Changes to the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum requirements have allowed the school to condense the Key Stage 3 curriculum into two years. This allows us to set the right culture and build on achievements from primary school and give greater flexibility at Key Stage 4 ensuring that the rate of progress and level of challenge is maintained throughout.
In Year 7, all students follow courses in Art, Biology, Chemistry, Citizenship, Computing, Drama, English, French or Spanish, Food Technology, Geography, History, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Studies and Textiles. Our pastoral programme, delivered by our tutors, covers the requirements of PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education). To ensure that all aspects are covered as rigorously as possible, we also invite expert speakers in to complement the programme offer. In Year 8, all students can choose to study a second language. The offer includes Chinese, French, German, Latin or Spanish. All students choose their options for GCSEs towards the end of Year 8.
Key Stage 4 will be delivered over three years, the aim is to extend the breadth and depth of study.
In light of qualification changes to the examination system at Key Stage 4, the school has made a number of changes to the Key Stage 4 programme to create more time for the delivery of English and Mathematics and other English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects. The KS4 programme is delivered over three years with all students having the opportunity of studying at least ten GCSEs.
The core curriculum consists of English (Literature and Language), Mathematics, Combined or Separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), a Modern Foreign Language and a Humanities subject (Geography or History). Our students have the opportunity to choose four options (which must include a Humanities subject) from Art, Business Studies, Computer Studies, Drama, History, Geography, Food Preparation and Nutrition, additional Languages (Chinese, French, German, Latin and Spanish), Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies and Textiles Design. Students are encouraged to ensure that their combination of subject choices provides a broad and balanced learning experience. All students choose a combination of subjects that fulfils the requirements of the EBacc.
Rigorous support is available for students, parents and carers, regarding the selection of options. Every effort is made to ensure that students can take the courses of their choice. In addition to GCSE subjects, all students follow a Physical Education course. Our Careers, Core Religious Studies, Citizenship, Work Related Learning, and PSHEE Programmes are all delivered through our well supported Pastoral Programme. In Year 10, all students are also offered the opportunity for a week’s work experience.
Extra support is available to students who find their academic programme too demanding. For a small number of students this support may extend to dropping a single subject and attending nurture group sessions with a learning mentor.
During Year 10, all students are encouraged to start to consider their options for Years 12 and 13 in our Sixth Form (Key Stage 5) or in further education/training elsewhere and spend a day visiting a local university. During Year 11 students attend information and guidance events and interviews to ensure the choices available are clear. Parents/carers are encouraged to become fully involved at this very important time. Extensive support is available to ensure that choices made are realistic and appropriate. This includes individual interviews with senior members of staff and at least one independent interview with a representative from Careers South West for all Year 11 students.