Our curriculum promotes a love of lifelong learning by eliciting in students a sense of awe and wonder. It develops students’ cognitive hooks to aid their conceptual understanding; promotes depth of understanding; seeks to enrich the whole child, and readies them for the world of work.

Human nature tells us that we are more successful and, quite simply, happier when we are doing something we love. We want our curriculum to inculcate and celebrate this love of learning during students’ 5 years with us but, more importantly, to ensure that they go onto lead fulfilling lives as lovers of learning.

Cognitive science teaches us that, as we learn and age, we construct mental schema – patterns and structures onto which we organise new knowledge. The best learners are consciously taught how to create these cognitive hooks in order to continually prepare them to tackle new or unfamiliar material. Our curriculum is therefore constructed and delivered with these ‘hooks’ in mind.

Our curriculum is aspirational, intending to enable learners to seek expertise in taught concepts by promoting deeper understanding and by marrying subject matter to challenging skill expectations.

Our curriculum does not begin and end at classroom doors. Rather, it seeks to connect learners to one another and to the wider world around them. The curriculum identifies opportunities to develop the whole child, as well as promoting attributes we believe are crucial to enjoy lifelong happiness, success and citizenship.

Our curriculum recognises its moral obligation give students the inclination and ability to join the competitive world of work. Our curriculum therefore identifies regular opportunities for exposure to effective careers guidance, interweaving these opportunities throughout the taught curriculum.

Opportunities for Every Child’s Personal Development

Learning does not just happen in the classroom, and does not solely consist of listening to a teacher or completing assigned tasks. Learning is a rich, holistic and broad process which takes place through varied experiences. As such, we endeavour to ensure that all students have regular access to new experiences or ideas such as:

  • Overnight Residential learning (e.g.: PGL outdoor activity centres; cultural and historic visits to the Normandy beaches; the French Alps, or New York).
  • Trips and visits (e.g.: to geographically survey the local urban environment; to local museums/art galleries/theatres/Symphony Hall etc.).
  • Engagement with Cross-Trust activities to connect students to their wider family of schools/peers across the city (e.g.: Echo Eternal Holocaust memorial arts initiative; The Great Get Together; The COREus Choir etc.).
  • Engagement with external agencies/partnerships (e.g.: Arts Council England; UK Active Kids; The Duke of Edinburgh Award; The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games etc.).
  • Engagement with charities to develop students’ empathy for those less fortunate than themselves or to heighten their awareness of personal safeguarding (e.g.: Macmillan Coffee Morning; Birmingham City Mission Homelessness initiative; Precious Lives; Safer Travel; anti-bullying training; First Aid training; RNLI water safety training; National Fitness Day etc.).
  • Celebration of key moments of national/cultural importance (e.g.: Black History Month; major national historic anniversaries; LGBT History Month; international sports competitions).
  • Provision of bespoke learning opportunities to meet the additional needs of learners (e.g.: The KS3 Dissertation for High Attaining students; Peer Mentoring/Reading etc.).
  • Engagement with careers-focussed partners and colleges and universities to promote pathways into post-16 opportunities (e.g.: The Universities of Birmingham; Aston, and Oxford; BMET Colleges; Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors etc.).
  • Provision of support and training to foster a culture of mental health and wellbeing (e.g.: use of a daily Morning Welfare Time; daily Personal Development period; use of Student Welfare Team to deliver training in wellbeing).

KS4 GCSE Options

At Arena Academy, we have reviewed our curriculum offer for all students.

From September 2020, we will implement a Key Stage 3 curriculum for Years 7 to 9 and a two-year Key Stage 4 curriculum in Years 10 and 11.

Currently, students follow a two-year Key Stage 3 in Years 7 and 8. They follow a three-year Key Stage 4 in Years 9, 10 and 11.

At Arena Academy, we are not convinced that a shortened Key Stage 3 enables all students to have the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects. The Key Stage 3 curriculum should be covered over three school years. It is important that students in Years 7 to 9 follow programmes of study which are line with the National Curriculum’s expectations. We know that the Key Stage 4 curriculum is more demanding than it used to be. However, this is not an excuse to increase the amount of time students should spend covering GCSE subjects at Key Stage 4.

We are committed to providing all students with a broad and balanced curriculum for all students from Year 7 through to Year 11. For our students to flourish at Arena Academy, we must ensure that we offer them a well sequenced curriculum. We want to enable our students to build their knowledge and skills so that they can remember more, learn more and, as a result, apply this knowledge well.

Courses offered at KS4:

  • GCSE Art & Design
  • GCSE Business Studies
  • GCSE Child Development
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Design Technology
  • GCSE Drama
  • GCSE Engineering
  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature
  • GCSE Food
  • GCSE French
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Mathematics
  • GCSE Music
  • GCSE Photography
  • GCSE Psychology
  • GCSE Science
  • GCSE Sociology
  • GCSE Textiles
  • Level 2 Child Development
  • Level 2 Health & Social Care
  • Level 2 Hospitality
  • Level 2 ICT
  • Level 2 Music Technology
  • Level 2 Sport
  • Level 2 Travel & Tourism

Key Contacts

The following can be reached through the School Reception on 0121 729 7310 or by emailing [email protected]

Mrs Sue Wain    Deputy Headteacher (Quality of Education)
Mr Feroz Khan    Assistant Headteacher (School Improvement)
Mr Knile Taylor    Assistant Headteacher (Teaching, Learning & CPD)
Mrs Hayley Brighton    Head of Modern Foreign Languages
Ms Jas Dhillon    Head of Creative Arts
Ms Onyx Peynado    Head of English
Mr Oliver King    Head of Humanities
Ms Sophie Coffey    Head of Maths
Mrs Laura Morton    Head of Health
Mrs Karen Curtis    Head of Science and STEM Lead