Our curriculum promotes positive behaviour, SMSC development, and safety and above all, provides a range of high quality learning experiences that has had a major impact on the improving trends in pupil achievement. Pupils are also encouraged to be reflective and creative in their thinking and to become increasingly independent learners as they progress through the school.
The above factors have resulted in improving pupil outcomes at Key Stage 4 including both the 5A*-C measure including English and Maths and in the 5A*-C figure overall. This is a firm indicator that our Key Stage 4 curriculum is broad, balanced and meets the individual needs of all our pupils.
Our Curriculum begins with work in our primary schools:
- Maths – Numeracy workshops and a range of activities for gifted and talented primary pupils. Informs the Maths curriculum offered in Year 7, provides challenge and progression for all pupils, and facilitates the setting of pupils. Supporting Primary INSET. Sharing of year 6 pupil books.
- ICT – our specialists work with primary pupils in their schools on a project, culminating in an inter-school competition, which will both test and challenge their ICT capabilities. This provides information of pupils’ ICT capabilities and facilitates Year 7 planning and delivery, as well as identifying talented pupils to offer them an accelerated learning opportunity to gain a Level 4 qualification by the end of Key Stage 3.
- English – use of pupils’ year 6 English books, shared writing moderation with primary teachers, literacy co-ordinator links, and use of primary AST.
Key Stage 3
Our current curriculum structure comprises a 3 year Key Stage 3 and two year Key Stages 4 and 5.
- Pupils follow a broad National curriculum diet which includes all the current core and foundation subjects alongside, PE and RE/CPSHE. Pupils are grouped by both mixed ability and sets depending on subject area.
- The Learning Support department supports pupils both in and out of the classroom and we have a nurture group for a very small proportion of KS3 vulnerable pupils.
- Some pupils undertake fast track qualifications.
Transition KS3 to KS4
Takes place in Year 9 but changed to Year 8 in 2013-14. Pupils receive a career based guidance programme delivered through CPSHE, assemblies, a range of outside speakers, option meetings and individual guidance sessions involving parents and carers. A group of Year 9 pupils (usually 30-40) also receive a targeted programme of developing organisational and learning skills from our Learning Mentor in preparation for Key Stage 4. Options are formed which reflect particular cohort interests as far as possible.
Key Stage 4
- Compulsory core – Maths, English Language, Science (Double Award), PE, ICT and R.E./CPSHE. Within this core offer, most pupils study English Literature and our most able scientists study three separate sciences.
- Options – 10 GCSE’s and 5 vocational courses of which pupils choose four.
- Alternative curriculum
- A small cohort of foundation learners undertake an individualised curriculum partly outside the options system, to maximise individual outcomes and provide a basis for their further progression beyond the age of 16.
- A couple of pupils may engage in an alternative route involving an outside provider where learning difficulties with in school can no longer be supported.
The school is very cogniscent of the fact that the government changed the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum from September 2014 and the relative importance of certain subjects within it together with changes that took place pertaining to Key Stage 4 courses. Our aim is to provide the best possible opportunity for our pupils to achieve within a new public examinations framework, whilst at the same time providing a more substantial challenge to our most able in terms of providing sufficient curriculum time for them to achieve at a very high level. Our aim is to ensure that these pupils achieve at a high level, thereby boosting the schools’ A*-A pass rate at Key Stage 4 which is a continuing school priority.
Key Stage 4 Options
Where can I get help and more information?
If you are having problems choosing what to do, remember there are people who can help. Speak to your form tutor, your subject teacher, your parents, even older brothers and sisters.
You can also visit the school website where you will find links to further options information:
- E-Clips Online. Pupils access via All Programmes/Pupil Applications/Library/e-clips. (Password NG14 6JZ)
- College websites where you can find out if you need specific subjects for courses you might consider after Year 11.
- The UCAS website where you can find out if you need particular GCSEs for entry to University courses (www.ucas.com)
- Connexions Nottinghamshire for general advice about studying and careers (waww.cnxnotts.co.uk). This will direct you to Futures where you can click on help/advice for information.
- Parents/Carers can also visit for more information: www.careersadviceforparents.org and www.careersadviceforparents.org.
Information is also available in various books and leaflets in the Library.
Key Stage 4 courses
KS4 Courses currently offered, GCSE unless otherwise stated
ICT Cambridge National
Core and Additional Science
Triple Sciences: Physics, Biology, Chemistry
Business Cambridge National
Creative Studies NCFE
Transition Key Stages 4 to 5
- Comprehensive Career Education and Guidance package, developed and delivered by a dedicated in-house team supplemented by outside business contacts, visits, needs assessment interviews and follow up and one to one intervention and support provided by school personnel and where necessary, from Futures.
- Programme of induction into our Sixth Form includes an information evening for students and parents, involving subject specialists from all departments offering Sixth Form courses, support for students in the application process as identified within our universal needs assessment interviews, individual subject support and one to one interviews for all applicants.
- A rigorous application and interview process based on a set of access criteria which we expect all our Sixth Form students to meet. This process is beginning to have the desired impact and similarly to Key Stage 4, we are seeing a noticeable improvement in terms of student outcomes (pass rates and points scores per student).
Key Stage 5
- 20 AS/A2 courses and four vocational. Students are expected to study four subjects and most will choose an AS/A2 diet of subjects. However, a significant minority will opt for a mixed A Level/vocational diet.
- Additional learning and support includes timetabled programme of weekly CPHSE lessons and activities, access to both the General Studies AS qualification and the Extended Project. Additionally, all aspects of student performance are monitored closely and intervention takes place at tutor, Head of Sixth Form and subject level as applicable and appropriate. Supervised independent study sessions are implemented for those students who fall below any expected benchmarks of performance.
- Courses complement the KS4 options as far as possible to provide appropriate pathways or provide routes to alternative providers.
Transition to Post 18
The great majority of our students join our Sixth Form with a view to progression on to Higher Education. We therefore do our utmost to ensure that they are informed and prepared, not only in terms of the UCAS application process, but also in terms of the other important facets of preparing for student life. As a result, as part of our timetable CPHSE programme, we invite representatives from local universities into school to talk about their institutions, what they have to offer our students and also to engage in a question and answer session. We also invite our past students in to talk with our present cohort on aspects of student life and issues that they might face. Additionally, we offer after school sessions, for example on Student Finance, for both students and their parents. Our support and guidance processes for UCAS applications begins in Year 12 with the provision of visits to local university open days. We also encourage students to attend open events at other universities in which they are interested. Our Year 13 tutor team work with their tutees on an individual basis on their applications and ensure that personal statement sections are completed effectively and accurately.
With regard to the small minority of students who will decide that higher education is not for them, tutors will discuss their preferred career paths with them and offer individual support. Any further support needs will be highlighted and reported through to the CEIAG team who will engage the student with Futures personnel who will offer individual support and guidance. The school has also produced a “What Next” booklet for students. This identifies essential web-based information and relevant career-related sites that students will need to consider.
- Super Learning Days support learning of the KS3 and KS4 curriculum. These are planned across all year groups to provide enrichment activities which not only provide different content, for example in terms of enterprise and work related learning but also focus on developing requisite inter-personal skills such as effective communication, problem solving, team working, CV and application writing. They are delivered by different personnel in a range of contexts and situations and are augmented by a programme of information, support and guidance delivered as part of our options package. All year groups visit a University and have the benefit of access to professionals from a wider range of careers. This reinforces the belief that all our pupils are on the journey to University or a successful career.
- Extra-curricular activities are both extensive and varied and range from sporting experiences and activities, school productions, subject visits, careers experience days, additional courses for gifted and talented pupils through to both voluntary and paid employment opportunities.
- Work related and careers opportunities begin in Key Stage 3 and culminate in Year 13. At KS3, these are delivered largely through our CPSHE programme by a designated team of teachers. At KS4, our programme begins with two Super Learning days in which the entire Year 10 group experience a range of activities, seminars, workshops and question and answer sessions delivered by professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds, for example the army, air force, public services, health and beauty as well as from local Further Education Colleges and Universities. This is augmented by a continuing programme of application and CV writing seminars, one to one interviews and feedback with local businesses, in-house needs assessment analysis with regards to “What Next”, visits to local Careers events and, most importantly, specialist input on a one to one basis from Futures professionals in those instances where in-house expertise might be lacking.
- Schemes of work at all level promote SMSC development and RE and CPSHE are delivered across all key stages by way of a co-ordinated programme by dedicated teams of teachers. School Assemblies and regular reflection time in tutorial sessions provides for discussion and reflection around spiritual and moral themes whilst allowing pupils the opportunity to reflect upon their own values and viewpoints.
- ICT facilities have an impact on the quality of learning, not only in discrete Maths and ICT but also across the whole range of subjects delivered in school.
- All targets set by the school in terms of improving the learning environment for Maths, pupil engagement and to extending the opportunities for pupil use and application of ICT in lessons have been achieved and indeed exceeded!
- Good links by both subjects with feeder primary schools and with the local community.
- Post-16 recruitment in Maths, Further Maths and ICT has increased over the past three years, in no small measure due to the success achieved by our pupils in external examinations.
We are very conscious of the need to constantly re-focus and modify our specialist plans with the passage of time and to this end we have recently dawn up a new development plan which will undoubtedly further increase the impact of our specialism in terms of pupil outcomes.
Mrs Sleep, Assistant Headteacher – Curriculum provision and structure, School’s Specialism, Transition 3- 4 and 4/5 (Mr Fay Head of Sixth Form), Careers Guidance and WRL
Mrs Canham – CPSHE programmes KS3 & 4
Mrs Ridgill, School Business Manager – Extra-curricular provision