The New Secondary Curriculum
The new secondary curriculum was introduced in September 2008 as part of major reforms of 11–19 education and qualifications. It was introduced to give schools greater flexibility to tailor learning to their learners’ needs, with less prescribed subject content in the new programmes of study. Pupils will still be taught essential subject knowledge. However, the new curriculum balances subject knowledge with the key concepts and processes that underlie the discipline of each subject.
The curriculum should enable all young people to become successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve; confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives; responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.
These aims, which incorporate the five outcomes of Every Child Matters, have been the starting point for all the changes to the secondary curriculum. The new curriculum continues to recognise the importance of subjects while at the same time it places emphasis on the development of skills for life and work. Functional skills of English, mathematics and ICT have been built into the curriculum, and the key processes sections in the programmes of study highlight the essential skills that learners need in order to make progress and achieve in each subject.
As a School we now need to ensure the curriculum offer meets the needs of all learners, embed assessment into curriculum planning, evaluate the changes they made as part of the implementation process and ensure that developments are secure and make an impact on learner success.
Key Stage 3
The year groups are split into two equal ability populations which are identified as Hockney and Bronte. Initially the Achievement Manager splits the year group taking into account personal and social needs and ensuring that each population is balanced with regard to ability. Students are then set within these populations by ability across 3 blocks, each block having a lead subject - English, Mathematics, Technology and Physical Education. For more information please see the curriculum statement.
Each student will enjoy taking part in English; Mathematics; Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics); A Foreign Language (French or German); CDT/Graphics Technology, Food/Textiles Technology; History; Geography; Art; Music; Drame (Yr 7); ICT; Citizenship; Physical Education; Religious Studies.
The time allocated to each subject varies between year groups, but is never less than 1 period per week. In all year groups some students study additional literacy and numeracy. In addition, all students are set independently within Physical Education. A number of subject areas including English, mathematics, ICT, Physical Education and Religious Studies begin their Key Stage 4 courses in Year 9, with many students gaining an early qualification. A number of Foundation subjects also begin GCSE in Year 9, with the vast majority of students gaining a GCSE in a Foreign Language at the end of Key Stage 3. An extended Registration once a week provides for a mixed ability Tutorial session.
Key Stage 4
- Students continue to be organised in 2 ability-based Bands for most of their subjects. These Bands are divided to create a number of individual Pathways to meet the needs of students. All follow a ‘Core Curriculum’ of Mathematics – 1 GCSE (set independently), English – up to 2 GCSEs, Citizenship – ½ GCSE and Religious Studies – ½ GCSE (set together), Science (set independently and incorporating a choice between Separate Sciences, Core Science leading to Additional Science and Core Science leading to Additional Applied Science – 3 or 2 GCSEs) and Physical Education – up to 1 GCSE (set independently).
Students also study a number of other subjects in the timetable space allocated to 4 GCSEs, chosen from a range of GCSE and Vocational options. Some Pathways involve students taking other Applied courses, often partly or wholly delivered in partnership with other institutions. All these courses have various GCSE equivalences. They are organised after the options process to maximise the satisfaction of student choice, which means that subject classes organised in a particular Block may have students from both Bands in them.
In addition, some students have the opportunity to study GCSE ICT (and sometimes other disciplines) as an additional subject after school. Out of hours workshops and clinics form a large part of the student curriculum experience. Tutorial arrangements remain as for Key Stage 3. For a full explanation of qualifications open this link.
Key Stage 5 - Post 16
The school offers a range of Level 3 courses for students to select from. The choices on offer are "A" Level qualifications, Applied Learning Qualifications. Further information regarding each of these choices can be found by opening the links above.