All students follow a broad and balanced curriculum at Key Stage 3, which includes the National Curriculum core and foundation subjects and a Personal Development lesson each week.
In Year 7 and 8, students taught in ability groups in Mathematics and are taught in mixed ability groups in all other subjects, mainly tutor groups in Year 7. Some students have lessons to develop their learning and literacy skills in the Foundation Learning Base where they study English and Humanities subjects. Other students may be extracted from some lessons for short-term literacy intervention.
Students are taught a term each of French, German and Spanish in Modern Foreign Languages in Year 7 and choose which of these they wish to take as their language from Year 8 onwards. Humanities and Expressive Arts are taught in discrete lessons (Geography, History, Religious Education, Art, Drama, Music) each week. Design Technology is taught in block rotations of Food, Graphics, Resistant Materials and Textiles. At the end of year 8 students choose two Design Technology subjects which they them focus on in Year 9. Physical Education lessons provide a programme that develops students’ practical abilities in individual and team sports, dance and outdoor activities.
In Year 9 classes are taught in sets in a wider range of subjects and elements of the GCSE courses are introduced. Mathematics, English and English Literature GCSEs begin from the beginning of Year 9. Also, all students begin to study GCSE Religious Education. In Science GCSE is begun at the start of the spring term. Other subjects put greater emphasis on GCSE knowledge, understanding and skills in Year 9 to provide a taste of courses at Key Stage 4 and in preparation for them.
In December of Year 9 the Options process begins. Students are given the opportunity to choose their courses, which start at the beginning of Year 10. We talk carefully with students and parents to help them choose courses on which they will achieve success and which open gateways to higher education and employment. Further details can be found in the Options booklet, which can be downloaded using the following link….
In Years 7-9 we will continue to teach the National Curriculum Programmes of Study, adapting these where necessary to provide a foundation for the new GCSEs as specifications become available. In 2016-17 we will report progress in relation to that expected and Application to Learning for each subject for Years 7 and 8. For Year 9 we will report National Curriculum levels (for the final time) and GCSE grades where relevant, in addition to Application to Learning.
A broad and balanced curriculum is the basis for Years 10 and 11, in addition students are offered the opportunity to choose some options.
All students follow a core curriculum from Years 10 to 11. This includes English, Mathematics, Sciences, Core PE, RE, and a Personal Development lesson each week. In addition all students choose either History or Geography as their Humanities option. Students choose two additional subjects from a wide range of optional courses, which includes GCSE, BTEC and other vocational courses. We encourage students who are planning to go to university to seriously consider taking a Modern Foreign Language and we encourage all students to consider taking an arts or technology option. In light of the increased level of challenge in the reformed GCSEs, which are introduced for most subjects in September 2016, we have increased the amount of hours available to study each option. Some students may substitute an option for support to strengthen their learning overall.
In Years 10 and 11 we will report using the relevant GCSE, BTEC or OCR National grades, mostly 9-1 for GCSE starting in September 2016, we use fine grades e.g. 7+, 7, 7- to indicated how secure achievement at that grade is.
Application to Learning is also reported.
A core part of the curriculum throughout all key stages is the Personal Development Programme, which is delivered in one lesson each week, usually Monday lesson 1 or lesson 1 of the first day back after a holiday.
This is a key part of our commitment to students’ holistic educational experience and encompasses the four key elements:
• Spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning experiences
• Personal, social, health and economic education
• Careers information, advice and guidance
• Learning Skills – to foster resilient and autonomous learners
Queen Elizabeth’s Sixth Form offers a broad range of academic and vocational courses for sixth form study. Year 11 students are guided through their post-16 choices with a thorough course selection process, which incorporates assemblies, careers advice, a Parents’ Information Evening and individual progression meetings, to ensure that all students make the right choices. Most students study 4 AS subjects in Year 12, continuing 3 of these subjects to full A levels at the end of Year 13. Follow the links below to find more details in our Sixth Form course guide.