All Through Education
Harris Academy Chobham is an all through school. This means we have both primary and secondary phases, educating young people between the ages of 3 and 18. Children begin their career with us in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and we hope that they will stay with us until the end of sixth form. This journey is very important to all members of the school community. Children attending our primary phase have an automatic right of entry to the secondary part of the Academy, an opportunity which virtually all of our families take advantage of. The journey of our students from Reception to Sixth Form is very important to us.
We are proud of our all through status which gives us the opportunity to provide an exciting, high quality and consistent educational experience for our students for their entire school career. It encourages teachers to think about and plan for the continuity of education, without any artificial divide between Years 6 and 7.
Here are some of the main aspects of our all through organisation:
Curriculum continuity /common themes
The all through model allows us to plan a curriculum which progresses in a systematic way throughout the school. Primary and secondary teachers work together to ensure that the content of the curriculum meets both National Curriculum requirements and the needs and aspirations of our students. We make sure that the curriculum in all subjects is logically sequenced so that students’ learning progresses in a structured way through all of their subjects. This includes making sure that, where we have an element of choice, topics are chosen at primary which help prepare students for the learning they will encounter in the secondary phase. We also take care to ensure that the sequence in which topics are taught maximises student understanding and that key themes and topics are periodically revisited as students progress through the Academy. This latter feature reinforces learning and makes students more confident in their core knowledge across all subjects.
Following the secondary model, all subjects are taught discretely in the primary phase with subject specialist teachers in modern foreign languages, music and PE.
Minimising gaps in learning
One of the key reasons why students can fall behind at school is if they have gaps in their learning. This can hinder their progress because they do not understand the background to what they are studying or they have missed out on key skills.
Our all through approach enables us to ensure that the primary teaching team have a full understanding of the knowledge and skills students will need to succeed at secondary level. Consequently, we are able to ensure that the primary curriculum covers all of the age specific content students will need later in their school careers, enabling them to make more rapid progress through the secondary phase towards GCSE and post 16 learning.
Shared teaching and learning expertise
Like many schools, we have excellent teachers in both our primary and secondary phases. Our all through structure gives these practitioners the opportunity to share their knowledge and learn from each other. Our school culture and systems allow for regular discussion between primary and secondary teachers. This is backed up by joint training and lesson visits.
The result of this collaboration is that value is added to the quality of teaching practice throughout the school, resulting in some of the best primary methodology being applied in secondary lessons and vice versa.
We expect our teachers to have a shared understanding of how young people learn best and to be curious and energetic in learning from one another.
All subjects in primary and secondary have discrete subject leaders. These colleagues lead on liaison and joint planning across the phases. They work together to make sure that the content of our curriculum meets both National Curriculum requirements and the needs and ambitions of our students.
In some primary subjects, the benefits of having secondary specialist colleagues on hand enables the provision of a richer and more expertly designed curriculum. This is an advantage of the all through model not to be underestimated.
There are curriculum areas (such as the humanities and arts subjects) where our primary teachers may not be subject specialists. A close working relationship with their secondary peers enables these teachers to ensure their curriculums are of a high quality and that they are as relevant as possible to the learning students will encounter in the secondary phase, giving our young people the best subject specific preparation we can.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)/Citizenship
PSHE is part of the National Curriculum for all primary and secondary students. In addition to the topics in the core prescribed curriculum, we have identified a number of areas in which Chobham students require particular support because of their backgrounds and the community in which they live.
A consistent approach to PSHE throughout the school enables us to focus in depth upon areas which are of importance to Chobham students. We are able to revisit key topics in an increasingly sophisticated way as students move through the all through school. Partnership between primary and secondary teachers also allows us to regularly introduce content which impacts most directly upon the lives of our students.
Learning and Social Skills
As a school, we have identified and regularly review the learning and social skills which we believe our students most need to develop. These are individual to our school, based upon the particular development areas we identify in our students’ social interactions. Having a consistent approach to these developments across children's entire school careers is a real benefit of the all through model. Clearly, the sophistication of our work with students increases as they grow older and more aware of their own behaviours, needs and aspirations. There are also inevitable some areas of social development which are more age specific. However, the depth of understanding of emerging student social needs which the all through model gives us is incredibly valuable in helping our students to become active young citizens with high level social skills who are able to engage with people in a wide range of social situations.
Linked closely to social development, the all through model helps our students to become more confident about their learning and also more confident socially. Children in the primary phase quickly become familiar with the scale of the school and the presence of older students. This makes them more confident in their relationships with older children generally and much better prepared for the transition to Year 7.
Consistency of expectations
Chobham has high expectations of student behaviour and of young people bringing a positive attitude to their lessons. We believe that excellent behaviour for learning underpins a successful curriculum and sets a foundation for everything else that happens in the Academy. Behavioural expectations are consistent across the primary and secondary phases. Importantly., we also ensure that the rationale behind our behavioural approach is shared, with students understanding the reasons behind rules and decisions and becoming used to restorative practice as a key step in building healthy working and social relationships.
Parents and Carers
The all through set up gives us the opportunity to build a long term relationship with parents and carers leading to increased levels of trust and understanding and more informed parental support with learning. Many of our families have children in both the primary and secondary phases. Families and school staff come to know one another well and this leads to effective communication which is of great value in resolving issues and helping ensure that young people are happy in school.
Students who did not go to Chobham primary
Each year 90 of our 210 Year 7 entrants join us from the Chobham primary phase. The remainder come from a wide range of other local primaries. Within our all through provision, it is vital that we ensure these new students are quickly assimilated into the learning environment and behavioural ethos of the Academy. Prior to their arrival, we make contact with all of our prospective students’ primary schools to find out about the curriculum they have followed and their individual learning. On arrival, we make sure that all of our students are made welcome and fully inducted into the school’s systems. Academic departments ensure that high quality baseline testing gives us the best possible information on each student’s ability across the curriculum. We recognise the need to compensate for any identified gaps in learning or to support students who are clearly talented but may never have experienced a subject before (for example in foreign languages).