The Curriculum

WHOLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

The school Curriculum conforms to the Somerset Curriculum Policy and legislation. The school runs a 2 year KS3 in Year 7 and 8 and a 3 year KS4 in Years 9, 10 and 11.

Each student has an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Unless a student has a Statement of Special Educational Needs, the curriculum will include at Key Stage 3:

• Personal and Social Education • Religious Education • Mathematics
• English • Science • Business Studies • French and / or Spanish • Design and Technology
• History • Geography • Art • Music • Dance • Drama • Physical Education •

and at Key Stage 4*:

• Personal and Social Education • Religious Education • Computing/IT
• Physical Education • Mathematics • English • Science • 

* up to four further options,

Teaching at KS3 is a mixture of ‘setting’ and mixed ability. Setting takes place in Maths and Science from Year 7 onwards. The remainder of subjects are taught in mixed ability groups. In Year 8 the school sets for Maths, Science and Computer Science. Students are in mixed ability for English, Languages and Humanities and in separate mixed ability groups for DT, Art and Performing Arts. A Nurture provision is provided in Year 7 and 8 in English, Humanities and Languages. Extension curriculum projects operate for ‘Gifted and Talented’ students in KS3.

Assessment at the end of KS3 is by end of year exams and teacher assessment.

Assessment at the end of KS4 is through the GCSE Examinations and other accredited courses such as BTEC and Cambridge nationals.


KEY STAGE 4

The Core Curriculum and ‘EBacc’ subjects

All students follow a statutory core curriculum which accounts for 60% of the timetable:

English (GCSE English plus GCSE English Literature = 2 GCSEs); 

Mathematics (1 GCSE)

PE 

Science: one of the following courses will be taken. Science teachers will advise and manage the various courses. Students taking ‘triple’ science will study Biology and Chemistry in ‘core curriculum’ time. Physics will take up a further 10% of timetable.

• Triple Science = 3 GCSEs (in each of Biology, Chemistry, Physics);

• GCSE Core Science and GCSE Additional Science = 2 GCSEs  (Year 11), GCSE Combined Science (Year 9/10)

RE Religious Studies qualification entry determined during the course = 0.5 GCSE or full GCSE 

Students can follow an accelerated ICT or RE Course in Year 10 and 11.

PSHE Citizenship, work-related learning and careers are all continued as part of KS4.


EBacc subjects

In order to ensure that students study a broad range of academic subjects the government has decided that students’ progress from KS2 to the end of KS4 will be judged on the basis of their best 8 approved qualifications including 5 EBacc qualifications.

For the majority of students 4 of these Ebacc qualifications will already be taken in the core curriculum: English, Maths and two Science GCSEs. 

All students are required to select at least one of the EBacc qualifications in French, Spanish*, Geography, History or Computing Science.


Summary

All students take 1 additional EBacc qualification in their options to make 5 Ebacc qualifications for the majority: English, Maths, 2 GCSE Science, plus at least 1 additional EBacc option.

High achieving Science students in the ‘triple science’ class will take Physics as one of their options.

Students may opt for more EBacc qualifications.

Students wanting additional time for English and Maths to help boost their grades in these essential qualifications may take a  ‘StudyPlus English / Maths’ course as 1 option class. This will not be an additional qualification.


Qualification Options

The range of subjects on offer are:

Art & Design • Art Photography • Business Studies • BTEC Business • Dance • Drama • Design & Technology

English • Geography • Health & Social Care • History • Computing & IT • French & Spanish

Maths • Media Studies • Music • PSHE • Physical Education

• Religious Studies • Science •


Useful Information

Parents guide for Year 7 / Key stage 3 (pdf)
Key Stage 4 qualifications & options book (pdf)