CURRICULUM

Overview

We have made a number of changes to the curriculum from September 2016 in response to changes introduced nationally.

Key stage 3 has been condensed into two years (Years 7 and 8) and Key stage 3  has been expanded to three years (Years 9, 10 and 11).  More details of the curriculum content at KS3 and KS4 can be found below:

The organisation of the timetable has also changed.

Lesson Length: 60 minutes

In order to accommodate the changes to examinations, we have made some adjustments to the amount of time spent on each subject within our curriculum, giving a little more time to English and Mathematics each week. We have also decided to change from six lessons of 50 minutes each day to five lessons of 60 minutes each day. The total lesson time is unaltered and more time is available within the lesson for students to reflect on and improve their work. We are confident that this change will enhance the quality of learning. This change has caused us to make some alterations to the lesson times but the start and finish times of the school day will remain the same.

Lesson Times

There will be four lessons before lunch and one after. The new lesson times are shown below.

Start Finish Timetable
8.45 9.05 Registration / Assembly / Form Period
9.05 10.10 Period 1
10.10 11.10 Period 2
11.10 11.30 Break
11.30 12.30 Period 3
12.30 13.30 Period 4
13.30 14.10 Lunch Time
14.10 15.10 Period 5

 

Two-Week Timetable

To give us enough flexibility to timetable the longer lessons, from September we will also operate a two-week timetable, made up of a Red Week and a Blue Week. The two weeks will have identical lesson times, but the balance of lessons may vary slightly from one week to the other. For example, a student in Year 9 may have four English lessons in one week and three in the other. We will help students to be clear about which week is which, with suitable notices in student planners, on the plasma screens around school and on the website.

Curriculum Model showing the number of period per fortnight

 

Yr 7

 

Yr 8

 

Yr 9

 

Yr 10

 

Yr 11

 

Maths

7

Maths

7

Maths

8

Maths

9

Maths

9

Eng

8

Eng

8

Eng

8

Eng

9

Eng

9

Sc

5

Sc

5

Sc

6

Sc

9

Sc

9

PE

3

PE

3

PE

4

PE

3

PE

3

MFL

4

MFL

4

Opt1

5

Opt 1

6

Opt 1

5

Gg

4

Gg

4

Opt 2

5

Opt 2

6

Opt 2

5

Hist

4

Hist

4

Opt 3

5

Opt 3

6

Opt 3

5

Art

2

Art

2

Opt 4

5

 

 

Opt 4

5

Mus/Da/Dr

5

Mus/Da/Dr

5

RE/PSE

2

RE/PSE

2

 

 

ICT

2

ICT

2

 ICT

 2

 

 

 

 

Tec

4

Tec

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE/PSE

2

RE/PSE

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE/PSE will also have at least 2 collapsed timetable days  throughout the year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Stage 3 

Students follow a broad and balanced programme equipping students with skills and knowledge to prepare them  for the KS4 programmes and beyond.

Year 7 – Students are taught in mixed ability for all subjects other than Maths and English. In Maths and English they will be taught in sets based on ability. Information from KS2 and our own internal assessments are used to place students in the correct set.

Year 8 -  Students are taught in sets for English, Maths and Science. Other subjects organise the learning to suit the specific needs of the year group.
The specific content of each subject can be viewed by selecting the subject from the menu bar at the side of this page.

KS3 CURRICULUM BOOKLET

Key Stage 4

Year 9 - All students study GCSE courses English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science and non examination courses in RE, PE and Life Learning. In addition students study four other GCSE/L2 courses which they have selected at the end of Year 8. At the end of Year 9 students drop one of these option subjects and continue to study the other three.

Year 10 and 11 – Students study GCSE courses in English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science (equivalent to 2 GCSEs) and three option subjects. Non examination courses are followed in RE, PE and Life Learning. Extension  and enrichment opportunities are also available for some students to study additional GCSEs such as Further Maths and Statistics, together with a number of other wider qualifications in Leadership and Enterprise. These opportunities may vary from year to year depending on the needs of the cohort and the available staffing.

Reporting context

National Curriculum levels and sub-levels ceased to exist in September 2014 Students will continue to arrive in Year 7 with old National Curriculum levels and sub-levels for English and Maths until September 2016 which will be the first cohort to be given a combined English and Maths number for their end of KS2 measure. This is expected to be a number between 80 and 130, where 100 indicates a student is ‘secondary ready’.

Assessing Progress

During 2015-16 we introduced a new system of assessment. At KS3 teachers ceased to use  national curriculum levels.  Teachers are instead focusing on the quality of their feedback as they teach units of work at Key Stage 3. Teachers will revise their feedback to focus on if the student is:

  • independent in the learning of each topic ( knowledge, skills, developing concepts ) that is covered;
  • developing their knowledge of the topic, but not yet fully secure in understanding;
  • or emerging in their understanding.  This means there is further work yet to complete in consolidating the learning.

This means that feedback ( verbal and written ) will be much more focused on developing and applying the knowledge of each unit and ensuring that effective learning has taken place. This may take the form of:

  • identifying which aspects of a student’s work went well ( www ) and which aspects could they improve ( ebi – even better if );
  • Providing questions for students to answer and develop, based on the work that they produce
  • Providing dedicated improvement and reflection time in lessons to read teachers’ comments on their work, and respond to the questions that their teachers ask;
  • Providing other forms of assessment to consolidate knowledge ( eg involving each other in assessing work and looking at exemplar models of excellent work ).

Teachers have revised units of work in Years 7 and 8, in line with the new National Curriculum.  This is to ensure that key concepts are fully developed, and teachers choose the units of work that will best prepare students for learning at Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Reporting Progress

The progress of students is tracked every half-term. In 2015/16 we  introduced new reports for for KS3 and KS4. Student trackers are sent home every term for Years 7 to 10, and every half term for Year 11.

Subject teachers give an attitude to learning grade using the information  given below.

4

Attitude to learning

Exemplary

3

Attitude to learning

Very good

2

Attitude to learning

Good

1

Attitude to learning

Satisfactory

0

Attitude to learning

Unsatisfactory

-1

Attitude to learning

Serious Concerns

-2

Attitude to learning

Unacceptable

-3

Attendance

Very poor attendance prevents progress being made in this subject

The new system will be developed further this year at KS3 to show whether  a student is independent in the learning of the topic, developing their knowledge of the topic or emerging in their learning of the topic. More details will be sent home in the Autumn term
Key Stage 4
Students will be given a target grade at the start of the course which will be shown on the report.

The report will aslo show:

  • An ATL grade
  • a predicted grade (the grade they are expected to achieve at the end of the course)
  • a current grade the grade (the are currently working at).

The grade will be either a number on the new 1-9 scale or a letter on the familiar A – G scale as detailed below.

As you may be aware, the government have begun a process to reform GCSE qualifications.
The first new reformed GCSEs  in English and Mathematics were introduced in September 2015. The introduction of these new courses is being staggered in three stages from September 2015 to September 2017.  Other subjects will continue to be reformed and introduced until September 2017. There will also be changes to the way in which the examinations are graded.
The introduction of these new courses is being staggered in three stages from September 2015 to September 2017. During this transition phase, students will be taking a mixture of new and old courses and, in the case of GCSEs completed between 2017 and 2019, they will be receiving results, some of which are graded in letters (old courses) and some in numbers (new courses).
The new courses have more content, are more demanding and in many cases require more extended writing. There is also a greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy, with a higher percentages of marks being awarded for spelling and grammar.

Grading of new GCSEs

  • 9 (highest) to 1 (lowest) will replace current grades A* to G in the new courses only from 2017 onwards;
  • 4 will be roughly equivalent to a C in terms of difficulty, 4 will be considered a ‘pass grade in 2017, but from then on, a 5 will  be considered the ‘pass grade’;
  • The top three grades (7, 8 and 9) will replace the current top two (A* and A);
  • Grade of 9 will be the ‘super-grade’, which some are referring to as the equivalent of an A** .

How will this change affect your son or daughter?

Students currently at the start Year 11 in September 2016:

  • will be the first cohort to sit the new reformed GCSE examinations in Maths, English Language and English Literature.  We will be reporting using the numerical grades in these subjects from September 2016. All other GCSE subjects will be graded using the familiar A*- G scale

Students currently at the start Year 10 in September 2016:

  • will study the new  reformed GCSE courses in Maths and English and in those GCSE subjects that are being reformed for first teaching in September 2016: Art, Computer Science, Dance, Drama, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Geography, History, Science, Music, PE, RE and Languages. We will be reporting using the numerical grades for all reformed GCSEs. Other subjects such as Media, Business, Design Technology and Film Studies will be graded using the A*- G scale

Students currently at the start Year 9 in September 2016:

  • will study  new  reformed GCSEs only, the grades at the end of the course in June 2018 will be expressed as 9 to 1 . Some students may also take approved vocational courses. We will report predicted and current attainment using the 9 – 1 numerical scale for all GCSE courses.