Art and Design
The Art department is an outstanding faculty at Buile Hill Academy achieving exceptional results. It is a lead department in the local area and shares good practice with other local schools. Students are treated as individuals and we nourish their creative minds and ambitions.
Throughout years 7, 8, and 9 students have one art lesson per week, after which they can opt from our range of Art GCSEs. Students experience a range of practical art disciplines including observational drawing, collage, painting, 3D, sprays, mixed media, photography, textiles, and stitching. They will also look at a range of artists through discussions and analysis of their work.
In the department we have:
- Three fully equipped art rooms.
- Three full-time art teachers.
- An experienced full-time technician.
- A dark room with access to digital and traditional cameras.
- Good use of ICT rooms.
- A chance for all students to study art until the end of year 9, after which it becomes an optional subject.
- Popular after school sessions every day.
- Links t local Primary and Secondary schools.
- A range f GCSE options (Art, Craft and Design, Photography, Textiles, Fine Art).
- Artists visiting the school, and trips.
- Trainee teachers.
- A focus on creativity and transitional skills for all future careers.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 students study art for one hour per week.
In years 7 and 8, students will be introduced to a wide range of new techniques, materials, artists, and themes. Students will work through one topic per term, where they will develop their practical skills, discussion, and group work. Each theme has been carefully designed to develop a balance of skills, knowledge, and understanding. Students will experiment in both 2D and 3D and explore techniques including painting, collage, and sculpture. They also analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others.
In year 9, students build upon the knowledge and skills they have gained from previous years. They look at one theme all year but concentrate on one particular skill every couple of weeks, enabling students to deepen their knowledge and create further progress. Within this year they will have various sessions and discussions on career pathways to help prepare for GCSE years.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 students can opt in to the following GCSE specialisms of art: Fine Art, Textiles, Art, Craft & Design (3D), and Photography.
All the specialisms allow students to explore a range of techniques and experiment with a range of materials. We are a busy, thriving, and creative department with exceptional results. The course provides a robust foundation for studying an Art-based subject at college or those who want to pursue a career in the Arts.
Will I enjoy the course?
You will enjoy the course if you want to study a subject that:
- involves using art materials.
- is practical.
- is fun and rewarding.
- supports most career choices.
- involves problem-solving.
- takes inspiration from the world around us.
- is expressive.
- gives you transferable skills for the future.
Students at Key Stage 3 receive homework every other week (6 pieces per term). The homework directly links to the classwork. Year 9 also have the choice to stay after school to develop their skills further in a half an hour session.
At Key Stage 4 students are expected to stay after school to continue with coursework, this is for an hour session once a week.
How will I be monitored and assessed?
Students are given opportunities to improve based on teacher, self, and peer assessment. Projects are marked three times a term with comments from both teacher and student with responses to marking. Coursework is closely monitored throughout for Key Stage 4 to ensure progress is being made.
Business and Communication Systems
Business and communication systems is an option that students can take from year 10.
Students will consider the practical application of business concepts. The units provide opportunities to explore theories and concepts in the most relevant way, through the context of events in the business and economic world.
The knowledge and skills gained from this specification will provide students with a firm foundation for further study.
This qualification is linear, meaning students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. There are two exams at the end of the course where students apply their knowledge to case studies in the exam. Students apply this to different business contexts ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals and businesses operating in local, national, and global contexts. Students develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour.
Students apply their knowledge and understanding to business decision making including:
- the interdependent nature of business activity, influences on business, business operations, finance, marketing and human resources, and how these interdependencies underpin business decision making
- how different business contexts affect business decisions
- the use and limitations of quantitative and qualitative data in making business decisions.
The exams require students to draw on the knowledge and understanding to:
- use business terminology to identify and explain business activity
- apply business concepts to familiar and unfamiliar contexts
- develop problem-solving and decision-making skills relevant to business
- investigate, analyse, and evaluate business opportunities and issues
- make justified decisions using both qualitative and quantitative data including its selection, interpretation, analysis and evaluation, and the application of appropriate quantitative skills
Students will be expected to complete one piece of homework a week, as per the school calendar.
Welcome to the Drama department at Buile Hill Academy! The ancient Greeks believed theatres were a place of healing for the soul; and, at Buile Hill Academy we believe Drama has immense value as part of the curriculum on offer at our school.
As a creative subject, it is a space to develop key skills that will help you as an individual in all areas of your life: self-confidence, imagination, cooperation/collaboration, communication, problem-solving, self-discipline, and cultural-social awareness. From Year 7 through to GCSE we offer extensive extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities through clubs, performance evenings, primary liaisons, workshops, theatre visits and cross-curricular events. We are pleased to announce that this year our Year 7 students will gain certification with the English Speaking Board through Drama, English and across a wide range of our curriculum subjects.
All students in Years 7, 8, and 9 have one lesson of Drama a week; where, through their participation, they gain knowledge, skills, and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. They have the opportunity to adopt, create, and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in the role; Students develop skills in improvisation, devising and interpreting scripts for their peers in drama and a range of audiences (including touring to the Lowry and our feeder primary schools). They discover how to rehearse, refine, share, and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances. By the end of KS3, they are able to interpret texts and successfully determine how to apply dramatic conventions and mediums for effect enabling them to transfer this knowledge to their study of GCSE English Literature at KS4. Our Drama learning journey for students from Year 7 until the end of Year 9 is relevant, inspiring and challenging. We believe it provides a wealth of cultural currency for each individual's future as well as lay a firm foundation for GCSE Drama.
At GCSE, we build on skills and knowledge gained at KS3 as we delve deeper into the world of theatre. The course we follow is AQA which has three components of assessment: understanding drama, devising drama, and texts in practice. Throughout the course of this GCSE, they learn to: confidently use drama vocabulary, identify and discuss the roles of theatre makers, understand the characteristics and context of a whole play, analyse theatrical elements, and evaluate the success in a live production, creatively respond to a variety of stimulus to devise a performance that communicates meaning and fully realise the artistic intentions of play text by using their skills in performance.
Drama is an amazing vehicle that allows students to explore and make sense of the world around them. So, if you are an aspiring actor, director, costume designer, makeup artist, set designer, or producer, you will be at the right place to begin a brilliant career. If not, our department will equip you with skills that will be invaluable no matter where your future leads through the Drama 5 C’s: concentration, cooperation, communication, confidence, and control.
Our English Department is characterised by a strong sense of collaboration and enthusiasm for our students and subject. Our curriculum offers a rich and diverse range of learning experiences while also focusing on embedding the skills essential to our students’ success at GCSE, across the rest of the curriculum and in their future lives. We nurture all abilities: providing differentiated, personal learning and support to ensure the confidence and achievement of each individual student. Our foundation is a belief in the importance of words and vocabulary as a means to be successful in life.
Number of sessions per week: 4 X 60 minutes.
English is a five-year learning programme. Students begin building the skills and knowledge essential to success at GCSE and communication in general from day one in Y7 by studying engaging, age-appropriate, language and literature. The KS3 curriculum provides a firm foundation for progression to KS4 and beyond.
Our intention is to expose students to a wide and rich range of literature, both local and the wider world of English literature. We give students the opportunity to engage with writers from different eras, with the understanding that studying English is to study the human condition.
Number of sessions per week: 4 X 60 minutes.
During these sessions, students will study English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE, which they begin in Y10 as part of a two-year scheme of work.
English Language focuses on developing sophisticated reading and writing skills: understanding and using language to fully interact and communicate in the wider world.
English Literature involves the study of a variety of literary texts, novels, plays, and poetry, from a range of different time periods.
Both English Language and English Literature are examined at the end of Year 11. There are two papers in each subject. In addition, English Language requires students to complete a speaking and listening assessment, although this does not contribute to the final GCSE grade.
Both qualifications will be graded on a nine-grade scale from 9-1, where 9 is the highest grade, using total marks from both papers.
Studying Language and Literature enables students to:
- Read with a clear understanding of meaning and the writer’s intent
- Write with confidence and fluency for a range of purposes
- Express thoughts and ideas verbally
A good GCSE in English provides a springboard into further academic and vocational education and employment: strong competence in understanding language in all its forms and the ability to communicate clearly and articulately in both spoken and written forms will open doors everywhere.
Students are set homework on a weekly basis in English. It is designed to extend and enrich the learning in the classroom and works best as a partnership between student, teacher and home.
As early as Year 7, students will have regular food lessons which continue through to Year 8 after which they can opt to follow a GCSE course in Food Preparation and Nutrition.
Students are guaranteed the opportunity to plan and cook a variety of nutritious meals every week from Year 7 to 11 while learning to consider the importance of a balanced diet. Food Technology aims to strengthen students practical skills, health and safety awareness, and the ability to create and adapt any recipe with confidence – preparing them for later life.
In this Department we have:
- A fully equipped and modern food technology room
- An experienced Food Technology teacher supported by a food-specific technician
- Good use made of ICT and multimedia facilities
- A chance fr all students to study this subject until the end of Year 8 after which it can become an optional subject
- Special Event Catering Projects including the Pensioners Christmas and Summer Parties
- A focus on healthy eating, health and safety, and correct use of equipment
Key Stage 3
In Year 7, the students will spend two hours a week for approximately eight weeks beginning to learn the principles of good food hygiene, safety in the kitchen, teamwork, and how to use a variety of kitchen equipment. Teaching is through a mix of fun theory lessons, demonstrations, and practical lessons. The theme for Year 7 is Fruit and Vegetables. Students enjoy planning and making their own products almost as much as they enjoy eating them.
- Fruit Crumble
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Fruity Spiced Rock Buns
- Minestrone Soup
In Year 8 they will continue to build on knowledge gained in Year 7 by focusing on basic nutrition. The theme for Year 8 is Healthy Eating and ‘International Cuisine’. Each week a different nutrient will be studied and this will be accompanied by a suitable practical session.
- Vegetarian Sweet and Sour
- Oaty Cookies
- Pasta Salad
- Chilli Con Carne
- Macaroni Cheese (homemade roux sauce)
- Victoria Sandwich cake
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 students opt to follow a WJEC GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition. This is an exciting and contemporary qualification that aims to develop a high level of knowledge, understanding, and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition, and healthy eating. This GCSE is practical by nature and involves both controlled assessments and terminal examinations undertaken in year 11.
Homework and Assessment
In Key Stage 3, students will be set regular homework which directly links to their classwork.
At Key Stage 4 students are expected to stay after school to continue with coursework, one hour per week.
Our students are given a Design and Technology target at the beginning of the year and they are given opportunities to improve in each subject area based on teacher, peer and self-assessments. Projects are marked regularly throughout each term with comments from both teacher and student with responses to marking. In both KS3 and KS4, folders are carefully monitored by staff to ensure that all students are working to their full potential.
Will I enjoy the course?
You will enjoy these courses if you want to study a subject that:
- Involves cooking food
- Is both practical and technical
- Involves working alone and as part of a group
- Is relevant and linked to the real working world
- Supports a career choice
- Is fun and rewarding
- Gives you skills for life
Special Event Catering
As part of the course, students will have the opportunity to cater for large events. Recently our GCSE cohort catered for the ‘Pensioners Christmas Party’ which was held in school with around 150 visitors. Students surprised visitors with a delicious three-course Christmas dinner which any professional chef would have been proud of. Many of our classes are hoping to go onto further training to step into the professional world of Food Preparation.
There has never been a more fascinating and important time to study Geography. Our world is more familiar than at any point in its history, yet the number of unknowns and uncertainties are equally unprecedented. It is a daunting time to be alive. We have unleashed a momentum of change that may be hard to control.
The Earth is forecast a turbulent few centuries full of upheavals and disruption – as a species, we must find a way to hold on tight and ride it out.
The Geography Department seeks to enable students to make sense of their world, and to understand the processes, both human and physical that shape it.
We strive to teach Geography as a contemporary and dynamic subject. Through the classroom and fieldwork, we address issues including Climate change, resource depletion, and sustainable development. We explore crucial questions about the sort of future society that we wish to create, making it extremely relevant for today’s schoolchildren.
Key Stage 3
In years 7 & 8 students study a range of topics that support the GCSE examinations and provide a range of geographical skills these including:
- Weather and climate
- Tropical rainforests
In year 9 students who opt to study Geography at GCSE will deepen their understanding of the human and physical world through the study of:
- Ice environments
- Extreme environments
- Applying geographical skills
Key Stage 4
Year 10 and Year 11 students study AQA GCSE Geography. This is broken down into three main units:
Unit 1 Living with the physical environment, topics include:
- Natural hazards - volcanoes, earthquakes and tropical storms
- Climate change
- Ecosystems - tropical rainforests, hot deserts or cold environments
- Physical landscapes in the UK - coastal, river or glacial landscapes
Unit 2 Challenges in the human environment, topics include:
- The urban world - impact and growth of megacities
- Urban change in the UK
- Sustainable urban development
- The changing economic world - the development gap
- A case study of a newly emerging economy e.g. Nigeria or China
- The changing UK economy
- The challenge of resource management - either food, water or energy covered in depth
Unit 3 Geographical application and skills
- Fieldwork investigation and skills
- Applied geographical skills and understanding
- Cartographic skills
The third unit is not taught as a discrete unit but will be completed throughout the course to enable these geographical skills to be used to provide a deeper understanding and provide supporting evidence of geographical phenomena and occurrences.
Students are assessed through three examination papers (100 per cent) which closely follow the units outlined above.
Students will be set regular homework to support what they are studying in lessons. Key Stage 3 should expect at least one piece of homework a fortnight and in Key Stage 4 at least one piece per week.
How will I be monitored and assessed?
Our students are given a Geography target at the beginning of the year and they are given opportunities to meet their target and even surpass it throughout the year. Our teachers assess work regularly and at the end of each topic, students are tested using examinations or questions which demand an extended response. Students also carry out a self-assessment. Target levels are reviewed at the end of every topic, and at various times throughout the year, books are carefully monitored by staff to ensure that all students are working to their full potential.
Health and Social Care
Everyone passes through the same life stages, but have you ever wondered why people grow and develop at different rates? As we go through life we all encounter life events – some are expected and some are a shock. Why do people cope with these events differently? Have you ever looked after an elderly relative or a young child? Did they want to be looked after or try to prove they would be fine on their own? Did you feel that you did a responsible job caring for them? How often does someone ask you how you are and you say, ‘Fine, thanks’? Have you ever really thought about what being healthy means?
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
In BTEC Health and Social Care, we discuss these issues and more. We study the areas of growth and development that contribute to the whole person, reflecting on the impact significant life events can have on a person. We learn about the range of health and social care services and barriers individuals may face accessing them. We understand what is meant by ‘health and wellbeing’. Using this knowledge, we learn how to apply our knowledge to recognise indicators of possible poor health and understand how to interpret health and lifestyle data.
This is a course offered in Key Stage 4 – students achieve a BTEC Tech Award in Health and Social Care Level 1 or 2.
The course is assessed over 3 components – it is assessed through four internally assessed assignments (60 per cent of the final mark) and an externally assessed exam (40 per cent of the final mark).
History fires students’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It helps students develop their own identities through an understanding of history at personal, local, national, and international levels. It helps them to ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past.
There are six key skills that students will refine through the study of history in engaging and stimulating topics. They are change and continuity, cause and consequence, significance, source skills, interpretations, and knowledge.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 and 8 students will study a range of topics through engaging enquiry questions including:
- How did William change Britain following the Norman Conquest?
- What was the most significant problem for Medieval Kings?
- Did crime and punishment become more brutal over time?
- What was Henry VIII’s biggest motivation: love, money, faith, or power?
- What was the most destructive event during the Renaissance?
- How did the lives of Black Americans change from the abolition of slavery?
In year 9 students who opt to study History at GCSE will deepen their understanding of the world around us and how issues in the past inform decisions made about today. The topics studied are:
- The Suffragettes
- The causes of World War One
- Trench Warfare
- The rise of Adolf Hitler
- The Holocaust
Students are assessed each half term through a GCSE style assessment which lasts one hour. The results of this test is included in the progress checks that are sent home throughout the year. All students also have an end of year examination.
Homework is set fortnightly and is a variety of research, creative projects, and extended writing.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 and 11 students study AQA History. Students are assessed through two examination papers each worth 50% of the final grade.
Topic 1D America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality
This period study focuses on the development of the USA during a turbulent half-century of change. It was a period of opportunity and inequality – when some Americans lived the 'American Dream' while others grappled with the nightmare of poverty, discrimination, and prejudice.
Students will study the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in bringing about change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.
- The Boom
- The Red Scare
- Sacco and Vanzetti
- The Great Depression
- The New Deal
- The Civil Rights Campaign
Topic 2B Conflict and tension, 1918–1939
This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different individuals and states including the Great Powers. It looks at concepts such as national self-determination, ideas of internationalism, and the challenges of revising the peace settlement. It focuses on the causes of the Second World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues which caused it. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.
This topic includes:
- The Treaty of Versailles
- The League of Nations
- Hitler’s foreign policy
Topic 2A Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day
This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature, and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society, and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place.
Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider world developments that impacted the core themes. Students will have the opportunity to see how some ideas and events in the wider world affected Britain and will promote the idea that key themes did not develop in isolation, but these ideas and events should be referenced in terms of their effects on the core theme for Britain and British people.
This option focuses on the following questions:
- Why has there been progress in the health of the British people?
- How and why has the pace and scale of medical development varied at different times?
- What impact has medical progress had on people and society?
- How and why have different factors been more important than others for individual medical developments?
- What is the significance of key individuals or events in the history of medical development?
Norman England, c1066–c1100
This option allows students to study in-depth the arrival of the Normans and the establishment of their rule. The depth study will focus on major aspects of Norman rule, considered from economic, religious, political, social, and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies.
- The succession crisis in 1066
- The battle of Stamford Bridge
- The Battle of Hastings
- The feudal system
- The doomsday book
Students will be set regular homework to support what they are studying in lessons. Key Stage 3 should expect at least one piece of homework a fortnight, and in Key Stage 4 should expect at least one per week.
How will I be monitored and assessed?
Our students are given a History target level at the beginning of the year and are given opportunities to meet their target, and even surpass it throughout the year. Our teachers assess work regularly and at the end of each topic, students are tested using examinations or questions which demand an extended response. Students also carry out a self-assessment.
Target levels are reviewed at the end of every topic and at various times of the year, books are carefully monitored by staff to ensure that all students are working to their full potential.
The ICT/Computing department at Buile Hill Academy benefits from four dedicated fully networked computer rooms, all use Windows Seven as the operating system with cloud-based Google Apps and Google Classroom being fully integrated as a way of working.
Computing is taught as a discreet subject at KS3 and as an option at KS4. We have been making significant changes to the curriculum over the previous 12 months. Year 7, 8 and 9 students follow a condensed national programme of study and have one lesson per peek.
Years 10 & 11 students study GCSE Computing, BTEC Digital Information Technology, BTEC Creative Media, or GCSE Business Studies.
The faculty achieves outstanding results which primarily is down to excellent teaching being at the heart of everything we do. The teachers work hard to ensure that all lessons are well planned, creative, and interesting.
Collaborative working is something that comes naturally to the faculty; joint projects are undertaken during creative weeks as well as in topical projects throughout KS3 and KS4.
We value extracurricular opportunities in the faculty as a way of extending the learning and enjoyment the students receive after the home time bell goes.
Key Stage 3
At key stage 3 students study the following topics:
- Flash Animation
- Python Programing
- Video Editing
- Hardware & Software
- App Creation
Key Stage 4
Students study different subjects depending on their ability. Top sets in Year 11 will do GCSE Computing.
- GCSE Computer Science
- A selection of the topics they will study are:
- Python Programing
- App Creation
Students will be assessed by 100 per cent exam and an NEA assessment
BTEC Digital Information Technology
The course is made up of three components: two that are internally assessed (60 per cent) and one that’s externally assessed (40 per cent). The three-block structure, explore, develop and apply, has been developed to allow students to build on and embed their knowledge. This allows them to grow in confidence and put into practice what they have learned. The assessment structure is also designed so students can build on what they learn, and develop their skills, as they move through the course.
Ideal for learners who want a career in IT and want to get a broad taste of digital skills.
A stepping stone to careers like IT Project Management, Technical Support, and Cyber Security.
BTEC Creative Media Production
You get the chance to develop valuable skills and techniques in different disciplines, produce a practical response to a digital media brief, and explore potential careers in the industry.
Learners can choose from three pathways - audio/moving image, publishing, and interactive media. Each pathway can be offered to learners based on their interests. The external assessment is open to learner interpretation - great for keeping them engaged.
Great for hands-on learners who want to get straight in and ‘make’.
Beneficial for learners with a creative instinct who may be interested in Art or D&T and are looking for a course that combines skills from each in a client and customer-driven creative sector.
We also offer GCSE Business Studies, see the Business Studies page for more information.
We set homework as per the school calendar Key Stage 3 will receive one piece a fortnight, and Key Stage 4 one piece a week.
Mathematics at Buile Hill Academy has been carefully developed to provide a consistent teaching and learning experience for students from year 7 through to year 11. A personalised learning approach has been adopted to nurture confidence and to raise the achievement of all students. Teachers use a mixture of exploration, demonstration, problem-solving, and consolidation exercises. Teaching has the aim of developing students’ conceptual understanding of the mathematics they learn, its structures and relationships, and fluent recall of mathematical knowledge and skills to equip them to solve familiar problems as well as tackling creatively the more complex and unfamiliar ones that lie ahead.
Key Stage 3
Number of sessions per week: 4 X 60-minute sessions for years 7 and 8 and 9.
Mathematics at key stage 3 provides frequent opportunities for students to problem-solve and reason mathematically while mastering fundamental knowledge and skills that can be applied throughout the rest of their lives. Mathematics at Key Stage 3 has been developed to create confident and numerate students who are able to progress to KS4 and beyond.
Key Stage 4
Number of sessions per week: 4 X 60-minute sessions for years 10 and 11.
All students will study GCSE Mathematics in Key Stage 4, which they begin to study in year 10, following a two-year scheme of work.
This qualification involves the study of:
- Ratio, Proportion and Rates of change
- Geometry and Measures
- Statistics & Probability.
This course enables students to:
- develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts
- acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques t solve problems
- reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions
- comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.
There is no coursework or controlled assessment in Mathematics – just a final exam consisting of three equally weighted examination papers, one non-calculator paper and two calculator papers.
The qualification will be graded on a 1 - 9 scale using the total mark across all three papers, with a grade 9 being the highest grade.
Students will be entered for either the Foundation Tier, where grades 1 – 5 are available, or the Higher Tier, with grades 3 to 9 available.
To be successful in Mathematics you have to be able to accept and enjoy a challenge; be able to work on your own and in a group and have the ability to work closely with your teachers in order to get the most out of this subject.
A good GCSE in Mathematics provides a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and for employment, giving students the appropriate mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding to help them progress to a full range of courses in further and higher education. Exciting jobs, such as medicine, engineering, and accountancy are future pathways of good mathematicians.
All students are set homework on a weekly basis in Mathematics. These homework’s are designed to build fluency in Mathematics while providing regular opportunities for students to problem solve and reason mathematically. Each question makes reference to online video clips to support independent learning outside of the classroom. These can be found at the following website for which every student has a personal login - https://vle.mathswatch.co.uk/vle/.
At Buile Hill Academy, it is our belief that all teachers are teachers of numeracy. We are committed to developing numeracy skills in all subjects across the curriculum, believing that it will support the learning of all students and raise standards in every subject.
Every week, students complete a numeracy activity during form time, this is known as the Numeracy Challenge and each half term takes on a new theme. The theme for the first half term is Money and Finance, challenging students on real-life application of numeracy such as profits and loss, interest, and best buys. The Numeracy Challenge is a chance for all students to put their mathematical fluency to the test, and further develop their mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
In all lessons, students are asked to consider “what Maths have we used in this lesson”, and discuss this with teachers. Evidence of mathematics in lessons can be as simple as a small class discussion, but can develop into deeper tasks that further embed a cross-curricular understanding. All students in KS3 receive numeracy homework from different subjects each week to help promote the use of number in all subjects. We have also invited parents to contribute ways in which they use numeracy and have shared and discussed these with our students.
We believe consistency is imperative for developing a mastered level of numeracy, and so the Maths department is developing a ‘Teaching Guide’ that will be used by all teachers when teaching common mathematical techniques such as written methods, percentages, conversion, plus many others. We will share this document on our website once this has been finished so that parents and carers can see what methods we use in school, and can use to assist their child with their home learning.
At Buile Hill Academy, we are keen to promote parental participation. At Parents Evening, we give parents and carers the opportunity to attempt a maths puzzle, which links to a mathematical skill that students will have been using in school. All successful parental entries are then put into a prize draw to be in with a chance of winning a prize for their child.
MyMaths - https://www.mymaths.co.uk/
The music department at Buile Hill is outstanding. It is a thriving part of the school community and we believe music is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think, and act. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past, and present, it helps students to understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school, and the wider world.
Our priority and vision is to be a leading Music Department that is known for its commitment to every child succeeding through excellent teaching and creative learning.
Research shows children who play an instrument, as a rule, do better in school than those who don’t. It suggests exposure to music benefits a child’s reading age, IQ, and the development of certain parts of the brain. One of the qualities musicians possess is discipline, through teaching the students this we hope to embed these qualities that will translate to other subjects within school. We firmly believe that providing the students of Buile Hill with the chance to play a musical instrument will benefit them in later life and give them opportunities that may not have been available to them before.
Throughout Key Stage 3 Music is taught as a practical subject. Students receive an hour of Music a week and through the disciplines of performance, composition, and listening, cover a wide variety of topics experiencing many styles of music from different times, genres, and cultures. Students develop a range of musical skills with the emphasis firmly placed on enjoyment while gaining a breadth of skills.
We think students should not only learn the fundamental skills needed in music, but should also be encouraged to enjoy and appreciate music in all of its forms, gaining a skill for life.
In Years 7, 8, and 9 students will study a range of topics including:
- Music of the Classical Period
- Song Writing
- Music for Film
- Popular Music
- World Music - Samba and Blues
- Just Play - key fundamentals on instruments
- Theme and Variation
- World Music – Reggae
We follow AQA GCSE in Music which allows students to capitalise on their different musical interests and expand their knowledge of this versatile subject. Through the means of performance and composition students develop as musicians and composers.
Areas of study include a wide range of music including classical, world, and popular music catering to all preferences. The GCSE is designed to allow the study of music through the integration of performing, composing, listening and appraising, with the opportunity to use music technology in either performance or as a compositional tool.
The course is broken down into the following areas:
- Performance on your individual instrument
- Creating two compositions
- The study of two set works: Haydn’s Clock Symphony and The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
- A listening exam n four areas of study - The Western Classical Tradition, Popular Music, Traditional Music, Music from 1920 onwards
Students must play an instrument or sing to take this qualification; this is provided by the excellent team of peripatetic staff that support the department.
GCSE Music inspires performance at the highest level, students are actively encouraged to sit performance exams by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music and Trinity Rock School to accompany their GCSE.
The BTEC Tech Award in Music Practise is a practical introduction to the life and work of the music industry. Students learn about the various music products, develop valuable skills and techniques in music creation, performance and production and explore potential careers in the industry.
The course has two internally assessed components and one which is externally assessed.
Component 1 - Exploring Music products and styles
Component 2 - Musical Skills Development
Component 3 - Responding to a Commercial Music Brief.
These components build on each other to motivate students by helping them put what they have learnt into practice and grow in confidence.
Extra-Curricular Performing Arts
Whatever your interest we have something for you in the Performing Arts Department at Buile Hill.
Over the past few years Performing Arts has expanded rapidly and is now an integral part of school life with numerous productions, concerts, and events taking place in school every year and dozens more taking place in the community. Students here are given every available chance to work on, showcase their talents and shine.
Encore is our school singing group who rehearse weekly to a high standard. Encore is no ordinary singing group; we work hard and play hard – learning exciting and fun songs which can be enjoyed by everyone, especially us.
The students have performed at a variety of locations and prestigious events including Salford Cathedral Christmas Carol Service, the Lowry Theatre, Royal Northern College of Music and live on BBC Children in Need. The group has also entered Manchester Choral Competition where they sang three songs against choirs from all over the world – they were Highly Commended by the judges for their excellent performances.
In all Physical Education lessons, we ensure all students are inspired to achieve and develop their ability in a variety of sports on their learning journey. There are many opportunities provided by our excellent staff which provides a platform for our students to progress both in PE lessons and extra-curricular clubs. As well as this there are also competitive opportunities to represent our school in a variety of sports such as; football, rugby, basketball, netball, athletics, and many more. Participation in Physical Education allows students to develop physically and mentally and allows them to build character and embed values such as fairness and respect as well as the rule of law linking into our British Values.
Key Stage 3
In years 7,8, and 9 students spend two hours per week building on their knowledge and developing a variety of skills in the range of sports delivered on their year groups learning journey. The students will become more confident and competent in the range of sports delivered and will therefore make progress to meet and exceed their potential. Students will also develop an ability to become student leaders within their PE lessons and will be responsible for leading their own warm-ups and delivering phases of lessons to their peers so that they are ready for their option choice at KS4 interlinking with the Sports Studies course which we currently deliver.
Involvement in sport allows each of our students to become more competent, confident, and expert in their techniques and will be able to apply them across a range of different sports. They are taught what makes a performance effective and how to apply these principles in their own and others' work.
Students are taught to:
- use a wide range f tactics and strategies to overcome opponents in direct competition through team and individual games ( football, netball, rugby, basketball, handball, badminton, rounders, dodgeball, cricket and tennis)
- develop their technique and improve their performance in other competitive sports ( athletics, gymnastics, trampolining)
- perform dances using advanced dance techniques with a range of styles and forms
- take part in outdoor and adventurous activities and are encouraged to work in a team, building on trust and developing skills to solve problems (orienteering)
- analyse their performance compared to previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best (fitness)
- take part in competitive sports and activities outside school through community links and sports clubs
Key Stage 4 / Core PE
Throughout KS4 all students continue to study Physical Education for one hour per week. Students are encouraged to get involved in a range of activities that continue to develop their personal fitness and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle.
Students are taught to:
- use and develop a variety of tactics and strategies to overcome opponents in teams and individual games ( football, netball, rugby, basketball, dodgeball, handball, badminton, rounders, cricket and tennis)
- develop their technique and improve their performance in other competitive sports ( for example athletics, gymnastics and trampolining), or other physical activities ( for example dance and fitness)
- take part in further outdoor activities
- evaluate their performance compared to previous ones and demonstrate improvement across a range of physical activities to achieve their personal best
- continue to take part regularly in competitive sports and activities outside school through community sports links or sports clubs
Key Stage 4 / OCR Cambridge National Sports Studies PE
At KS4 students opt to follow the Cambridge Nationals Sports Studies, it is made up of four units, three being coursework-based with elements of practical study attached to each and one exam based unit which is made up of 60 marks.
Unit R051 - Contemporary Issues in Sport
Students will study a variety of topics on the exam based unit Contemporary Issues in Sport which comprises of 60 marks. Throughout this unit students will develop their knowledge in the following topics;
LO1 - The issues which affect participation in sport
LO2 - The role of sport in promoting values
LO3 - The importance of hosting major sporting events
LO4 - The role of national governing bodies in sport
Revision guides and revision workbooks written for the OCR Cambridge National Sports Studies specification are excellent learning resources, they are available to purchase from the PE department at £2.00 each.
To further support your child learning at home, past exam papers including mark schemes, example answers and examiners reports are available from; https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/cambridge-nationals/
Alongside this to further support our students we provide them with intervention classes after school which gives them further opportunities to complete coursework, develop practical elements in preparation for assessment and also exam revision sessions.
Students will be set regular homework to support what they are studying at both key stages. Examples of the type of homework set are:
- to attend an extra-curricular club
- to research a particular skill and come with a list of coaching points to the lesson
- design a warm-up relevant t the sporting activity
- complete a written worksheet to support the learning in Sports Studies PE
- research tasks
- revision of end of unit tests and examinations
How will I be monitored and assessed
Students’ progress is constantly being assessed and monitored in every lesson, which supports the teachers planning to ensure progress is made by each individual student. At the end of each unit of work the students' have a final assessment lesson and are given a working level and a description of the skills they are able to perform. In KS4 Cambridge National Sports Studies PE students are given regular end of unit tests and examinations to monitor their progress in this area, as well as regular marking of coursework and homework to monitor student knowledge and progress.
There are a wide range of extracurricular activities, and participation levels are good. We would like to see as many students as possible taking part in these sessions and developing their skills and fitness levels, as well as having lots of fun and meeting new people.
Details of our extensive PSHE curriculum can be found here.
The Science Department occupies one of six key learning zones within the “E-shaped” two-storey school.
In this Department, we have:
- Six purpose-built science laboratories that are located along both sides of the science faculty corridor
- All f the laboratories benefit from interactive whiteboards, speaker systems, and have a pc
- Science staff workroom and a prep room, which has chemical storage areas
- Full-Time experienced science technician
- Good use of ICT and multimedia facilities
- A very popular after school STEM/Garden club
- A focus on how science impacts our everyday lives
The school teaching day consists of four one-hour lessons and one 50 minute lesson, and students are taught in two bands for Science. Within both bands, there are Science teaching groups that are arranged into broad ability groups that also take account of any behavioural needs.
High-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding Science in the world. Science is changing our lives all the time. Our purpose and rationale for our Science Curriculum here at Buile Hill Academy is we feel strongly that;
- Students should be taught the key fundamentals of knowledge, application, and analysis through the specific origins of Biology; Chemistry; and Physics.
- Students are encouraged to understand how Science can be used to explain what is occurring and predict how things will behave. This inturn will help them answer scientific questions about the world around them
- Students are equipped with the knowledge to understand the uses and implications of science today, and for the future
Our Science Curriculum is deep and rich supporting all students in achieving their full potential and challenging our most able students by promoting independence and the use of higher order thinking skills in learners.
KS3 – Year 7, 8, and 9
The curriculum at KS3 is designed around the big ideas in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, identified in the National Curriculum and KS3 Science Programme of Study. These ideas build upon what the students will have covered in the upper years of KS2 and provide the knowledge, understanding, and skills base that can spiral up and be developed further in the GCSE courses.
Throughout the year your child will sit KS3 Science assessments, in preparation for this your child may find it useful to purchase copies of revision books that we are able to provide at discounted prices. Revision guides are currently available at the price of £2.50 and workbooks with exam-style questions are available for £5.00. Students are encouraged to use these revision guides both within lessons and at home.
KS4 ( Years 10 and 11)
The Science Department at Buile Hill Academy offers courses to cater for all abilities and interests. Students who are particularly academically gifted can choose to take three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as one option choice. For students whose career aspirations require traditional Science GCSE we offer a Combined Science (Double Award), which like the Separate Sciences can lead to students taking post-16 A-Level Science courses.
Both the separate and combined science courses are assessed through external examinations taken at the end of year 11 and at present there will be no coursework element to the course. Both courses will have a practical element that will be assessed within the external examinations.
The new course will be assessed using numbers from 1-9 to identify the levels of performance, with 9 being the top level.
Both science courses are available at two tiers of entry:
- A foundation tier will cover grades (1-1) – (5-5)
- Higher tier will cover grades (3-3) – (9-9)
Combined Science (leading to the award of two Science GCSEs)
The combined science course sees students covering a number of topics:
- Biology — Cell Biology; Organisation; Bioenergetics; Infection and response; Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; Ecology.
- Chemistry — Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; Energy changes; The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; Using resources.
- Physics — Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; Atomic structure; Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism.
Combined Science Assessment: 6 x 1hr 15 mins exams
Required practicals: 21
Maths requirement: 20 per cent overall (10 per cent biology, 20 per cent chemistry, 30 per cent physics (21 equations to recall, seven equations on equation sheet in exam).
Separate Sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (leading to the award of three Science GCSEs)
The separate science students will study the same units as those listed above for combined science plus an additional physics unit of space physics. Each unit of work will be covered in more depth with some extra content.
Single Science Assessment: 6 x 1hr 45 mins exams
Required practicals: 28
Maths requirement: 20 pre cent overall (10 per cent biology, 20 per cent chemistry, 30 per cent physics (21 equations to recall, seven equations on equation sheet in exam).
Students receive a minimum piece of Science Homework once every two weeks.
We strongly believe a child needs to be equipped with the right tools to allow them to complete homework tasks and revise to the best of their ability.
GCSE Revision Guides
We recommend students purchase the CGP Science GCSE Revision Books that are available to purchase from the Science Department for £5.50
What is SMSC?
At Buile Hill Academy we are dedicated to developing the whole student. We firmly believe in holistic education, experience and curriculum that ensures that our students grow into responsible and positive members of the community. We believe the Social, Moral, Spiritual, and Cultural development of our students is a central part of our purpose, along with ensuring excellent standards in the classroom. We, therefore, aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop their own values, while recognising that those of others may differ. Beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour including a positive caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures are all critical skills and dispositions that we nurture, encourage, and develop through our subject and wider curriculum. SMSC development is also closely linked to our United Learning core values of ambition, confidence, creativity, respect, enthusiasm, and determination which underpin the ethos of our school.
Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.
Appreciate cultural influences; participate in cultural opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
Our mission at Buile Hill is to make sure SMSC is developed through a whole school approach, through the taught curriculum, the pastoral and assembly programme and through trips, visits and the extra-curricular programme. We will ensure students are clear that SMSC is not just something that is ‘taught’ but also something that is ‘caught’ through their active membership in the school community.
How do we develop SMSC in our students?
- Provide students with the opportunity to work independently and show that they can be self-reliant learners.
- Provide opportunities for students to develop teamwork and leadership skills.
- Encourage students to actively participate and engage in lessons.
- Provide the opportunity for students to reflect and develop thinking skills.
- Encourage students to display consideration, cooperation, courtesy, and respect to their peers and to staff.
- Provide students with opportunities to be creative and develop a fascination for subjects/topics.
Practical examples of how students develop their SMSC at Buile Hill:
- Working together in different groupings and situations.
- Taking responsibility, leading e.g. participating in the assembly, anti-bullying ambassadors, student council.
- Encouraging teamwork in all group activities.
- Showing appreciation of the performances of other children regardless of ability.
- Meeting people from different cultures and countries.
- Participation in a variety of different educational visits.
- Participation in live performances.
- Use f assembly themes.
- Studying the ‘Arts’ from different cultures supported by visits from artists and participating in workshops.
- Opportunities for the children to hear and see live performances by professional actors, dancers and musicians.
- Opportunities to make and evaluate food from other countries.
- Studying the contributions to society that certain famous, historical and influential people have made.
Schools should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs as part of their provision of SMSC.
How do we promote British Values at Buile Hill?
- Assemblies throughout the year focus on the five different strands of British Values - Democracy, the rule of law individual liberty, mutual respect, tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
- An active Student Council where students stand and vote in an election. A planned out campaign time and voting day is in place. Student Council reps are then elected The student council manages its own budget.
- Student vice is encouraged throughout the school. During department reviews, student voice is completed and shared with the department area to act on.
- Students are taught across the curriculum and in extra-curricular events to debate and argue as would happen in British democracy. In English, History, and Drama debates take place and in 2016 students took part in a debate about whether Britain should remain in the EU.
- Buile Hill is part of Debate Mate and runs this as a club and activity within the school curriculum
- Taking part in Elections – All students voted in the Make your Mark Elections (Youth Parliament)
- Mutual Respect and Tolerance – Students are taught about a range of faiths throughout the RE curriculum.
- Human Rights with a focus on Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect is also taught as part of the RE curriculum
- Stereotypes are challenged in RE when students study Islam. Throughout lessons, students express their views, but are challenged to consider the evidence and are presented with various sources to help with their own decision making.
- Throughout our school systems, British Values are demonstrated. Student reflection forms completed by students if they are in seclusion for poor behaviour or following any incident of bullying which allows students time to consider their own behaviour (individual liberty and rule of law)
- Prefect System encourages leadership, mutual respect and individual liberty.
- Charity events throughout the year (mutual respect/tolerance)
The Spanish department teaches Spanish to all year groups. Our year 11 students sit a GCSE in Spanish with the exam board Edexcel.
Year 7, 8, and 9
Currently, in Year 7, 8, and 9 all students study one to two hours of Spanish per week, which enables the majority of students to build on their learning of this language at Primary School. Students who have not studied Spanish before arriving at Buile Hill need not worry as they will be given support to help them cover the basics of the language and will soon catch up to the rest of the class.
In Year 7, 8, and 9 the topics range from 'My Family' in year 7, which tests students’ ability at describing different people, to 'My holidays' in year 8 which exercises students’ ability in using different tenses. In year 9 students look at topics such as “school and jobs” and refine their understanding of using different tenses.
Year 10 and 11 (GCSE course)
At the end of Year 9 students can opt to study Spanish at GCSE. All lessons are taught by specialist teachers. All students have three hours a week of Spanish, with year 11 having an extra lesson after school on a Thursday. Our groups are smaller than average and we work with trainee teachers and Spanish-speaking volunteers to give the students as much exposure to and practice of the Spanish language as possible.
All students follow the Edexcel syllabus and complete a Q&A booklet during Year 10 which helps them to prepare for both the speaking and writing exams. They cover topics such as modern media and film, applying for jobs and holiday plans.
The GCSE courses are all assessed using the following criteria: 25 per cent reading exam, 25 per cent speaking exam, 25 per cent listening exam and 25 per cent writing exam. These exams all take place in April - June of Year 11.
In Years 7, 8, and 9 students are set homework fortnightly. This usually includes learning and practising vocabulary which is then tested in lesson time. In Years 10-11 students are set homework weekly. This supports their learning in lessons and ranges from learning new vocabulary to completing past papers. In year 11 students complete an hour a week extended day session, during which they continue their preparation for their GCSE.
The department runs popular trips every year. In the past, we have run trips to Barcelona and Madrid, and the Christmas Markets in Lille, France.
An important date in the Spanish department calendar is Dia de la Hispanidad which falls on the 12th September. On this day, and/or the week running up to the day, the department holds numerous popular activities throughout the school. From food festivals to mystery voice competitions, the event has grown in stature from year to year.
The MFL department is very proud of the range of languages spoken by students in the school. As far as possible we facilitate students taking a GCSE in a home or first language and our results are consistently excellent, with the majority of students achieving the highest grades. In the past we have helped students enter and complete a GCSE in Portuguese, Polish, Urdu, French, Arabic, Spanish, German, and Italian.
Learning journeys are offered in all subjects for students in Years 7 through to 9. The journeys show what is being taught in each term across all our subjects. They are designed to inform parents and students, what is being taught and how topics will be assessed.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, we offer a broad variety of subjects, building the passion students have of subjects at primary school. They will secure an important breadth of knowledge and understanding before starting to study GCSE and vocational qualifications from Year 10.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students continue to study core and foundation subjects but begin some specialisation of learning, which is matched to their interests, aptitude, and consideration of their desired pathways. Students will have access to an ambitious range of academic, technical, and vocational routes. During the options choice, students will be guided through a personalised path by receiving comprehensive and considered guidance regarding appropriate study choices. The subjects they choose will come from a selection of academic, technical, or vocational subjects that will meet their interests and enable them to access their choice of further study, training, or work when they move on.