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 races.

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; English where lower achieving students are grouped together to enable additional support to be provided and PE with some discipline specific grouping.

*For most students this time consists of three periods of French and three periods of German per fortnight. However for some students this consists of six periods of the language they studied in Year 7 (French or German). A very small group of students are disapplied from Modern Foreign Languages and access additional English for these six periods 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
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • 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; English where lower achieving students are grouped together to enable additional support to be provided and PE with some discipline specific grouping.

**For most students this time consists of three periods of French and three periods of German per fortnight. However for some students this currently consists of four periods of the language they studied in Year 7 (French or German) and two lessons of Literacy per fortnight. A very small group of students are disapplied from Modern Foreign Languages and access additional English and Personalised Life Skills for these six periods per fortnight.

***A small number of students access a more bespoke personalised Life Skills curriculum during these two hours per fortnight.

Key Stage 4

During Years 10 and 11 the majority of students follow 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 periods per fortnight, preparing for New GCSEs in Language and Literature
  • Mathematics for eight periods per fortnight, preparing for a single New GCSE
  • Science for ten or twelve periods per fortnight, preparing for two or three GCSEs respectively
  • Philosophy and Ethics for two or four periods per fortnight (depending upon their ability), preparing for a single GCSE
  • Physical Education for three periods per fortnight
  • Life Skills for two periods per fortnight

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

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 (single or double GCSE)
  • Child Development (GCSE)
  • Computer Science (GCSE)
  • Creative iMedia (Cambridge National Certificate)
  • Drama (GCSE)
  • Economics (GCSE)
  • Engineering Design (Cambridge National Certificate)
  • Electronic Products (GCSE)
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition (GCSE)
  • French (GCSE)
  • Geography (GCSE)
  • German (GCSE)
  • Graphic Products (GCSE)
  • Health and Social Care (GCSE)
  • History (GCSE)
  • Music (GCSE)
  • Physical Education (GCSE)
  • Textiles Technology (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 four subjects, however a few select to follow five and some decide to take three, depending upon their ability. Students have taught lessons for eight periods 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 students in Year 12 also sit an AS in General Studies. 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 periods per fortnight for each subject, as well as a timetabled lesson for structured Independent Study. All students in Year 13 also sit an A2 in General Studies. 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)
  • Drama and Theatre Studies (A level)
  • Economics (A level)
  • English Language (A level)
  • English Language and Literature (A level)
  • English Literature (A level)
  • Fine Art (A level)
  • Food Science and Nutrition (BTEC)
  • French (A level)
  • Further Mathematics (A level)
  • Geography (A level)
  • German (A level)
  • Graphics (A level)
  • Health and Social Care (A level)*^
  • 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)*^
  • Physical Education (A level)
  • Physics (A level)
  • Product Design (3D) (A level)*^
  • Psychology (A level)
  • Science (BTEC)
  • Sociology (A level)
  • Systems and Control (A level)

In addition to the above list, the following subjects will be offered from September 2017, providing there is sufficient interest by the students:

  • Business (BTEC)
  • Design Engineering (A level)
  • Graphics (BTEC)
  • Physical Education (BTEC)
  • Performing Arts (BTEC)
  • Politics (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)