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Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Guide to the Key Stage 3 Curriculum Years 7, 8 and 9

This page describes the National Curriculum (NC) at Key Stage 3 (KS3) as it is followed by students at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. We hope you will find it useful for reference during the first three years.

Curriculum Outline

In years 7 and 8 we continue to teach the NC subjects covered at KS2 in junior school, with the addition of two languages from French, German or Spanish. In year 9 Science is taught in separate disciplines (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is taught through Citizenship in all three years. A curriculum summary is given below.

KS3 Booklet 2018-19

Or click here to download the PDF file here

Curriculum Summary

Subject Periods per 10-day cycle (50 period cycle)
  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
English 6 5 5
Mathematics 5 6 5
Science 5 5  
Biology     2
Chemistry     2
Physics     2
2 of either French/
4/3 } 3 (1st MFL) /4 (2nd MFL) 3 (1st & 2nd MFL)
Geography 3 2 3
History 3 2 3
Religious Studies 2 3 3
Design Technology 2 3 3
Computing 2 3 2
Art 3 2 3
Music 3 3 2
Dance 2 2 2
Physical Education 3 3 3
Citizenship 2 2 2
Drama 2 2 2

In Years 7 and 8, students are taught within form groups. In Year 9, students are in mixed ability groups of students taken from across the year group.



Homework is regarded as an integral part of the curriculum. As well as contributing to the full and appropriate coverage of schemes of work, it provides a framework for the development of sensible individual study skills and it fosters personal qualities such as responsibility, self-motivation and initiative. It also gives a regular opportunity for students to discuss their work at home.

A specific homework timetable that schedules the days on which specific subjects are set, is in each student’s homework diary.

Tasks set are noted in the homework diary, which is monitored by the form tutor. You are also asked to check and sign this each week cycle. Longer pieces of homework, for instance research projects, may be set over extended periods of perhaps two or three weeks. The timetable is then the guide for the pacing of such an assignment over the period available, rather than attempting to complete it on one evening. The separate subject entries in this booklet suggest ways in which further support can be given with homework.

Assessments and Examinations

Departments use a variety of assessment techniques throughout each year, including peer and self assessment, teacher assessment of group and individual work and the marking of tests. They will level some of the assignments that the students complete and further detail on the type of assessment that each department carries out can be found in the departmental pages of this booklet.

In addition to regular assessments, there are formal examinations for Years 7, 8 and 9 in the second half of the summer term. Internal school examinations begin in June. The results of these examinations are given to pupils within their individual classes and targets for improvement are made.

An overview of KS3 Levels

Students in Y7 to Y9 are being assessed using AGGS Levels. Levels are given a number, 1 (lowest) through to 8 (highest), with some subjects also recording exceptional performance (EP) awarded for outstanding attainment exceeding Level 8. Most students will start at level 1 at the start of Y7 and move through the scale during Key Stage 3. These numeric levels are further broken down by the letter c, b or a. The number refers to the level a pupil is working at according to criteria set out in each subject area. The letter refers to whether a pupil is;

– Moving into this level (c)

– Working solidly at this level (b)

– Moving out of this level towards the next level (a).

All students will complete baseline tests at the start of Y7 in each subject. This will determine their starting point and will define their expected rates of progress over each academic year. We are expecting students to make progress at a different rate to that of the ‘old style’ NC levels, and as such, students will be expected to make 5 sub-levels of progress in each year of Key Stage 3.




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Extra-curricular Activities

The many and varied lunch time and after school opportunities are fully listed in the prospectus and the AGGS diary. Typically students in years 7, 8 and 9 belong to one of the choirs and orchestras, to the hockey, netball, tennis and rounder’s squads and to the year 7 writers’ club, gym club and science club. They participate in dance and drama workshops, take individual instrumental lessons, contribute to Amnesty International and spend time in the computer rooms. They also travel abroad on skiing and foreign language trips and benefit from “adventure holiday” facilities in Devon. We would ask that you encourage the participation in any opportunities that arise to broaden interests, knowledge and skills and that also enable the students to have a great deal of fun at the same time. Arrangements for going home after normal school hours, particularly on dark winter evenings, should be made with care and a special note should be made of the building and time of departure for any such activity.