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*Specialisms - Year eight into year nine

The slides from the presentation evening on 10th February are below.

Thank you for the questions that were raised in the session. These and the answers are also in the section below. Please click on the questions raised to see the answers.

Why would they not get their choices? 

We will do our very best to give pupils their choice of subjects, unfortunately sometimes the number of pupils wanting to do a particular subject exceeds the class size. In this case we will try and create an additional class but if this isn’t possible we will have to use a reserve choice for some pupils.

Does this mean the child will only be taught the two subjects they choose from the list?

Yes, pupils will specialise in the two subjects they select when they are in Year 9. This enables them to spend more time on these subjects and study them in greater depth. They will study these subjects in addition to English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, RE, PSHCE and PE

The online learning hasn't really given a full experience of practical work. I would have thought this decision could be delayed until later in the summer term so the children have in class experience.

We need to start planning the next academic year in January, this includes the curriculum and the timetable. Unfortunately, it is not possible to delay the selection of specialisms, especially when we are still unclear when all pupils will be returning to school (on site provision).

What about the children that haven’t been able to specialize in a certain subject like food due to the pandemic as they haven’t done it in either year 7 or year 8 / I am concerned that the students haven’t studied all of these subjects in school / My son has not had any experience in some of the specialisms due to Covid

Whilst all pupils have studied Music, Drama, Art and Computing/ICT,  we are aware that a small number of pupils missed the same element of the technology rotation in Year 7 and Year 8 (Food Technology, Photography, 3D Design, Textiles). We are looking at opportunities to amend the technology rotations when we return to school so enable pupils to experience all the technology subjects. We will facilitate changes to specialism choices where possible.

Why can’t you just timetable a replication of year 8 creative subjects in Year 9 for all? / We would also support not specialising in Year 9 and delaying due to missing practical in school learning throughout year 7 and 8.

We have enabled pupils to choose subject specialisms for a number of years and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, pupils have welcomed the opportunity to have ownership of their curriculum and to spend additional time studying their preferred subjects in greater depth (and obviously, not studying those subjects that they maybe don’t always enjoy!) We appreciate that the last two academic years have not been ‘normal’ but we remain committed to the principle of subject specialisms within our broad and balanced KS3 curriculum.