Leeds City Academy


Curriculum overview

At Leeds City Academy, our curriculum builds the knowledge, skills and understanding right from year 7 to be successful in the newly reformed 9-1 graded GCSEs our students will sit at the end of year 11.

Our curriculum:

  • Ensures that students are challenged at the appropriate level, depending on their starting points.
  • Emphasises a curriculum model which is built on the importance of reviewing and retaining the core aspects of each subject area through iterative testing.
  • Ensures that students are secure in their learning before they move on, and that they know the next steps that they need to make improvements.
  • Links curriculum and assessment through the three assessments that students undertake each year prior to data collection.
  • Provides a clear model of what good progress looks like.
  • Ensures that students develop the resilience to approach independent learning, revision and homework with success.

Students at Leeds City Academy choose their options in year 8 and start their key stage 4 programme in year 9.   


Key Stage 3 - Year 7 & 8

In year 7 and 8 students study English, Maths, Science, Technology, Humanities, French or Spanish, PE, Performing Arts (Music and Drama) and Art.  Students study Personal, Social, and Health Education through our form tutor programme of study, assemblies and Curriculum Theme Days (Step up days). In years 7 and 8 all students study citizenship covering themes including British values.

Catering for all abilities

Appropriate levels of challenge and support are ensured through grouping and setting arrangements. A small Nurture Group with dedicated teaching support allows for students who need additional help with their English and Maths to develop their potential.  Setting within each year group is reviewed regularly by the Academy Senior Leaders, in consultation with the Zone and Area Team Leaders and informed by extensive data from our termly data collections.


At Leeds City Academy we think that reading, and in particular reading for pleasure, is one of the most important factors in allowing children to reach their full potential. A love of literature and a genuine desire to read opens doors to students that remain closed for reluctant readers, no matter how strong their ability. In order to support the drive to engage students with reading for enjoyment, the academy offers a range of activities and experiences linked to reading for pleasure.

The school celebrates National Poetry Day each year with a focus on poetry in English lessons that is further reinforced by activities in tutor time. The English department also welcomes visiting authors into the academy to work with students of all ages and abilities on reading and creative writing skills. The academy has invested in a writers in residence programme called ‘First Story’. Staff and writers have completed ta year long programme which culminated in a book launch in the summer term.

Of course, a love of reading is also fostered within English lessons with all students in Years 7 and 8 taking part in weekly Reading lessons as an addition to their traditional classes. Students take part in the Accelerated Reader programme which tests students’ comprehension of books they have read and suggested novels that will both entertain and challenge them.

Students who need it also gain extra support through our Level-Up Project, which provides additional lessons in the holidays as well as one to one and small group tuition during the school term. 

All students have access to well-resourced Library, which is at the centre of reading in the academy. The library has a series of activities scheduled to raise reading enjoyment throughout the year, the poetry slam organised in collaboration with our other academies, was a big hit with students last year.  The librarian, also works closely with area teams to provide book boxes and create subject themed weeks where appropriate.




Key Stage 4 - Year 9, 10 & 11

Flexible Pathways

Flexible pathways at Key Stage 4 are designed to ensure that all students study subjects appropriate to their needs. All students study English, Maths and Science in addition to their optional subjects.

The EBacc Pathway provides the opportunity to study at least two science subjects, History or Geography, French or Spanish and English Literature.

The majority of students study History or Geography and science at GCSE, as well as English Literature, and those not studying a language choose a third option subject.

All students also choose from a wide range of GCSE and vocational subjects after consultation with parents, senior staff and their coaches.

Current Year 11 in 2017/18

The following subjects lead to GCSE qualifications:

Art and design




Computer Science




English Literature

Science Additional


Science Core


The following subjects lead to BTEC qualifications:


BTEC Imedia

BTEC Business

BTEC Performing Arts

BTEC Health and Social Care

BTEC Sport




Student Target Grades

Students will be set target grades for all subjects based on a ‘CAT’s test on entry into year 7.  These tests provide us with an ‘aspirational’ target grade for each subject.  This grade represents what each student is capable of achieving at the end of year 11 if they are challenged in lessons.  The grade is based around the newly reformed GCSEs and is on the new 9 to 1 grades (with 9 being the highest and 1 the lowest).


Student progress reports

Student progress is tracked and monitored throughout the year.  After the collection of progress data from teachers, student progress reports will be produced and sent home. The report includes an update on student’s ‘current grade’, ‘Attitude’, ‘Effort’, ‘Homework’, ‘Attendance’ and whether students are meeting their end of year aspirational targets for each subject.  Reports will be sent home in December, April and July.




End of year exams

At the end of each school year, students in all year groups will sit end of year exams. These exams are designed to prepare students for the increased challenge of the new GCSEs but also to ensure that the grades achieved in each termly assessment are an accurate reflection of a student’s attainment at the end of the school year.