The first three years, (Years 7 - 9) are classified as Key Stage 3 and Years 10 and 11 are Key Stage 4.
Each student is placed in one of five Colleges, where s/he remains throughout secondary school. The colleges are named after prominent members of the Media Arts community, as follows:
- David (now Lord) Puttnam is a highly respected film producer and educationalist; we were greatly honoured when he opened the new Specialist School here in 2004.
- Jane Austen is one Britain's most read and certainly best-loved authors. Although her works were written two hundred years ago, universal themes such as love, loyalty and the triumph of good over evil are as relevant today as they ever were.
- Henry Tate was a truly great benefactor of the Arts, and is best remembered for donating his considerable collection of paintings to establish The National Gallery of British Art, better known as the Tate Gallery. His legacy lives on, with several newer galleries in his name around the UK.
- Geoffrey Chaucer is often referred to as the father of English literature, having established the use of English as a legitimate written language, as opposed to the more 'normal' French or Latin. Of his many works, The Canterbury Tales stands out as a masterpiece of character drawing, and is immesely evocative of his era.
- Dame Kelly Holmes was born and brought up in south-east England, and won the hearts of the nation with her double Gold Medal-winning achievements in the 800m and 1500m at the Athens Olympics in 2004. This success was, however, built upon a huge amount of very hard work and determination - truly an inspirational figure.
Key Stage 3Students in Years 7 and 8 are generally taught in mixed ability groups although every opportunity is taken to set wherever possible. As part of the Secondary Strategy, identified students are given additional support through Progress Units, Catch-up and Booster classes as well as other transitional arrangements which may be identified. Towards the end of Key Stage 3, students and parents make guided options choices which determine the courses they will study in Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 4
Students at Key Stage 4 are taught wherever possible according to their ability although options subjects are generally taught in mixed ability groups.