Forms are un-streamed and, in general, pupils remain in the same form unit throughout Key Stages 3 and 4. At Key Stages 4 and 5 pupils/students are grouped in option blocks.
- National Curriculum
The school curriculum fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum which, from September 2002, has included Citizenship and Enterprise Education. All documentation about the National Curriculum, including information about complaints procedures, is held in school and is available for inspection at pre-arranged times. It may also be found at http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/secondary
There will be changes to the National Curriculum as of 2014, and provision will be reviewed in the light of this document.
- GCSE Options
Pupils, parents/carers and staff co-operate closely in the choosing of options. The options structure is currently built around pupilsâ€™ choices. A booklet containing information about the individual courses and examinations is issued at an options evening for the parents/carers of Year 9 pupils in January. Later in the year there is a parentsâ€™/carersâ€™ evening where there is the opportunity for consultation between the teaching staff, parents/carers and pupils. Further guidance is given in Form Tutor periods and during Citizenship lessons. Pupils may also make an appointment with an independent Careers Advisor.
- Sixth Form
This is essentially a two year academic course. Students study four AS level subjects in Year 12; reducing generally to three A levels, and the EPQ, in Year 13. The EPQ is a valuable additional qualification at advanced level for all students. A small number of students continue with four subjects. The focus on post-16 options continues throughout Year 11 and, again, individual discussions with pupils inform our option planning.
- Tutorial Work and PSHE
These are important in every year and aim to encourage personal decision-making skills, confidence to express ideas and an awareness of the individualâ€™s responsibility to the community. Pupils/students are also encouraged to review their progress, to assess their skills and qualities and to record a wide range of achievements.
Homework is set regularly for all year groups, the amount varying with the age of the pupil and the course being followed. At the beginning of each academic year, Years 7, 8, 9 and 10receive a homework timetable and this provides a useful guide for parents/carers as to the subjectsset eachnight and the approximate time that should be spent on them. Regular, appropriate homework will be set to ensure pupils progress and develop independent learning and research skills.
Work for senior pupils is more likely to be set over a cycle and, increasingly, the pupils are encouraged to organise their own study time. Sixth Form students can expect to do 6 hours of extra work per subject, per 10 day cycle, outside of school. Work may include a variety of approaches in individual subjects including, for instance, writing, reading and investigation. A homework diary is issued to all pupils to help with the organisation of their homework. We ask parents/carers to read and sign this on a weekly basis.
- Sex Education
Sex Education is presented within a moral framework, which not only provides information, but also encourages responsible behaviour. Physiological aspects are included in Science and Biology lessons throughout the school and in PSHE lessons and within tutor groups there is discussion of personal relationships. Pupils may be withdrawn from the topics which are not required by the National Curriculum. Parents/Carers are welcome to discuss the programme and the materials used with staff at the school.
- Religious Education
There are regular, timetabled Religious Studies lessons for Years 7 to 9 and a general course on Philosophy and Culture is available in Year 12 and 13. Lessons are non-denominational and parents/carers who wish to see the schemes of work or discuss any concerns they may have are invited to contact the school. Pupils may be withdrawn from lessons if parents/carers request it.
Citizenship has a high priority within the school curriculum. There is a flourishing elected School Council and there are many opportunities for pupils to contribute to the school community through pupil-led groups such as the Eco-School Committee, Amnesty International and UR-Voice (political discussion and debate group). Citizenship is also offered as a full GCSE course at Key Stage 4.
At Key Stages 4 and 5 a programme of enrichment is offered within the curriculum time and includes PE and the Arts Mark.