In Key Stage 3 all pupils study 13 subjects that provide them with the key knowledge and skills to be successful in Key Stage 4, when they start their exam courses.
These subjects are: English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Religious Education, a Modern Foreign Language (either French or German), ICT, Physical Education, Design & Technology, Art, Music and Drama. (In Year 8 more able pupils have the opportunity to study a second Modern Foreign Language.) All pupils also take part in a Personal Development programme that includes Personal, Social and Health Education, Sex and Relationship Education, Citizenship and an introduction to the world of work
During Key Stage 3 each subject’s curriculum is divided into yearly blocks each with its own set of knowledge and skills that pupils need to master. The more fully they master this learning, the better their preparation for the following year’s work and the better equipped they will be for Key Stage 4 and beyond.
Pupils are assessed according to how well they have ‘mastered’ each subject’s learning for that particular year. For example, in Year 7 pupils are graded from 7.9 up to 7.1, (where 7.9 indicates a totally mastery of the year’s work) and similarly in Year 8 pupils are graded from 8.9 to 8.1 and in Year 9 from 9.9 to 9.1. Each subject publishes a series of descriptors that set out the knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils must demonstrate to achieve that grade. Reports through the year provide information about the grade the pupil is expected to achieve at the end of the year. Further information about KS3 assessment can be accessed from the links at the foot of the page.
At the end of Year 9 a wide choice of subjects is made available to all pupils after careers advice and discussion with parents. These subjects are studied in Years 10 and 11 and usually lead to GCSE or equivalent qualification.
Homework (consolidation, extension and enrichment activities outside the classroom) helps to develop independent learning, research skills and personal work disciplines (e.g. time management and planning to meet deadlines) and is set for all students. However, the amount and frequency with which is set is balanced with other important features of a healthy life, such as physical exercise, membership of clubs and other out of school activities. Full details of the expectations for homework are given in the school’s Homework Policy (which is available below)