Curriculum

 

CURRICULUM AIMS

To establish and deliver an aspirational curriculum that enables young people to be successful. High quality learning opportunities support all students with academic pathways designed to maximise their individual potential.

 

The principle of design is to use effective data to establish pathways that cater for students on intake and at transition between key stages and academic years. The curriculum is also shaped by the local and national context during a period of sustained reform to the nature and content of qualifications

 

Our curriculum therefore aims to:

·         offer a broad, balanced, relevant, differentiated and inclusive curriculum to all students

·         conform to statutory National Curriculum requirements

·         reflect the English Baccalaureate range of subjects meaning that most students will take at least one Modern Foreign Language and either History or Geography at GCSE level

·         engage parents and students in decisions regarding guided choices

·         promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that students enjoy coming to school, acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning and aspire to do so

·         create, maintain an exciting and stimulating learning environment where all students are encouraged to take challenge in their learning

 

Implementation of this curriculum policy is the responsibility of all teachers and learning support staff. It is monitored through whole school, faculty and achievement team QA. Formal assessments of student learning are conducted according to our Assessment Policy.

A breakdown of each faculty's curriculum can be found under 'About Us', 'Curriculum'.

 

CURRICULUM STATEMENT

 

How does it work? 

Year 07 is an ‘introductory’ year.  English and maths groups are set, with pupils taught in mixed ability teaching groups for other subjects.  

 

From Year 08 onwards the challenge is to provide a curriculum which offers breadth and relevance.  Setting takes place across the curriculum.

 

In Year 09, student preference is taken into account and students are able to makes choices about the subjects they study within performing arts, technology & visual art and can also study an additional lesson of physical education.  The more able linguist study an additional modern language.

 

Although setting is used across Year 7 to 11 ensuring that the work covered is appropriate for their ability, differentiated work is still provided in all classes to ensure that the needs of all students are met.

 

The Timetable

The school operates a 25 lesson per week, 2 week timetable.  Following consultation with all Curriculum Areas it was agreed that one hour lessons are the most appropriate length for most subjects.    The 2 week timetable provides greater flexibility and facilitates options in Years 10 and 11. Where possible Week A and Week B are identical and will normally only differ where curriculum time demands it.

 

Curriculum Overview

The school meets statutory curriculum requirements.

 

Student are taught about the issues of E-Safety through their first computing project in Year 07 and are continually reminded of these issues through Years 8 & 9.  This is reinforced through assemblies and touring theatre group performances.

 

All curriculum areas seek to broaden the cultural awareness of students through the use of illustrations and examples are drawn from a wide range of cultural contexts.  There is a focus on British values and this is enhanced through the citizenship strand of the PSHCE programme.

 

All students in Years 7 to 9 follow a PSHCE/Ethics course for one hour each week in addition to the RE covered through their humanities course.  In Years 11 students follow a PSHCE/Ethics course for one hour each week.  However, some students may choose to take RE as a full GCSE. PSHCE is taught by team of teachers and it is the aim of the school to reduce the number of staff involved teaching PSHCE in order to provide a more specialist approach.

 

Students in Years 7 to 9 follow a discrete computing course for one hour each week.  In Years 10 & 11 students may choose to follow a GCSE in ICT or computing.  All students in Year 10 & 11 cover the ICT programmes of study through the use of ICT across the curriculum.

 

All students in Years 7 to 11 take physical education for at least one hour each week.  In addition dance is studied in Years 7 and 8 and students can select dance in Year 9 or as an additional lesson of PE.

 

Students in Years 7 to 9 study technology.  In Year 9 students can select up to two technology subjects that they wish to study.

 

In Year 7 the majority of students study a Modern Language, although a few students are withdrawn from this for additional literacy support.  In Year 9 an additional modern language is studied by the more able linguists.   In Years 10 & 11 students  Who have the aspiration of further education and eventually university or who are more able, study a modern language.  More able students will study at least one modern language. In Year 9, our more able scientist will start a route of study which will result in them achieving 2 or GCSEs in the separate science.  All other students will study the GCSE double science route.

 

In Years 12 & 13, most students will study 3 or 4 A Level or BTEC subjects.  All students in Year 12 and 13 have the opportunity to choose from a range of enrichment courses which include: critical thinking; extended project; general studies; JSLA Sports Leadership Award; and OU units.

 

Links with Other Providers

Heanor Gate Science College is an active member of the Local Area Partnership.  As a result of this we have developed particularly strong links with Aldercar Community Language College and Derby College.

 

Pathways

From 2017, students in Years 10 & 11 will follow one of four pathways that have been identified appropriate to student ability and aspiration.  The four pathways are University (U); Further Education (F); Work and Apprenticeship (W); and Bespoke (B). 

 

All pathways will require students to study either Geography or History and in pathways U and F students will also study either French or Spanish.  Students following pathway U will be able to select from studying 3 separate sciences; 2 separate sciences; or double science.

 

Students following pathway B will have a curriculum tailored to their needs which may include a support option where they will receive one to one help with all the subjects that they study.

 

All pathways are designed to provide appropriate and aspirational routes for all students through a range of subjects.

 

Sixth Form

31 courses are currently offered at Level 3 in the Sixth Form, although in Year 12 this year there are only 30 running.  

 

Assessment

The school has developed a 9-1 assessment grading system for Years 7 to 9 which provides a seamless flightpath through to the new 9-1 grading system in Years 10 & 11.

 

In Years 7 to 9 students are assessed on current attainment and each assessment grade is divided into 5 subdivisions, for example grade 4 is divided into 4.0; 4.2; 4.4; 4.6; and 4.8.  This provides greater accuracy of assessment and makes progress clearer to see.

 

In Years 10 & 11 students are assessed using predicted final grades and each assessment grade is divided into 3 subdivisions.  For example grade 4 is divided into 4- (indicates a weak grade); 4= (indicates a solid grade; and 4+ (indicates a strong grade).  Currently, in Year 10 most subjects have moved to the new 9-1 grading system but there are still a few subjects that still use A*-G..

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