At KSA, English is Everything. We know that literacy defines academic progress in all subjects. If a pupil is not a level 6 in English by the end of Year 9, they have little chance of doing well in academics at school beyond this point. We therefore work very hard to create mastery of English at King Solomon Academy. In Year 7 this means there is 12 hours of lessons with a literacy focus (9 hours of English, and 3 hours of tutorials). English lessons take on many forms, including many aspects of geography, history and religious studies. Excellent reading and writing is the goal for every pupil. One particular focus is on Shakespeare’s plays. Each year group produces a Shakespeare play during the year. The Year 7 play takes place in the summer term. We request help from parents to make the play a success. A signifcant role of the English curriculum is to support the pupils to develop a love of reading. The following books have been identified as excellent books for pupils to read by the end of Year 7. You can support your child by having them read as many of these books as possible before they come to KSA in September.
- Holes – Louis Sachar
- The boy in the striped pyjamas – John Boyne
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
- Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
- The Twits – Roald Dahl
- Private Peaceful – Michael Morpugo
- The Dark Never Hides – Peter Lancett
- The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling
- Candyfloss – Jacqueline Wilson
- Stormbreaker – Antony Horowitz
- The Recruit – Robert Muchamore
- Cirque Du Freak – Darren Shan
- The Suitcase kid – Jacqueline Wilson
- Boffin boy and the invaders from space – David Orme
- Scarlett – Cathy Cassidy
- The adventures of Captain Underpants - Dav Pilkey
- The magician’s nephew – C. S. Lewis
- Over sea, under stone – Susan Cooper
- Mortal engines – Philip Reeve
- A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
- Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie
- The Owl Service – Alan Garner
- Face – Benjamin Zephaniah
Like all ARK academies, King Solomon Academy has a maths specialism. Proficiency in maths is essential in every sphere of adult life, so we invest in the resources to attract and train the best maths teachers. We aim to produce confident and proficient mathematicians. We will ensure that pupils acquire skills as early as possible. We will help every student to maximise their skills and qualifications and offer those with particular ability the chance to accelerate their achievement in maths and further maths.
Biology, chemistry and physics will be integrated until pupils move into the upper school, when the three subjects will be taught separately. Science will focus on the rigour of scientific experimentation and interpretation, providing the building blocks for further scientific study. The science curriculum will benefit from our new science laboratories.
Modern Foreign Languages
The depth before breadth approach will also apply to modern foreign languages and the academy will strive to help pupils develop a passion and talent in our chosen language: French. Pupils will receive language instruction each day and be exposed to French in other subjects and around the school. Year 8 pupils benefit from a trip to Paris. In Year 10, pupils will have the opportunity to study Spanish GCSE as an optional subject.
King Solomon Academy is a music specialist school. We chose music as a specialism because it is fun and inspiring and can involve every pupil. We believe that being part of the KSA orchestra will create a great sense of shared identity as well enabling our pupils to benefit from the known academic, intellectual and social advantages of musical training:
- Strong musical skills are known to support cognitive development and therefore drive academic achievement
- Through a commitment to musical excellence, pupils learn resilience, self discipline, self confidence and the ability to listen to and value the effort of others.
- Experience of music making and performance will expose pupils to a broad and sophisticated culture of music.
Based near the Royal Academy of Music and many other musical venues in the heart of London, the school has a great opportunity to inspire pupils to develop musical excellence.
Every pupil at King Solomon Academy will learn to utilise their voice through vocal performance, and every pupil will be given the opportunity to learn a strings instrument and be part of a strings orchestra. The academy will develop a talented and exciting strings orchestra which we hope will be a life changing experience for all the pupils at the school. We will put on outstanding musical performances. Every pupil will be taught and will practice their musical instrument. There will not be any costs associated with this tuition. We request support from parents in allowing your child to practice at home.
The humanities include history, geography, religious education, sociology, economics and citizenship. These curricula are combined and integrated for the first two years to give a consistent and coordinated learning experience to pupils through their extended English lessons. Humanities will be used to provide rigour and depth to other learning, for example by learning the historical context to a novel studied in English. In Year 9, they will be exposed to the individual subjects (History, Geography and RS) that constitute Humanities so that they will be well-prepared for Key Stage 4 learning.
Drama offers pupils the opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills, including public speaking, and gain self confidence. We will use drama in music lessons and in English lessons to provide depth and creativity to learning. Dramatic performance will give pupils experience of preparing, rehearsing and speaking to an audience, each of which supports the development of character. All pupils will have the experience of taking part in an unabridged Shakespeare play.
PE / Sports
All children will have access to daily organised physical activity at lunch time. There will also be set practical PE lessons during which pupils will gain exposure to a range of sports. These lessons will focus on the participation and engagement of all. Sport is not treated as an optional activity. Competition and a drive for excellence will be encouraged whilst also maintaining cooperation and teamwork as values at the centre of all learning. On the days when pupils have PE lessons, pupils must come to school with their full PE uniform.
We want to prepare our pupils for a fulfilling adulthood in which they can lead a successful professional life and play a full part in their community. So we believe that it is important for young people to learn the “life skills” that help them participate at every level. While at King Solomon, we hope our pupils will develop independence of thought, respect for others, creativity and responsibility. We will ensure that pupils learn how to write and handle business and official letters, to deal with and address adults in formal circumstances, develop the manners that will win them respect in all environments and understand basic financial skills such as managing a bank account. These skills will enable them to enter higher education and the workplace with greater confidence and respect.