As a school we believe in a set of core principles, which infuse throughout our curriculum, culture, classrooms, and have become a key part of our everyday language:
‘This is a school built on respect, developing resilient learners, expert readers, knowledge explorers and responsible citizens’.
Developing Resilience has been part of our school ethos for a number of years. As we look to support our students with their mental health and well-being, developing this key disposition has become increasingly more important.
Research and evidence emphasise the potential impact of developing metacognition and self-regulation strategies, and our teachers routinely promote these resilience-building approaches through student reflection and evaluation.
The emphasis on developing expert readers reflects our key priority of developing literacy. Students with good literacy skills are proven to benefit not just in examinations, but across a range of areas when they leave school, including health and wellbeing, employment and finance. To facilitate this for all students, reading is “every teacher’s business” at this school. In lessons, students will regularly engage with age-appropriate texts with deliberate attention being paid to subject vocabulary.
Explicit non – fiction reading lessons are a new feature of the curriculum for year 7 and 8 students, with a tried and tested package being implemented to ensure this is a quality experience. Where students need support with their reading, a range of strategies will be implemented, with a high emphasis on identification and support at key stage 3.
The core principle of developing knowledge explorers is reflected in the work which has been carried out on the curriculum which will help students to construct, develop, and retain a core body of academic knowledge and skills.
Each department has curriculum plans which detail how student knowledge will be built up over time. Effective forms of assessment are layered throughout our plans to help make student progress visible over time.
We also carry out a lot of work in home group time and well-being days to ensure students learn how to revise effectively and independently. All year 11 students are equipped with a revision folder and sets of flashcards, and will learn a variety of techniques to ensure that revision time is efficient and supports knowledge retention.
As a school it has long been our aim to develop our students into responsible citizens, such that they all move on to their chosen destinations with the cultural competence and confidence they need to thrive.
From their engagement in the residential in year 7 through to community week in year 13, our students embrace opportunities to be respectful, active members of our community and foster a sense of responsibility.
Through our classroom teaching and pastoral, enrichment and wellbeing programmes, it is our aim to always raise the aspirations of our students, engender a strong sense of British values and to celebrate and embrace the different backgrounds, heritage, language and traditions of all the people living and working in this country.
The Curriculum We Offer
All of our year groups follow the National Curriculum covering the subjects you’d expect such as Maths, English and Science.
The Key Stage 3 curriculum makes the most of our innovative learning spaces. The classroom spaces are used very effectively to enable students and staff to work in more flexible and varied ways than those typically found in a secondary school.
In year 7 and 8 there are excellent opportunities for students to experience new areas of learning, such as cookery or Spanish; or to catch up on areas in which they are weaker; and for gifted and talented students to take on additional challenges. We call these SECURE lessons. We also use Challenge Wednesday to enable students to tackle a range of problems and issues such as environmental work, sports leadership, photography, martial arts and enterprise activities to name just a few.
In year 9, students follow an ICT/Computing course. This encompasses a range of skills including an introduction to programming, how computers work, the impact computing has on the world and the cultural and environmental implications of the use of technology.
At Key Stage 4 we offer a range of courses. The variety of pathways are well matched to students’ needs and interests and provide a very good range of vocational options. We also have an Applied Learning Centre which a number of students are invited to join in year 10. This offers a more specialist route involving construction, design and engineering. Our Personal, Social, Health and Economic education programme is delivered through our home groups and Well Being days. We have four Well Being days during the year when we suspend normal lessons and study a range of issues such as drugs, healthy lifestyles, crime and punishment and parenting.
In the Sixth Form there is a wide range of courses for students to choose from. Part of their subject time is spent in independent learning, working by themselves on activities set by their teachers. Some students also choose to take an Extended Project Qualification. The study skills they develop before sixth form are essential for them to succeed in their studies. Students are able to choose optional subjects for year 10 during the spring term of year 9. Provisional choices for 6th form subjects are also made during the spring term, final choices are confirmed after the results day in August.
For further information about our curriculum please contact us on 01670 712311 or email us.