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Covid-19 Curriculum Updates
The academy has worked hard to adapt its curriculum in the best way possible to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on our students. We are steered by our curriculum priorities for 2020-21 and the latest guidance from Ofqual.
Click HERE to download our presentation for Year 11 Parent Consultation Day, Friday 11 December 2020.
Curriculum Priorities 2020-21
1. Continue to teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term, making use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content and a focus on prioritisation within subjects of the most important components for progression of students. This curriculum delivered to students in the academy and the same quality available to those outside the academy (e.g. those self-isolating) via Microsoft Teams.
2. The curriculum is planned with the aim in mind to return to the academy’s normal curriculum in all subjects by summer term 2021. The curriculum is planned to address gaps in students’ knowledge and consolidates what they have been learning remotely. Heads of department will make curriculum decisions for their subjects in-light of the loss of face-to-face teaching contact over the last academic year.
3. The curriculum is planned on the basis of the educational needs of pupils. Curriculum planning is informed by an assessment of pupils’ starting points and addressing the gaps in their knowledge and skills, in particular making effective use of regular formative assessment (for example, quizzes, observing pupils in class, talking to pupils to assess understanding, scrutiny of pupils’ work done safely) while avoiding the introduction of unnecessary tracking systems.
Art and Design
Assessment will be based on portfolio only, so all teaching time and associated homework in Y11 now focused on this.
Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Combined Science
Students will be able to cover required apparatus and techniques through observations of demonstrations or simulations. The use of demo’s is possible with Y10 being in Science labs, Y11 required practicals will be studied via virtual simulation using Boardworks animations and YouTube clips. No changes to specification content outside of this.
Citizenship Action Investigation will now take place within the classroom (as Ofqual guidance states this to be the safest environment) but students will also undertake some of this work at home. Face-to-face interactions have been avoided when completing the research phase of the Investigation with online secondary sources of information being used in combination with some forms of primary research that students can safely undertake online (surveys). For Stage 4, students will not undertake volunteering and will ‘establish a group to promote change’ within their class bubble. For Paper 1, students will write about the ways in which they have adapted or evaluated their Citizenship Action as a result of the current pandemic.
Students will be allowed to undertake their programming project in unsupervised time. Key concepts underpinning this will be taught directly in lesson time and then all other work undertaken as homework set on Microsoft Teams. This allows more time for content coverage and consolidation in lesson time.
Design and technology
Students will receive teacher-led demonstrations of using machinery, tools and processes. Staff have accounted for the changes to parts of the NEA (Realising design ideas and Analysing and evaluating sections). For Realising design ideas, students will no longer be assessed on the skill of making but will be required to show their ‘intentions of prototypes’ and demonstrate their understanding of the processes involved in making. The assessment no longer requires students to make a final prototype - instead, they can show their understanding of the processes involved in making by writing about them (Y11s will be given practice within SOWs). Documenting these processes is one way of gaining marks in the 2021 Realising design ideas section. However, making skills are important for progression to future study, and for students' understanding, so the department is prioritising the need to continue to allow students to make specific to the GCSE spec (whilst adhering fully to COVID19-related H&S guidance). Analysing and evaluation section has been reduced from 20 to 15 marks. Analysis and evaluation throughout the design process can take place in relation to prototype ideas and models. There’s no expectation to test a final made prototype but students should find ways of testing prototype designs such as simulations online.
For both NEA elements, participation in a monologue is now accepted although the aim is still for performance to be group-based (appropriately socially distanced). The live performance statement will be satisfied through “streamed or recorded performances”, although if this is not possible the option for the exam board to accept “alternative evidence” to illustrate pupils’ intended devised performance will be made use of. For the text-based performances, the aim will still be for pupils to complete a complete and unedited audio-visual recording, although there is now the opportunity to submit a “presentation of each discrete aspect/each student’s individual contribution”.
There will be no requirement for recordings of spoken language assessment for exam board monitoring and the assessment will now be allowed to take place before a single teacher representing an “audience”. Spoken assessments can also be taken at any time during the course and “by virtual means” so these will be planned into the assessment calendar.
The Shakespeare play will make up a “minimum common core”, which all pupils will be assessed on, and schools will be able to choose two more options from poetry, 19th century novel and fiction/drama from the British Isles from 1914. At HGAED we have decided to do the 19th Century Novel and the Modern Text, as these were both being taught or had been taught when the announcement was made. We have decided to leave out the teaching of a collection of poetry as this was due to be taught later in year 11.
Food preparation and nutrition
NEA1 will be removed, and earlier release of NEA2 will be permitted. Requirements for some sections of NEA2 will be reduced. Section B ‘demonstration of technical skills make up to three technical dishes. Section C planning for the final menu, plan to make two final dishes. Section D making the final dishes, make two final dishes in three hours which will demonstrate the use and execution of a range of technical skills such as filleting fish for fish pie or fish cake, deboning chicken for chicken and pasta bake, baking and decorating a cake, flaky pastry making, making souffle, making fresh pasta, choux pastry and filling for profiteroles, chelsea buns and to accommodate public health restrictions”. Section E analyse and evaluate, analysis and evaluation of two final dishes. Sensory evaluation could be done in a home setting. This can be achieved by setting up testing panels and a variety of sensory analysis methods can be used. It is not advised to carry out testing within a classroom environment because of hygiene and safety issues related to coronavirus.
The written statement declaring that pupils have been given the opportunity to undertake two days of fieldwork is no longer required and pupils will also not have to answer questions in the exam relating to their own fieldwork experience. SOWs have been updated to reflect this and apportion more time for content coverage and consolidation of the remaining units.
The “minimum common core” topic of Weimar & Nazi Germany (Paper three - Modern depth study) will be completed in the Autumn term. The HGAED History department will then decide a subsequent course of action between to drop Paper 2a: Superpower Relations, complete the teaching of P3: Germany 1919-1939 by the end of the Autumn 1, and begin consolidating all other components (beginning with those studied remotely).
Modern foreign languages
Ofqual is removing the requirement for assessments to use words outside vocabulary lists although glossing will be permitted but avoided where possible. Staff are aware that the spoken-language assessment will be an endorsement reported on a three-point scale (pass, merit, distinction) and will be assessed by teachers during study. More optionality will be included to enable students to focus on fewer themes in their writing.
For the performance assessment, there will be no requirement for pupils to perform as part of an ensemble. Pupils will submit a complete and unedited recording of their live performances, and the score or lead sheet for that performance. The department will account for the following Performing music duration changes: students will now need to submit either one solo performance with a duration of at least a minute and a half, or one ensemble performance with a duration of at least two minutes. A complete, unedited recording of the live performance must be submitted with the score or lead sheet for that performance out of 36.
Compositions are now a minimum of two minutes and students will compose one piece of music in response to a set brief or be freely composed. Submissions must include a complete recording of the composition with a score, lead sheet or written account produced by the student. Students don’t have to perform their own composition; the recording may be computer generated and will be marked out of 36.
The department has planned to reduce their requirements to just two activities and allow both to be individual. Remote moderation of video evidence will take place for all activities.
Art and design AS and A-level
Assessment will be based on portfolio only.
Biology, Chemistry, Physics AS-level
Pupils will be able to cover required apparatus and techniques through observations of demonstrations or simulations of practical activities, but the Science department plans to deliver a full suite of experiments as detailed in the Y12 SOWs (lab access is available). All CLEAPSS COVID-19 H&S guidance will be strictly adhered to.
Biology, Chemistry, Physics A-level
The requirements for the practical endorsement will be changed to allow assessment of the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) “across the minimum number of practical activities required to demonstrate competence” but the Science department plans to deliver a full suite of experiments as detailed in the Y13 SOWs (lab access is available). All CLEAPSS COVID-19 H&S guidance will be strictly adhered to.
As with GCSE geography, Ofqual is removing the requirement that schools give a written declaration confirming pupils have had the opportunity to do two days of fieldwork. HGAED staff have accounted for pupils not having to answer questions in the exam relating to their own fieldwork experience. Staff are aware that exams will retain unfamiliar fieldwork questions but won’t be required to cover both human and physical geography.
For further information, please see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/exams-and-assessments-in-2021