The taught curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum programmes of study at Key Stages 3 and 4 and is timetabled using a 50 period two-week cycle.
Ofsted (2012) described our curriculum as providing
“a broad, balanced, rich experience for students, leading to worthwhile qualifications”.
At Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) students study the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, French or Spanish, German or Russian , History, Geography, Religious Education, Art, Music, Drama, Physical Education, Computing as well as Life Studies (a programme which delivers personal, social, health, citizenship, enterprise and careers education). Students complete their KS3 Mathematics and Science courses over two years and then embark upon GCSE courses in these subjects at the beginning of year 9.
Students in year 7 will study either French or Spanish and either German or Russian. Parents will be given the option to state their preferences at the Parents' Evening on Induction Day. The availability of this choice will depend on there being roughly equal numbers for both languages. Students at Churchfields Junior School have already started learning Russian and it is expected that they will continue with it.
All students make a guided choice beginning of year 9: they either continue with both their languages, leading to GCSEs in two languages in year 11, or opt to replace one of their languages with another GCSE or applied course. Courses currently offered include GCSE Art, GCSE Design Technology, GCSE Business Studies, GCSE Computer Science, GCSE Drama, Cambridge National Health & Social Care and Cambridge National Information Technologies.
At Key Stage 4 all students study the core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science (double or triple GCSE), PE and Life Studies. Students continue with the choice they made for year 9, and have three further choices to make from a wide range, including Computer Science, Media Studies, Design Technology, Sociology and Psychology. The study of a modern foreign language and either Geography or History to GCSE is compulsory for the majority of students and will form two of their three choices. Most students will go to gain 9 or 10 GCSEs. Some students will study fewer and will be given support through our Study Support programme.
Our Key Stage 5 curriculum caters for learners of all abilities. We offer courses the 6th Form Foundation Course for those students who need longer to prepare for advanced level study, as well as applied (BTEC or Cambridge Technical) courses and traditional A levels. Courses include BTEC Business Extended Diploma, and A levels in Chemistry, Sociology, Economics and Russian. Full details of the range of A level courses can be found on the school website. There is also a 6th Form Enrichment programme which provides a range of extra-curricular opportunities.
We believe that Religious Education (RE) makes a significant contribution to the personal development of young people. KS3 students have discreet RE lessons and KS4 students study RE as part of the Life Studies programme. Parents do have the statutory right to withdraw their children from Religious Education. However, the scheme of learning has been constructed in the hope that parents will rarely, if ever, wish to exercise their right of withdrawal. Parents with concerns are encouraged to discuss these with the Head of RE initially.
Many extra-curricular clubs and activities are available for our students to participate in. These include orchestras, choirs, sports clubs, lunchtime sessions on the all-weather pitch as well as revision and drop-in sessions to assist with coursework.