Conscious Curriculum

Key Stage 3: A ‘Conscious Curriculum’

Our Conscious Curriculum gives learners the opportunity to make meaningful connections between subjects based on core knowledge that links to the OSSMA core values as well as a text studied by a specific year group at that point. Giving students the opportunity to study knowledge linked and discussed over a number of areas enables students to understand ideas more deeply and to then use them more effectively. Being able to study and discuss ambitious works of literature, that link to the themes studied and the OSSMA core values enrich students both socially and culturally creating opinions on topics that might not have existed before studying our ‘Conscious Curriculum’.

‘Conscious Curriculum’ is not just found in the traditional classroom environment at OSSMA. As well as studying enriching texts that complement the theme of that block every morning as a large group in form time, students come together as a whole year group in our ‘Family Lunch’ or ‘Family Breakfast’ sessions where students reflect on topics linked to world affairs and the texts themselves. Assembly time is also used to explore OSSMA core values and some of the messages and challenges put forward in the whole school reads.

This level of connectivity in the curriculum enables each student the opportunity to read life-changing pieces of literature where keywords are explored within active form periods, helping to develop and harbour an ambitious vocabulary that enables our students to confidently discuss topics in a sophisticated way. Each text celebrates the resilience found in humanity and how empathy enables society to overcome challenges wherever they are found, building confidence in our own students to face and tackle challenges whether in an academic sense or beyond.

Breakfast club – the student attends a club that: boosts confidence and teaches resilience through sport, provides an opportunity to complete challenging homework in a calm working environment or just a chance to read a book they are enjoying. After, they eat a free warm breakfast courtesy of the Magic Breakfast charity.

Form-time  – On a Monday, students are completing their Etymology time, discovering the origin of words using roots and stems from Greek and Latin… Our key stage 3 students are looking forward to discussing Reflection Time in Years 8 and 9. This takes place during ‘Family Breakfast’ later in the week, where students and form teachers sit together and discuss the topic over breakfast: this week, the focus is discrimination and why it exists in society linking to the theme for this block, ‘Diversity and Empathy’. Using OSSMA Oracy sentence starters, students build on ideas using knowledge about the slave trade and the divisions it caused studied in History class yesterday. 

After 9am which is the start of DEAR time, the book monitor hands out copies of ‘Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry’ the rest of the class looks at the core vocabulary and context information for the book, recapping what has happened so far. They then spend the next 15 minutes reading the text together. Where appropriate, the form teacher uses inference questions to probe the student’s understanding of what they are reading.

Morning – In RS, students learn about the Baha’i faith who believe in the strength of one humanity and commit entirely to ridding themselves of prejudices of all kinds but predominantly racial and class discrimination. 

Year 7 Family Lunch – Students are discussing today’s topic, ‘Should all beliefs be tolerated within society?’ Students host a debate themselves where staff offer guidance and deeper questioning of student viewpoints. Students offer daily affirmation in front of their peers before leaving to complete their lessons. 

After Lunch – Students in English are studying ‘Romeo and Juliet’. They are looking at how gender is used within the Capulet family and how it is different from gender within society today, trying to empathise with how challenging life may have been for a young woman in a patriarchal society.

After-school – Students are able to attend a wide range of sporting activities, and many choose to participate in the school production. Due to a lack of opportunities within the community, we operate evening activities, ranging from Football and Dancing to Boxing, in a safe and familiar environment using our school facilities.

Research has shown convincingly that immersing students in concepts, values, processes and topics in different disciplines at the same time helps strengthen memory and understanding. This has led to the development of a ‘Conscious Curriculum’ at KS3. Our Conscious Curriculum operates on two fronts:

  • Subjects are ‘conscious’ of each other and seek to make connections that present core knowledge from a large body of subjects that both challenges academically and enriches culturally. The knowledge in these subjects is connected, through a theme that reflects our core values, in order to help our student’s see how different areas of knowledge complement each other in order to broaden their own learning experiences and motivate a habitual interest in lifelong learning. The Academy has also developed an interconnected approach to STEM subjects ensuring that Maths, Science (and Science-based subjects), Technology and Engineering teach and apply processes in the same way.
  • We want our students to be ‘conscious’ of these connections within their different subjects to stimulate better retention of knowledge and to place greater value on what they are learning, students in both key stages are given the opportunity to explore these connections during assemblies linked to academy values and themes; deepening their understanding of specific concepts.

STEM Vision:

  • For students to become consciously aware of the cross over STEM curriculum content, and have the independence and wider schema to seamlessly transfer theory from one subject area and apply it to another.
  • To offer a well-sequenced series of curriculums that best prepares students for requirements in all STEM subjects.
  • For teachers of STEM subjects continually develop their STEM knowledge and experience, maximising their impact through continuous CPD opportunities.
  • To develop a consistent approach to cross over subject pedagogy ensuring that teachers of the same topic within different subject areas deliver the same techniques to re-enforce skills and drive attainment in these identified areas.
  • To develop a provision for a valuable and worthwhile ‘curriculum beyond the classroom‘ that not only builds on the classroom delivery but offers direct links to industry and further education.
  • Improve the advertising/ marketing and profile of the faculty, creating a brand that will foster the cross-curricular culture within STEM.
  • To ensure that strong links are made at both Key Stage 2 and 5, ensuring students are both ready to thrive on arrival, within and be careers.
  • For employers to gain access to knowledgeable, talented people with strong STEM skills, increasing productivity, competitiveness and diversity
  • For families and communities to recognise the value of STEM to young people, encouraging and supporting them in STEM-related studies and careers​.


We strive to enable our students to be confident in all aspects of their lives, such as speaking publically about a range of topics in a variety of situations. We want our students to be confident enough to make their own decisions that lead to being successful members of their community.


Our students are encouraged to be resilient in the face of challenges within the classroom and beyond it, some of life’s greatest lessons come from not being successful straight away but having the resilience to try again.


OSSMA strives to harbour enthusiasm in all elements of academy life, from the classroom to the sports pitch, from entering the school gates to stepping off a coach into another learning environment. Enthusiastic learners will be lifelong learners and in an ever-changing world, this is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our young people.


At OSSMA we show our students the world from a variety of perspectives in order for them to see how they shape, not only the world around them, but how what they do and say can impact another person.


Challenges are faced by every person in every country. At OSSMA we enable our students to challenge themselves as well as study examples of other people responding to challenges, often in the face of extreme adversity.


At OSSMA ‘manners maketh man’, every student is taught the importance of kindness and consideration every day. We set standards that we want our students to develop positive habits that will last a lifetime. What better place than to start with kindness?