Our aim is to provide a curriculum that is truly comprehensive and enables the most academically interested students to pursue a path to the best universities and all students to achieve in the areas that engage them. The needs of learners, and the best route for them, are considered at each stage of planning, and we provide as flexible and broad a range of diverse curriculum and assessment routes as we can offer.
We aim to boost self-esteem and create cultural capital by maintaining as broad and rich a curriculum as we can and by maintaining the focus of our curriculum on fulfilling experiences, as opposed to chasing performance targets. It is for this reason that we have a wide artistic, technical and performing arts offer – with vocational routes as well as academic – alongside the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) offer. It is also for this reason that we encourage and strongly support our extra-curricular and enrichment offer with a broad range of sports clubs; arts, drama, music and other disciplinary clubs; the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the opportunity to do Ten Tors. In addition, we run an enrichment day each term to provide a broad range of PSHE and citizenship learning, as well as a wide variety of supported trips to London and abroad and to visit STEM, careers, Higher Education and other wider learning opportunities or to compete in speaking or creative arts or chess competitions.
We plan and run a three year key stage 4, with students making their options’ choices in Year 8, because this process helps students (and parents) focus on their particular talents and interests at the first possible opportunity. This fosters engagement and enhances focus, and leaves extra time for students’ wider knowledge in their preferred, chosen subjects, and enables them to make mistakes, re-learn and be better prepared for the eventual summative, external exams.
All students are introduced to two languages in Year 7 – French and Spanish – and have the opportunity to continue studying both, or just one, throughout their time in our school. They are encouraged to do so, but not forced as we believe in guided choice and individualised advice as opposed to a prescriptive curriculum for all.
Our curriculum aims to provide for all and, in particular, to enable students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those who arrive in year 7 below national expectations, to catch up and keep up. For this reason, we invest in talented HLTAs in maths and English to run booster classes and extra support from years 7-11, as required. It is also, primarily, for this reason that we invest in the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme and make literacy a key focus. All students have reading time in tutor periods each week and an extra reading lesson in Years 7 and 8 each week in order to foster and continue a love of reading. We are developing an embedded approach to metacognitive thinking and a growth mind set through both tutor time and a whole curriculum approach.
We are proud of the broad range of course we offer post-16 and in a relatively small Sixth Form we offer a broad range of A levels plus vocational routes in motor mechanics, hair and beauty, construction, health and social care , engineering and sport, as well as work skills for those who require a continued level 2 focus. This ensures that our post-16 provision is both fully inclusive and highly aspirational and provides a strong, viable route for all.
We are proud of the broad range of course we offer post-16 and in a relatively small Sixth Form we offer a broad range of level 3 courses including A levels, Btec qualifications and Cambridge technical courses many of which offer a vocational pathway. Level 2 courses offered include IMIAL Service and Maintenance Engineering, Construction, Cache Certificate for Children and Young People’s Workforce(L2,3), Leadership through Football, and Work Skills. Courses in GCSE English and Mathematics are available to level 3 and level 2 students. This ensures that our post-16 provision is both fully inclusive and highly aspirational and provides a strong, viable route for all.