In Year 7 all students study French but in Year 8 will also learn Spanish. Students have the opportunity to continue studying Spanish in Years 9-11 rather than French if they prefer. A small cohort of students receive extra Literacy and Numeracy lessons in place of some modern language lessons to support them in catching up with their peers.
In addition to the specialist computing lessons in Years 7, 8 and 9, the students’ understanding of how ICT can be used is developed throughout the curriculum.
We recognise that not all students are the same and that by effective differentiation for learners needs and a flexible approach to subject allocation, we can support all of our students to fulfil their potential. This is best seen in our commitment to provide extra support for students with their studies of English and Maths to guarantee that they develop their literacy and numeracy skills. We aim to use effective pedagogy to engage learners of all abilities through challenge, differentiation and active learning.
In the delivery of the curriculum, due attention is paid to the strengths and weaknesses of each individual student. Throughout the first three years, students experiencing learning difficulties will receive specialist assistance either in small groups or on an individual basis. This is achieved by removing a student from part of a lesson or by a Teaching Assistant working alongside the student in their usual lesson.
During Year 7 students are set by ability in English, Mathematics, Science and French. The setting is determined via a combination of Key Stage 2 scores and teacher assessment. In all other subjects, students are taught in mixed ability groups.
In Years 8 and 9 students continue studying Art, Drama, Music, Physical Education, Geography, History, Computing, RE and Technology in mixed ability groups. The core subjects of English, Maths and Science, along with French are taught in sets organised on the basis of student ability in that subject. For each subject a student will be put into the most appropriate set based upon their potential and aptitude shown. When appropriate there will be some movement between sets during Years 7, 8 and 9.
We have decided to follow a traditional academic curriculum in Year 7 to 9 primarily because we feel this is the most appropriate model for our students, and therefore they are most likely to both benefit and excel by following such subject disciplines. We are committed to increasing the proportion of students who will study the qualifications that comprise the English Baccalaureate (English Language, English Literature, two Sciences, Humanities, MFL and Computing) up to GCSE as part of our academic curriculum and have introduced specialisation in MFL and Humanities in Year 9 to support this.