Our innovative curriculum is designed to develop students’ literacy and learning skills.
- Students have five lessons a week of English, mathematics and science. This is to give them a firm foundation in these subjects in preparation for GCSE study.
- Students also have double lessons in the creative subjects of performing arts and design technology. ‘Performing arts’ covers art, drama and music. ‘Design technology’ covers food studies, resistant materials and textiles. Each discrete subject is taught by a subject specialist and students rotate around the subjects in ten-week blocks.
- All students study a modern foreign language (MFL). Research has shown that language learning supports literacy and grammar development in English. Our current language offer is French and Spanish.
- If your child qualifies for pupil catch-up premium, they will receive extra literacy support through one of the MFL lessons in Year 7 to ensure that they are able to access the secondary school curriculum.
- History, geography and RE are taught under the umbrella of ‘humanities’, but as discrete subjects. This subject area is taught on a rotation, with each subject covered over a term. This approach allows students to dig deeper into each subject with three lessons a week, enabling greater progress to be made.
- Learning for life (PSHCE) is taught through our intensive study day programme. Students are involved in practical workshops, including opportunities to meet guest speakers, based around the themes of ‘My Body’, ‘My Beliefs’ and ‘My Role in Society’.
Setting and student grouping
- Students are grouped according to ability in English, mathematics and science. A student can be in set one in English and set four in mathematics: subject sets are not dependent on each other.
- In Year 7 students are grouped by cognitive-ability test scores in humanities, MFL and computing. Technology and performing arts are mixed ability groups.
- Sometimes students are grouped by gender. This takes place in PE and sometimes in other subjects. Parents will be informed when this takes place.
- Average class size is 25. In English we have used pupil catch-up premium to reduce class sizes to 18 students per class. If your child qualifies for catch-up premium we will be writing to you at the start of term.
Assessment of Year 7 students
- Year 7 students are set yearly target grades, based on Key Stage 2 scores and cognitive-ability test scores.
- Your child’s report shows two grades in each subject: an exam grade for a recent exam or in-class task and an expected teacher assessment grade. This is the grade which the teacher predicts that your child will achieve at the end of the academic year.
- There are two official exam weeks during the academic year. At these points of the year the timetable is suspended and students follow a bespoke exam timetable.
Year 7 key dates for parents
- Early Year 7 ‘settling-in’ Parents’ Evening. This is an opportunity to meet your child’s tutor and key subject staff.
- Year 7 Parents’ Evening
Please refer to the calendar for exact dates.