In the main school (Years 7-11), students are taught 25 periods a week. In the Sixth Form, some of those 25 periods are supervised self-study lessons. In addition, some Sixth Form lessons may be delivered after school as twilight sessions. Lessons throughout the school are an hour long. All students also attend a tutor period with their form tutor every morning, one of which will also include an assembly with the rest of their year group.
Our curriculum offer was reviewed in 2019 and led to significant changes to the way in which our Key Stage 4 ‘Options’ process for Year 8 and Year 9 is delivered to students. Our overall curriculum intent is based around three key principles:
Students are given an appropriate pathway that allows them to be challenged and supported and enables them to progress to the next appropriate pathway.
Students maintain a breadth of subjects that they can personalise for their own enjoyment.
Students are prepared for the wider world and life beyond school with key life skills and learning relevant to their life, both in the present and in the future.
The current curriculum offer is outlined below:
The Curriculum for Years 7 & 8
In Years 7, 8 and 9, the curriculum intent is based around giving students a breadth of curriculum that will allow them to make informed choices regarding subject choices, initially for Year 9 and then for Years 10 and 11. Students are usually placed in sets for English, mathematics and science using their Key Stage 2 results with an internal assessment taking place by the October half-term of Year 7 to review these placements and adjust sets as required*. Student progress in these sets is then reviewed termly. In other subjects, students are taught in mixed ability classes. In Year 8, additional setting may occur in Humanities and in French. Throughout Years 7 and 8, students also attend Citizenship lessons.
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* In the absence of 2020 KS2 scores due to COVID-19, Y7 students will sit CATs tests in September 2020 and these will be used alongside internal assessment to set students from October half-term.
The Curriculum for Year 9
In Year 9, students remain in sets for the core curriculum of English, mathematics and science with other subjects taught in mixed ability classes. Students will have been placed on pathways at the end of Year 8 linked to their ability profile and will have started to personalise their curriculum based on the choices available to them. In addition, all students will access a non-examined course, Values, Ethics and Beliefs (VEB) and start work towards achieving the LiBF Financial Literacy qualification which will be completed in Year 10.
The Core Curriculum (all students)
English Language – GCSE
English Literature – GCSE
Mathematics – GCSE
Science – GCSE
Financial Literacy – Level 2 Qualification
PE – Non-Exam
Values, Ethics & Beliefs – Non-Exam
Additional subjects available to choose currently include French, History, Geography, Art, Photography, Drama, Music, Film Studies, Food Technology, Design & Technology, Statistics, Health & Social Care, GCSE PE, Sports Studies, Dance, ICT and Business Studies.
The Curriculum for Years 10 & 11
Students in current Year 9 will further personalise their curriculum for Years 10 and 11, reducing by one the optional subjects selected at the end of Year 8 (as well as continuing with their core curriculum above).
At the start of Year 10, students are placed on either the Trilogy Science (two GCSEs) or the separate Sciences pathway (three GCSEs). Students in current Years 10 and 11 follow the same core curriculum but with a different options structure as seen in the diagram below.
Personalisation at KS4
In KS4 a small number students follow a “flexible learning path”. They take a reduced number of GCSE courses and follow personalised programmes that might include study support, extended work experience and a small number of vocational courses. This is arranged on an individual basis in consultation with the students’ parents/carers and the SENCO.
The Curriculum at Key Stage 5
In Year 12, the majority of students currently choose 3 subjects from a range of both academic and vocational options. All of these subjects are now linear courses with assessment/examination at the end of Year 13. We also offer a one year pathway for students as a stepping stone to Sixth Form or further training/employment elsewhere. Full details of the Sixth Form courses available are included in the Subject Overview.
Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) learning (including British values) cuts across the whole school through every lesson. It helps us to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the wider world by learning about the beliefs, cultures, difficulties and needs of other people. This in turn helps everyone to develop greater consideration, care and empathy for the world around them.
Examples of some of the many opportunities available to students to explore these issues can be found in a separate document in the Subject Overview.