At Ridgeway High School we have developed an innovative personalised curriculum to meet students’ needs, ensure engagement and improve levels of literacy. The new curriculum at KS3 engages students through a range of strategies to develop levels of literacy and numeracy and provides opportunities for students to develop their speaking and listening skills.
The curriculum aims to:
• provide broad and balanced learning experiences
• deliver the requirements of the National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4, providing continuity and progression between and within key stages
• provide a range of opportunities for students to learn, achieve and realise their full potential
• provide rigorous intellectual challenge and pace
• promote students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
• develop an enjoyment of learning and a commitment to excellence in all students
• produce well-rounded, balanced individuals who are committed to lifelong learning
• prepare students for the challenges, opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
• provide a sound base and coherent routes through Key Stages 3 and 4, to post- 16 studies and on to higher education and employment.
Management of the curriculum
On entry, students are placed into mixed-ability forms based on prior attainment. The school has over 35 feeder primary schools. Consequently we use further tests (CATS, reading and spelling ages) to ensure students have been suitably placed in mixed-ability groups and may make slight amendments at the October half-term.
Our curriculum is developed to meet the requirements of current national guidelines and the legacy of our Specialist School status, within the framework of the personalised learning agenda. Students are grouped in a variety of ways according to the needs of the subject. This is achieved through the timetabling of subjects in blocks which enables greater flexibility to set. Setting is generally by ability but can also be by gender, for example in PE, technology and computing. This is used to create single-gender learning experiences in a school where boys outnumber girls 2 to 1. In some cases setting is used to reduce the group size for health and safety reasons, such as in the teaching of design and technology subjects.
The average class size throughout Years 8 to 11 is 24. For D&T subjects we allocate extra setting to reduce group size to approximately 20. In subjects for which setting is based on ability, group size may vary dependent on the set but we look to keep all classes to a maximum of 30. Year 7 has reduced class numbers to support intensive literacy and numeracy intervention across all subject areas.
Assessment at Ridgeway
When your child started with us, s/he undertook a number of tests, known as baseline assessments. The results of these tests have helped towards setting your child a target for each subject and this assigns an Expected Achievement Pathway (EAP). To ensure that your child is making at least expected progress and following his/her EAP pathway we formally assess and track students five times during the academic year. On each occasion you will receive a report detailing your child’s grades and progress.
Year 11 Study Clubs
Attendance at study club is compulsory. However not all students will be required every night. On a Monday in assembly student names will be shown as to who is required. These will be published on the school website in the study club section. If a student is not required in a study club they can attend study in the Learning Resource Centre or study at home. If students are falling behind with revision they may be required to attend compulsory study.
Homework matters. Regular completion of homework is an important element of an outstanding education. Students who regularly complete homework are far more likely to make outstanding progress in school. Please refer to homework guidance in the teaching and learning guidance document.
Beyond the curriculum
The curriculum is enriched through extensive and varied extra-curricular activities across all subjects. The school places a strong emphasis on reaching the un-engaged, keeping a record of students who actively participate and liaising with the unengaged to explore interests and barriers to participation.
Intensive study days are fully embedded into the curriculum as a means of further enrichment. These involve the whole school timetable being collapsed to allow for full day or half day blocking of subjects with a focus on themes such as enterprise, field trips or MFL days etc.
The Deputy Headteacher is responsible for and accountable to the Headteacher and Governing Body in determining the most effective and efficient use of physical resources (e.g. rooming) and human resources (e.g. staffing) to meet curriculum demands and needs of the students.
The curriculum is monitored through line management meetings by SLT each half term, the Governors Curriculum committee and Deputy Headteacher termly and reported on within the Headteacher’s report to Governors.
A variety of curriculum reviews are undertaken annually with students, HOFs, SLT and Governors to ensure RHS continues to serve its core purpose of meeting learners needs and aspirations, thereby fulfilling and maximising future potential.
As a result of the curriculum policy all learners will:
• enjoy their learning experience at RHS
• fulfil their National Curriculum entitlement
• receive the highest quality teaching to support their learning
• have extensive opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities
• achieve exceptional standards academically
• be fully prepared for the challenges of life in the 21st Century