Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Aims

Our curriculum is broad and balanced

We are committed to:

  • Promoting equality of opportunity for each student regardless of background, gender, physical disability or ethnic origin
  • Assisting each student, through hard work, commitment and self-discipline to achieve the highest standards of work of which he or she is capable
  • Helping each student to develop a lively enquiring mind, the confidence to question, and the ability to debate rationally
  • Ensuring each student acquires knowledge, skills and training relevant to the world of work
  • Enabling each student to receive challenging, stimulating, worthwhile and enjoyable experiences
  • Making sure all students recognise their personal strengths and set their goals accordingly
  • Developing within each student a concern for the environment, and an understanding of and respect for the religious and moral values of other groups and cultures

Key Stage 3

Our students receive a rich and varied programme within Years 7, 8 and 9, in accordance with the National Curriculum. Whilst utilising the best educational practice, we aim to develop the individual to a high level of competence in all subject areas.

In Year 7 this coverage includes each of the following:

For six hours per fortnight:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science

For four hours per fortnight:

  • Physical Education
  • Life Skills
  • Modern Foreign Language (French or German)

For three hours per fortnight:

  • Geography
  • History

For two hours per fortnight:

  • Art
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • Food and Textiles Technology
  • Music
  • Religious Education

Apart from Mathematics, where broad setting takes place and PE where some students are grouped based upon their ability within specific disciplines, all other subjects are taught in mixed ability teaching groups in Year 7. We believe that this structure eases the transition from Key Stage 2 and reflects our ethos and values.

In Year 8 this coverage includes each of the following:

For six hours per fortnight:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Modern Foreign Language*

For four hours per fortnight:

  • Physical Education

For two hours per fortnight:

  • Art
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • Food and Textiles Technology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Life Skills
  • Music
  • Religious Education

In Year 8 students continue to be taught in mixed ability curriculum groups for most subjects except for Mathematics, Science and Modern Foreign Languages where broad setting takes place and PE with some discipline specific grouping.

*For most students this time consists of three hours of French and three hours of German per fortnight. However for some students this consists of four hours of the language they studied in Year 7 (French or German) together with a skills based Art course for two hours per fortnight. A very small group of students access a personalised Life Skills curriculum during these four hours per fortnight.

In Year 9 this coverage includes each of the following:

For six hours per fortnight:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Modern Foreign Language**

For four hours per fortnight:

  • Physical Education

For two hours per fortnight:

  • Art
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • Food and Textiles Technology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Life Skills
  • Music
  • Religious Education

In Year 9 students continue to be taught in mixed ability curriculum groups for most subjects except for Mathematics, Science and Modern Foreign Languages where broad setting takes place and PE with some discipline specific grouping.

**For most students this time consists of three hours of French and three hours of German per fortnight. However for some students this consists of four hours of the language they studied in Year 7 (French or German) together with a skills based PE course for two hours per fortnight. A very small group of students are disapplied from Modern Foreign Languages and access additional English for four hours per fortnight.

Key Stage 4

During Years 10 and 11 the majority of students follow New GCSE and other Level 2 courses. The Key Stage 4 curriculum consists of core subjects supported by a group of choice courses.

This coverage includes:
Core:

  •  English for eight hours per fortnight, preparing for GCSEs in Language and Literature
  • Mathematics for eight hours per fortnight, preparing for a single GCSE
  • Science for ten or twelve hours per fortnight, preparing for two or three GCSEs respectively
  • Religious Studies for two or four hours per fortnight (depending upon their ability), preparing for a single GCSE
  • Physical Education for three hours per fortnight
  • Life Skills for two hours per fortnight

For the Core Curriculum, students are grouped in each subject, depending upon their ability. The exception to this is English where the majority of students are taught in mixed ability groups, with the most able students being taught together to enable additional challenge and a small number of lower achieving students in Year 11 being taught together to enable additional support to be provided as required.

Choice:

Our Choice Curriculum includes the possibility of a number of programmes. Choices are made in the Spring Term of Year 9 from the subjects listed below. Each student chooses three subjects and follows each of their choice subjects for five hours per fortnight.

One choice is restricted to one of the following:

  • Computer Science (GCSE)
  • French (GCSE)
  • Geography (GCSE)
  • German (GCSE)
  • History (GCSE)

with a small number of students being able to access a Vocational Life Skills course, which offers the opportunity of achieving various Level 1 and 2 qualifications, together with regular work experience throughout Year 11.

Students then choose their remaining two subjects from this list:

  • Art and Design (GCSE)
  • Business Studies (GCSE)
  • Child Development (Cambridge National Certificate)
  • Computer Science (GCSE)
  • Creative iMedia (Cambridge National Certificate)
  • Creative Studies (Technical Award)
  • Drama (GCSE)
  • Economics (GCSE)
  • Electronics (GCSE)
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition (GCSE)
  • French (GCSE)
  • Geography (GCSE)
  • German (GCSE)
  • Graphic Design (Technical Award)
  • History (GCSE)
  • Music (GCSE)
  • Physical Education (GCSE)

For the Choices Curriculum, students are grouped in mixed ability groups for each subject.

Key Stage 5

Sixth Form courses offer both continuity and variety for our students. Students select combinations of subjects from the list below.

In Year 12, most students study three subjects, however some do follow four. Students have taught lessons for eight hours per fortnight for each subject (unless numbers are very small, in which case taught curriculum time is on occasions reduced), as well as a timetabled lesson for structured Independent Study. In addition, students can opt to take an Extended Project Qualification and appropriate support and guidance will be provided. All subjects are taught in mixed ability groups.

Mathematics

In Year 13 most students currently study three subjects, however some select to continue to study four subjects. Students have taught lessons for eight hours per fortnight for each subject, as well as a timetabled lesson for structured Independent Study. All subjects are taught in mixed ability groups.

The full list of subjects which were available to our current Sixth Form students upon enrolment is:

  • Biology (A level)
  • Business Studies (A level)
  • Chemistry (A level)
  • Computer Science (A level)
  • Core Mathematics (Certificate in Mathematical Studies)
  • Design Engineering (A level)
  • Drama and Theatre Studies (A level)
  • Economics (A level)
  • English Language and Literature (A level)
  • English Literature (A level)
  • Extended Project Qualification
  • Fine Art (A level)
  • Food Science and Nutrition (WJEC Level 3 Diploma)
  • French (A level)
  • Further Mathematics (A level)
  • Geography (A level)
  • German (A level)
  • Graphics (BTEC – double award)
  • History (A level)
  • Information Technology (Cambridge Technical Diploma)*^
  • Law (A level)
  • Mathematics (A level)
  • Media Studies (A level)*^
  • Music (A level)
  • Philosophy and Ethics (A level)
  • Photography (A level)*^
  • Physics (A level)
  • Politics (A level)
  • Product Design (3D) (A level)*^
  • Psychology (A level)
  • Science (BTEC)
  • Sociology (A level)
  • Travel and Tourism (BTEC)

*^ These subjects are studied by our students at a local school (Sherburn High School) with whom we offer collaborative courses to broaden our curriculum offer.

For more information about the curriculum please contact Wendy Wilson (Deputy Headteacher)