The curriculum in the lower school meets all the requirements of the National Curriculum and prepares students for assessment and Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
Years 7, 8 and 9
On entry to the school the KS2 SAT results of students are used to place them in ability groups for English, Mathematics and Science. For each of these subjects the students are placed on a pathway to ensure that they progress at an appropriate rate during Key stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9). Other National Curriculum Subjects are linked to either English and Mathematics and teach the students in the same groupings or the students are taught in their mixed ability tutor groups. The needs of children with particular learning difficulties, and of the more able, are met in class by the availability of support teachers working in the classroom with the main subject teacher. In this way, further help or extension work can be provided. Some limited setting (placing students in classes appropriate to their ability) will take place in Year 8 and Year 9.
The subjects studied by the students in Year 7, 8 and 9 include English, Drama, History, Geography, Religious Education, Spanish, Mathematics, Science, Design Technology, Information Communication Technology, Art & Design, Music, Physical Education, Games, Personal and Social Education.
Years 10 & 11
In Years 10 & 11 all students study a core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, and ICT, at examination level and PE, RE and Personal and Social Education at non-examination level. Students are then able to choose subjects in which they have particular skills to complete their timetable.
Then a choice of three from:
Art, Child Development, Dance, Drama, Electronics, Food, Geography , Graphics, History, Media, Music, P.E., Photography, Resistant Materials, R.E., Spanish and Textiles
Students are taught in ability groups, where possible, in Years 10 & 11 to reflect the different levels of entry at GCSE. In ICT students study a GNVQ qualification that is equivalent to 4 GCSE’s and they begin studying this course in Year 9.
A pathways curriculum also operates in Years 10 and 11 and students are placed on a pathway that will give them maximum success in their studies at the school. For some students this means that the number of subjects they study is reduced and they
either attend course at college or have work experience.
Students’ individual needs are supported throughout Years 10 & 11 in a similar manner to Years 7, 8 and 9 with a range of strategies being used.
All students will undergo nationally standardised cognitive tests in Year 7, which provide us with an objective basis against which their achievements can be measured throughout their time in school.
These should not be confused with the subject attainment targets (SAT’s) now being set by the Government as part of the National Curriculum.
Their class and homework will be regularly assessed and in many subjects this work is being organised in modules, at the end of which students receive feedback on their achievements with regard to KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND UNDERSTANDING. These assessments, as well as providing information on National Curriculum Levels of Attainments, will contribute at the end of Year 11 to their Progress File, a Government initiative designed to ensure that all students leave school with a document which clearly identifies the successes of their time in school.
There is a comprehensive system of informing parents of individual student progress throughout the year. Reports are issued three times in the academic year. Reports include information about the progress that students are making toward the target grade set for the end of the school year. Teachers provide comments o areas that the students should aim to develop and information of where additional information and support for a subject can be found. During the year there are opportunities to discuss progress with Subject Teachers at Parent Evenings.
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL EDUCATION
Personal and Social Education contributes
· The process of growth and change
· The acquisition of self-esteem and self- awareness
· The formation of personal values
· The ability to make informed decisions
· An understanding of the social environment
· In short, "a preparation for life"
More detailed information is available from the school.
The aim of the R.E. course is to give students some understanding of the religious experience of mankind, with special emphasis on Christianity.
Any parents who wish to have their child withdrawn from R.E. lessons or Assemblies, should write to the Headteacher who will make the necessary arrangements. Further information is available from the school.
OfSTED inspected the school in June 2001. A copy of the report is available from the school or on the OfSTED website.
Arrangements for collective worship in the school are undertaken by senior staff. These members of staff, along with visiting speakers, conduct assemblies on topics with predominantly Christian values.
The basic facts of reproduction are dealt with as part of the Science Course that is taught in Year 7. In Years 8 and 9 the main aim will be to make students aware of the responsibilities attached to sexual relationships and to provide opportunity of discussion of the various methods of contraception. The students will also be informed about the health risks involved in sexual relationships. In Year 10 and 11 the school meets the Government requirement to teach "sex education" within a moral framework as an essential element of preparing young people for responsible adulthood. This course will mainly be delivered in Year 10 because the majority of students are at an age to understand and appreciate the emotions and responsibilities of the subject.
We have chosen also to include sex education as a part of a wider programme of health education, on the basis that as well as the moral, legal and emotional concerns, students should understand the full medical implications and risks of sexual relationships.