Achievement for all pupils is the major aim of the new curriculum at Aylesford School - Sports College. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of individual pupils through a pathway approach. Within each pathway pupils are challenged and motivated through teaching and learning specifically for their ability profile.
Year by year the curriculum will be reviewed to ensure that the offer suits the pupils within each Year group. Gone are the days where the curriculum is the same every year. Each Year group will have a similar set of core subjects, due to statutory requirements, but other subjects offered will reflect the needs of the specific Year group.
Our Sports College status means that, as well as enhanced PE for all pupils, other subjects also benefit from the additional funding. Sport permeates across all subject areas. We offer the normal subjects but, at certain times during the year, sport is a focus within these subjects.
With regard to curriculum innovation, new courses are regularly being introduced at Key Stages 4 and 5. In terms of leading the way, our School is seen as having an excellent model of practice for our Sixth Form. This not only includes our curriculum, but also the personal development programme we offer for our Sixth Form students.
Enhancing employability skills is achieved through links with local business and industry, with both work experience and work-related learning opportunities. The introduction of vocational courses in and out of school has helped this process. Visits to local companies has also helped with these courses and given a valuable insight into job opportunities.
Forging partnerships through collaboration with FE colleges has also helped. We currently work in partnership with West Kent, Mid Kent and Hadlow Colleges with this. This means that more pupils are better prepared for the world of work. Courses within this collaboration include Catering, Construction, Motor Vehicle Studies and Hairdressing. New courses will include land-based studies, including horticulture and animal care.
Options aid the curriculum offer by allowing choice. Choices are not only made at the end of Year 9 for Key Stage 4 but also at the end of Year 8 for some subjects to be studied in Year 9. Some examination courses actually start in Year 9, including GCSE PE.
Responding more effectively to the needs of the local labour market is seen as one of our objectives. The introduction of vocational courses throughout Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 has helped the School to respond effectively to this. These courses include Leisure and Tourism, Leisure and Recreation, Art and Design, Health and Social Care and Business Studies. Many of our pupils enter the world of work after following a further education course, some to degree level. Physical Education, Business Studies and Art and Design are particular strengths within Key Stage 5.
Developing the curriculum also takes into account the concept of 11-18 being a coherent learning phase in the eyes of pupils, parents and staff. This means that the pathways are established in Year 7 and followed right the way through to the Sixth Form.