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Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Intent

The intent of the curriculum is to seek to deliver the school’s purpose, which is to ‘make the difference for all of our students’, so that they can aspire, commit and excel at all stages of their secondary education, and beyond. This intent is underpinned by the school values of:

Support

Challenge

Respect

Responsibility

Relationships

Resilience

Curriculum Implementation

The curriculum is delivered weekly through 30 lessons, each 50 minutes duration.

Key Stage 3 (three years)

Pupils follow a common curriculum diet in which a broad and balanced range of subjects is taught to all pupils. The National Curriculum underpins the content and learning aims in all curriculum areas. Courses followed are in English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign languages (French or Spanish), Geography, History, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art, Information Technology, Design and Technology, Drama, Music and Personal Development (additional information below).

Pupils are primarily taught within mixed ability groups in Years 7, 8 and 9. Groups are split (in size) for Design and Technology, to enable students to safely participate in a rotation of practical learning opportunities in cooking, textiles, product design, electronics and graphic design. In Mathematics, students are grouped in either ‘accelerated’ or ‘mixed’ classes, which allow for the delivery of content and skill development at an appropriate pace for all learners. Differentiation is achieved through planning in subject Schemes of Work and subsequent lesson planning. All pupils are given work suited to their abilities and aptitudes. Pupils with Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities follow a full programme of study, which includes small group and additional support in mainstream lessons. All pupils, including Key Group pupils (disadvantaged, SEND, English as an additional language and outstanding learners) are supported via the school’s improvement priorities (1: Quality of learning and teaching; 2: targeted academic support; 3: wider school strategies).

Key Stage 4

All pupils follow the Core Subjects - English, Mathematics, Combined Science and an extended core comprising Physical Education and Personal Development (additional information below).

Setting by ability takes place in Maths and English. Where 2 groups exist in the same subject in an Option block, Heads of Faculty or Subject leads can choose to set by ability if there is justification to do so (eg: Higher / Foundation tiers). Outside of the compulsory subjects students have the option of choosing four other subjects from a range of GCSE courses with ‘Triple’ (separate) science forming one of those options. During the Summer Term of Y9, students have an options interview where they discuss their GCSE options with the school curriculum leader and their Head of Year.

Key Stage 5

The curriculum offer includes academic and vocational courses at A level, vocational subjects at level 2 and 3, and re-take GCSEs in English and Mathematics. A Level 2 pathway (1-year) exists for students to support their transition onto A-Levels / L3 vocational courses / further education / apprenticeships / traineeships. An ‘Academic Foundation Pathway (1-year Applied Science BTEC L3) and Core Maths - AS Level in Mathematical Studies) is also available to bridge the gap between GCSE and A-Level. This pathway allows students to utilise the 3-years of available funded study. Each year the precise 6th Form offer (subjects) will be tailored to the needs of students.


Personal Development

The personal development of the students is paramount in delivering our purpose and our Personal Development curriculum is delivered on a rolling basis, with Personal Development Time (PDT lessons) suspending the normal curriculum once per week. The PDT curriculum is delivered to students by their tutors and includes:

  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE)
  • Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)
  • Health education
  • Careers (including Independent Advice and Guidance)
  • Citizenship

Management

Heads of Year have responsibility for the individual progress and study of each pupil within the year group. They take responsibility for both academic progress and pastoral welfare as outlined in the generic job description.

Subject specific responsibility lies with Heads of Faculty with Heads of Subject as appropriate. 

The PDT lead and SLT line manager have responsibility for ensuring the successful learning and teaching of the PDT curriculum, which is delivered by the tutors.

Curriculum enrichment and enhancement activities are co-ordinated by Heads of Faculty, Heads of Year and the 6th Form team, with oversight from SLT (Senior Assistant Headteachers)

Special Educational Needs (including students with disabilities) and the work of the SENDCO come under the oversight of the Senior Assistant Headteacher responsible for Inclusion.

Organisation

The curriculum is delivered through 30 lessons each of 50 minutes’ duration.

Find Out More

Parents can find out more about the curriculum by seeing the detailed Subject pages on this site. Specific questions may be asked by contacting the school.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3

Pupils follow a common curriculum in which a broad and balanced range of subjects is taught to all pupils in line with National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Courses followed are in English, Mathematics, Science, Drama, Modern Foreign languages (French or Spanish), Geography, History, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art, Technology, Computing, Latin, Music and Personal Development.

Differentiation is achieved through planning in subject Schemes of Work and all pupils are given work suited to their abilities and aptitudes. Pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities follow a full programme of study which includes small groups and additional support in mainstream lessons.

The number of lessons per week for each subject is below:

Year/Subject En Ma Sc Hi Ge RE IT MFL PE Ar DT Mu Dr
7 5 4 3 2 2 1 1 2 4 2 2 1 1
8 4 5 3 2 2 1 1 3 4 2 2 1 1
9 4 4 3 2 2 1 1 3 3 2 3 1 1

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4

All pupils follow the National Curriculum Core Subjects, English, Mathematics, Science (Combined) and an extended core comprising of Physical Education (games) and Personal Development. In addition, each pupil will choose four optional subjects from a range which includes the subjects listed below (subject to change, depending on demand, availability and relevance).

All students will be supported through this process, especially with regard to the English Baccalaureate. We aim not to restrict the choice of options by allowing the interview process and student choices to inform the timetabling (blocks):

  • Triple – Science: Biology/Chemistry/Physics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Religious Studies
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Physical Education
  • Sport
  • Art & Design
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Design & Technology
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Digital Information
  • Business Studies
  • Enterprise
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Media Studies
  • Prince’s Trust

Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5

Entry into the Sixth Form represents a major step in a student’s development. A process of the social and academic adjustment occurs, as students are encouraged to read more widely, think more deeply and develop the skills of intellectual inquiry.

Consequently, they mature very rapidly at this stage; personalities begin to flower and self-confidence and assurance grow. The School takes great care to consult and advise students and their parents on the choice of sixth-form courses.

Most pupils seeking entry to higher education take at least three subjects in Year 12 and continue on with them into Year 13. Currently, Core Mathematics is the only one offered as a stand-alone AS level. In addition, the Personal Development curriculum also runs through the 6th Form (whole school) and an enhanced programme of study is offered through dedicated days and through the input of tutors, the wider Sixth Form team and independent professionals (eg: careers guidance counsellor).

This includes career advice and life skills, and a wide range of practical, topical, social and moral issues for discussion. All Sixth Form students are allocated a Personal Tutor. This will be a member of the teaching staff who will take special care to monitor a pupil's progress academically and pastorally and who will advise on careers, further / higher education and the completion of UCAS applications etc.

Students are also supported with their transition into the 6th Form by including a minimum of 5 periods of supervised study on their timetables each week, which take place in the 6th Form area in the library.

Current A level subjects offered are:

  •  Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Mathematical Studies (Core Maths - AS-Only)
  • Physics
  • Spanish

Students may opt to take an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which is equivalent to an AS level qualification.

At both GCSE and A level, other subjects may be taken by individual agreement (for example in other Modern Foreign Languages) where this is commensurate with a particular student’s aptitudes and experience and where the School can make suitable provision.

Current Vocational subjects offered are at Level 3:

  • BTEC Applied Science 
  • BTEC Art & Design
  • BTEC Business Studies
  • BTEC   Creative   Digital Media Production
  • Appliedn Diploma     in Criminology
  • BTEC Performing Arts
  • BTEC Psychology
  • BTEC Sport

Our Level 2 provision consists of:

  • BTEC Engineering
  • BTEC Enterprise
  • GCSE Photography & Design
  • BTEC Sport
  • GCSE English and GCSE Mathematics re-takes