy DSLs;
- A school Medical Advisor (specialising in mental health);
- 2 Child and Family Support Workers;
- Attendance Manager;
- An Outdoor-Adventurous Activities Leader.
Standards of discipline and uniform are high at Smith’s Wood Academy. Our students know what good behavior is and they demonstrate this in all that they do.
We are incredibly fortunate that our Academy was built as part of the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ initiative. The Academy enjoys first class educational facilities that are well-maintained and conducive to exciting and successful learning opportunities. Staff and students enjoy;
- Excellent sports facilities – gym, sports hall, climbing wall, swimming pool, multi-use games area (MUGA), all-weather sports pitch and a fitness suite;
- A suite of fully equipped science laboratories and specialist ICT, art and design and technology areas;
- Drama studios and music suites;
- Two Learning Resource Centres.
The school benefits from a large outdoor space which is well-maintained. Students benefit from a canopied area, seating areas and outdoor table-tennis facilities for use at social times.
Each teacher is allocated a teaching base that is well equipped and designed to maximize learning. Each classroom has a teacher workstation with a visualiser to support teaching and learning.
An extensive programme of re-decoration, refurbishment and maintenance ensures that our environment is one in which people want to both learn and work.
Our facilities may be enviable, but we are very clear that it is, of course, the people and the ethos rather than the building that make for a thriving school.