Our curriculum aims are to develop Positive, Responsible and Successful students in preparation for their adult life as positive members of the community. It promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development and resilience of all students. The curriculum is designed to engage and significantly challenge all students of all abilities and create a personalised learning experience for every student.
After a broad and rigorous Key Stage Three we start our GCSE courses early in Year 9 with the expectation that the vast majority of students will take English, maths, science and Citizenship as a core requirement and then four Options at least one of which must be an ‘EBacc’ subject; Humanities, a Modern Foreign Language and IT. A broad range of 6th Form courses at both A Level and BTec offer excellent routes into Higher Education, Apprenticeships and the world of work.
Extended curricular activities are considered to be an integral part of the curriculum to enhance social and cultural development which is reflected in the school’s ‘Enrichment Hour’ programme, visits and trips. These range from a wide variety of sporting activities to computer clubs, drama productions, ski trips, bee keeping, DofE and many more.
The school has a responsibility to be an inclusive educational institution where all participants are valued and progress effectively. Meeting the legal, social and personal needs of students, staff, governors and visitors are important factors for the school’s inclusive debate. Central to the school’s inclusion policy is the need to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all students. The National Curriculum is seen as a starting point for planning the school’s curriculum, which meets all the needs of individuals, groups and cohorts of students.
In developing the curriculum the school aims to increase the participation in and access to learning for all stakeholders. It is expected that our curriculum will strive to meet all of the different learning needs of our students within the constraints of the institution.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 most students follow a common curriculum that meets all the requirements of the National Curriculum. As well as the ‘core’ English, maths and science, students also follow courses in ICT, RE and Personal, Social and Health Education and the creative arts and Technology all taught by specialist teachers. ICT, Literacy, Numeracy and Citizenship are also incorporated into every department’s schemes of work.
Students are taught in sets according to ability in English, Mathematics and Science and mixed ability groups for their other subjects. Movement between sets occurs as necessary to ensure that students are learning at the appropriate level. Differentiation within lessons and other activities provide access to the curriculum for students of all abilities across all subjects. This will come from regular departmental monitoring as well as lesson observations and the curriculum plan as a whole.
Enrichment and extension activities are provided for the more able, while support, including individual and group withdrawal, and learning support assistants are provided for students with learning difficulties. A ‘support’ group in both Year 7 and Year 8 provides a differentiated curriculum experience for a small number of our least able students.
Key Stage 4
In order to improve access for learners and facilitate accelerated learning we have created a three, rather than two, year Key Stage 4
Programme of Study begins in Year 9. Students all access the ‘core’ of English, maths, science and citizenship as well as PE. Additionally they choose four ‘Options’ with the expectation that the vast majority will access the challenging ‘EBacc’ – courses in Humanities, Modern Foreign Language and IT – which will be a strong foundation for studying at higher education The wide range of option subjects offered also includes those of a more applied, or vocational nature. Students are set according to ability in English, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages and Science and in mixed ability groups for their other subjects.
For Post 16 students the Sixth Form provides Level 3 courses. At Level 3, students can take GCE A’ Level courses in a wide range of subjects which are outlined in the Sixth Form Prospectus but represent all departments and key areas of the curriculum. BTec courses are offered in Business, Sport, Health and Social Care, Performing Arts, Applied Science and Travel and Tourism. All Sixth Form students follow a programme of Personal and Skills Development that support the development of key skills and provide careers and higher education advice and guidance.
Additionally students have the option of completing the AQA Extended Project. Core PE is also offered in a timetabled period. Cross-curricular themes such as Fundamental British Values are addressed throughout the curriculum as well as through Form Time and assemblies. There are significant opportunities for student leadership through our Head Students, Deputy Head Students and House Captains but also through Interact and Young Enterprise. Students also have the opportunity to develop a broader portfolio of skills by volunteering to help in lower school lessons and by running enrichments and lunchtime clubs.