Young people only get one opportunity to learn. We owe it to our students to ensure the curriculum is exciting, engaging and provides them with every opportunity to achieve educational outcomes that will make their future success inevitable.
Students participate in 25, one-hour lessons per week. We operate a two-week timetable which means students’ lessons are spread across ‘Week A’ and ‘Week B’.
In year 7 and 8 our focus is to develop the foundations needed for successful learning across a range of subjects. Students will study English for 7 hours per fortnight; Mathematics and Science for 6 hours per fortnight; Languages (French and Spanish) for 5 hours per fortnight; History, Geography, PE and Technology for 4 hours per fortnight; Art, Drama, Music, Computing, Resilience (year 7 only) and Religious and Citizenship Studies (RCS) for 2 hours per fortnight.
As they move into year 9, we enhance our students’ knowledge, skills and understanding as we prepare them for the next significant step in their learning journey. Recognising the importance of English and Mathematics as the cornerstones for learning, we will increase the amount of time students spend studying these key subjects. Throughout year 9 students will be provided with opportunities to consider future pathways and to decide which subjects they would like to specialise in as they move into Key Stage 4.
In years 10 and 11 students take control of almost 40% of their learning, studying subjects that interest and enthuse them and which contribute to their longer-term goals and aspirations. At Key Stage 4 students will spend significantly more time studying core subjects:
9 hours per fortnight of English and Mathematics, and 10 hours per fortnight of core Science. We will continue to recognise the importance of developing our students as well-rounded and healthy individuals and to this end our students will participate in practical PE lessons and PSHRCE (2 hours per fortnight).
Students are grouped in two main ways: mentor groupings, which they will retain for the duration of their secondary journey, and teaching groups, which will change to meet the needs of the different stages of a student’s learning.
Students will spend 20 minutes per day with their Mentor. The purpose of mentor time is to ensure students are prepared for learning and that they are supported to succeed at school. We endeavour to place students in mentor groupings where they have at least one friend. We will work with primary schools to establish the likely combinations for this. Students who are joining us on their own from their primary school will be placed with students in a similar circumstance to give them opportunity to share their experience and make friends quickly.
In terms of teaching groups, students are grouped to support their learning and not according to friendships. In years 7 and 8 students benefit from mixed-ability teaching for all subjects except Maths, where they will be grouped according to maths ability. Students will be in the same teaching groups for most of their lessons: English; Science; Languages; History; Geography; Computing; Drama; Music; RCS; Resilience, with different, slightly smaller groupings in place for Design Technology, Art and PE.
As students move into year 9, more ‘setting’ will be introduced, particularly across core subjects and Languages. This will enable us to tailor learning to each child’s ability and gives students the best start as they enter Key Stage 4 (years 10 and 11).