In designing our curriculum, we aim to provide our pupils and students with an educational experience which is broad, balanced, relevant and challenging. We operate within the framework of the national guidelines, while at the same time using the flexibility available to offer a programme that reflects our distinct mission and ethos. We have a formal curriculum which consists of 50 one hour periods over two weeks. In addition there is one 50 minute PHSCE lesson each week. Within this, there are three formal Key Stages:
Key Stage 3: Year 7 & Year 8
Key Stage 4: Year 9,Year 10 & Year 11 (GCSEs)
Key Stage 5: Year 12 & Year 13 (A Levels, BTEC/CTEC)
Key Stage 3
On entering the school, pupils are placed in mixed ability tutor groups which will form the basis of much of the teaching that takes place in Year 7. Later in the year pupil groupings maybe rearranged in Maths so as to accelerate the learning of the most able pupils and support those who would benefit from some more consolidation work in the subject area.
A small number of pupils receive additional literacy and numeracy support from the Autumn term. In this way, we are able to tailor lessons appropriately, supporting those who need more time to assimilate new knowledge and providing challenge and stretch to all.
The other subjects taught at Key Stage 3 are Art, Creativity (Year 8), Design Technology, Drama, Food and Nutrition (Year 7) Geography, History, Music, PE, Philosophy for Children, Religious Education, Science and Citizenship.
A mixture of setting and mixed ability teaching continues throughout Key Stage 3. Where subjects are taught in sets, the group are kept under review by the Subject Leader, and pupils may be moved periodically to ensure they are in a group which matches their ability and stretches them sufficiently.
We regularly assess pupils’ progress through classwork, formal assessment activities and tests. Details of assessment at Key Stage 3 can be found here
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, there is a greater degree of flexibility in the programmes pupils may follow. Pupils begin their option choices at the start of Year 9. Following a three year Key Stage 4 Programme, enables pupils to study a broad range of subjects to GCSE. In addition to a compulsory core of English, Mathematics, Religious Education, Science and Games, there are option blocks from which pupils can choose subjects which match their interests and ability. The number of options a pupil studies depends on the pathway they follow through Key Stage 4.
The subjects available include: Art, Business Studies, Computing, Dance, Drama, French, Italian, Spanish, Design Technology, Food and Nutrition, Geography, Graphics, History, Media Studies, Music, PE, and Textiles. Vocational courses include Cambridge National Courses in courses in Child Development, iMedia and Sport.
The EBAC is an ‘overarching’ qualification at Key Stage 4 which includes the study of key academic subjects: English, Maths, two sciences, History and/or Geography and a Modern Language. We would encourage the majority of our pupils to study a combination of subjects that allows them to fulfil the EBAC criteria.
The content of the curriculum is subject to regular review and may be changed at the direction of the Governing Body.
Key Stage 5
For details of the curriculum and choice of BTECs, AS and A Level Subjects at Key Stage 5, please visit the Sixth Form section.