Curriculum and Teaching
We are committed to ensuring that students experience a fully rounded and broad curriculum. We believe that this is the best preparation for success in key stages four and five. As a result we put a high priority on literacy and numeracy and the development of core knowledge and skills. Unlike a number of other schools, we do not shorten our key stage three in order to set an early limit on the course content, but instead work to a bigger picture of introducing, developing and embedding a broad and balanced curriculum.
Sport and physical education are essential within a balanced curriculum. Our students play a variety of team and individual sports and are taught in the excellent facilities in the leisure centre. Technology takes place on a rotation and students cover aspects of food, product design, art and textiles. The projects are designed by our technology teachers to explore the necessary skills to progress well in these subjects and establish a solid foundation if they choose to take them as an option.
Computing is taken as a discrete subject in years seven and eight and becomes part of the technology rotation during year nine.
Both French and German are offered in years seven and eight and students then select from French or German in year nine. The vast majority of our students take one language GCSE but for those who are exceptional linguists the opportunity is there to take both French and German for GCSE.
We offer a wide range of choice at key stage four and we provide targeted support and guidance. We do not believe that the EBacc route is appropriate for all students and so choice is built into our model to ensure that students have a programme that offers greater personalisation.
The options are carefully designed so students do not take discounting or repeating qualifications. We ensure that almost every student has the potential to achieve their best.
We tailor the curriculum for students who we feel should take fewer number of GCSEs and we have included some subjects within option choices that are only available to some students. All this is done through dialogue with the students, their teachers and parents.
We like all students to have a varied diet of subjects but also want them to play to their strengths. This promotes our holistic principles. We have more students taking triple science than the national average. The decision to take double or triple is made on their ability to progress well. Where appropriate we ensure some students take an entry level qualification alongside their GCSE, although this is a very small number.
Our students move on very successfully to key stage five studies and then a high proportion on to further education and training. A range of academic subjects are available to students. Students have free choice and the vast majority are able to study their top three choices. We have introduced technical qualifications in physical education which offers a progression route to further study. Our head of sixth form offers support and guidance throughout the school so that our students start their key stage five studies with confidence.