A Conceptual, Connected and Real Life Curriculum Plan


The Curriculum is rich and engaging and involves a programme of conceptual development of all the national curriculum subjects. The aim is to agree the five or six core concepts for each subject and then create a conceptual development pathway that takes students to AS/A level. This is the aspiration for the summer term.


To advance a positive growth mindset at Mounts Bay Academy that states that everyone is capable of excellence by planning all learning experiences with a mastery approach. The planning device that is used is solo taxonomy that encourages developmental thinking stages including Unistructual (Beginning), Multistructural (Developing), Relational (Mastery) and Extended Abstract ( Extended). The final stage of SOLO requires learners to connect their new understanding to different contexts to demonstrate deep learning. This level of thinking is a growing expectation for each lesson or set of lessons and ensures that the staff and students have the highest expectations and the “more able”are catered for appropriately.

REAL life

The staff are encouraged to use an essential question to create their medium term programmes so that there is a clear learning narrative for each module. Staff identify the authentic learning outcome that they want to facilitate such as an exhibition in an art gallery or museum. Every unit or module is planned in ten week blocks called Semesters. The new unit begins with a motivational entry point and knowledge harvest. The students are set a real world challenge by an outside expert if possible and they are presented with the outcome that will form the exit point that is preferably community based. This big picture planning model was inspired by the multi-disciplinary IMYC learning cycle as well as the high quality inter-disciplinary studies approach developed by the REAL Project methodology. REAL has been pioneered by the Innovation Unit and High Tech High in the USA and REAL is an abbreviation for Rigorous, Engaging, Authentic Learning.

The implementation of the curriculum involves teachers collecting data on all students in all four types of assessment. Evaluative assessment is emerging in the school as a useful feedback mechanism for planning. Course reviews are used to obtain student voice about their previous Quadmester learning unit. This is used to improve the plan for the next cohort of students. Then diagnostic assessment tools are used to identify prior knowledge in the new unit and where new learning or gaps will need to fill in student knowledge. The mini cycles of learning activities take place from weeks 2 to 7 and then another diagnostic test/quiz is undertaken to create bespoke and personalised inputs before the summative assessment in week nine or ten which is often a formal written assessment but could also be another method.

Blended Learning

The curriculum is implemented in an innovative way by staff combining traditional instruction with a blended pedagogy. The use of technology is enhanced by the use of a product called Firefly that enables staff to store their lessons and Semester planning in an inspiringly visual and very logical format. It allows student and parents to access lesson content 24/7.

This technology is used to aid collaborative work and also independent work as appropriate.

Adventurous Curriculum

Staff are encouraged to make use of the amazing environment in which they live by learning outdoors. Students access learning outdoors through the main curriculum, extended curriculum in Project weeks and extra-curricular activities, and through Project weeks where the John Muir award and Duke of Edinburgh is undertaken by many students.

GCSE Exams Summer 2023

SubjectBoardSpec No & QAN codeUnits
Art, Craft & Design (9-1)  Edexcel  1AD0 601/8069/9Unit 1 – Portfolio Unit 2 – ESA
Business (9-1)OCRJ204 603/0295/1Unit 1 – written paper Unit 2 – written paper
Citizenship (9-1)AQA8100 601/8595/8Paper 1 – 8100/01 – Exam Paper 2 – 8100/02 – Exam
English Lang (9-1)AQA  8700 601/4292/3  Paper 1 – 8700/1 – Exam Paper 2 – 8700/2 – Exam Spoken Lang endorsement – 8700/C
English Lit (9-1)AQA  8702 601/4447/6Paper 1 – 8702/1 – Exam Paper 2 – 8702 /2 – Exam
French (9-1)AQA  8658 601/8157/6  Unit 1 – Listening – written exam Unit 2 – Speaking – NEA (ext marked) Unit 3 – Reading – written exam Unit 4 – Writing – written exam (use online recording for listening)
Geography (9-1)  AQA  8035 601/8410/3  Paper 1 – 8035/1 Paper 2 – 8035/2 Paper 3 – 8035/3
Graphics (9-1)Edexcel  1GC0 601/8069/9Unit 1 –Portfolio Unit 2 – ESA 
History (9-1)AQA  8145FA 601/8217/9  Paper 1 – F – 8145/1A/B & 8145/1B/A Paper 2 – A – 8145/2A/A & 8145/2B/A
Maths (9-1)AQA for higher tier OCR for found tier  8300 601/4608/4   J560 601/4606/0  Paper 1 – 8300/1 H (non calc) Paper 2 – 8300/2 H (calc) Paper 3 – 8300/3 H (calc)   Paper 1 – J560/01 F (calc) Paper 2 – J560/02 F (non calc) Paper 3 – J560/03 F (calc)
Music (9-1)WJEC Eduqas  C660QS 601/8131/XComp 1: Performing NEA Comp 2: Composing NEA Comp 3: Listening exam
Photography (9-1)  Edexcel  1PY0 601/8069/9  Unit 1 –Portfolio Unit 2 – ESA
Physical Education (9-1)  AQA8582 601/8279/9Unit 1 – written exam Unit 2 – written exam Unit 3 – NEA practical perf
Religious Studies (9-1)  AQA8062 MA 601/8400/0Paper 1 – Christ & Islam 8062/13 & 8062/15 – 1hr 45 mins Paper 2 – Thematic studies EXCLUDING textual studies – 1hr 45 mins
Religious Studies (Short course)AQA8061 601/8399/81 paper
Science Triple (9-1)AQA  8461 Biology 601/8752/9 8462 Chemistry 601/8757/8 8463 Physics 601/8751/7Biology 2 x papers 8461/1 & 8461/2 Chemistry 2 x papers 8462/1 & 8462/2 Physics 2 x papers 8463/1 & 2
Spanish (9-1)            AQA8698 601/8160/6  Unit 1 – Listening – written exam Unit 2 – Speaking – NEA (ext marked) Unit 3 – Reading – written exam Unit 4 – Writing – written exam (use online recording for listening)
TextilesEdexcel1TE0 601/8069/9Unit 1 –Portfolio Unit 2 – ESA