subjects

ART AND DESIGN CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

Art and Design is a creative, inspiring, thought provoking and practical subject.  The Art Department aims to actively engage students in the creative process of art and design in order for them to develop as effective, independent learners, creative thinkers with enquiring minds.    It is important to develop imaginative and intuitive capabilities when exploring and making images, artefacts and products.  Students are actively encouraged to become confident in taking risks and to learn from experience when exploring and experimenting with ideas, processes, media, materials and techniques.  The department seeks to provide an opportunity for learners to take a personal interest in why art and design matters and to be inspired by studying an exciting and stimulating range of content.

Pupils are encouraged to make connections to a broader range of subject knowledge and skills including building critical thinking and problem solving skills.   Learners also draw upon other disciplines such as mathematics, history, English, music, computing and design technology.

Overall, the department aims to teach progressively across the key stages building upon previous knowledge and skills and developing the students’ creative curiosity.  This is achieved through the departments’ intent to utilise core skills and activities throughout each scheme work.

Approaches

  • Students actively engage with the creative processes of art and design through an understanding of context and a critical understanding.
  • Learners use a wide range of materials and techniques alongside a variety of approaches to produce work.
  • Developing an understanding of the different work practices and roles of the creative and cultural industries and where this fits into a balanced society.
  • Students develop critical understanding and are able to interpret and apply into the context of their own work.
  • The range of topics chosen to study by the department are designed to offer the opportunity to explore a variety of Genres in art. They are selected to encourage students to explore different approaches to making and creating Art. The work will grow based on the theme given, through the exploration of the idea or experience rather than for practical purpose or function. In year 7 students are introduced to the formal elements of art through a range of weekly teacher led tasks, designed to explore the elements individually. The projects that students then begin working on and continue through the key stages are designed to combine the formal elements into a coherent unit of work with evidence of meeting four assessment objectives.

Core Skills

  • Students are encouraged and given the opportunity to express ideas through drawing and develop the importance of it in the context of art and design, a core element of the practice of artists and designers.  The purpose of their drawings is recording, communicating and visualising intentions, ideas and emotions.
  • Ability to apply and consider a wide range of formal elements of art and design.  These include: Line, Tone, Texture, Colour, Space, Shape, Form, and Composition.
  • Develop ideas through research, selection and critical analysing from a variety of historical and cultural sources.
  • Evaluate and refine their ideas and make independent decisions as to how to develop them through further experimentation with media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • Record ideas through a range of approaches such as drawing, photography, written annotation using specialist vocabulary.
  • Realise personal intentions through a sustained creative approach.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • The ways in which meaning, ideas and intentions can be communicated through the visual, sensory and tactile language of the formal elements.
  • Demonstrate the properties and effects of using and wide range of materials and processes and the ways in which they can be used in relation to learners’ independent creative intentions.
  • The different purposes and functions of art and design in a variety of contexts including a variety of approaches of artists and designers from both contemporary and historical periods, societies and cultures.

Implementation

From the start of key stage 3 learners are taught through an adapted specification from the GCSE criteria.  This develops core skills through confidence and awareness of the GCSE objectives which then become increasing fluent through KS4 into 5.  KS4 and 5 follows the specification laid out through the relevant exam board materials.

The core skills are the fundamental building blocks from which we build our projects around with the flexibility to adapt and vary content depending on both the students and teachers.  We are able to utilise a wide range of creative contexts and media within our schemes of work which creates what we hope is a dynamic and exciting subject.

The department uses a mixed media approach at key stage 3 with students then opting for a specialism for KS4 and 5 with Fine Art or Photography being offered.  Current topics taught are:

Year 7

Baseline Test and Introduction to the formal elements of Art and Design.  Landscape Painting. Myself.  Year 7. Colour theory and Landscape.  Looking the work of Artists such as Henri Rousseau, the Fauves and Van Gogh, students explore a variety of mark making techniques, exploration of space and shape whilst considering composition to produce imaginative Landscapes paintings. Students consider throughout, the historical context of the work they are looking at and how the artist have been influenced from what has gone before them and how they have shaped the opinions of society that witness the art. This is then followed with a contrast in art styles through the exploration of Pop Art.

Year 8

Armour and natural forms.  Personal Objects and Identity.  Architecture and Perspective.  Year 8 are introduced to the theme of armour. This project is designed for students to build on their prior knowledge and understanding of materials and processes whilst considering more complex historical contexts through Art. Encourage students to look at armour in the natural world and consider how this has influenced design of manmade objects and creations. Explore the function of armour in conflict, interpret how artists depict the effects of war through their Artwork. Consider the psychological effects of conflict and produce prints that have metaphorical symbols and meaning. The following projects are again a deliberate shift in genres, styles and approaches to different Art. Personal objects and Graphic art gives the opportunity to explore the contextual relationships between art and functional art. Aspects include typography, use of line, shape and colour in the design of their compositions.  The project progresses into a portrait and identity project. This project looks at the work of contemporary artists such as Michael Craig Martin and Julian Opie.

Year 9

Surrealism and metamorphosis.  Viewpoints and Independent Themes.  Year 9 look at the work of the Surrealist artists, students are encouraged to interpret and consider the images and concepts associated with the Surrealists. A considerable exploration of their imagination and appreciation of Sigmund Freud’s philosophy will inform their development of ideas and depiction of their own experiences and communication of ideas. This is an extended project with a range of elements covered and an opportunity to explore a range of materials and processes. The concluding project at the end of the key stage is deliberately designed to encourage independence of ideas. Students are given a series of starting points from which to choose from, allied with a criterion to follow that is more in common with the work that would be carried out if the students were to opt for the subject in key stage 4. This in turn gives the students an experience of what is expected at GCSE.

Year 10 – 11:    Fine Art: Natural forms and independent coursework portfolio.  Externally set task.  Photography: Object and Objectivity and independent coursework portfolio.  Externally set task.

Year 10

Students are introduced to a teacher led unit of work with an emphasis on developing skills and experimenting with a range of media. The intention is to give the students an understanding of how the tasks set meet the assessment criteria and to what level. It also gives the students’ knowledge on how to structure a portfolio of work in preparation of them becoming ever increasingly independent in their personal investigation.  Once the teacher led unit of work comes to a conclusion, students are given a choice of continuing with their current theme or selecting another starting point and developing their own portfolio.

Year 11

Students continue their personal investigation that they started in year 10 and finish the portfolio at the end of term 2. Students are then issued with a Set Task, (examination unit) in January. It is an early release paper from which students will be able to choose a starting point either visual or written to develop a response using the skills, knowledge and understanding they have developed through their previous course of study. They will be given a period of preparation then a 10-hour period of sustained focussed study in which to realise their intentions. The time frame for this is determined by the art department.

Year 12 – 13:    Fine Art & Photography:  Conceal and Reveal.  Personal Investigation and externally set task.

Year 12

Students are introduced to a teacher led unit of work with an emphasis on developing skills and experimenting with a range of media. The intention is to give the students an understanding of how the tasks set meet the assessment criteria and to what level. It also gives the students’ knowledge on how to structure a portfolio of work in preparation of them becoming ever increasingly independent in their personal investigation.  Once the teacher led unit of work comes to a conclusion, students are given a choice of continuing with their current theme or selecting another starting point and developing their own portfolio.

Year 13

Students continue their personal investigation that they started in year 12 and finish the portfolio at the end of term 2. Students are then issued with a Set Task, (examination unit) in February. It is an early release paper from which students will be able to choose a starting point either visual or written to develop a response using the skills, knowledge and understanding they have developed through their previous course of study. They will be given a period of preparation then a 15-hour period of sustained focussed study in which to realise their intentions. The time frame for this is determined by the art department.

In order to deliver the curriculum the department does not use a specific prescribed approach to the teaching of Art and Design which enables individual teachers to impart their own unique skills, abilities and professional judgement.  The common ways in which the curriculum is implemented within the department include:

  • Staff have excellent subject knowledge and are all subject specialists.
  • Lessons are appropriately challenging and well resourced.
  • Students are regularly given the opportunity to challenge themselves and be independent with their creative lines of enquiry.
  • Lessons aim to engage students and encourage them to explore a range of relevant contexts allowing for a greater understanding to be formed.
  • Skills are developed to encourage independence and confidence.
  • Assessment, in the form of teacher assessed or peer assessed work, which informs teaching and gives pupils feedback on the success of the work.
  • Homework is set regularly and in line with school expectations and tasks make a meaningful contribution to the development of the students’ independent learning.
  • The use of key technical vocabulary is embedded from the start of year 7 and is developed and enhanced through the annotation and interpretive skills expected.
  • SEN provisions effectively meet the individual needs of students, ensuring they have equal access to all areas of learning and progress.  Art and design tasks are also aimed at encouraging inclusion and avoid social and ethical stereotypes.

Retrieval practice forms an important part of the departments’ fundamentals.  Throughout their Art education, the students are expected to build upon prior knowledge and understanding within each key stage.  Through project work, pupils rely upon and recall prior learning, skills, techniques and processes in order to achieve their intentions this is done through accessing their long-term memory and forming their own links to their prior learning.

Assessment in key stage 3 is in line with the GCSE and A Level assessment criteria as students are now being marked using the 1-9 GCSE grade system.  Therefore the department has designed assessment grids based on the four main assessment objectives within our subject area – Develop, Refine, Record and Present.  The rationale behind this is to establish a familiarity with the assessment criteria throughout each key stage.  Project work is marked holistically looking at a wide range of tasks produced.  A large proportion of our teaching practice in our subject is based upon circulating and providing 1:1 verbal feedback which is then combined with termly assessment grids offering the opportunity for students to reflect upon their teachers comments and their own learning, this takes the form of both teacher and peer assessed written comments.  In KS4 and 5 this practice is built upon and extended with the exam boards setting out full criteria for marking and assessment.  Students at both GCSE and A Level will produce one extended personal investigation portfolio (coursework) worth 60% of the grade and an externally set task including a timed examination worth 40% of the overall grade.  All work (including the externally set task) is internally marked by teachers and then externally moderated by an exam board visit.

The art and design department provides students with a range of opportunities to explore the subject area outside of lesson times.  These include regular access to studio time during lunch and after school, annual house art competitions open to every student, an annual summer exhibition and submission into The National Students Art Exhibition.  Visits to Galleries are undertaken to provide students with both a context for the creative work being produced as well as many opportunities to take part in practical workshops offered by these institutions.  A partnership has been established between the school and UCA Rochester with opportunities to provide practical workshops to students and help jointly promote an awareness of opportunities within the creative industries. A selection of work is also showcased throughout the school providing students with an opportunity to fully realise the intention of creative practitioners for having their work viewed publicly.

Impact

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through a number of measures;

  • Students are engaged in lessons demonstrating the high level of expectations of staff as well as an enjoyment of the variety of subject content on offer.  The standard of work demonstrates their commitment to studies.
  • By the end of key stage 3 students have a sound foundation of skills, knowledge and understanding which allow them to then further adapt and develop their creative and problem solving abilities.
  • Formative assessment processes used demonstrate that students make good progress in the subject area and are developing useful and adaptive skills for later areas of study.
  • Art and Design is a very inclusive subject due to the variety of approaches that can be taken within our areas of study.  SEN and disadvantaged students achieve outcomes in line with their peers and often above expectations.
  • Students develop a range of SMSC attributes including good cultural and social awareness in line with fundamental British values.
  • Students’ cognitive techniques are developed through the use of regular recall of skills, knowledge and understanding within art and design as well as the ability to make links and connections through the different areas of subject content.
  • Students consistently achieve above the national average in both GCSE and A Level
  • There is a consistent uptake for Photography and Fine Art GCSE with successful outcomes as an indication of how the students enjoy the subject area.
  • Our uptake at A Level fluctuates due to the following factors; annually students opt to go to local art colleges to pursue more specialised creative subject areas and foundation level. There is also variation with the amount of external applicants to the school.
  • Success of pupils in applications to study art and design led courses post 18 including regular applicants for art, illustration, architecture, design courses as well as going into other creative industries.

Please scroll down to the required year group:

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Fine Art Year 10

Photography Year 10

Photography Year 11

Art A-Level

BIOLOGY CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

Biology is the study of living organisms, divided into specialised fields of morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, and distribution. Students study each area in varying degrees through each key stage. Successful learners of Biology must be able to make links between the different specialisms to truly understand the complexities of life.

Our curriculum follows the aims National Curriculum; ‘develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology’. Also, ‘students are encouraged to relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations.’ (National curriculum in England, 2014 DfE). Biology is taught in a way that will explain real life phenomena to our students.  The purpose of the KS3 curriculum is to develop practical skill and increase knowledge of the living processes.    For many of the students coming in to the school, this is their first opportunity to work within laboratory environment, so the KS3 curriculum has been designed to introduce ideas initially and allow students to use different equipment.  By the end of KS3 they are able to develop their own analytical skills by planning and evaluating their own experiments.  Exam skills are also introduced at KS3 through regular assessments using foundation level GCSE questions.

At KS4, teachers follow the objectives dictated by the exam boards, but how the teachers deliver the content is flexible.  Biology at KS3 is challenging and has already introduced GCSE topics, so the students are already very familiar with the content and exam style.  The KS4 curriculum requires more specialist vocabulary which is developed over the two-year course.  Practical skills are honed through the core practicals that are requirements of the course.  The aim of KS4 is obviously to prepare students for the external exams they will sit, but to also develop a passion for Biology and to understand how science works.  There are many opportunities at KS4 to discuss topical issues such as climate change and food shortages.

Again, the KS5 curriculum is flexible in that teachers will cover all specification points, but how they do this is up to them.  Our specialist Biology teachers have a range of experience, and so are able to deliver challenging lessons to our highly capable students.  There is the expectation that students will work independently in their study time to help them understand the complexities of Biology, rather than regurgitating facts.

Guidance is given to students at the end of KS3 to help them make decisions as to whether to study combined or triple award science.  Progression onto the A-Level course requires at least a grade 7 in combined or triple science.

The students will study the content from published specifications and the National Curriculum, but they must also be able to apply mathematical skills fluently to handle and manipulate data.  Students must also be able to apply their chemistry and physics knowledge throughout. For example, rates of enzyme catalysed reactions is determined by the kinetic energy of the molecules involved.  Enzyme’s active sites bind to substrates by forming temporary hydrogen bonds. Our intent is always to make students see the whole picture, rather than just smaller aspects at a time.

There are certain principles that are essential to a successful Biology learner, these are:

  • To learn from experience rather than passively listening.  Where possible, practical investigations are carried out to prove phenomena.  We have trained technicians to help us develop investigations, but also use guidance from CLEAPS, SAPs, and the Nuffield foundation.  All investigations are assessed for health and safety.
  • To be curious and ask questions; students are encouraged to ask ‘Why?’ when met with new material.
  • Knowledge should be transferred to the long term memory through practice and repetition; content is therefore revisited often. Content is either covered directly (aim of lesson) or indirectly (building upon previous content).
  • All our students are unique, and so lessons are adapted to meet the needs of all the students.
  • Summative and formative assessment are implemented consistent with the school’s policy.

Implementation

Across all key stages, Biology learners will:

  • Be assessed every 6 lessons:
    • Two thirds of their assessments will be marked by the teacher, one third can be peer marked.
    • Graded following the 9-1 systems for KS3- KS4.  There is a smooth transition between the key stages for students.
    • Graded following the A*-E system at KS5.
    • Be given constructive feedback on assessments and practical tasks; they are able to identify weak areas and make improvements or adjustments to their work.
  • Have homework set in line with the school’s homework policy; this homework supports and challenges the students.
  • Carry out practical investigations and present information scientifically.
  • Gain a depth of understanding, rather than simply regurgitating facts.

Content taught at Key Stage 3: Cells, organ systems, health, plants, ecosystems, disease, and genetics.   Students will have 6 lessons a fortnight at KS3, and in these they will be taught all three sciences.  Biology will not be taught by specialists in some cases.  The KS3 curriculum has been designed by the subject leads for each of the sciences.  It is a challenging curriculum that follows the National Curriculum for KS3, but also extends into the GCSE curriculum.

Content taught at Key Stage 4 in split into year 10 and year 11. In year 10, students will complete the modules for Paper 1 of their external exams:

  • Topic 1 Key concepts
  • Topic 2 Cells and control
  • Topic 3 Genetics
  • Topic 4 Natural selection
  • Topic 5 Disease

In year 11 students learn the content for Paper 2, and we have chosen to teach ecosystems and plants in term 6. Students have to complete field work tasks, so we take advantage of the summer weather.

  • Topic 6 Plants
  • Topic 9 Ecosystems
  • Topic 7 Animal coordination
  • Topic 8 Exchange and transport.

There are currently 5 lessons of triple Biology in year 10 and 4 lessons in year 11.  There are 3 lessons a fortnight for combined students in year 10 and year 11.  Both combined and triple students will usually finish the course by March, and then have roughly a term to revise.  As well as covering the content, triple students have 8 core practicals to, including: Microscopy, enzymes, osmosis, qualitative food tests, microbiology, photosynthesis, rates of respiration, and fieldwork activities.  Combined students complete all but the food tests and microbiology.   The purpose of these practicals is to develop the skills necessary to be a scientist. Students will write hypotheses and methods, record results in tables and graphs, and conclude and evaluate their results.
Content is covered in lessons that requires students to constantly be retrieving information from their long term memories through interleaving retrieval practice.  There are many synoptic elements for students to focus on and demonstrate understanding. Application questions from a variety of exam boards are used, and by the end of the course students are answering AO2 and AO3 questions confidently.

At KS4 students have textbooks and workbooks available in class to them, and an interactive text book available on Active Learn.  All previous exam papers are put on show my homework for ease of access.  Intervention is also provided to students in the afternoon and registration slots.

To progress onto the A-Level course, students must secure a grade 7 at GCSE. Content at KS5 follows the OCR A Biology specification.  This specification includes aspects of human and plant biology, as well as in depth studies of ecosystems and populations.  Genetics and genetic techniques are taught in detail.  There are also 12 practicals that students will carry out over the course that are internally assessed, students will either pass or fail their practical endorsement.

There are a range of different text books available in classrooms, but students are advised to buy their own copies.

The KS5 content is taught in this order:
Year 1: Cells, DNA, membranes, cell division, organisation, biological molecules, enzymes, maths, exchange, transport in animals, hormones, communication, nervous system, respiration, muscles, excretion, biodiversity and ecosystems.
Year 2: Transport in plants, photosynthesis, classification, disease, biotechnology, inheritance, and manipulating genomes.

Similar topics have been grouped together so that students are better prepared for the synoptic element on the examinations. A route through has been carefully planned.  There are many opportunities for the students to show off their talents as well.  Our students take part in the Biology challenge and Intermediate Biology challenge.  Various trips are also made available, most notably the annual trip to the Royal Institute in London where they sequence their own DNA using cutting edge technologies.  This not only helps them understand a rather challenging topic in the specification, but also gives them work experience.

Students with SEND are able to access the full curriculum.  Support from learning support assistants is available for students who have physical disabilities to allow them to complete practical investigations.

Impact

The success of our curriculum is demonstrated in the following ways:

  • By the excellent results we achieve at GCSE, and by the numbers of students who choose to continue with Biology through to A-Level.
  • A-Level examination results are showing an improvement.
  • SEND and disadvantaged students perform in line with their peers.
  • Our internal assessments closely match the results obtained in the external assessments, meaning we are setting effective formative assessment, and setting accurate grades.
    • The assessments also enable us to identify students who are in need of extra assistance, and their needs are catered for.
  • Opportunities for SMSC are fully embedded in the curriculum.
  • Students clearly enjoy taking Biology, our classes are full of enthusiastic and inquisitive students.  Many of whom choose to take Biology (or something similar) at university or through apprenticeships.
    • Students from 2018 cohort, 15 went on to study a Biology related subject at university. These include 2 medics, 1 dentistry, 2 natural sciences, 2 for pharmacy, and the rest Biological sciences or Biomedicine. In the 2019, even more students are going into Biology related subjects with 8 going on to medicine and 2 onto veterinary studies.
  • Personal development of students throughout their time studying Biology; the students develop resilience and the ability to work independently.  The students are analytical and learn to question phenomena.

CHEMISTRY CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Implementation

Pervading all we do in Chemistry is the general premise that there is no long-term value in cramming students full of facts to regurgitate.  Our operational objective is that students will understand, at a deep, theoretical level, the concepts in Chemistry and will be able to apply them accordingly to any problem they should encounter, whether it be one of the increasing number of ‘unprecedented’ exam items, or a technical challenge in a future course or career.  Central to this drive is the examining experience of the HoD:  Increasing appreciation of the overarching goals of OFQUAL and awarding bodies has led to an approach to learning focused on application of knowledge and elaboration.  Teachers aim to ask searching, open questions; assessments require students to respond with understanding rather than just factual knowledge; the curiosity of our students is used to further discussion.

Core topic areas, which are required through the whole of KS3-5, and as such are met in every key stage are:

  • Practical experimental skill and technique, including the naming of and understanding how to use equipment, safe handling of chemicals, planning experiments, recording and handling data (including the understanding of experimental error) and making sound conclusions.
  • Particulate nature of matter, including sub-atomic matter, as well as categorisation of elements into the Periodic Table.
  • Chemical bonding, beginning with simple ideas such as forces between the particles in the three main states of matter, extending through types of strong and weak chemical bonding, finally into the subdivision of the types of intermolecular forces at A level, as well as much more data-interrogative treatment of strong chemical bonding at KS5.
  • Categorisation of chemical reactions into general types, first encountered at KS3 as simple acid-base and acid-metal reactions, extending to neutralisation, combustion and decomposition at KS4, before significantly extending to all the types of organic reaction at KS5. This includes polymerisation which is first met at KS4.
  • Chemical energetics, beginning with simple binary classification (exo/endothermic) at KS3, extending to bond energies and the reasons for chemical energy changes at KS4 before (again) advancing significantly at KS5 with Hess’ law, entropy and Gibbs’ energy.

Intertwined with all the core topic areas are quantitative calculations.  These rely heavily on students’ algebraic skills, developed elsewhere and deployed effectively in Chemistry.  The foundation for quantitative chemistry is delivered in KS3 with extensive work on the writing and balancing of chemical equations (without which further study is impossible), followed by early year 10 topics in KS4 as part of the exam ‘core’ topics.  Implementation at KS5 deserves special mention, since this aspect is without doubt the one which causes the greatest consternation amongst students and is the area of greatest variability in capability; therefore, deliberate weekly quantitative workshops are used in year 12 and 13 to enhance skills to the point where they will be resilient to challenge in the year 13 exams.  It is notable that the task design is to present challenging questions without scaffolding, revisiting themes on a monthly basis to aid learning and build capacity to answer unforeseeable questions.  All the tasks used were purpose-written by the HoD using examining experience.  Slightly less challenging tasks on a similar theme are introduced at KS3.

KS3

KS3 schemes are highly prescriptive, allowing consistency throughout the department, while ensuring safe management of practical work and predictable, controlled resource management.  This ensures all students arrive in year 10 on equal footing, with the ability to understand and use key terminology which is crucial for the GCSE exams, and to participate effectively in practical Chemistry without the need for further direct training. There are 7 distinct schemes of work, all of 12 lessons, dealing with core practical skills and particle theory in year 7, extending these ideas to rates of reaction and atomic theory respectively in year 8 while introducing the reactions of acids and metals, before finally teaching formulae and equations and the chemistry of hydrocarbon fuels in year 9.

KS4

At KS4 the HoD provides a timed curriculum map, clarifying what topics must be delivered, by when, and in what order, as well as timing of Core Practicals and all assessed tasks.  The individual teacher then delivers the specification around this framework according to the needs of the students in each class and in a style appropriate to their skills.  Meetings are used to discuss specific curriculum areas, often from the ‘how hard can an exam question be’ approach in order to stretch students as much as possible, often a little beyond the required curriculum so as to pique interest and increase understanding through elaboration.  Assessed tasks too, while using GCSE questions as a basis, use mark schemes which are significantly more demanding of correct vocabulary and working in quantitative questions.  These are revisited frequently as examiner’s marking schemes develop and improved to maintain the level of challenge, aiming always for grades 7-9, though conscious of the fact that not all our students are initially equipped to access work at this level.

KS5

KS5 again uses schemes of work written internally, for our students, providing lesson by lesson detail.  This enables less-experienced teachers to deliver A level effectively while ensuring all practical activities are risk-assessed and safe.  The scheme is not, however, prescriptive and teachers are free to deviate when necessary to clarify ideas, take more time on areas students find challenging, or deliver content more quickly when students are coping well.  Lessons are split 8/2 where possible, with one teacher covering all initial content delivery and the ‘2’ teacher monitoring student revision folders, revising and revisiting previous topics to ensure spaced review is deliberately provided, giving feedback from major exams (one per term on average) and monitoring the progression of CPAC skills.  This teacher is invariably the HoD or 2nd in department.

Co-curricular efforts are also part of curriculum delivery, with KS3 STEM trips (Salter’s) undertaken every year, as well as Chemistry in Action curriculum days and our involvement in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge to really push the year 12 cohort to excel!

Due to COVID safety regulations our aspirations to complete practical work in a varied KS3 curriculum have been scaled down somewhat, with the lack of practical work only mitigated slightly with the creation of video demonstrations over the summer by the HoD.  We are just as ambitious, however, to offer the full range of practical opportunities in KS4 and risk assessments have been completed to ensure that, practical laboratory space permitting, we can deliver an unaffected curriculum for those year groups.

Intent

KS3

Chemistry is not a taught subject at KS2, and as such we regard KS3 very much as the foundation of knowledge and skills which will be required to access the GCSE curriculum, and for many students to continue their studies to Advanced level.  Unfortunately, the range of provision at KS2 is very wide and not always well-matched to our intentions, requiring careful consideration of a curriculum which makes no initial assumptions about the knowledge of students, but equally is challenging and engaging, and is linked to our ambition that students will contribute to society more meaningfully and effectively because of the skills and knowledge gained in Chemistry.

Students must learn how to undertake practical work safely, how to communicate about and understand the apparatus and techniques needed to grasp what is essentially a practical, everyday area of Science.  Furthermore, they must be given early opportunities to grasp and wrestle with the challenging, less concrete concepts such as atomic structure, bonding and chemical equations such that they will not be surprised when the ideas are extended at GCSE.  This approach, too, addresses our complete understanding of cognitive science; the requirement that frequent re-exposure and extrapolation of concepts builds long-term understanding.

Furthermore, our intent is highly considerate of the range of skills and knowledge of departmental colleagues, since for a number of staff, Chemistry will lie outside of their immediate specialism, so the development of understanding must be deliberately staged and highly organised to be safe and appropriately challenging.  Therefore, the KS3 curriculum should be well-resourced and clear for teachers, with high priority given to safe practical work and sequential, targeted development of knowledge and understanding.

Progression to Key Stage 4 is largely considered on the basis of ability and aptitude, where our intent is to consider whether students will better manage the slightly reduced pace of delivery required for Combined Science and benefit from the significantly smaller teaching groups.  Nevertheless, the process involves testing, discussions with parents and students, the professional judgement of class teachers and balancing of the decision against other GCSE choices.  Each individual student thus makes his decision about whether to opt for Combined or Triple science having had the benefit of 1:1 discussion, careers advice and data.  In general, 2/3 of each cohort are directed towards separate GCSE sciences and this matches very well with our ambition that students will go on to be the outstanding practitioners of STEM careers.

KS4

While the exam specification is central to delivery at KS4, driving most lessons, our intent is to have a keen eye on progression beyond GCSE into Advanced courses.  KS4 teachers are all subject specialists and as such prescriptive SoW’s are not necessary or helpful to embed the required levels of flexibility, challenge and impact we wish to engender.  Learning objectives are provided by the exam board, enabling us to model grade 7-9 outcomes in all aspects of the assessment tasks and homework tasks designed to help teachers implement the curriculum.  Of course, the required Core Practical tasks are carefully managed and embedded in the curriculum from the very beginning of year 10, but we intend to offer a far greater range and scope of practical activities than other providers.  With purpose-built laboratories and superb technical staff, our intention is to build upon the skills embedded at KS3 and offer a very broad practical experience, again with the goal of further study and future careers in Sciences and Technology being our ambition for the students.

KS5

While progression from KS3 to KS4 can be carefully and deliberately managed, at KS5 our intake includes students from most Medway schools.  This, together with the vast size of the exam specification suggests involving students in their own learning from the beginning of the course.  To be specific, this means students must learn to deal with the minutiae of learning facts and developing applied knowledge in Chemistry while we use lesson time as constructively as possible to introduce and assess the challenging concepts and undertake practical work leading to the development of CPAC skills required for accreditation.  This is deliberately managed for students by introducing them to the concepts of cognitive science and the importance of staged revision, with teacher oversight of revision folders they must create and use from day 1.  The curriculum time made available is split 4:1 to emphasise the importance of recall and extrapolation alongside new knowledge.

To ensure the size of the curriculum is managed properly, we once again consider a lesson-by-lesson scheme of work, with risk-assessed practical activity, conceptual development and tools for assessment fully provided for the teacher to be the most effective means of delivery.

Impact

Impact is largely assessed by direct questioning in assessments which test knowledge, understanding and the appreciation of practical skills at all Key Stages.  GCSE foundation tier questions were used as a basis on which to develop year 7 and 8 assessment tools, while years 9-11 use GCSE higher tier questions as a beginning.  However, all questions are honed and the mark schemes significantly abridged and tightened to ensure our students must use the best means of expression for their answers.  CPAC skills must be individually teacher assessed during KS5, and these are moderated by HoD.  Feedback from these assessments gives us a strong guide as to the effectiveness of our KS3 practical skills implementation policies.

Regular meetings are held based on assessment data, in which individual performances are discussed and strategies assigned.  For instance, we direct students to additional booster sessions in years 7-11 and provide further work and scrutiny of KS5 students to ensure they are undertaking effective long-term revision.  SEND students are always discussed and their relative performance considered at such meetings.

Uptake at KS5 is a very strong measure of performance and it has been noted that years with lower uptake correlate to years with lower GCSE outcomes.

Qualitatively, we see huge impact for students through the values we instill in everyday teaching and everyday expectations:  Diligence, thoroughness, safety, professionalism and self-reliance are endemic to all we do and expect of our students.  We check revision folders frequently in KS5 and are regularly told it is the most valuable approach to learning taken; we build an awareness of what revision is in younger students and the importance of it in the acquisition of applicable knowledge, the impact of which is seen in results but more importantly in the expectations our students have of themselves.  In particular, this approach adds enormous value to students when they progress to further education and their future careers where their resilience and skills can be applied without the comfortable clarity of a specification.

Final impact is of course quantified through the outcomes of public examinations, but additionally to this the HoD keeps records of students’ placements on KS5 STEM courses and on their post-18 choice of university, employment or apprenticeship to gain awareness of whether the overall goal of serving society with useful, contributing and employable individuals is met.  This information is shared with students, who measure themselves against the outstanding achievements of the department and aspire to exceed them, and sells us in the most impressive way possible to parents and the wider public; if your child attends this school, this is what they can achieve!

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Students learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

It is the departments intent;
  • To foster awareness, understanding and expertise in those areas of creative thinking which can be expressed and developed through investigation and research, planning, designing, making and evaluating, working with materials and tools.
  • To encourage the acquisition of a body of knowledge applicable to solving practical / technological problems operating through processes of analysis, synthesis and realisation.
  • To stimulate the development of a range of designing and making skills.
  • To encourage students to relate their work to their personal interests and abilities. This should demand active and experimental learning based upon the use of materials in practical areas.
  • To promote the development of curiosity, enquiry, initiative, ingenuity, respect, reflection, determination and pride.
  • To encourage technological awareness, foster attitudes of co-operation and social
    responsibility, and develop abilities to enhance the quality of the environment.
  • To stimulate the exercising of valued judgements of an aesthetic, technical, economic and moral nature.
  • Develop imaginative and original thought avoiding design fixation.
  • Develop the power of creativity through the process of investigation, analysis, designing, making and evaluation, both as an individual and as a group member.
  • Develop the use of new technologies whenever possible.
  • Develop the art of constructive criticism and the skills of self and group assessment.
  • Develop and encourage working individually and as a part of a group.
  • Encourage a safe working practice within all areas of Technology.
  • Develop their communication skills, including verbal, graphical and modelling skills, to help their thinking and ability to take action in the process of designing.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of materials and components; systems and control; and structures
  • Develop pupils’ confidence to design, make, modify and improve products artefacts, structures and systems for specific purposes.
  • Develop student’s ability to disassemble and evaluative products and their applications
  • Explore values about and attitudes to the made world and how we live, work and interact within it
  • Nurture creativity and innovation through designing, making and evaluating
  • Develop ICT and Key skills through Design Technology
  • Develop an ability to choose and manage resources, materials and Techniques used.
  • Develop pupil progression in Design Technology
  • Encourage pupils to draw on knowledge and experiences from across the curriculum and from their own life in general
  • Prepare for making a contribution to life and work in a technological society
  • To enable students the ability and time to persevere with tasks which enable students to build their individual resilience.
  • To encourage pupils to make design risks.
  • To enable students to make sustainable choices about design and life outside the classroom.

Implementation

The Department follows the specification laid out through the GCSE and A Level Specifications which provide the framework arranged from the National Curriculum but in a greater depth, so therefore in KS3 they will cover the fundamental foundation of the 3 main areas; design, make and evaluate which enforces the pupils long term and short term memory skills.

Year 7 - Soma Cube, 3x3x3 house design, Thumbs up project
  • S.C
    Vacuum forming, jigs formers, plastic theory, adhesives, 6 areas of packaging, design rendering, 3d drawing skills, wasting process, quality control, target markets.
  • 3x3x3
    Scale, measuring, working accurately, CAD, model making, Environmental and sustainable living, practical material theory.
  • T.U
    Marking out, cutting, wasting, practical understanding of material properties, drilling, H&S, Quality Control.
Year 8 - Pewter Casting project, Sustainability wooden man, Stem water rocket challenge
  • P.C.P
    Metal theory, manufacturing methods, design movement, CAD, Template making, cutting wasting filing finishing, inculpation.
  • S.W.M
    Sustainable principles, wood theory, wood identification, wood finish, cutting, filing drilling of wood, looking at the work of others.
  • S.W.R.C
    Science, engineering, mathematics, technology, physics, group work, principles of propulsion, practical knowledge of material manufacturing, restrictions, resilience.
Year 9 - Art movement modelling project, Maze game, Egg holder
  • A.M.M.P
    Research, understand and the ability to identify a range of art movements, needs of the client, existing products, modelling materials; wasting, cutting, filing, finishing & testing, documentation of development, CAD, 2D & 3D drawing, rendering techniques.
  • M.G
    Draft angles, jigs & formers, 2D design, vinyl cutting, laser cutting, understand CNC; input control & output, adhesives, cutting, filing, finishing for wood and plastic, accuracy.
  • E.H
    Transferring measurements, laser cutting, working drawings, line bending.
Year 10 - Applied theory, a wide range of small practical tasks that build on the theory portfolio

Wood theory, metal theory, compliant materials, plastics, exam practice, art movements, sustainability, culture, society, environment, industry, enterprise, people manufacturing methods, practice exam, 2D design, engraving, vinyl cutting, joints, moving parts mechanism, bought components, stock forms, adhesives, permanent & non-permanent fixings, modern materials, smart materials, logicator, 6R’s, sources of energy, manufacturing specification.

Year 11 - Coursework with 1 lesson a fortnight theory covering and re-enforcing long term memory

Year 11 coursework will cover the NEA set out by the exam board and covering theory that the teacher sees as a subject content gap from assessments or to reinforce the knowledge of the NEA.

Year 12 - Applied theory, a wide range of practical tasks that build on the theory portfolio, practice exam papers and case studies

Biodegradable’ polymers, elastomers, polymers, composites, compliant materials, smart materials, alloys, modern materials, natural woods, laminates and veneers, man-made boards, product components, adhesives, design and market influences, environmental / sustainability issues, ergonomics & anthropometrics, non-ferrous metals, ferrous metals, inclusive design, consumer safety, processes & manufacture, fabrication methods: woods, metals, plastics. Forming methods: woods, metals, plastics. Composites, redistribution methods, cermets, polymers, wasting processes, CAM processing, finishing materials and processes: woods, metals, polymers. Health and Safety, quality control.

Year 13 - Course work with 2 lessons a fortnight covering and re-enforcing long term memory

Year 13 coursework will cover the NEA set out by the exam board and covering theory that the teacher sees as a subject content gap from assessments or to reinforce the knowledge of the NEA.

The department has no specific prescribed approach to the teaching of Design technology; this enables individual teachers to make the most of their specialist knowledge to implement the subject content in the best way to suit their own skill, abilities and professional judgement. However, there are common ways in which the curriculum is implemented across the department;

  • Staff have excellent subject knowledge and are all subject specialists.
  • Lessons are challenging in their content, using a range of resources, techniques and skills that go beyond what is laid out within the curriculum.
  • Students are regularly given the opportunity to challenge themselves in all area 3 areas of the curriculum, either as a part of a group, individually or others; parents and external guests.
  • Skills are developed through the practical implantation of the tasks, being given the responsibility to teach others, evaluating and critiquing their own work and the work of others.
  • Homework is set regularly to coincide with the schools’ requirement. Homework tasks are set to be meaningful and back up, or enhance, the teaching within lesson time.
  • The use of technological specific language forms a key part the ability to explain, evaluate and justify pupils or others work confidently and holistically.
  • Lessons are designed to be engaging and relevant within a modern day technological environment often taking reference and inspiration from everyday products to help the understanding of how and why products are designed, manufactured and recycled. Also understanding how it is the role and responsibility of the designer to enhance the sustainability of products.
  • Within Design tasks, pupils are asked and encouraged to design for and to incorporate inclusion, to avoid social and ethical stereotypes but to design for a modern sustainable environment.
  • Assessment; classroom teachers follow the schools marking policy to give feedback to all pupils. Pupils get feedback in the form of verbal, written or peer, all feedback given informs and develops work undertaken.
  • SEN provisions effectively meet the individual needs of students, ensuring that they have equal access to all areas of the learning and progress to be gained.

Retrieval Practice forms a major part of the departments scheme of work. Pupils will need to revisit classroom activities, recalling information to enable the quality of work in future lessons, whether it be a practical make, an evaluation task or an end of year test / exam. This ensures that students push their ability to recall on their long term memory and form links to their prior learning.

Assessment in year 7 and 8 is taken from the 3 areas of the curriculum design, make and evaluation assessments and are graded on a ‘best fit’ mark scheme that focuses on the expected level of progress/ability for the key areas. In year 9 pupils, despite not yet taking their GCSE, have their work compared to the GCSE levels of attainment, to prepare and enable them to see the realistic work expectations that in turn help and reinforce their option choices. At Key stage 4 and 5 pupils are doing their NEA which follows the CAT assessment policy, theory work in KS4 & 5 are assessed against the exam boards criteria and the schools’ assessment policy.

The department provides students the opportunity to use the department’s workshop, equipment and resources, enabling them to pursue extra curriculum engagement for the subject and to incorporate and enhance the work done in other subjects.

STEM: The department supports STEM activities within the schemes of work and activities outside of the classroom. There is a whole school stem challenge which forms a part of the house competition where pupils produce a water powered rocket in teams, both year group and house, to compete with other houses. They produce the rocket, the launcher and away to power the rocket.

We are involved in the Erasmus project where pupils from other countries work together with our pupils to make parabolic mirrors to heat water, designed to purify water in third world countries.

Impact

The impact of the education provided by the teachers of the design and technology department can be viewed through a number of measures;

  • The students are engaged in lessons which demonstrates that the level of education, the expectations of staff and the variation of the subject content is at a level which keeps the students focused and challenged. This is shown by the pick up between the end of Key Stage 3 and the number of students wishing to take Design and Technology for GCSE. In recent years we average a take up for the subject at around 50% of the year group, a remarkable figure for a subject that is in the option block against everyone bar Mathematics, English and the Sciences. This shows the enjoyment the students derive from the teaching we impart. From GCSE, the uptake to A Level has been between 35% – 40%, again very healthy numbers and from these a good proportion of students go on to university or apprenticeships using Design and Technology as an integral and sound base for their further studies.
  • Results show a high level of success for our students over the years. Using the AQA results analysis tools it can be seen that we score very well against comparative schools and are placed well within the top 10% of schools in the country for this subject in both GCSE and A Level. We even achieved an award in 2015; “Best performance by boys taking Design & Technology Product Design at an English Grammar School” from the good schools’ guide awards.
  • We are a very inclusive subject as there are many different aspects to the teaching we deliver, meaning that there are very few students who struggle in all elements. This can be see when viewing the outcomes of the students that are on the SEN register. While we don’t like to single out these students, as we fully embrace inclusion, it can be seen that they perform on a par with their peer group and in some areas push ahead. With a subject of many different areas there is usually always an area that students excel within and can more often than not focus on that area when choosing an area to solve in the NEA coursework element at GCSE and A level.
  • We use the AQA examination analysis tools to highlight the areas of success or failure over the previous year’s GCSE and A Level students’ papers. This information then guides our teaching for the following year groups. It can also highlight which teachers have a stronger grasp on certain areas, which could lead to some in house inset training for the rest of the department. For A Level we use more than one teacher for each teaching group as this helps the students draw on the subject knowledge of more than one expert.
  • The students are constantly being prepared for their next level of education. By running the curriculum backwards from Key Stage 5 to Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 3 the students, we feel, are always more prepared for the step up to the next level when it occurs. The Product Design specifications that were released in 2017 have allowed us to better prepare the students for their examinations by giving us the time to incorporate the processes needed to be understood, practically, into our curriculum delivery. This has meant that the knowledge has tended to settle in their long term memory as they have had to make decisions when physically performing the process. It is hoped that this would further help them in comparable courses at university as they will have had a sound and varied set of practical experiences that the majority of schools wouldn’t be able to offer.
  • We would like to think that the experiences that the students have had within this department, both curricular and extra-curricular, will set them up for later life in the furthering of their life skills. Giving them the confidence to pick up tools and equipment that they have learnt how to use and operate in school, giving them the satisfaction of fixing and making items at home.

DT Year 7 SoW

DT Year 8 SoW

DT Year 9 SoW

DT KS4 SoW – GCSE

DT KS5 SOW Individual-Project

DT KS5 SOW Exam Preparation

ENGLISH CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

Literacy is the result of engaging with and thinking about ideas, issues and problems with written and spoken English. We want to empower students to think rationally, to critically evaluate influences in their world and to appreciate that all communications are constructs designed to achieve the intentions of their authors.

Whilst we have built our curriculum around the National Curriculum guidance to ‘promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment’, we treat this as a starting point for an ambitious curriculum with critical literacy at its heart. Due to the academic context of our school, the vast majority of our students start with a high level of literacy and therefore our aim is to elevate their skills to a more independently critical mindset.

We teach a rich and varied curriculum that both prepares students for their GCSE examinations and also goes beyond the focus of examined texts. For example, in addition to the three 19th Century novels we offer in KS3, students also study three novels from both other cultures and the modern genre. We aim to engage all of our students with a variety of Shakespeare plays, beginning with an engaging introduction in Year 7 though to Hamlet at KS5. By engaging with a range of texts, we are enabling our students to see the wide ranging interpretations that can be made and the varied arguments presented in the texts. We want learners that are able to recognise that there is no one way of reading a text.

Choice of content:

  • For English Literature, we choose to teach three of the set GCSE exam texts at key stages 3 and 4 to help students to understand each text in its social, historical and cultural context, but also to be able to draw parallels between them. Students at KS3 study Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in Year 7 and Jekyll and Hyde in Year 9, both of which are GCSE texts, and are in addition to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that they study at KS4 so no repetition of content occurs, only the repetition of context and key themes and ideas linked to the social setting.
  • The poetry provision features a diverse collection that includes poetry from other cultures, War poetry and Romanticism in order to present a broad thematic approach in the students’ knowledge and critical evaluation.
  • For English Language, the overall focus is on a secure command of Standard English in reading, writing, speaking and listening, being aware of register and being able to apply Standard English in a number of ways. We explore great speeches, travel writing and advertising at KS3 in order to expose students to a variety of genres and styles in preparation for GCSE.
  • In Year 9, students follow a Media course for one lesson a fortnight. The content includes media theory and exploration of a range of modern media genres. The analysis of the use of language in Media overlaps with the analysis of writers’ methods in the GCSE Language examinations.

Beyond the focus on specified curriculum texts, the department provides enrichment opportunities that encourage a love of reading, improved thinking and literacy skills. In Year 7, one lesson per week is in the Library which promotes a love of reading, provides students with access to texts and in which they complete fun activities around reading. In a boys’ school, we feel this is essential as research consistently shows boys’ reading ages lag behind girls and are notoriously less likely to read regularly for pleasure. In Year 8, the department provides the Let’s Think cognitive thinking programme to develop critical thinking skills and problem solving; these lessons develop the critical understanding that there is no right or wrong answer.

By the end of KS3 we expect students to be making an informed response to texts. By the end of KS4, we expect students to have developed a more evaluative and personal response to the texts. By having this foundation of skills, we expect KS5 students to have developed an awareness of themselves as literary critics where their opinions stand alongside other critical interpretations. These expectations clearly show the progression in skills through engaging with literature. Additionally, at the end of KS3 students will be able to form responses that address all of the relevant assessment objectives for GCSE Language and Literature. The end points for KS4 and 5 is most obviously success in the public examinations with an aim of 50% achieving a 7-9 for GCSE and an ALPS 3 for A Level, whilst also producing students who are able to engage with an evaluative and personal response to any text. We want students to go on and study English Literature at a post-graduate level having become excellent critics and writers.

Implementation

Successful learning in English comes from an engaging curriculum that delivers lessons which create learners who are: persistent in finding answers; who think and respond creatively about texts and can apply what they have learned in their own writing. Teachers deliver lessons that focus on the skills required to be successful in English Language and Literature, and students recognise the cross-over of skills for all the texts they face. There is a strong use of dialogic communication between the teacher and students so they are able to show their own though processes in learning and not simply reiterating what the teacher has said.

We believe that effective learning in English is an activity of construction (i.e. making meaning, not receiving) and that in lessons there should be a promotion of action and reflection (i.e. using materials and creating ideas).  We believe success is driven by learners’ agency when the students’ sense of intention and choice is respected.  Our monitoring and assessment procedures follow a process of teacher marking and providing targeted feedback on which the student reflects, responds and improves specific areas of weakness.  Teachers then check these responses, which forms on ongoing dialogue of improvement, personalised to each student.

Assessment at KS3 is carried out using GCSE criteria, and using the GCSE grades 1-9 so that students’ progression through the curriculum is clearly signposted on a personalised ‘flightpath’.  Students are all aware of their personal target grades, based on their GCSE target grade and providing a clear route to success. Each term students complete 3 assessments including a reading analysis and a writing response.  So even if students are studying a literature unit, they are still practicing the skills required to be creative and transactional in their writing. The assessments at GCSE mimic the type of exam question students will answer in the exam and all these assessments are completed in timed conditions in the classroom, using the same exam restrictions students will face in their real GCSE exams.  This is to prepare students for the nature of the new 100% GCSEs in English.

In order to ensure learning enters the long-term memory, the curriculum is mapped against the GCSE specification, whilst also featuring elements of the KS5 literature foci. This allows students to re-visit the context for Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel, re-examine the analysis of poetry and aspects of the language course. Each term the department includes starter activities that test students on their knowledge of previously taught units whilst also incorporating tasks that focus students on retrieving knowledge regarding the shared context of texts, the forms and genres of texts as well as comprehension of content.

Current topics taught are:

Year 7 – Time Travel, Dickens A Christmas Carol, Wonder, Poems from other cultures, Great Speeches, Introduction to Shakespeare;

Year 8 – Modern Novel (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), Creative writing, War Poetry, Edgar Allen Poe, Travel Writing, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet;

Year 9 – Nineteenth Century Novel (Jekyll and Hyde), Romantic poetry, Language preparation, Of Mice and men;

Year 10 and 11 – Frankenstein, An Inspector Calls, Macbeth, Power and Conflict poetry, Language Paper 1 and 2 skills;

Year 12 and 13 – Supernatural Prose comparison (Beloved and Dorian Gray), Post-2000 Poetry, Poetry of Christina Rossetti, Dystopian literature comparison, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

It is departmental practice to revisit previous topics through starter activities to keep information in students’ memories. This practice also enables them to see the cross-over of skills across all the units they study. Teachers maintain high expectations of written and spoken English in lessons and all assessment. By reinforcing these standards and expectations, students are prepared for and able to use the skills necessary regardless of the text they are reading, be it a taught or an unseen text.

Additionally, there are a number of ways we enrich our students’ academic experience. We have smaller class sets from Year 9 which allows teachers to focus on more targeted intervention and differentiation. Year 9 students also have one lesson per fortnight allocated to Media, thus better preparing them for the GCSE Language skills, whilst in Year 8 students have one lesson per fortnight of Let’s Think, to develop their cognitive reasoning. In KS3 all students are part of the Pop-Up project which provides a free literary text to all students followed by a visit by the author who engages them in creative writing seminars. The department runs regular trips for all year groups, from visits to The Guardian newspaper in KS3 through to A Level conferences on set texts for KS5.

Impact

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through pupils gaining exemplary literacy skills and knowledge of critical literature analysis, which enable them to access the next steps in their education and future. This is evidenced through the excellent results in public examinations gained by students at the Math school, and the particularly successful changeover from the previous GCSE exam curriculum towards the new (current) 100% exam GCSEs our students now enter.  These results are clear evidence of the rigorous programme of learning our teachers deliver.

Our students enjoy the subject, as evidenced by their exemplary behaviour and engagement in lessons, the work in their books and assessment folders and their responses to student surveys each year.  They develop a sound foundation, not just in skills specific to English but also cross-curricular skills, in critical literacy which they can apply across a range of disciplines.  Our students demonstrate these skills by performing well in other subjects, specifically humanities subjects or any subject where students are required to be critical and evaluative thinkers.  Our SEN pupils achieve at least in line with their peers and often outperform the cohort as a whole.

The nature of the texts we study offers a broad understanding of historical, social and cultural backgrounds and engenders positive outcomes in terms of students’ perspectives on the diversity of the human experience, in line with British values.  When possible, we take our students to see performances of the texts we study to enrich their understanding of literature as an art form. We regularly attend lecture series with our students that are run by University professors, experts in their fields, to further enhance their critical understanding and to model to them what this level of thinking looks like. Many of our students choose to study English Literature at A Level and increasing numbers are choosing the subject at undergraduate level at England’s top universities.  Their enjoyment of the subject allows them to develop into highly literate and critical individuals who take an active role in evaluating the sources and purposes of any text they encounter in their future lives.

FRENCH CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” – Flora Lewis

The fundamental aims of the department are to foster a passion for French language and culture in pupils. We want our pupils to leave our school with the skills necessary to use their French in the real world; to be able to express themselves and to develop a love for further language learning. The French Department at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School therefore looks to take a skills-based and communicative approach to the teaching and learning of French at our school.

We aim to give pupils the tools to:

  • Communicate effectively in a variety of ways
  • Understand and develop the confidence to infer meaning when they are faced with unknown language and respond accordingly
  • Have thorough understanding  and apply grammatical rules in order to manipulate the language effectively
  • Develop confidence and mastery in all four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing
  • Develop a love and an interest for Francophone culture, traditions and customs both in and beyond the classroom.
  • ‘Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation’ – The National Curriculum.
  • Be able to translate both to and from French
  • Be able to summarise text and audio clips at KS5

The department adds to this a strong focus on both oral and written communication with students from the start of Year 7. We recognise that in the current climate it is not enough for pupils to be able to master the basics, in order for our pupils to be able to excel we aim to challenge our pupils by promoting and encouraging the use of challenging phrases and structures.

Choice of content

At all Key Stages, content is based on pupils’ prior learning in order to build strong foundations and enable pupils to move forward with confidence. Topics and grammar are regularly consolidated as a routine part of lessons.

KS3

We follow the Pearson Dynamo course as it provides a good, solid foundation of learning in order to prepare our students for the demands of the GCSE course. In recognition of the varying exposure to French at KS2 we establish pupils’ prior knowledge and use this to inform our planning and delivery of lessons.

Themes covered at KS3 include:

  • Family & pets
  • Interests
  • School
  • Free time
  • Holidays
  • Festivals
  • Media
  • House & home life
  • Health
  • World of work
  • Social media
KS4

The AQA GCSE course builds on the foundations set at KS3 and follow the themes of identity and culture, local, national, international and global areas of interest and current and future study and employment.

KS5

As KS5 we hone the skills developed at KS3 and KS4 in order for pupils to use language fluently and confidently. It is our aim to develop lifelong lovers and learners of French. During the two year A level course pupils will study:

  • Social issues and trends
  • Artistic culture in the French speaking world
  • Aspects of political life in the French speaking world
  • Grammar
  • Literary texts and a film

Implementation

The department largely takes a communicative approach to the teaching of French.

The department has no specific prescribed approach to the teaching of French which enables individual teachers to make the most of their own skills, abilities and professional judgement. However, there are common ways in which the curriculum is implemented across the department.

  • Staff have excellent subject knowledge and are all subject specialists.
  • Lessons use appropriately challenging resources and go beyond rote learning methodology.
  • Students are regularly given challenging tasks requiring them to work independently and/or with others as appropriate.
  • Lessons engage students and encourage them to have an appreciation of French language, culture and customs.
  • Skills are developed for wider study, including revision and retrieval of language, focusing on the development of understanding and long term memory.
  • Assessment – in the form of teacher assessed or peer assessed work – that informs teaching and gives pupils feedback on the success of the work they have carried out.
  • Homework is set regularly, in line with school expectations. Tasks are substantial and make a meaningful contribution to the programme of study including tasks which require retrieval practice, and recycling of class learned vocabulary, research, and revision. At KS3 one homework per term is graded using the department’s homework mark scheme.
  • We build upon student’s KS2 SPAG knowledge and this facilitates the explanation and use of key technical vocabulary and grammatical terms which are embedded from the start of Y7. It is an expectation that students understand and use this terminology with confidence as they progress in their studies.
  • The deliberate development of literacy skills, with high expectations of students’ spelling, punctuation and grammar, tasks that push students to write confidently and precisely, and activities in which pupils engage with appropriately challenging tasks and course materials.
  • SEN provision effectively meets the individual needs of students, ensuring that they have equal access to learning and progress.

Retrieval Practice is embedded within the department’s schemes of work and specific lessons. Previous topics are regularly and deliberately revisited (either in low stakes classwork / homework or in higher stakes exams and assessments) to ensure that students are required to recall previous topics to push them into long term memory and to form links with prior learning.

Assessment at KS3 and KS4 is divided into the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Speaking and writing assessments are graded on a ‘best fit’ mark scheme that focuses on the expected level of progress/ability for each core skill. Assessments model the tasks and activities required of them at GCSE at a level appropriate to their stage of learning.

At Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 formal assessments mirror the forms of assessment students will face in their GCSE and A level exams. Beyond formal assessment, at Key Stage 3 work is assessed regularly, in line with school policy and focuses on developing a range of skills and knowledge as set out in the ‘intent’ section.

The department provides students with a number of trips designed to complement and enhance engagement with their studies. In Year 7 students have the opportunity to go on a residential trip to the Pas de Calais. In Year 8 students visit Le Touquet for the day and in Year 9 there is a day trip to the Lille Christmas market.  At KS4 and KS5, students may participate in a residential trip (current destination is Paris). It is an expectation that on any French trip students will be required to undertake transactional tasks that require them to use, apply and develop their French language and cultural knowledge.

Impact

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through a number of measures.

Pupils clearly enjoy their French, as shown through their approach to lessons, the work in their books and their commitment to its study.

Students have a sound foundation of French by the end of Key Stage 3 which contributes to their understanding of France and Francophone countries

Internal assessment processes demonstrate that pupils effectively develop both linguistic knowledge and communication skills that they can utilise and develop.

Formative assessment of oral and written competencies shows pupils’ ability to adopt and use these skills.

SEN and disadvantaged students achieve outcomes in line with their peers.

Cognitive techniques and wider study skills are developed by the department, particularly in terms of students’ recall of work from previous years and ability to make links with this prior knowledge.

Students compare and contrast many aspects of fundamental British values with those of Francophone countries, along with a well-developed SMSC awareness and knowledge.

A secure uptake of French at GCSE and  A-level as an indication that students are enjoying their subject and opting to continue with their studies. Their success at all these levels shows them as well prepared for the next step of their education and study of French.

French Year 7 SoW

French Year 8 SoW

French Year 9 SoW

French GCSE

French Year 12 SoW A level

French Year 13 SoW A level

GEOGRAPHY CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent:

“The best thing about geography is that it gives you the ability to gain an insight into the workings of our planet and all its abundant natural wonders…geography and geology give you this kind of long term perspective on what happened in the past, to influence our decision making in the future.’ Professor Iain Stewart (Broadcaster and Academic).

An essential educational outcome of learning geography is to be able to apply knowledge and conceptual understanding to new settings; that is, to ‘think geographically’ about the changing world. Geography is concerned with perceptive and deep description of the real world. It has a vital place in the curriculum and helps us to understand our own lives in a global world and how to tackle world issues such as climate change, water, energy and food insecurity, poverty and political disputes and their implications.

Through studying Geography, our students develop an understanding of:

  • The physical world
  • Human environments
  • Interdependence
  • Place and space
  • Scale
  • People’s lives

Fieldwork is recognised as a vital part of the teaching of geography at all levels. Exposure to television, advertising and modern travel has extended learners’ awareness of other places and environments but nevertheless they often remain unobservant, uncritical and unchallenged. There is no substitute for ‘real world learning’. Our fieldwork provides rich opportunities for pupils, which are memorable and invaluable in helping our pupils better their understanding of the world.

At Key Stage 3, our curriculum is broadly in line with the National Curriculum with the intent to develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places (linking physical and human geography), by understanding
the processes that give rise to physical and human geographical features of the world, as well as developing geographical skills (such as collecting and analysing data) which also developing the need to communicate geographical information in a variety of ways. Our assumption is that many year 7 pupils have limited experience of geography as a distinct subject. We therefore start our curriculum to impress the understanding of what is geography and why it is important. Both local and UK spatial awareness is promoted through locational awareness of key cities and physical features and landforms.

Choice of content:

  • Varied topics often alternating physical and human geography, and consider the interrelations between the two.
  • Development and use of skills throughout all topics. For example, map skills, which is distinctly covered at the start
    of KS3 and revisited in subsequent units.
  • Addressing any gaps in knowledge or misconceptions.
  • Progression of knowledge content for topics, including terminology and theory which then leads to the implications for humans and the planet, for example the study of weather which leads into climate change and the effects and responses in terms of mitigation/adaptation at various scales.
  • The topics that are taught are core topics that provide relevance and importance to the lives of our students (both for now and in the future). For example, rivers related to flooding and climate change.

At KS4 and KS5 the intent is largely governed by the examination board specifications. At KS4, we have chosen the AQA specification which very clear division between physical and human geography (core geography) and a separate paper involving a pre-release document on an important geographical issue, whilst also assessed on fieldwork. This course allows students to demonstrate and apply high level skills such as assessment, analysis and evaluation. The few optional topics available have been carefully chosen to give both a balanced programme of study as well as cross curricular links (e.g. energy and science). In the specification content, students are required to study case studies and examples. Case studies are broader in context and require greater breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding.

At KS5, students follow the Edexcel Geography specification which is engaging and relevant to today’s geographers – a qualification that enables our students to engage critically with real world issues and places, apply their own geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to make sense of the world around them, and to help prepare them to succeed in their chosen pathway. The specification offers an issues-based approach to studying geography, enabling students to explore and evaluate contemporary geographical questions and issues such as the consequences of globalisation, responses to hazards, water insecurity and climate change.

Implementation

Physical Geography in particular follows a logical progression within each topic, where processes and theory contribute to the formation of a feature. This requires a sequenced description and explanation (e.g. the formation of a waterfall), which requires use of high level terminology. The interaction between physical and human geography has overarching themes within each topic also include causes, effects/impacts (social, economic and environmental), responses and sustainability. Our programmes of study begin with the development of key skills which are then revisited through the teaching of later topics (e.g. map skills).

Case studies provide real world examples and events, including facts and figures which enable comparisons to be made and assessments of the level of impact on people, the environment and the economy. Older case studies are compared to newer or more contemporary examples in order for students to develop as well informed geographers and gain an appreciation of how context of location affects both impacts and responses.

A knowledge of the changing nature and relevance of geography is reflected through up to date case studies and our students are encouraged to further develop this by a familiarity with geography in the news.

Fieldwork is incorporated in all key stages and forms an integral part of the subject’s curriculum. Students attend a variety of locations for their fieldwork, which allow them to focus on both physical and human geography and the
interrelationships. All fieldwork is complemented by work in the classroom on methodologies, data presentation, analysis, conclusion and evaluations.

Fieldwork also helps students develop their long-term memory whilst providing them with experiences of the world beyond the classroom. Fieldwork motivates students and encourages enthusiasm for the subject.

Current topics taught are:
Year 7: Introduction to Geography, Map Skills, Weather and Climate, Climate Change and Extreme Weather and Sustainability (including Rochester fieldtrip).
Year 8: World Biomes (including Kew Gardens field trip), Plate Tectonics, Russia and DME (Decision Making Exercise).
Year 9: Development, The Economy, Rivers, and Rivers fieldwork
Year 10: Rivers, Coastal Landscapes, Tectonics, Weather Hazards, Climate Change, Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests, Cold Environments, and field trip to Canterbury
Year 11: Resource Management, Energy, Urban Challenges and Issues, Changing Economic World, and Pre-Release (Paper 3).
Year 12: Globalisation, Tectonics Processes and Hazards, Regenerating Places and Coasts. Four days of field trips for completion of Independent Investigation (Ebbsfleet, East London and Olympic Park, Reculver and Camber Sands).
Year 13: Migration Identity and Sovereignty, Superpowers, Water and Water

Insecurity, and Energy and Energy

Additionally, the following also contributes to successful implementation in Geography:

  • Staff contribute to the design of the curriculum and share experiences and resources. Staff are passionate about the subject and are inspired by a clear sense of the subject’s educational benefits.
  • The dynamic and changing nature of the subject lends well to the discussion and debate in the classroom.
  • Students are able to offer opinions, question and critique in both verbal and written work.
  • Students and staff closely follow schemes of work and syllabus.
  • A revision programme and tasks formulate an integral part of the curriculum, particularly at KS4 and KS5, enabling students to revisit previously learnt material and developing longer term memory.
  • The department continues to be a member of key subject bodies such as The Royal Geographical Society and The Geographical Association. The enables the department to keep up to date with subject developments,
    including publications, courses and advise on curriculum.
  • The department was awarded with the GA Geography Quality Mark which shows continued self-development and reflection.
  • Key terminology is an integral part of the learning of the topics. There are high expectations for spelling, punctuation and grammar, which are tested within the assessments are all levels.
  • Students are continually required to retrieve previously learnt material, helping them to develop longer term memory which is often seen through ‘fast facts’ and/or starter questions.
  • Assessment in KS3 comprises of a variety of tasks, which support the teaching of the curriculum. The assessments are designed to not only test students’ memory, but also enable them to demonstrate the development of a range of skills, for example application, evaluation, analysis. Although the assessments are varied, they are also designed to ensure that students are well prepared for the start of GCSE. KS4 and KS5 assessments are typical of those experienced in the examination papers, usually comprising of mid and end of unit/topic assessment. All students
    receive feedback on their work (both peer and teacher, and verbal and written), and close attention is given to improvements to their work in order to address gaps in students’ knowledge and skills.

IMPACT

The impact of Geography is evident through the following:

  • Pupils in all Key Stages enjoy studying Geography, which is evident through their behaviour in lessons, quality of work in their books and files, and observations of teaching/lessons, as well as the results of the regular pupil surveys.
  • At Key Stage 3, a development of Geographical Skills is built up before GCSE. By the end of Key Stage 3, all pupils are able to think geographically, and be knowledgeable citizens who are aware of our own local communities in a global setting.
  • Fieldwork is experienced at all key stages and in most year groups. It continues to be an integral and essential part of the curriculum and enables students to see first-hand the nature of geography and to know more about the outside world. Students are able to remember through practical experiences and memories.
  • The department continues to attract high numbers into GCSE and A-Level, whereby normally having 5 or 6 classes at KS4 and two at KS5. Students at KS5 are more greatly exposed to independently learning, particularly through the engagement of the Independent Investigation (coursework). This requires students to establish a geographical enquiry which is tested, presented, analysed and evaluated. Pupils demonstrate increased levels of confidence and competence in independent work together with ‘thinking like a geographer’. This is also evident in the A-Level Paper 3, Synoptic Themes where students respond to unseen material, again requiring them to demonstrate understanding of the geographical themes and concepts.
  • Pupils develop an understanding of how to live sustainably, including fundamental British values; there are a whole range of SMSC implications and links to other subjects such as Politics, Economics, History and English.
  • Geography curriculum helps our students to become responsible citizens whom are aware of their surroundings;
    this is achieved through successful, contemporary and relevant schemes of work and fieldwork.
  • The awarding of the GA’s Secondary Geography Quality Mark illustrates the effectiveness of promoting, celebrating and improving geographical learning.
  • Geography is an inclusive subject and provision has been put in place for all SEN pupils, including accessibility issues in wheelchairs, groupings for students, provision and deployment of support staff; all SEN students are actively involved in all aspects of fieldwork.

HISTORY CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

‘History is usually presented as a set of facts and dates of victories and defeats, or monarchs and presidents, consigned to an unchanging past. But it’s not like that at all. History is the knitting together of rival interpretations: deliberate manipulations of the truth and sometimes alternative facts.’ Dr Lucy Worsley

Choice of content:

  • Selection of topics that together form an understanding of the core developments that served to establish Britain in its modern form. This includes the history and emergence of Fundamental British Values, the establishment of Britain’s constitution and political structures, as well as significant social developments.
  • Development of themes including revolution, social change, empire, the significance of conflict in shaping the modern world, and the role of key individuals, as well encouraging students to draw links between different topics and time periods.
  • Coverage of time periods which allow students to consider different periods of history, draw comparisons within and between time periods as well as consider how different time periods and moments in History have shaped the modern world.

In the words of the National Curriculum, within the KS3 content framework students should:

“identify significant events, make connections, draw contrasts, and analyse trends within periods and over long arcs of time. They should use historical terms and concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways. They should pursue historically valid enquiries including some they have framed themselves, and create relevant, structured and evidentially supported accounts in response. They should understand how different types of historical sources are used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.” (National Curriculum 2013 DfE)

The department adds to this a strong focus on both oral and written communication with students from the start of year 7 being expected to plan structure and deliver extended sections of historical writing which build to a substantiated conclusion / judgement. The other main focus is on the development of source analysis skills – making inferences from content and making judgements of reliability through considering source accuracy and provenance.

At Key Stage 4 and 5 whilst the guiding intent is the exam board specification, options have been selected to provide a rounded experience as well as develop important aspects of knowledge. By the end of Year 10 pupils will have a detailed knowledge of Russia in the period 1894-1945, including events such as the Russian Revolution and the establishment of a communist dictatorship. They will also study the Cold War from 1945-72 and through this better understand the world we live in today through coverage of topics like the building of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Through year 11 students study Edward I and also a unit on Peoples and Migration which looks at topics as diverse as Viking Raiders to the establishment of Empire to more modern migration in the latter 20th Century. This unit in particular supports students understanding of the formation of British Society and an understanding of Fundamental British Values. These topics are build on at A-Level with further Units on the Rise of Fascism and Britain’s Experience of Warfare.

Implementation

The department largely takes a chronological approach to the teaching of History, but Year 8 takes a more themed approach within this chronological framework to provide a different perspective and allow for comparisons to be drawn between different elements.

The National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 in England requires students to cover British history from 1066 to present, as well as a world study, a local study and a chronological unit of study that will reach back before 1066 to consolidate knowledge and understanding. The SJWMS curriculum seeks to match and exceed the breadth and depth of topics covered.

Current topics taught are,

Year 7 – Romans, Normans and Medieval Realms
Year 8 – Reformation, English Civil War, French Revolution, Empire and Significant historical figures of 18th-21st century
Year 9 – Causes WW1, WW1, Hitler, Causes WW2, Holocaust, 1960s and Civil Rights
Year 10 / 11 – Tsarist and Communist Russia, Cold War, Edward I, and Migration, Empires & the people
Year 12/13 – Germany 1918-89, Rise of Fascism, and Britain and Experience of Warfare

The department has no specific prescribed approach to the teaching of History which enables individual teachers to make the most of their own skills, abilities and professional judgement. However, there are common ways in which the curriculum is implemented across the department.

  • Staff has excellent subject knowledge. All members are subject specialists.
  • Lessons use appropriately challenging resources and go beyond a mere factual recounting of History.
  • Students are regularly given challenging in depth tasks requiring them to work independently and/or with others as appropriate.
  • Lessons engage students and encourage them to form their own judgement, welcoming a range of judgements and perspectives. Students are encouraged to question, offer opinions and explore.
  • Skills are developed for wider study, including revision and retrieval of knowledge, focusing on the developing of understanding and long term memory.
  • Assessment – in the form of teacher assessed or peer assessed work – that informs teaching and gives pupils feedback on the success of the work they have carried out,
  • Homework is set regularly, in line with school expectations. Tasks are substantial and make a meaningful contribution to the programme of study – including individual or group project work, research, and revision. At KS3 one homework per term is graded using the department’s homework mark scheme.
  • The explanation and use of key technical vocabulary is embedded from the start of Y7, with the expectation that students understand and use this terminology with confidence as they progress in their studies.
  • The deliberate development of literacy skills, with high expectations of students’ spelling, punctuation and grammar, tasks that push students to write confidently and precisely, and activities in which pupils engage with appropriately challenging texts and source material.
  • Development of explicit conceptual links between topics and year groups, for example historical interpretations of individuals (King John Yr 7, Saladin Yr 7, Oliver Cromwell Yr 8, and Field Marshal Haig Yr 9).
  • SEN provision effectively meets the individual needs of students, ensuring that they have equal access to learning and progress.

Retrieval Practice is embedded within the department’s schemes of work and specific lessons. Previous topics are regularly and deliberately revisited (either in low stakes classwork / homework or in higher stakes exams and assessments) to ensure that students are required to recall previous topics to push them into long term memory and to form links with prior learning.

Assessment in Y7 and 8 is divided into the basic skills of source analysis, causation, significance and interpretation – assessments are graded on a ‘best fit’ mark scheme that focuses on the expected level of progress/ability for each core skill. Assessments comprise a range of structured and open activities designed to give students wide experience of Historical skills. In Year 9 whilst students do not begin GCSE courses assessment moves towards more GCSE styled assessment to prepare for the move to KS4. At Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 formal assessments mirror the forms of assessment students will face in their GCSE and A level exams.

Beyond formal assessment, at Key Stage 3 work is assessed regularly, in line with school policy and focuses on developing a range of skills and knowledge as set out in the ‘intent’ section.

The department provides students with a number of trips designed to complement and enhance engagement with their studies. In year 7 students visit Dover castle as part of their study of the middle ages and also as part of their engagement with local history. At KS4 and KS5 students also attend academic conferences designed to enhance their understanding of current historical debates and access leading academic study. Trips to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the First World War battlefields in Y13 aim to enhance the teaching of the British Experience of War course.

Impact

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through a number of measures:

  • Pupils clearly enjoy their history, as shown through their approach to lessons, the work in their books and their commitment to its study.
  • Students have a sound foundation of Historical knowledge by the end of Key Stage 3 which contributes to their understanding of their place in the world and also why the world they live in has been shaped in the way it has.
  • Internal assessment processes demonstrate that pupils effectively develop both Historical knowledge and skill that they can later utilise and develop.
  • Formative assessment of reasoning, particularly related to fundamental questions such as causation and interpretation show pupils ability to adopt and use these skills.
  • Students are able to communicate clearly and effectively connections between modern Britain and historical events that they have been taught about.
  • SEN and disadvantaged students achieve outcomes in line with their peers.
  • Cognitive techniques and wider study skills are developed by the department, particularly in terms of students’ recall of work from previous years and ability to make links with this prior knowledge.
  • Students develop a wide understanding of many aspects of fundamental British values along with a well-developed SMSC awareness and knowledge.

Strong uptake of History at GCSE, A-level, and university as an indication that students are enjoying their subject and opting to continue with their studies. Their success at all these levels shows them as well prepared for the next step of their education and Historical study.

Year 7 SoW

Year 8 SoW

Year 9 SoW

Year 10 GCSE Cold War 1945 – 1972

Year 10 GCSE Russia 1894 – 1945

Year 11 GCSE Edward I 1272 – 1307

Year 11 GCSE Migration Empires and People

Year 12 SoW Germany 1918 – 1989 A-Level Paper 1

Year 13 SoW A-Level Paper 2 – Rise and Fall of Fascism

Year 13 SoW A-Level Paper 3 – British Experience of Warfare

COMPUTING CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

The main aim of the computing department is to “…equip(s) pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world” (NC, 2013).

The Computing Department at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School aims to do this by teaching the underlying skills required for pupils to be able to autonomously solve a vast array of different problems through a series of project based units in a variety of languages and applications. We aim to enable students to independently analyse problems, design a solution, develop and implement a solution, and test and evaluate their successes. In order to do this, students will need to have good analytical skills founded on experience of a number of programming constructs. The foundation of this is an understanding of the “fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation” (NC, 2013). In addition, we develop pupils theoretical understanding of how systems work, ensure they are digitally literate and are made fully aware of the potential dangers in use of the Internet and the responsibilities they have as a future e-citizen.

At Key Stage 4 and 5 students are increasingly encouraged to develop their own programming and problem solving skills beyond the scope of the curriculum. Many students teach themselves both software and hardware based skills outside of classroom time, and where possible, this is reinvested back in to the student body via tutorials, facilitated by the department, that take place with small groups informally outside of curriculum classroom time. In addition, members of the Computing department are often found giving advice and sharing expertise on self-initiated student computing projects taking place outside school.

Choice of content:

  • A series of varied units aim to build understanding of the core principles and concepts that underpin computing. Developing skills and confidence over time to ensure pupils become responsible, creative and autonomous participants in a digital world.
  • Development of an understanding of the technology used around them so that they can make informed choices about how to use and express themselves both in school and the workplace beyond.
  • An awareness of the underlying mathematics and science that shapes our digital age and an appreciation of how technology may develop further into the future.

The KS3 programme aims to give pupils a wide flavour of computing. Many pupils enter the school with a limited experience of computing. Skills are developed initially through the use of more visual based applications. The underlying understanding of programming constructs is reinforced in these early stages so pupils can move on to more textual based programming applications. Pupils are encouraged to share their ideas about their system development throughout Key Stage Three. The department has a strong emphasis on pupils documenting their development throughout project. This reflects the importance placed by most computing based workplace environments on team approaches to programming challenges.

Whilst the content of the Key Stage 4 and 5 examination board specification dictates the content delivered, the approach taken by the department is to deliver this content through practical programming and real life contextual work wherever possible. Some overarching concepts are taught holistically and are frequently re-visited and developed to develop stronger topic knowledge. Advances in technology and computing are transforming our world, especially in the workplace, and equipping pupils with the fundamental skills, confidence and informed responsibility required to adapt their working practices to future technology as creatively and productively as possible is the key aim in the Computing department’s teaching.

Implementation

Computing is taught via a series of units. There is an emphasis on using practical skills and real scenarios to deliver the underlying theoretical concepts where possible. This enables pupils to apply theory more readily in tests and examinations.

Current topics taught are:

Year 7: E-Safety; Kodu; Microbit; Small Basic; Flowcharts and Pseudocode; HTML/Networks.
Year 8: Bases and Logic; How Computers Work; Visual Basic; Turtle Power; Pygame.
Year 9; Python; Advanced Python; Networks; Spreadsheets; GCSE Computer Systems.
Year 10/11: Algorithms; Data Types; Programming Concepts; Number bases; Hardware and Software; Networks; Cyber Security; Ethical Legal and Environmental Impacts; Aspects of Software Development.
Year 12/13: Fundamentals of programming, data structures, algorithms, computational thinking, data representation; Computer Systems; Computer organisation and architecture; Consequences of the use of Computers; Communication and Networking; Databases; Functional programming; Software Development.

The department utilises a shared document area and shared assessment area on the network to ensure consistency and to enable more reliable comparisons to be made on the performance of different teaching group. The following features have a considerable impact on the quality of learning in the department:

  • Staff have excellent subject knowledge and are all subject specialists.
  • Using common resources, and having them readily available allows teachers to ensure students are all able to work and different paces based on their ability.
  • Students are regularly given opportunities to work independently and/or with others as appropriate.
  • Lessons engage students and encourage them to develop their skills and approaches to problem solving and data management. Students are encouraged to question, offer opinions and explore topics both inside and outside of curriculum time.
  • Regular low-stake testing on topics taught in previous lessons ensure that students are required to recall previous topics to push them into long term memory and to form links with prior learning. Higher stake unit tests are used to inform planning and teaching for individual pupils to address identified gaps in knowledge.
  • Assessment can be teacher assessed, peer-assessed or electronically assessed. Teacher assessed work always give pupils a clear indication of how to improve future work.
  • Homework is set regularly, in line with school expectations. Tasks make a meaningful contribution to the programme of study, often reinforcing or extending work done in class.
  • The use of technical vocabulary is embedded from the start of Year Seven, with the expectation that students understand and use this terminology with increasing confidence as they progress.
  • Written project development logs help develop literacy skills, with high expectations of students’ spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • SEN provision effectively meets the individual needs of students, ensuring that they have equal access to learning and progress.

Assessment in Key Stage 3 is conducted via standardised tests with pre-planned grade boundaries equated to levels. At Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 formal assessments use examination style questions as the basis of assessment, with percentages equating to GCSE/A-Level grades being awarded.

Impact

The impact of the Computing department’s curriculum and teaching can be seen through the following:

  • There have been an increasing number of pupils taking computing at GCSE and A level.
  • There has been an increase in the number of students opting to take computing or computing related fields of study at university including the Russell Group of universities.
  • An increasing number of pupils successfully apply to prestigious Computing related apprenticeship programmes at organisations such as GCHQ, Microsoft and IBM.
  • By the end of KS3, pupils have good foundation knowledge of the key principles in computing and this facilitates sustained and fast progression at KS4. An increasingly high proportion of students are choosing to pursue extra Computing training in their own time.
  • The practical knowledge of programming is developed through all key stages and allows pupils to excel in terms of their programming skills at KS5
  • The way KS3 has been planned allows for easy recall at KS4 of key terms, key programming skills and key knowledge in the world of Computing and how this impacts society and the general public.
  • There are relatively few problems concerning e-Safety at school. Pupils have a good awareness of how to be responsible users of technology and are aware of how to report concerns when they have them.

Computing SoW (all year groups)

LATIN AND CLASSICS CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

“All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

The fundamental aims of the Latin and Classics department are to equip students with a thorough understanding of Latin vocabulary and grammar, a logical, methodical and analytical approach to translation, and an understanding of the beliefs of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, and how those beliefs influenced their culture, literature and lives.

The order in which we approach this, especially at KS3, is wedded to the Cambridge Latin Course textbooks, which provide a well-thought out blend of language and culture and have strongly influenced the vocabulary and grammar required by the EDUQAS GCSE syllabus, which students follow at KS4. Classics at KS5 essentially being an entirely different subject to Latin, I will come onto that later.

A significant aim, particularly at KS3, is to emphasise the relevance of Latin and the Romans in four ways; the influence of Latin on the vocabulary of English, the way in which Latin has evolved into French and Spanish, the ways in which Romans (and Greeks) leant their ideas and terminology to almost all subjects on the curriculum, and the ways in which the Roman occupation of Britain continues to shape our country even today. It is crucial to engagement in the subject that students do not regard Latin as a “dead language” or a subject anchored in the past, but rather that from the outset they are able to perceive its relevance and usefulness in the present day.

There are several approaches that we take, guided by the content of the Cambridge Latin Course, in order to do this.

  • Influence of Latin on English – Each stage of the Cambridge Latin Course comes with a vocabulary list of c. 25 words which students are expected to learn. Worksheets encourage students to think of English words that are derived from the Latin vocabulary e.g. “canis” (dog) = canine. Derivative questions also feature in end of unit assessments and are included in the GCSE exam.
  • Evolution of Latin into French and Spanish – Nearly all Year 7 and Year 8 Latin is taught by a native French speaker, and I have also studied French to A-Level, and both of us will illustrate connections between the languages with classes that study Latin and French. The department would benefit from someone who could do the same with Spanish, but I do ask classes studying Latin and Spanish if common features such as pronouns and verb endings are similar.
  • Influence of Latin and Greek on the Modern Curriculum – One topic covered in Year 7 is education in the Roman world, which enables students to see the extent to which a Greek and Roman education influences the curriculum even now. Book 1 also covers the Roman influence on politics, Book 2 looks at the Roman and Greek influence on the sciences, especially medicine, as well as technological innovations such as glass-making, and literature, the evolution of history as a discipline, agriculture and sport are also covered.
  • Influence of the Roman Occupation of Britain – Book 2 of the Cambridge Latin Course is set in Roman Britain (fortuitously in the South-East!). Students learn about the influence of the Romans on their local area, from the construction of Watling Street to the naming of Rochester (from the Latin “castra” meaning a military encampment). We study the innovations that the Romans brought with them and students are encouraged, through in-class debates, to consider how the native Celts might have felt about the Roman invaders. In Year 8, students also visit Fishbourne Palace near Chichester – one of the most impressive Roman sites in Britain, with the largest collection of in-situ mosaics, it is also heavily featured in Book 2 as the home of the Romanised Celtic leader King Cogidubnus, one of the major characters in the Cambridge Latin Course. Visiting his palace helps to promote student engagement with the narrative of the course.

From the first, the department puts a strong emphasis on the precise and accurate translation of Latin into grammatically correct English. Students are reminded from the first that meaning in Latin is derived from the endings rather than the order of the words, and are encouraged from Term 1 to translate phrases in a wide variety of word orders to accustom them to this. With Latin not being a spoken language, we forgo speaking and listening exercises, meaning we teach more complex grammar at an earlier stage than French or Spanish. The Cambridge Latin Course lends itself to a spiral pattern of learning whereby nouns, verbs, adjectives and pronouns are revisited in turn, each time building upon the previous level of understanding. By the end of KS3, students will have encountered over 75% of the vocabulary and approximately 65% of the grammar needed for the Latin Language GCSE paper.

At KS4, we focus on the three different elements required for the EDUQAS Latin GCSE. As well as continuing with their study of vocabulary and grammar in line with the Cambridge Latin Course, students study an aspect of Roman Culture which rotates every three years; currently it is Entertainment and Leisure in the Roman World, which will be followed by Daily Life. This builds on the knowledge of the Roman world acquired at KS3, and includes an opportunity for all students to visit a relevant site in England such as Bath or St Albans. In Year 11, to allow for maximum grammar acquisition, students study Roman Literature. Latin and Greek are unique among languages in that students have the opportunity to translate and analyse original literature at GCSE rather than A-Level. This builds upon the skills students have gained in their English Literature classes, and their confidence is boosted by an initial audit of the literary terminology they have been using in this subject.

At KS5 we offer Classical Civilisation rather than Latin, a decision made for a number of reasons. It is in part a legacy decision; when I joined the school, students commenced Latin at the end of Year 7 rather than the beginning as they do now, and studied for the WJEC Level 2 certificates rather than a GCSE; the gap in content between this and the Latin A-Level was too great to bridge. In addition, as increasingly few schools offer Latin for GCSE, we would have limited the number of external students joining the sixth form who could have taken the subject. As Classical Civilisation requires no knowledge of Latin or Greek, and is open to any students who can perform well in subjects such as History or English that require analytical and essay-writing skills, it is much more inclusive. I hope that, with the addition of another full-time Latin teacher, we might be able to think about offering Latin at A-Level and Classical Civilisation at GCSE along with the current provision.

At KS5 we follow the OCR syllabus, which is the only option given that AQA declined to reform their qualifications. We study the compulsory World of the Hero module, which covers Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. The works of Homer are the very first works of literature in the Western world, and something that anyone looking to study any kind of literature should be familiar with. These texts enable students to explore and understand the Classical world and compare their values with ours; what it was to be a man and a hero, ancient views on warfare, slavery, women and religion, all of which resonate with modern-world issues which the Sixth Form cover as part of their tutorial programme. We choose to study the Odyssey rather than the Iliad as the more naturally and immediately engaging of the two epics, although passages of the Iliad that directly influence the Aeneid are also discussed. Students also study the Greek Theatre module, which combines the literary study of Greek tragedy and comedy with an exploration of the visual evidence of theatres and depictions of drama on pottery. The last module offered is Greek Religion, which covers written evidence from Homer, Hesiod and Herodotus, archaeological evidence of temples, pottery, statuary, etc. and an investigation into the origins of Philosophy. Students are constantly encouraged to explore the reasons why the Greeks believed the things that they did, and to draw parallels between Greek beliefs and some of the modern religions they have studied at KS3 and KS4. We do lean towards Greek rather than Roman modules as this plays towards the strengths and interests of the teaching staff.

Implementation

Our approach to teaching Latin is guided by the Cambridge Latin Course, with a few minor adjustments made when I do not find it entirely logical. We do not attempt to align our teaching of grammar points with the French or Spanish departments; as I have said previously, the lack of speaking or listening exercises means that we progress through grammar much more quickly than a modern foreign language. At all points, civilisation topics are taught alongside grammar topics as follows:

Year 7

Language

  • Word Order
  • Nominative and Accusative Cases
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd Declension Nouns
  • Singular Verb Ending – Present
  • Nominative Plural Noun Endings
  • Perfect & Imperfect Tenses – 3rd Person
  • Accusative Plural Noun Endings
  • Comparative & Superlative Adjectives
  • The Dative Case
  • 1st and 2nd Person Plural Nouns

Civilisation

  • Houses in Pompeii
  • Daily Life and Food
  • A Roman Town (Pompeii)
  • The Roman Forum
  • Roman Theatres
  • Slaves and Freedmen
  • Roman Beliefs about the Afterlife
  • Gladiators
  • The Roman Baths
  • Roman Education
Year 8

Language

  • Asking Questions in Latin
  • Perfect & Imperfect Tenses – All Persons
  • Infinitives and Modal Verbs
  • Adjectival Agreement
  • Relative Pronouns and Clauses
  • The Pluperfect Tense
  • The Genitive Case

Civilisation

  • Elections in Pompeii
  • The Eruption of Vesuvius
  • Britain before the Romans
  • The Roman Invasion
  • Cogidubnus – A Client King
  • Fishbourne Palace
  • The City of Alexandria
Year 9

Language

  • Nouns, Adjectives and Gender
  • Demonstrative Pronouns
  • Imperatives
  • Present Participles
  • Personal Pronouns
  • Perfect Passive Participles
  • Perfect Active Participles
  • Further Uses of the Genitive Case
  • Neuter Plural Nouns

Civilisation

  • Roman Egypt
  • Glassmaking in Alexandria
  • Religion in Roman Egypt
  • Medicine in the Ancient World
  • Hieroglyphs and Papyrology
  • Roman Bath
  • The Curse Tablets
  • Sacrifices and Divination
  • Chester – Legionary Fortress

KS4

Language (50%)
  • Pluperfect & Imperfect Subjunctive
  • Indirect Questions
  • Purpose Clauses
  • Gerundives
  • Indirect Commands
  • Result Clauses
  • The Ablative Case
  • Expressions of Time
  • Prepositions and Cases
  • The Present and Imperfect Passive
  • The Perfect Passive
  • Deponent Verbs
  • The Future Tense
  • Indirect Statement
Civilisation (20%)

Topic rotates on three-year cycle. Currently Entertainment and Leisure (Baths, Amphitheatres, Theatres, Dinner Parties, Recitations).

Literature (30%)

Topic rotates on three-year cycle. Currently Chariot Racing, combination of prose texts (Suetonius, Pliny) and Verse Texts (Juvenal, Martial, Ovid, Virgil).

KS5

World of the Hero

Homer’s Odyssey

  • Oral Tradition
  • Nostos
  • Kleos
  • Nature of a Hero
  • Divine Intervention
  • Role of Women
  • Role of Slaves
  • Revenge
  • Home and Family

Virgil’s Aeneid

  • Roman Epic
  • A Roman Hero
  • Augustan Propaganda
  • Pietas
  • The Male Line
  • Patriotism
Greek Theatre
  • Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex
  • Euripides’ Bacchae
  • Aristophanes’ Frogs
  • Drama and the Theatre in Ancient Athenian Society
  • The nature of tragedy
  • The nature of (old) comedy
  • Literary techniques
  • Structure of the plays
  • Dramatic conventions
  • Social, political and religious themes in Tragedy
  • Social and political themes in Comedy
Greek Religion
  • Nature and roles of the Olympian Gods
  • Personal Experience of the Divine
  • The Eleusinian Mysteries
  • The Cult of Asclepius
  • The Oracle at Dodona
  • Religion and Society
  • Impiety and Pollution
  • Politics and Religion
  • The Panathenaia
  • Places of Worship
  • The Athenian Acropolis
  • The Oracle of Delphi
  • The Olympic Games
  • The Role of Priests
  • Sacrifices and Offerings
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Socrates.

The department has no specific prescribed approach to the teaching of Latin and Classics and trusts in the judgement and abilities of individual teachers. However, there are some commonalities which are applied across the department as follows:

  • Staff have excellent subject knowledge and all classes above Year 8 are taught by subject specialists.
  • The HOD has considerable experience of exam marking at GCSE and A-Level.
  • Lessons use appropriate resources drawn from a wide range of Latin courses.
  • Students are regularly given challenging in-depth tasks requiring them to work independently and/or with others as appropriate.
  • Lessons engage students and encourage them to increase their own skills in translation and grammatical analysis.
  • Skills are developed for wider study, including revision and retrieval of knowledge, focusing on the developing of understanding and long term memory, particularly with regard to learning the large amounts of vocabulary necessary for Latin GCSE.
  • Assessment in the form of vocabulary tests and grammar selection and translation exercises is carried out regularly and marked in-depth. KS4 and KS5 classes make regular use of past papers and exam-style assessment.
  • Homework is set regularly, in line with school expectations, and can include translation passages, vocabulary learning, revision of grammar, or civilisation research.
  • The use of correct grammatical vocabulary is used from Year 7 and features in all assessments. Highly precise translation is expected.
  • Literary skills are developed with the study of Latin grammar and explaining the necessity of translating into grammatically correct English.
  • Regular use is made of IT facilities to self-evaluate vocabulary and grammar knowledge, and to conduct research into Civilisation topics.
  • SEN provision effectively meets the individual needs of students, ensuring that they have equal access to learning and progress.
  • Visits are arranged to relevant sites to enable students to view Roman archaeology and artefacts.

Retrieval Practice is embedded within the Cambridge Latin Course and hence within the department’s schemes of work, and students regularly revisit key grammar, both as a stepping stone to more advanced grammar and for revision. Vocabulary tests at KS4 are cumulative, increasing by c. 30 words from week to week.

Assessment at KS3 is designed to promote vocabulary retention and develop grammar skills; students have regular vocabulary tests at the end of each stage (approximately every 3 weeks) and regular assessed tasks focussed on identifying and translating a specific grammar point. There are also longer assessments every 4 stages, drawing on all vocabulary and grammar studied up to that point. This continues into Year 10, with the addition of termly past papers from the end of Term 2 onwards, once students have covered the majority of grammar on the syllabus. The Civilisation element of the GCSE is assessed by short factual questions and essay practice, and the Literature element by translations tests on each test and practice of exam-style literary analysis. Assessment at KS5 consists of a combination of short factual assessments to ensure that students know key terminology and artefacts, and longer essays drawn from past papers whenever possible.

The department provides students with trips designed to complement and enhance engagement with their studies. In Year 8 students visit Fishbourne Palace as part of their study of Roman Britain, and subsequently produce project work used to promote the department at open evening. In Year 10 students visit a site in Roman Britain relevant to the topic of the Roman Civilisation GCSE paper – sites have included Bath and St Albans. Overseas visits to Rome and the Bay of Naples have been offered in the past and will be offered again once staffing has stabilised. KS5 students have the opportunity to attend university lecture days, performances of Greek plays, and the British Museum.

Impact

The impact of the curriculum can be assessed through a number of measures as follows:

  • Students clearly enjoy Latin, as is shown by their engagement in lessons, the consistently high scores in the student survey, and consistently high uptake of GCSE (65-70% of students studying Latin in Year 9 opt to continue with the subject).
  • Latin has grown from a minority subject taken at the end of Year 7 to a subject with staffing levels and student numbers equivalent to MFL, which students choose to study from the beginning of Year 7.
  • Where Classics departments both in Medway and across the country are closing down, ours is growing.
  • Students have a sound understanding of the influence of Latin on other subjects and are able to make connections with MFL, English vocabulary, scientific terminology, etc.
  • Internal assessment shows that students develop both vocabulary knowledge and grammatical understanding, and are able to recall and build on prior learning.
  • KS5 students are able to fluently discuss and compare ancient and modern interpretations of Greek texts and beliefs.
  • Students are able to clearly understand and communicate the influence of the Roman invasion of Britain.
  • SEN and disadvantaged students achieve outcomes in line with their peers.
  • Cognitive techniques and wider study skills are developed by the department, particularly in terms of students’ recall of work from previous years and ability to make links with this prior knowledge.
  • Students develop a wide understanding of many aspects of fundamental British values by comparing and contrasting them to Roman and Greek values.
  • Several KS5 students every year choose to undertake Classics or Ancient History at University, with recent destinations including Oxbridge, Liverpool, Warwick and UCL.

Latin SoW Year 7

Latin SoW Year 8

Latin SoW Year 9

Latin SoW Year 10

Latin SoW Year 11

LIFE SKILLS CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

The National Curriculum dictates that all schools should promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.’  This is a key focus for us within the Life Skills department.

Covering the requirements of Religious Education, Citizenship and PSHE Education, The Life Skills department aims to provide all pupils with significant knowledge and understanding of their own feelings, views and beliefs as well as the feelings, views and beliefs of others.  Students will consider how these impact and shape life in Britain.  We aim to prepare students for making informed personal decisions on matters relating to morality, belief, citizenship and their own lives.  We will do this by fostering an environment of tolerance and dialogue rooted in an understanding of ourselves and others.  We aim to give students the skills to express and explain their own opinions, where applicable supporting them with evidence and examples and to be able to compare these opinions to those of other individuals and groups within society.  Students will be able to analyse and critique opinion and evidence considering reliability and intent in order to reach evaluative conclusions.  Life Skills is taught within timetabled lessons and tutorial sessions at Key Stages 3 and 4 and by a comprehensive tutorial programme, external speakers and compulsory conferences at Key Stage 5, which enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding from prior learning.  A deliberate decision was made not to deliver the new Religious Studies GCSE course, as it was felt that the content limited the opportunities of our pupils to investigate the beliefs and practices of a variety of religions, big questions and moral issues.  By following the new course, we would have had to exclude other areas of our intent.  We have taken the AQA GCSE essay assessment structure to use at key stages 3 and 4 to ensure our pupils acquire the same challenge and skills as their peers.

Choice of content

Religious Education – The National Curriculum Handbook (DfES 2000) asserts that: ‘Religious Education makes a distinctive contribution to the School curriculum by developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of religion, religious beliefs, practices, language and traditions and their influence on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.  It enables pupils to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their own spiritual development, the development of values and attitudes and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life’ In Life Skills lessons and tutorials we use a range of thematic, conceptual, humanising and world view approaches to give pupils the opportunity to achieve all of the above.  We follow the National Curriculum requirements along with the Medway Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education which the Head of Department as an SLE and member of the local SACRE was involved with the development of and have implemented changes required for the new September 2019 version; ensuring pupils have the opportunity to consider a range of worldviews.   In addition to the expectations set out in the Medway Agreed Syllabus we cover a wider range of religious groups in order to reflect the variety of religions represented within our school and Britain as a multicultural society.  The delivery of our curriculum enables us to assist pupils in the development of the traditional British value of mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.  The department works closely with the local authority’s Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education and local RE Hub to ensure best practice is maintained.  We also work with the Pop Up literary program which enables us to further develop our cross curricular work by giving pupils the opportunity to read and meet the author of a novel based on Islamic themes and cultures.  We utilise the religious places around us by visiting the local Cathedral and gurdwara.  Pupils are given the opportunity to express their own spirituality by use of a supervised pupil prayer room.

Citizenship – The National Curriculum for England says that a high-quality citizenship education helps to provide pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. In particular, citizenship education should foster pupils’ keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. Teaching should equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. It should also prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions.  Life Skills lessons provide pupils with all of these things.  We follow the requirements of the National Curriculum with guidance from the association of Citizenship Teaching where applicable.  Pupils gain a strong knowledge base in the subject but also gain opportunities to put the knowledge they have gained into action through activities such as meeting with a magistrate, mock trials, house debating competitions, elections, volunteering through the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and our work as a Rights Respecting School.  The delivery of our curriculum enables us to assist pupils in the development of the traditional British values of democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty.

PSHE – The Life Skills department is committed to providing pupils with the knowledge and skills required to meet their needs both now and in the future.  We deliver a comprehensive PSHE program which is based on best practice and advice from relevant organisations.  We deliver RSE education in line with the Secretary of State’s guidance.  In addition to this we also aim to be early providers of the additional statutory elements of PSHE education as well as encompassing much of the non-statutory but advisable (as directed by the PSHE association) content.  We are supported in our delivery of lessons on radicalisation and extremism by interactive resources provided by the University of Kent and work closely with advisors from Medway Health Directorate to ensure we are meeting the needs of our pupils at a local level. Lessons and schemes of work are designed to be inclusive and to direct pupils towards additional support where this may be required.   Pupils are taught the skills to listen to each other in a sensitive manner.  Topics are taught at an age appropriate stage and are often revisited at relevant points during the year, for example Mental Health awareness week or Internet Safety day.  At Key Stage 5 pupils continue to be supported in PSHE by their tutorial program and a variety of external visitors to school.

The department adds to this a strong focus on both oral and written communication with students from the start of year 7 being expected to plan, structure and deliver extended evaluative essays which build to a substantiated conclusion.  Pupils are provided with individual ‘even better if’ teacher comments on assessed work which enables them to make ongoing progress and develop their essay writing skills.

Please click here to view the Life Skills Tutorial Plan.

Traditional British Values information can be viewed here.

Schemes of Work

MATHEMATICS CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The intent of the department curriculum is to ensure that all pupils are able to gain sufficient wide and extensive knowledge so that they are well prepared for the next stage of their education and can apply their mathematical knowledge in many subjects across the curriculum such as science, geography and computing. The Scheme of Work at Key Stage 3 is organised into distinct domains, but pupils should build on Key Stage 2 and connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.

Decisions about progression are based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage of their education. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content in preparation for the next stage of their education. Those who are not sufficiently fluent will be given the opportunity to consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on. At KS3 pupils are taught in order to:

Develop fluency

  • Consolidate their numerical and mathematical capability from key stage 2 and extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include decimals, fractions, powers and roots.
  • Select and use appropriate calculation strategies to solve increasingly complex problems.
  • Use algebra to generalise the structure of arithmetic, including formulating mathematical relationships.
  • Substitute values in expressions, rearrange and simplify expressions, and solve equations.
  • Move freely between different numerical, algebraic, graphical and diagrammatic representations.
  • Develop algebraic and graphical fluency, including understanding linear and simple quadratic functions.
  • Use language and properties precisely to analyse numbers, algebraic expressions, 2-D and 3-D shapes, probability and statistics.

Reason mathematically

  • Extend their understanding of the number system; make connections between number relationships, and their algebraic and graphical representations.
  • Extend and formalise their knowledge of ratio and proportion in working with measures and geometry, and in formulating proportional relations algebraically.
  • Identify variables and express relations between variables algebraically and graphically.
  • Make and test conjectures about patterns and relationships; look for proofs or counter-examples
  • Begin to reason deductively in geometry, number and algebra, including using geometrical constructions.
  • Interpret when the structure of a numerical problem requires additive, multiplicative or proportional reasoning.
  • Explore what can and cannot be inferred in statistical and probabilistic settings, and begin to express their arguments formally.

Solve problems

  • Develop their mathematical knowledge, in part through solving problems and evaluating the outcomes, including multi-step problems.
  • Develop their use of formal mathematical knowledge to interpret and solve problems, including in financial mathematics.
  • Begin to model situations mathematically and express the results using a range of formal mathematical representations.
  • Select appropriate concepts, methods and techniques to apply to unfamiliar and non-routine problems.

The key concepts are extended further at KS4, so pupils are taught in order to:

Develop fluency

  • Consolidate their numerical and mathematical capability from key stage 3 and extend their understanding of the number system to include powers, roots {and fractional indices}.
  • Select and use appropriate calculation strategies to solve increasingly complex problems, including exact calculations involving multiples of π {and surds}, use of standard form and application and interpretation of limits of accuracy.
  • Consolidate their algebraic capability from key stage 3 and extend their understanding of algebraic simplification and manipulation to include quadratic expressions, {and expressions involving surds and algebraic fractions}.
  • Extend fluency with expressions and equations from key stage 3, to include quadratic equations, simultaneous equations and inequalities.
  • Move freely between different numerical, algebraic, graphical and diagrammatic representations, including of linear, quadratic, reciprocal, {exponential and trigonometric} functions.
  • Use mathematical language and properties precisely.

Reason mathematically

  • Extend and formalise their knowledge of ratio and proportion, including trigonometric ratios, in working with measures and geometry, and in working with proportional relations algebraically and graphically.
  • Extend their ability to identify variables and express relations between variables algebraically and graphically.
  • Make and test conjectures about the generalisations that underlie patterns and relationships; look for proofs or counter-examples; begin to use algebra to support and construct arguments {and proofs}
  • Reason deductively in geometry, number and algebra, including using geometrical constructions.
  • Interpret when the structure of a numerical problem requires additive, multiplicative or proportional reasoning.
  • Explore what can and cannot be inferred in statistical and probabilistic settings, and express their arguments formally.
  • Assess the validity of an argument and the accuracy of a given way of presenting information.

Solve problems

  • Develop their use of formal mathematical knowledge to interpret and solve problems, including in financial contexts.
  • Make and use connections between different parts of mathematics to solve problems.
  • Model situations mathematically and express the results using a range of formal mathematical representations, reflecting on how their solutions may have been affected by any modelling assumptions.
  • Select appropriate concepts, methods and techniques to apply to unfamiliar and non-routine problems; interpret their solution in the context of the given problem.

Together, the mathematical content set out in the KS3 and KS4 scheme of work covers the full range of material contained in the GCSE Mathematics qualification. Wherever it is appropriate, given pupils’ security of understanding and readiness to progress, pupils are taught the full content set out in this programme of study for KS4. The more able pupils are offered an extra qualification which is called GCSE Further Mathematics. This qualification places an emphasis on higher order technical proficiency, rigorous argument and problem-solving skills. It gives high achieving students an introduction to AS level topics that will help them to develop skills in Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Matrices, Trigonometry, Functions and Graphs.

These skills are taken much further at KS5 when they start their A Level course in Mathematics and Further Mathematics. This increase of knowledge and understanding of mathematical techniques and their applications also support the study of other A levels, provide excellent preparation for a wide range of university courses, lead to a versatile qualification that is well-respected by employers and higher education. Students taking Further Mathematics overwhelmingly find it to be an enjoyable, rewarding, stimulating and empowering experience. It is a challenging qualification, which both extends and deepens pupils’ knowledge and understanding beyond the standard A Level Mathematics. Students who study it often say it is their favourite subject. For someone who enjoys mathematics, it provides a challenge and a chance to explore new and more sophisticated mathematical concepts. As well as learning new areas of the compulsory units of core pure mathematics, the pupils are given the opportunity to deepen their understanding further of the more challenging applications of mathematics units in mechanics and statistics. Their understanding of the overall combinations of the Further Mathematics units make the standard A Level topics seem easier and the challenge of solving some of the complicated problems help to develop areas of the brain untouched by other subjects. Some of the new topics such as matrices and complex numbers are vital in many STEM degrees. Some prestigious university courses require the pupils to have a Further Mathematics qualification and others may adjust their grade requirements more favourably to students with Further Mathematics. The options we select for the students will put them even in a stronger position.

Implementation

At Key Stage 3 schemes of work are based upon the new Key Stage Curriculum for Mathematics.  The Mathematics department has implemented the new changes to the National Curriculum and has a large number of resources in addition to the published text books to enrich students’ learning of mathematics. As a result, the department decided to:

  • Invest on new quality textbooks and other electronic resources for all students in KS3. Each student has a textbook in class and has access to the electronic versions at home. My Maths and other commercial packages are very well used by most teachers and students.
  • To change the termly assessments in Years 7 to 9 in order to meet the new changes.
  • Use the new GCSE grading system from Year 7 to Year 11 from 2015.
  • Encourage the students to be more independent and more resilient.
  • Focus on depth of understanding rather than working through content.
  • Teach pupils how to connect new knowledge with existing knowledge in order to develop their understanding further. To ensure that pupils develop fluency and unconsciously apply their knowledge. To nurture confidence and raise achievement we constantly focus on the 10 Key Principles of Progress in Mathematics at KS3 and beyond. They are:
  • Fluency
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Multiplicative Reasoning
  • Problem Solving
  • Progression
  • Concrete-Pictorials-Abstract
  • Relevance
  • Modelling
  • Reflection
  • Linking

The department puts a great emphasis on KS3, as explained above, and its importance for students to be successful in mathematics later. The assessments and grading system used make the transition from KS3 to KS4 very smooth, almost unnoticed! We decided to increase the number of classes in Year 9 from 6 to 8 and the number of periods from 7 to 8. Year 7 and 8 classes have seven periods and the length of a period is 1 hour. We also decided to increase the curriculum time at KS4 time from 6 periods a fortnight to 7 and then to 8 for GCSE Mathematics prior to the start of the new GCSE in September 2015. This increase was essential for the delivery of the new syllabus due to increase in content and level of challenge. We also increased the number of classes from 6 to 8 allowing learning to be structured and paced most appropriately.

Current topics taught are:

Year 7

Analysing and displaying data, number skills, equations, functions and formulae, fractions, angles and shapes, decimals, equations, multiplicative reasoning, perimeter, area and volume and sequencing and graphs

Year 8

Factors and powers, working with powers, 2D shapes and 3D solids, real life graphs, transformations, fractions, decimals and percentages, constructions and loci, probability, scale drawings and measure and graphs

Year 9

Powers and roots, quadratics, inequalities, equations and formulae, collecting and analysing data, multiplicative reasoning, non-linear graphs, accuracy and measures, graphical solutions, trigonometry and mathematical reasoning.

Year 10 and 11

Number, algebra, interpreting and presenting data, fractions, ratio and percentages, angles and trigonometry, graphs, area and volume, transformations and constructions, equations and inequalities, probability, multiplicative reasoning, similarity and congruence, equations and graphs, proof, vectors and geometric proof and proportion and graphs.

Year 12 and 13 (A Level Mathematics)

Pure Mathematics – Algebraic methods, functions and graphs, circles, exponentials and logarithms, sequences and series, the binomial expansion, trigonometry and modelling, parametric equations, calculus, numerical methods and vectors.

Statistics – Data collection, measures of location and spread, representations of data, probability, statistical distributions, hypothesis testing, regression and correlation and the normal distribution.

Mechanics – Modelling in mechanics, constant and variable acceleration, forces and motion, moments, projectiles and application of forces.

Year 12 and 13 (Further Maths)

In addition to the A Level Mathematics units, the Further Mathematics pupils will study:

Core Pure Mathematics – Complex numbers, roots of polynomials, volumes of revolution, matrices, linear transformations, proof by induction, series, methods in calculus, polar coordinates, hyperbolic functions and differential equations.

Further Mechanics 1 – Impulse and momentum, work, energy and power, elastic strings and springs, elastic collisions in one and two dimensions.

Decision Mathematics 1 – Algorithms, graphs and networks, algorithms on graphs, the route inspection problem, the travelling salesman problem, linear programming, the simplex method and the critical path analysis.

In Year 7 pupils are taught Mathematics as a form. In Years 8 and 9 pupils are divided into two parallel groups.  In Years 8 and 9 there are four sets in each half grouped based on Mathematical ability.  In Years 10 and 11 pupils are also divided into two parallel groups set according to their Mathematical ability. All groups are studying GCSE Mathematics and the more able will study GCSE Further Mathematics too.  The sets into which pupils are placed are dependent upon their work throughout the year and their performance in the end of year examinations.  No setting takes place in Years 12 and 13.

Whilst there is no prescribed model of teaching, teachers explain clearly, support independence through worked examples and assess regularly, providing feedback on how to improve through a variety of mechanisms. Knowledge and Skills are transferred to pupils’ long term memories, through the activities undertaken, through over-learning that takes place and through the structures and sequencing of learning over time.  This will allow pupils to become better at thinking logically and analytically. Through solving problems, pupils develop resilience and are able to think creatively and strategically. The writing of structured solutions, proof and justification of results help them to formulate reasoned arguments. The pupils will have as a result excellent numeracy skills and the ability to process and interpret data. Homework and class work is regularly scrutinised to ensure a pupil is progressing appropriately and acted upon accordingly. Investigational work is used too to assess individual and group work and the ability to present communicate mathematical ideas, understanding and results.

There are termly assessments for all year groups from Year 7 to Year 13 which are taken under examination conditions. This is to ensure that pupils regularly retrieve the information learned. Thorough feedback is given to pupils to check understanding effectively, and identify and correct any misconceptions. Extension tasks for all, but in particular for the more able are used to ensure that pupils embed key concepts in their long-term memory and apply them fluently. There are also end of year examinations for all year groups. The results of these assessments are used to help pupils embed knowledge and use it fluently and assist teachers in producing clear next steps for all pupils.

All pupils in Year 7, about 60 pupils in each of Years 8 to 11 and all the pupils who study A Level Mathematics in Years 12 and 13 participate in the yearly UK Maths Challenges. These mathematical enrichment activities which are organised by the UKMT give the opportunity for Years 7 to 13 pupils to participate in three individual national challenges. A number of students from each challenge usually qualify to a follow-on Olympiad round and take part in mentoring schemes and summer schools which are aiming at high performing pupils. Trips are organised for some pupils from each challenge to participate in regional competitions.

The department plays a key role in the school’s engagement with several different partner schools across Europe through Erasmus+ projects to create an array of interesting international learning opportunities for our pupils. We place a strong emphasis on delivering international education across a broad curriculum, raising students’ awareness of different cultures and social conditions through well-planned activities, some of which draw global learning into STEM based projects. This involves taking pupils in trips to visit our partner schools and welcoming students to visit our school and participating in a variety of activities.

Impact

  • Students in all Key Stages enjoy studying Mathematics, which is evident through their behaviour and attitude in lessons, quality of work in their books, lesson observations and the regular pupil surveys.
  • The curriculum helps the students to understand mathematics and mathematical processes in ways that promote confidence, foster enjoyment and provide a strong foundation for progress to further study.  It extends their range of mathematical skills, techniques and enhances their understanding of the coherence and progression in mathematics and how different areas of mathematics are connected.
  • The impact of the curriculum will be seen through pupils gaining an extensive amount of knowledge and skills which enable them to access the next steps in their education and life. This is evidenced through the excellent results in public examinations. The GCSE results for the first examination of the new curriculum put the Mathematics Department in the top 1% nationally with a Progress 8 of 1.17. The average Progress 8 has 0.95 in the last three years.  This is clear evidence about the successful teaching strategies used by the department to embed key concepts and knowledge to pupils’ long-term memory and apply them fluently including SEND and disadvantaged pupils.
  • The impact of the curriculum is also seen through the popularity of the subject at Key Stage 5. A large number of students study A Level Mathematics as well as A Level Further Mathematics many of whom go on to study the subject or subject related disciplines at some of the top universities. In 2018, 10 students decided to study Mathematics, 11 decided to study Engineering, 8 decided to study Accounting and Finance, 5 decided to study Computing and 13 decided to study Economics at university. In total, 47 (over 27%) of the students went on to study mathematics or related subjects at university. This is due to students’ attitudes towards mathematics, their on-going engagement with the subject and the quality of increasing mathematical competence at GCSE.
  • The Mathematics curriculum also helps the students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning and the evaluation of their own mathematical development.  They are encouraged to become responsible citizens; this is achieved through applying mathematics in other fields of study and be aware of the relevance of mathematics to the world of work and to situations in society in general.

 

Please scroll down to the required year group:

 

Year 7

Maths KS3 Year 7 SoW adjusted

 

Year 8

Maths KS3 Year 8 SoW adjusted

 

Year 9

Maths KS3 Year 9 SoW adjusted

Maths GCSE – 1 SoW

Maths A-Level – Active Learn

Scheme of Work GCSE Mathematics (9-1)

 

Year 10

Year 10 New Scheme of Work GCSE Mathematics (9-1)

 

Year 11

Year 11 New of Scheme of Work GCSE Mathematics (9-1)

 

 

MUSIC CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato

The music department aims to enable all pupils to access and experience music from all cultures, backgrounds and historical contexts.  We believe in the value of music because of its importance in making connections with the world and expression within ourselves but also with the world around us.  Whilst adhering to the National Curriculum the wider curriculum and extra-curricular offer we aim to:

  • Provide a creative and inspiring music education
  • Reduce the barriers for engagement (no kb at home- same opportunity) not disadvantaged because of resources at home, religion
  • Keeping creativity and relevance at the heart of our thinking. By using modern technology to enhance the pace of learning.
  • Embrace collaboration – cross curricular – link with Drama, History, DT, ICT, Numeracy and literacy
  • Engaging with the wider local community

Pupils need to develop knowledge and skills in the three National Curriculum areas of Composing, Performing as well as Listening and Appraisal.  It is not just about producing musicians with strengths in one aspect of music but competence in all three disciplines through a spiral curriculum where each musical experience builds and extends what has been learnt from the previous one.

 The extra-curricular musical offer goes hand in hand with the curriculum.  Practise rooms can be used after school and at lunch time by pupils and there are a wide range of clubs offered in diverse musical styles.

Choice of Content

  1. Selection of topics Listening – wide of styles, describe, evaluate and reflect on what they hear and how it relates to them as people.  (inward reflectivity)
  2. Composing – curiosity, inquiring minds, retrieval,
  3. Common Language – communicate musically
  4. Performing – resilience, every child as the opportunity to perform to an audience – either in class or a concert –. Celebrating performance success
  5. Enable pupils to develop critical engagement and a “deep understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen and its history” (National Curriculum 2013)

At Key Stage 4 and 5 we have chosen the Edexcel specification because of its choice of Set Works which mirror our aim to provide a diverse musical experience.  The works that pupils will study cover a range of genres and historical periods and enable pupils to engage in a critical way making links with the context of the piece.

Implementation

Music is taught through various topics which give a sample of each flavour of a range of musical styles. Topics and timings are discussed at department level to take account of: what pupils need to know understand and do, links to GCSE and A Level courses, staff expertise and pupil engagement. At the core of the content are the elements of music – Dynamics, Rhythm and Metre, Context, Structure, Melody, Instrumentation, Texture, Harmony and Tonality (otherwise known as DR C SMITH)

Year 7 – Music and Me, Samba, Keyboard Skills, Orchestral Instruments, Reggae, All pupils have the opportunity to perform at a concert.

Year 8 – Rock and Roll, The Beatles, Theme and Variation, Indian Music

Year 9 – Music and War, Film Music, Ground Bass

Assessment is via various practical projects and a termly listening test.  Each pupil has a tracker sheet which is a record of their progress and opportunity for them to reflect on their learning in that unit and how they have developed.  These are assessed using similar criteria to the GCSE and A Level.

SEN pupils – often music can be a form of expression for SEN and something in which they feel confident as it is a language that enable them to effectively communicate.

The skills are literacy and numeracy are woven into lessons with a focus on knowing and applying key vocabulary from each unit and the retrieval of knowledge from previous topics.

Some pupils enter the school with often little to no musical experience whilst others enter having achieved graded exams in performance.  The department, whilst giving equality of opportunity and experience, realises the activities need to be adapted and bespoke to each pupil.  An accelerated curriculum is applied for some pupils especially in year 9 where those opting for GCSE are giving a booster theory course for term 5.  Instrumentalists are encouraged to perform to the class and use their instruments and knowledge in lessons.

When studying some styles of music, it can be the case that the pupil is ‘the expert”.  This is especially true in the Indian Music topic where pupils have grown up immersed in Bollywood, Bhangra and Classical Indian Music.  They are encouraged to bring and share this knowledge so that the teacher is in some way a learner too.

Homework – at key stage 3 there is one homework set per term.  At Key Stage 4, 5 this homework includes regular practise and attendance at instrumental/vocal lessons.

Impact

As well as knowing, remembering and being able to make more music, pupils leave The Key Stage 3 Scheme of Work fully meets, if not exceeds, the requirements of the National Curriculum.

The impact of Music at the Math is not always evident as sometimes a musical seeds which are planted may develop even years later when a person may decide to learn an instrument in retirement!  As the pupils have described it, “Music is for life, not just school. It’s about turning potential into reality”.

We view our impact through:

  • Results in GCSE and A LEVEL
  • Popularity at ks 4 &5
  • Uptake of instrumental lessons
  • Retention rate of Musicians from joining end of KS2 through to Post 18 destinations.
  • Concerts
  • Examination results – instrumental
  • Outreach – Tunbury, St Andrews
  • Involvement in County and MMA KNBJ

KS3

Music Year 7 Scheme of Work

Music Year 8 Scheme of Work

Music Year 9 Scheme of Work

KS4

Music Year 10 Scheme of Work

Music Year 11 Scheme of Work

KS5

Music Year 12 Scheme of Work

Music Year 13 Scheme of Work

PHYSICAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

The aim of the Physical Education is to engender the lifelong love of physical activity and sport. Our goal is to develop confidence and competence in a broad range of physical activities, this will aid the pupils with the benefits associated with increased physical activity, these can range from benefits in physical and mental health and improved attainment. In a time of increasingly sedentary lifestyles it is vital we instil life changing habits into the next generation.

Our curriculum is split into the following areas:

Using a range of strategies to overcome opponents

  • Perform in a range of progressive situations to apply the skills taught in order to outwit and overcome opponents or challenging situations.  Develop their own tactical ideas to overcome opponents.
  • Use effective teamwork, leadership and cooperation in team situations to overcome opponents.

Develop technique and improve performance  

  • Students will be taught the key skills and teaching points for the activities being delivered.
  • Select and apply skills in closed and open situations.
  • Scaffold on skills, technique and tactics year on year.
  • Understand the role that fitness has in improving performance

Analyse their own and others performance

  • Learn and apply the correct teaching points
  • Self and peer assess
  • Use ICT to analyse and improve own and others work
  • Receive high quality feedback to assist with analysis

Take part in a range of competitive sports

  • Develop skills in lessons and games sessions.
  • Attend squad training sessions delivered by appointed member of the PE department.
  • Receive additional coaching from external specialist coaches.
  • Develop technical and tactical knowledge.
  • Develop position/role specific skills

Build character

  • Instil the values of sportsmanship, respect and resilience through physical activity and sport.
  • The department places a strong emphasis on respect, dedication and commitment and this is a theme that will run through all P.E., Games lessons and extra-curricular activities.

Implementation

The department offers a broad and balanced curriculum with topics taught in termly blocks in P.E. These lessons are taught in mixed ability groups.

Year 7: Health Related Fitness, Swimming, Hockey, Short Tennis, Athletics

Year 8: Health Related Fitness, Swimming, Hockey, Badminton, Athletics, Tennis

Year 9: Health Related Fitness, Swimming, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics, Tennis

Year 10: Health Related Fitness, Swimming, Basketball, Badminton, Softball, Tennis

Year 11: Health Related Fitness, Basketball, Badminton, Softball, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee

All pupils will study a minimum of 2 hours of Physical Education and Games per week in Key Stage 3 and 4 and 1 hour of Games in Key Stage 5. The Physical Education department is incredibly lucky that it can offer students its curriculum on site and facilities include swimming pool, Fitness Suite, cricket nets, astroturf hockey pitch, 6 rugby pitches, 3 cricket pitches

GCSE PE: Fitness and Body Systems, Health and Performance, Practical Performance and Personal Exercise Programme

A Level PE: Scientific Principles of P.E., Psychological and Social Principles of P.E., Skill Acquisition and Sports Psychology, Sport and Society, Practical Performance and Performance Analysis and Performance Development Programme

Games lessons are either termly or pupils will study topics for 2 terms dependent on what ability group they are in. Games lessons are set in ability groups to ensure appropriate challenge and for safety reasons.

Year 7: Rugby, Hockey, Cricket

Year 8: Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Tennis, Athletics

Year 9: Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Tennis, Athletics, Softball

Year 10: Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Tennis, Athletics, Softball

Year 11: Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Tennis, Athletics, Softball, Ultimate Frisbee

We have no prescribed approach to the teaching of Physical Education which enables teachers to make the most of their own skills, abilities and professional judgements. However; there are common ways in which the curriculum is implemented across the department

  • Staff have excellent subject knowledge and are all subject specialists
  • Lessons are appropriately challenging
  • Students are made aware of their current level and what they must do to progress to the next level
  • Students are given the opportunities to achieve through practical and verbal success criteria in lessons
  • Students have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities both before, at lunchtime, after school and also at weekends
  • Assessment both formal and informal informs teaching
  • Use of subject specific vocabulary is embedded from Year 7
  • Use of theoretical themes threaded into lessons from year 7
  • Reference to GCSE Physical education criteria within schemes of work and therefore lessons
  • SEN provision meets the needs of individual pupils ensuring that they have equal access
  • Our employment of external coaches in some sports ensures pupils are getting access to the very latest expertise
  • At Key Stage 4 and 5 examination PE assessments mirror the ones the pupils will face in external exams
  • Extra-curricular provision is designed to complement and enhance activity levels
  • After school clubs happen in all topics studied in the curriculum
  • We have close links with external clubs ie. Medway RFC where we can see and hear about some of our former pupils enjoying success

The external coaches in rugby, cricket, badminton and netball provide our pupils with a wealth of learning opportunities and also additionally help to keep the full time P.E. teachers knowledge up-to-date

The department offers pupils regular opportunities to compete against other schools and embarks on a number of high profile overseas tours, which go to Barbados, Canada and Barcelona. The Barcelona tour was fortunate to gain a bursary from the Old Williamson’s Hockey Club which enabled 4 pupils to make the trip affordable.

Our link to the Old Boys Club is important and gives our pupils an avenue they can follow after leaving school if they choose.

Impact

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through a number of measures

  • Physical Education is a popular subject with very low non-participation rates across all year groups
  • Student outcomes at both GCSE and A Level P.E. are good
  • A number of our students go on to study a sport related degree at university
  • Internal assessments at examination P.E. demonstrate that pupils effectively develop P.E. specific skills
  • SEN pupils achieve in line with their peers
  • Students can effectively communicate about P.E.
  • Student numbers at GCSE and A Level are good
  • Pupil voice surveys indicate that they enjoy P.E.
  • Extra-curricular numbers are high and pupils will give up their time, most notably on Saturday mornings throughout the year to represent the school
  • We are producing successful teams and individuals in a wide range of sports
  • We have produced 2 school boy international rugby players in the last 2 years, in addition we have has successes of former pupils in a range of different sports
  • House Sport is an integral part of the extra-curricular programme and sports are offered in a wide range of activities, the Founder’s Day sports afternoon is the highlight of these occasions
  • We have excellent links with the Old Williamsonian’s Sports Clubs

Athletics Scheme of Work

Badminton Scheme of Work

Basketball Scheme of Work

Cricket Scheme of Work

Hockey Scheme of Work

PE A-Level

PE HRF

PE Personal Survival Scheme of Work

Rugby Scheme of Work

Short Tennis Scheme of Work

Softball Scheme of Work

Swimming Scheme of Work

Tennis Scheme of Work

PHYSICS CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

The department aims to provide for students with a broad range of interests in science.  Some students will pursue education in Physics through to Key Stage 5, degree level and perhaps beyond.  Our aim is to provide them with a solid background of understanding, and a high level of numerical skill and ability to formulate arguments rationally and logically.  Other students may enter higher education or employment with the need to utilize the skills and knowledge they have learnt in Physics whilst at school.  Some students are unlikely to pursue employment in a career related to Physics but will still benefit from a broad appreciation of the physical rules governing the way the world works, recognise the benefit of rational explanation and be encouraged to be curious about natural phenomena.  The Physics curriculum has been designed to cater for all students irrespective of the direction their future might take, giving them the knowledge and skills to form the next generation of scientists, engineers, professionals and informed, interested members of society.

At Key Stage 3 and beyond students are taught the following key scientific skills:

Scientific enquiry

  • Planning of practical investigations
  • Performing practical procedures and taking measurements
  • Systematically recording observations and measurements
  • Analysis of results to form conclusions
  • Recognition of the sources of experimental errors, and the purpose of taking repeat results and calculating averages
  • Evaluation of experiments

Numerical skills

  • Use and manipulation of mathematical formulae
  • Knowledge and use of SI units
  • Use of prefixes eg kilo , centi etc
  • Estimation
  • Construction and interpretation of graphs (including gradient at KS3 and area at KS4)
  • Understanding exponential relationships (in KS4 and 5)
  • Identification of anomalous results and calculation of averages
  • Calculation of uncertainties (in KS5)

Literacy skills

  • The meaning of command words
  • Use of subject specific terminology with an emphasis on common errors
  • Correct spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Inclusion of a suitable level of detail, for example within scientific explanations or descriptions of practical procedures

Forming reasoned arguments

  • The recognition of relevant knowledge and abstract ideas, including use of relevant equations to identify key terms
  • Sequencing of ideas
  • Providing logical justification and reasoning

Techniques to improve long term memory are being introduced including:

  • Production of revision summaries
  • Concept mapping
  • RAG analysis of learning objectives
  • Repeated revision and recall of formulae

Implementation

At Key Stage 3 schemes of work follow the National Curriculum to a very large extent and have been amended in order to increase the level of challenge in Key Stage 3 to better prepare students for the new GCSE specification.  A spiral curriculum ensures that common big ideas in Physics are revisited and extended allowing pupils to consolidate prior learning, encourage retention in their long term memory and extend their knowledge base and ability to apply this knowledge.  The curriculum focuses largely on improving knowledge and application of forces, motion, energy, waves, electricity, astronomy and practical enquiry skills.

To establish a solid foundation of the most fundamental concepts students study units on Forces, Energy and Electricity in Year 7.  Students start to apply these concepts in Year 8 through their study of heat transfer, waves and space and forces and transport.  In Year 9 the idea of work done is introduced and the study of force, energy and electricity becomes considerably more numerical. The fundamental concepts are explored in greater depth through Key Stages 4 and 5, becoming increasingly conceptual and requiring greater application to unfamiliar situations.  Students start to realize that the difficulty of Physics is often to see how simple the solution really is.  We promote the drawing of diagrams to help them understand problems and train them to identify the physical relationships and ideas that are likely to be involved in an answer so that they can form increasingly complex arguments from them.

At Key Stage 3 students study the following sequence of units:

Year 7

Energy and electricity

Students learn about energy types, energy transfers , energy resources and electric circuits and current.

The concept of voltage is not taught at this stage as students find this conceptually difficult and we feel they learn better when they have a clear understanding of current first.

Forces, motion and deformation

Students learn to describe forces as a push or a pull of one object on another, as this helps them to think more critically about forces in more complex situations. They measure and calculate weights and masses.  Numerical and observational skills are developed through an investigation into buoyancy, in which students calculate density and relate their answers to the particle model of matter. Friction and free-body force diagrams are taught and this leads on to the study of impact forces.

Year 8

Forces and transport

The topic commences with learning about resultant force and how this causes objects to accelerate, and how drag limits the speed of moving objects. Numerical skills are developed by the drawing and interpretation of motion graphs and calculation of speed and acceleration. The concept of velocity (as opposed to speed) is introduced for the first time. The topic broadens students’ experience of force and electricity via the study of magnetic fields, moments and pressure.

Heat

Students recap the particle model of matter and use this to explain expansion and thermometer design. They start to differentiate between temperature and heat, and start learn how heat is transferred.  The aim is to give students a solid grounding in the basic concepts upon which they can build in Year 9 and 11.

Waves and space

We find that pupils’ experience of these topics from primary school is mixed and that they benefit from covering the law of reflection and the way angles are measured from a normal before we can extend their learning to refraction. Similarly students come with misconceptions about colour and how to explain the phases of the moon and seasonal changes, so these concepts are taught and assessed to fill gaps in student’s knowledge prior to Key Stage 4.

Year 9

Energy in space and on Earth

Whilst learning more about weight, students make and test their own force meter. Students learn to calculate of work, kinetic and gravitational potential energies in order to increase the level of challenge and provide a grounding in the numerical skills needed at GCSE. Finally the concept of energy is extended to electric circuits initially recapping rules for current and then extending to the measurement and calculation of voltage, using voltage to explain where energy is transformed in electric circuits.

Pressure and moments

Learning is extended by a greater emphasis on numerical work calculating pressures and upthrust.  Vector and scalar quantities are introduced for the first time and students start to perform vector addition, calculating resultant vectors. At the end of the unit, work from Year 8 on hydraulics and moments is recapped and extended.  The teaching of moments and pressure in the same topic is deliberate, as it provides the best opportunity for dealing directly with the issues of commonly confused concepts of work and moments and their units. The scheme of work aims to give students clear examples of the practical importance of moments, not simply limited to the balancing of beams supported by a single pivot.

In Key Stages 4 and 5 the curriculum is predominantly dictated by the Edexcel GCSE and A Level specifications, but students’ work is extended beyond the precise scope of the specification in cases where the department believes that this will enhance students’ ability to apply their knowledge or to understand a concept.  The decision is largely taken by the individual teacher, as he/she is in the best position to make this judgement based on the students in the class. An example of this is the decision to teach about the ‘photon’ and ‘photon energy’ in Key Stage 4 to explain why ultra-violet light is able to ionize atoms rather than just rely on an unexplained statement that ‘ultra-violet has a high frequency’ or that it ‘carries more energy’.  For students who will take Physics at A Level, having a clear grasp of photon energy and the intensity of a radiation makes understanding the photo-electric effect at Key Stage 5 easier (rather than having to correct a muddled understanding at a later date).  Practical work includes the core practicals specified by the Edexcel to meet QCA requirements.

At A Level students study the Edexcel specification and have 2 teachers enabling them to experience slightly different teaching styles which can help to promote understanding.  Each teacher is responsible for either Paper 1 content or Paper 2.  Both are responsible for teaching the practical skills necessary for core practicals and for developing students’ ability to synthesise ideas, both assessed in Paper 3.

The A Level schemes of work are detailed, but not prescriptive, such that teachers new to teaching a topic have sufficient detailed guidance and commentary on how to link ideas that they are well supported in their teaching, but more experienced teachers are free to set activities of their own choice which can bring greater variety and allows them to tailor teaching to the students in a particular group.  The aim is always to achieve a deep and secure understanding, but also to extend teaching either a little beyond the specification, or apply it to as wide a variety of situations as time allows to broaden students’ study and improve their ability to apply their learning to unfamiliar situations.

Promoting learning

In order to gauge student progress and provide opportunities for students to develop at all key stages their long-term memory, regular revision and testing is incorporated into the scheme of work.

In Key Stage 3 approximately 12 lessons are devoted to every topic and students are assessed after 6 lessons and at the end of the topic with compulsory revision tasks prior to every assessment.  The topic tests are supplemented by end of year exams, and as students progress through Key Stage 3 the end of year exams will test them on the whole curriculum studied to date.

In Key Stage 4 a variety of assessment techniques is used; some assessing particular skills, others assessing a larger body of knowledge using past exam questions.  Students experience full length examination papers at the end of Year 10, November of Year 11 and March of Year 11.  A large body of revision questions has been developed to support students in their learning prior to the Year 10 exam and the final external examinations.  Teacher assessment of the Year 10 exam provides feedback to allow students to make significant improvements to their exam paper, building skills and a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Physics Paper 1 content prior to their mock exam in November of Year 11.  The department is also planning a series of frequent quick tests to help consolidate recall of prior material throughout the school year.

In Key Stage 5 testing is undertaken in the first 2 weeks to check on students’ knowledge following the summer holiday work set, in Term 2 (November) of Year 12 and they sit a mock exam in Term 4 (April) of Year 12.  A further mock exam is given in Term 1 of Year 13, after students have had Term 6 and the summer to progress a set of 10 past paper questions, and then in Term 3 and Term 4 of Year 13.  This is supplemented by other smaller tests.  In every case, students are given their marked work and a set of hints to allow them to improve their work further.

The progress of all students is monitored in termly Data Analysis and Intervention meetings (undertaken in one of the fortnightly line management meetings), during which a strategy for support is identified.

Support to help students make progress is also provided by additional help in lessons, use of lunchtimes, plus support sessions after school on a fortnightly basis at GCSE and a series of holiday and weekend revision sessions for Year 13 (usually totaling around 30 hours).

Impact

In 2019 GCSE Physics students attained an average Grade of 7.1, amongst the highest in the school.  Those taking Combined Science achieved an average of 6.1, slightly below their challenging target.

At A Level the department has secured ALPS scores of 2, 3 and 5 over the last 3 years. It is a consistently highly attaining department.

In addition in manifests itself in these other ways:

  • There is a high take-up of Physics at A level, with external students choosing to move to the Math to study Physics.
  • All students have passed their Practical Endorsement at A level due to the dogged determination of their teachers and the setting of additional tasks, without any reduction in the high standards expected.
  • Students apply their mathematical skills effectively in numerical work.
  • Students can express their ideas clearly, using key terminology.
  • Performance at GCSE is consistently amongst the highest in this highly achieving school.

The department has a target to improve the performance SEN and disadvantaged students to perform in line with their peers.

Please scroll down to the required year group:

KS3

Year 7 Energy and Electricity

Year 7 Forces, Motion and Deformation

Year 8 Forces and Transport

Year 8 Heat

Year 8 Waves and Space

Year 9 Energy in Space and on Earth

Year 9 Pressure and Moments

KS4

Combined Science : Physics

Year 10:

Term 1  Motion and forces, Conservation of energy, Waves
Term 2  Waves, Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
Term 3  Light and the electromagnetic spectrum, Radioactivity
Term 4  Radioactivity
Term 5  Energy: Forces doing work, Forces and their effects
Term 6  Electricity and circuits

Year 11:

Term 1  Electricity and circuits, Magnetism and the motor effect
Term 2  Magnetism and the motor effect, Electromagnetic induction
Term 3  Electromagnetic induction, Particle model
Term 4  Forces and matter
Term 5  Revision

Triple Science : Physics

Year 10:

Term 1  Motion and forces, Conservation of energy, Waves
Term 2  Waves, Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
Term 3  Light and the electromagnetic spectrum, Radioactivity
Term 4  Radioactivity
Term 5  Astronomy,Energy: Forces doing work
Term 6  Forces and their effects

Year 11:

Term 1  Electricity and circuits, Static electricity
Term 2  Static electricity, Magnetism and the motor effect, Electromagnetic Induction
Term 3  Electromagnetic Induction
Term 4  Particle model, Forces and matter
Term 5  Revision

The links for all of the above schemes of work can be found below:

COMBINED SCIENCE

Year 10:

Physics Combined Topic 2 Motion and Forces

Physics Combined Topic 3 Conservation of Energy

Physics Combined Topic 4 Waves

Physics Combined Topic 5 Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Physics Combined Topic 6 Radioactivity

Physics Combined Topic 8 Energy – Forces Doing Work

Physics Combined Topic 9 Forces and their Effects

Physics Combined Topic 10 Electricity and Circuits (Year 10 into 11)

Year 11:

Physics Combined Topic 12 Magnetism and the Motor Effect

Physics Combined Topic 13 Electromagnetic Induction

Physics Combined Topic 14 Particle Model

Physics Combined Topic 15 Forces Matter

TRIPLE SCIENCE

Year 10:

Physics Triple Topic 2 Motion and Forces

Physics Triple Topic 3 Conservation of Energy

Physics Triple Topic 4 Waves

Physics Triple Topic 5 Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Physics Triple Topic 6 Radioactivity

Physics Triple Topic 7 Astronomy

Physics Triple Topic 8 Energy – Forces Doing Work

Physics Triple Topic 9 Forces and their Effects

Year 11:

Physics Triple Topic 10 Electricity and Circuits

Physics Triple Topic 11 Static Electricity

Physics Triple Topic 12 Magnetism and the Motor Effect

Physics Triple Topic 13 Electromagnetic Induction

Physics Triple Topic 14 Particle Model

Physics Triple Topic 15 Forces Matter

KS5

Year 12/13:

A-Level Physics Paper 1

A-Level Physics Paper 2

PSYCHOLOGY CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.

We follow the AQA Psychology A level specification which offers an engaging and effective introduction to Psychology. Students learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher Education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research.  We have chosen this specification over others due to historically having taught the AQA A Psychology specification, the more challenging of the specifications.  Our schemes of work and teacher expertise are geared to the new version of the AQA specification, which incorporates most of the original AQA A Psychology specification with the notable addition of forensic psychology as an option, which we know engages students.   Students in year 12 commit to the full 2 year A level course, as they do for their other subjects.

Aims

The specification encourages students to:

  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills
  • Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • Understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.

At least 10% of the marks in assessments for Psychology will require the use of mathematical skills. These skills are applied in the context of A level Psychology and will be at least the standard of higher tier GCSE mathematics.

Literacy is a focus each lesson as Psychology has numerous key terms which must be learned.

Assessment objectives

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures.

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures:

  • In a theoretical context
  • In a practical context
  • When handling qualitative data
  • When handling quantitative data.

AO3: Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to:

  • Make judgements and reach conclusions
  • Develop and refine practical design and procedures.

Subject content

Paper 1 - Introductory topics in psychology (Compulsory)
  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology
Paper 2 - Psychology in context (Compulsory)
  • Approaches in psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research methods
Optional Content

Option 1: Relationships or Gender or Cognition and Development
Relationships is an engaging topic for the students and they can often relate the topic to their personal lives.  Gender is an engaging topic and was taught under the previous specification, however, relationships is deemed more relevant to students.  Cognition and development, whilst a relatively straightforward and short topic, is less engaging to students.

Option 2: Schizophrenia or Eating behaviour or Stress
Stress was in the original previous specification as a compulsory unit.  Students will suffer from stress whilst studying for their A levels and stress is more likely to be relevant to their lives than the other topics.  Eating behaviour tends to favour female students; schizophrenia is heavily based in biology which might disengage some students and the likelihood of meeting someone with schizophrenia, compared to someone suffering with stress, is low.

Option 3: Aggression or Forensic psychology or Addiction
Aggression was taught under the old specification and does interest students, but some aspects of this topic are covered within the forensic unit, chosen because it engages students more and many are interested in studying this or criminology at university.  Also, the forensic unit, whilst quite a long topic, encourages revision of previous units so we can revise earlier work as we teach the topic content. Addiction sounds quite interesting, but the topic focuses only on addiction to gambling and smoking and students would much rather focus on drug addiction, but that is not an option.

Students develop a range of skills throughout the course.  These are to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods and ethical considerations
  • apply psychological knowledge and understanding of the content in a range of contexts
  • analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies and research methods in relation to the course
  • evaluate psychological concepts, theories, research studies, research methods and explore ethical issues and how to overcome them.
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of practical research skills and mathematical skills
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of current issues and debates in psychology, approaches to psychology, application and evaluation of same

A-level Psychology includes questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

• draw together their skills, knowledge and understanding from across the full course of study

• provide extended responses. For example, sections B, C and D of Paper 3 contain extended response questions. An ‘extended response’ is evidence of sufficient length generated to allow students to demonstrate their ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning which is coherent, relevant, substantiated and logically structured.

Research methods

Students demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of research methods used in psychology, scientific processes and techniques of data handling and analysis, and are familiar with their use and of their strengths and limitations.

These skills are developed through study of the specification content and through ethical practical research activities, involving:

  • Designing research
  • Conducting research
  • Analysing and interpreting data. In carrying out practical research activities, students manage associated risks and use information and communication technology (ICT).

Implementation

Lesson planning
There are two members of staff in the department and we each see students for five lessons each over a fortnightly timetable.  A typical lesson will recap previous content, deliver new content – with a focus on the key terms and skills needed to do well in the exam.  Then we recap the content with some sort of quiz/plenary activity, including exam type question or application questions – taken from the text book.  There are lessons devoted to assessment where students work under exam conditions and once the work is marked feedback is provided to the class for general comments and then the teachers work with individuals to improve their work.   Model answers and/or mark schemes are provided.

Homework of up to one hour is set each night and posted on Show My Homework. Staff teach their own subject areas, but we cross reference the specification at every and any opportunity.  Students are also provided opportunities to do independent work within or beyond the specification and this is monitored regularly.

Due to the applied nature of many topics we take opportunities to link psychological concepts to other subjects and/or the world beyond school.  For example, when we teach interviews as a research method, we link this to the world of work and the job application process.

Students are supplied with a text book and have access to the digital textbook.

SEN provision effectively meets the individual needs of students, ensuring that they have equal access to learning and progress.  Revision guides are purchased for SEN students should they require that extra support.

Assessment
The A level course is working towards three examinations at the end of the second year.  There are three examinations of 2 hours each, 96 marks and each paper represents 33.3% of the final A level.  The examinations have a range of multiple-choice questions, short answer questions and extended writing.  All sections are marked out of 24 marks with the exception of the research methods in paper 2, which is double weighted at 48 marks.  We carry out regular assessments, approximately 6 per term – 3 for teach teacher.  These are approximately 24 marks each, which mirrors the section content in the examinations. There are also classroom tests in November of year 12, more formal mocks in the summer term of year 12 and again in January of year 13.  Student work is robustly marked using secure specimen or past papers.  Constructive feedback is offered and followed up with 1-2-1 conversation by teacher/s to enable students to understand what is required to do well in their examinations.

Impact

The impact of our intent and implementation is measured using ALPS.  We aim for ALPS 3 or above – excellent.  Such a grading means that we are in the top 25% of the country and students are, on average, meeting or exceeding their target grade.

Psychology of learning – our first topic is about memory and we use this to help students develop effective recall and revision strategies applicable to their A level studies generally and to university and the world of work.

Students clearly enjoy their lessons and actively participate and engage with the content both in and outside of the classroom.  They are happy to research beyond what is expected, undertaking independently study to develop their knowledge of psychology.

Students are diligent in revising for assessments and they receive verbal and written feedback on their work from teachers and develop their work as a result.  They engage with staff to do their best.

SEN and disadvantaged students are identified and we liaise with the SEN department to make sure that those students have all they need to do well and achieve their full potential.

Every lesson is linked in some way to the SMSC curriculum and this is evident in our schemes of work and mapped on Grid Maker.   For example, there are different explanations of why people commit crime.  There are links here to the nature / nurture debate and the big question: are criminals born or made?  This maps onto a number of SMSC criteria such as moral codes.

A level Psychology remains a popular subject for our own students continuing into the Sixth Form and for many students new to the school in year 12.  Also, many of our students go on to study related subjects at university including, psychology and criminology.  Last year 8/23 in the cohort went on to study psychology (6), criminology (1) and forensic science (1).

Exam results for 2019 are: A*-B grades 55% (last year 70%), A-C 80% (96%).  C grades improved 25% (26%).  The department remains above the National Average for Psychology and performs better compared to similar schools.  This year 8 students went on to study psychology at university including in South Carolina under a scholarship programme.  A further 5 students went on the study criminology, education and psychology and related disciplines.

Psychology Scheme of Work MJT

Psychology Scheme of Work JXM

SPANISH CURRICULUM STATEMENT

 “A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language.” (Noam Chomsky)

Intent

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. We aim to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. We aim to enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We also endeavour to provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Our Spanish teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages and equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.

KS3 Spanish teaching builds on the foundations of language learning laid at KS2, whether pupils have studied Spanish or another. We focus on developing the breadth and depth of pupils’ competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing, based on a sound foundation of core grammar and vocabulary. We enable pupils to understand and communicate personal and factual information that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, developing and justifying points of view in speech and writing, with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy. In KS3 we strive to provide an excellent preparation for study at GCSE.

At KS3 we aim for pupils to:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied

In order to achieve this, we focus on key areas of applied linguistics:

Grammar and vocabulary

  • Identify and use tenses with verb declensions or other structures which convey the present, past, and future.
  • Use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns, including voices such as the active voice and the passive voice with “se” and mood such as the indicative and the imperative.
  • Develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, allowing them to give and justify opinions and take part in discussion about wider issues such as the environment improvements to facilities where they live and social issues such as child poverty and child labour.
  • Use accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Linguistic competence

  • Listen to a variety of forms of spoken language to obtain information and respond appropriately.
  • Transcribe words and short sentences that they hear with increasing accuracy
  • Initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses, making use of important social conventions such as formal modes of address with the “usted” form.
  • Express and develop ideas clearly and with increasing accuracy, both orally and in writing.
  • Speak coherently and confidently, with increasingly accurate pronunciation and intonation.
  • Read and show comprehension of original and adapted materials from a range of different sources, understanding the purpose, important ideas and details, and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material.
  • Read literary texts in the language such as stories, songs, poems and letters, to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of the language and culture.

At KS4 we will continue the cumulative and progressive content and language, building on the skills and processes gleaned in KS3. We will also build on the foundation of core grammar and vocabulary from KS3, increasing the level of linguistic and cognitive demand.

The content, contexts and purposes of Spanish at KS4 will provide an appropriate foundation for A level study and a suitable preparation for higher education or employment.

At KS4 we aim for our students to be able to:

  • Understand and use language across a range of contexts, appropriate to their age, interests and maturity levels.
  • Use language for a variety of purposes and with a variety of different audiences, including for personal, academic and employment related use.
  • Make use of appropriate social conventions, including informal and formal address and register, as relevant to the task in Spanish.
  • Understand different types of spoken language, including recorded input from one or more speakers in public and social settings and recorded material from authentic sources and the media, appropriate to GCSE.
  • Understand different types of written language, including relevant personal communication, public information, factual and literary texts, appropriate GCSE.
  • Understand contexts addressing relevant matters relating to:
    • Identity and culture
    • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
    • Current and future study and employment
  • Understand literary texts which can include extracts and excerpts, adapted and abridged as appropriate, from poems, letters, short stories, essays, novels or plays from contemporary and historical sources, subject to copyright.

At KS5 the study of Spanish is understood to be an interdisciplinary subject offering the same cognitive and academic advantages as other disciplines within the humanities. In addition to high level practical language skills, the content of A level in Spanish provides depth of knowledge, understanding and intercultural competence and fosters a range of transferable skills such as communication skills, critical thinking, autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, and linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility; all of which are of value to the individual, to wider society, to higher education and to employers. The content for A level in Spanish has been designed to be of relevance to students of all disciplines, whether they intend to progress to further study in the subject or not. It will provide a robust foundation for those wishing to study Spanish, and/or another modern language, to degree level or equivalent. Studying Spanish in KS5 builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills specified in the KS4 subject content.

In KS5 in Spanish we endeavour to enable students to:

  • Enhance their linguistic skills and promote and develop their capacity for critical thinking on the basis of their knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and society of Spain and the Spanish speaking world.
  • Develop control of the language system to convey meaning, using spoken and written skills, including an extended range of vocabulary, for both practical and intellectual purposes as increasingly confident, accurate and independent users of Spanish
  • Develop their ability to interact effectively with Spanish speakers in speech and in writing, including through online media.
  • Develop language learning skills and strategies, including communication strategies to sustain communication and build fluency and confidence.
  • Engage critically with intellectually stimulating texts, films and other materials in Spanish, developing an appreciation of sophisticated and creative uses of Spanish and understanding them within their cultural and social context.
  • Develop knowledge about matters central to the society and culture, past and present, of Spain and the Spanish speaking world.
  • Mediate between cultures and between Spanish speakers and speakers of English
  • Foster their ability to learn other languages.
  • Equip themselves with transferable skills such as autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, critical thinking, and linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility that will enable them to proceed to further study or to employment.
  • Develop their capacity for critical and analytical thinking through Spanish.
  • Develop as independent researchers through Spanish.

Implementation

At Key Stage 3 schemes of work are based upon the new Key Stage Curriculum for Modern languages.  The Spanish department has implemented the new changes to the National Curriculum and has a large number of resources in addition to the published text books to enrich students’ learning of Spanish. As a result, the department decided to:

  • Invest on new quality textbooks and other electronic resources for all students in all Key stages. Each student has a textbook in class and has access to electronic homework. Quizlet.com and other commercial packages are very well used by most teachers and students.
  • To change the termly assessments in Years 7 to 9 in order to meet the new changes.
  • Use the new GCSE grading system from Year 7 to Year 11 from 2016.
  • Encourage the students to be more independent and more resilient.
  • Focus on depth of understanding, particularly in relation to grammar, rather than working through content.
  • Teach pupils how to connect new knowledge with existing knowledge, developing their reference skills, in order to develop their understanding further. To ensure that pupils develop fluency and unconsciously apply their knowledge. To nurture confidence and raise achievement we constantly focus on the linguistic skills:
    • Vocabulary
    • Grammar
    • Listening
    • Reading
    • Speaking
    • Writing

The department puts a great emphasis on KS3, and its importance for students to be successful in Spanish later. The assessments and grading system used make the transition from KS3 to KS4 ensure a smooth transition Year 7, 8 and 9 classes have four periods and the length of a period is 1 hour. Our curriculum time had been reduced from 5 periods to 4 at KS4 prior to the start of the new GCSE in September 2015 for Mathematics and English. This decrease and change of curriculum for the new GCSE prompted a focus on teaching language content via exam type tasks allowing learning to be structured and paced most appropriately.

Current topics taught are:

Year 7

My life, my free time, my school life, my family and friends, my town, where I live, my house, the present tense of regular, radical changing and common irregular verbs, the near future tense, adjectival agreement and syntax, indefinite and definite articles, noun gender, negative phrases, the infinitive, quantitative adjectives, pronunciation, interrogatives, structures of opinion using the infinitive, dative/impersonal verbs, giving and justifying opinions, non-literal translations, recognising cognates and near-cognates, possessive adjectives connectives, qualifiers and sequencers and the verbs for “to be” (“ser” and “estar”).

Year 8

Past holidays, My music and TV interests, mobile phone activities and hobbies, Food, restaurants, parties and shopping, going out to the cinema, making proposals and giving excuses, daily routine, clothes, sporting events, fancy dress party, summer holidays, holiday homes, holiday activities, directions, summer camps, holiday destinations, the preterite of regular and common irregular verbs, demonstrative adjectives, modal verbs that use the infinitive, the comparative, the superlative, irregular comparative adjectives, negatives, the formal and informal address, the conditional of “gustar” with the infinitive, reflexive verbs in the present tense, the imperative in the informal 2nd person singular, and the passive voice with “se puede(n)”.

Year 9

Interests hobbies films and birthdays, work, jobs, future professional plans and the working day, healthy living, diet, active lifestyle, getting fit, ailments, Spanish idioms, Global and societal issues, children’s rights and problems, Fair trade, poverty and child labour, recycling, the environment and ecological living, how a town has changed, travelling in Spain, host families, treasure hunts, souvenirs, planning an itinerary, making yourself understood, the simple future of regular and common irregular verbs, the imperfect tense, direct object pronouns, reflexive verbs, modal verb expressions of obligation that use the infinitive, the dative verb “doler”, the superlative and the comparative.

Year 10 and 11

Identity and culture – Relationships with family and friends, marriage and partnership, Social media and mobile technology, Music, cinema and TV, food and eating out, sport, Spain and customs and festivals in Spain and Hispanic countries.

Local, national, international and global areas of interest – Home, where I live, Charity and voluntary work, healthy and unhealthy living, environment, poverty and homelessness, holidays and travel and regions of Spain.

Current and future study and employment – School and subjects, life at school, university or work and choice of career.

KS3 grammar revision, use of indirect and direct object pronouns together, the conditional tense, the present subjunctive, the imperfect subjunctive, further differences between “ser” and “estar”, structures that require the infinitive, the present continuous, the perfect tense, the pluperfect tense and the imperative, narration using the preterite and the imperfect tenses.

Year 12 and 13

Theme 1: The evolution of Spanish society

The change in the family structure: The evolution of attitudes toward marriage, relationships and families.

The world of work: Work life in Spain and attitudes towards work; job opportunities for young; Gender equality.

The tourist impact in Spain: The economic impact; the opportunities offered by tourism; the socio-environmental impact.

Theme 2: The political and artistic culture in the Spanish-speaking world

Music: Changes and trends; the impact of music on contemporary culture.

The media: Television and soap operas: written and internet media; the impact on society and politics.

Festivals and traditions: Festivals, festivals, customs and traditions.

Theme 3: Immigration and the Spanish multicultural society

The positive impact of immigration on Spanish society: The contributions of immigrants in the economy and culture.

Facing the challenges of immigration and integration in Spain: The measures adopted by local communities; marginalisation and isolation from the point of view of immigrants.

The social and public reaction towards immigration in Spain: The political approach to immigration; Public opinion.

Theme 4: The Francoist dictatorship and the transition to democracy

The Civil War and the rise of Franco (1936-1939): The Civil War and the rise of Franco, the Republicans against the Nationalists; the divisions in society.

The Franco dictatorship: Everyday life under the Franco dictatorship: political oppression, censorship, divisions in society.

The transition from dictatorship to democracy: The role of King Juan Carlos in the transition; the Government of Suarez; the coup d’état of 1981.

Cinema and literature – literary and cinematic language, social, cultural and historic context, analysis and evaluation of key themes, imagery, plot and characters.

Independent research project – presentation of possible areas of interest throughout the Hispanic world.

In years 7 to 9 pupils are taught Spanish as a form. In year 8 we identify low attaining SEND students and encourage them to reinforce their learning via interactive software overseen by learning support assistants.  In Years 10 and 11 pupils are divided into groups according to their other GCSE options. All groups are studying GCSE Spanish and are entered into the higher tier of exam entry unless there is evidence that they would not exceed a grade 5 whereupon foundation level is recommended.  The entries into which pupils are placed are dependent upon their work throughout the year and their performance in the end of year examinations.  No setting takes place in Years 12 and 13.

Whilst there is no prescribed model of teaching, teachers explain clearly, support independence through worked examples and assess regularly, providing feedback on how to improve through a variety of mechanisms. Knowledge and Skills are transferred to pupils’ long term memories, through the activities undertaken and through the structures and sequencing of learning over time, including regular homework.  This will allow pupils to become better at thinking logically and using and building upon previous knowledge. Through tasks focussing on the linguistic skills, pupils develop resilience and are able to think creatively and strategically. The writing of structured texts, opinions and justifications help them to formulate coherent and fluent language. The pupils will have as a result excellent literacy skills and the ability to process and interpret language. Homework and class work is regularly scrutinised to ensure a pupil is progressing appropriately and acted upon accordingly. Peer assessed work is used too to assess individual and group work and improves the students’ ability to present themes and ideas in Spanish.

There are termly assessments for all year groups from Year 7 to Year 13 which are taken under examination conditions. This is to ensure that pupils regularly retrieve the information learned. Thorough feedback is given to pupils to check understanding effectively, and identify and correct any misconceptions. Extension tasks are available to all, and is regularly undertaken by the more able students to ensure that pupils embed key vocabulary and grammar in their long-term memory and apply them fluently. There are also end of year examinations for all year groups. The results of these assessments are used to help pupils embed knowledge and use it fluently and assist teachers in producing clear next steps for all pupils.

Our students are given the opportunity to interact with Spanish students through trips, visits to our school and exchanges. We are currently partnered to a secondary school in Granada and our students have become pen pals and will host them for a language visit. Our department is also involved in the Erasmus+ project further allowing our students to expand their cultural horizons.

Impact

The impact of the curriculum will be seen through pupils gaining an extensive amount of knowledge and skills which enable them to access the next steps in their education and life. This is evidenced through the excellent results in internal and public examinations. Currently the Spanish department is a very heavily subscribed language. In KS3 our groups typically exceed their target. The impact of the curriculum is also seen through the popularity of the subject at Key Stage 4. We currently have 10 GCSE groups, more than ever before.
At GCSE we celebrate a good percentage of 7-9 grades.  At KS5,  around 25% typically go on to study Spanish in further education. We love hearing back from former students and it is exciting that they want to come back to share new successes with us.
All this is clear evidence about the successful teaching strategies used by the department to embed key concepts and knowledge to pupils’ long-term memory and apply them fluently including SEND and disadvantaged pupils.
Please scroll down to the required year group:

ECONOMICS CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent:

Economics is a social science that studies how individuals, governments, firms and nations make choices on allocating scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants.

The fundamental aims of the Economics department focus on instilling within pupils a real enthusiasm for and engagement with the subject, equipping them with the necessary skills to succeed in the world of work with the attributes necessary to be successful in their chosen career. The department aspiration is that students that study Economics at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School will be financially perceptive, logical and ambitious members of society.

Our KS4 curriculum intent is guided by the exam board specification and primarily enables pupils to become better-informed and more responsible citizens, allowing them to become more confident in current and future economic choices they make relating to their everyday lives and work. By the end of KS4 pupils are expected to be able to:

  • Explain economic problems and possible solutions in a clear and concise way.
  • Think as economists by developing a logical approach to thinking and reasoning.
  • Evaluate economic problems and possible solutions.
  • Use economic data from a range of sources to support justified judgements.

At KS5 the curriculum intent is once again guided by the exam board specification and aims to further develop on the skills and knowledge acquired at KS4.  The Edexcel Economics A specification was chosen for its pure Economics focus which provides the breadth of content and rigour necessary to enthuse, challenge and engage the pupils at this high performing selective grammar school. Pupils acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to progress to undergraduate study at a higher education establishment, particularly degrees in economics with a focus on theory, or degrees in applied economics such as environmental economics, labour economics, public sector economics or monetary economics.

By the end of KS5 pupils are expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the subject by independently keeping up to date with real-life examples and current affairs.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current economic events and policies.
  • Appreciate the contribution of economics to the understanding of the wider economic and social environment.
  • Confidently use their quantitative skills to interpret and utilise numerical data to support analytical points.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of economic concepts and models to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
  • Develop an understanding of a range of concepts and an ability to use those concepts in a variety of different contexts.
  • Demonstrate strong and effective analytical skills.
  • Use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and develop an ability to think as an economist and make contextual justified judgements.
  • Recognise and understand that economic behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives.

Implementation:

The study of Economics at both GCSE and A ‘level can be broken down into microeconomics and macroeconomics.  Microeconomics analyses the market behaviour and interaction of individuals and firms in order to understand their decision-making and choice of resource allocation. Macroeconomics is concerned with the behaviour and performance of an economy as a whole. It focuses on the aggregate changes in the economy and focuses also on the interdependence between economies in terms of trading patterns.  The approach taken in implementing the Economics curriculum takes into consideration the need for students to be able to distinguish between microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts but equally, especially at A’Level with the synoptic focus, allow students to explore and make connections between micro and macro topics.

Key Stage 4

Pupils choose their GCSE options in January of Year 9 and commence their GCSE course during term 6 of Year 9.  The teaching of the GCSE course is structured so that pupils are firstly introduced to Microeconomic concepts during term 6 of year 9 and throughout the course of year 10.  Pupils are then taught the macroeconomic topics throughout year 11.  Pupils have 4 lessons a fortnight and are taught by one teacher, although in some cases the teacher will change between year 10 and year 11. The microeconomics unit 1 is taught first at GCSE as it provides students with a grounding in the nature of economics, the basic economic problem and supply & demand, this then allows students to embed these concepts into their long-term memory as topics taught in unit 2, such as government policy decisions and policies used to correct market failure can be linked back to these initial concepts.

Current topics taught are:

Year 9, 10 and 11

Year 9
The basic economic problem, Types of Economy, Opportunity Cost, Main economic groups and factors of production, Factor & Product Markets, Division of Labour, Specialisation.

Year 10
Regional Specialisation, Country Specialisation, Law of Demand, Law of Supply, Price Determination, Price Functions, Price Elasticity of Demand, Price Elasticity of Supply, Competitive Markets, Monopoly, Monopoly Power, Oligopoly, The role of the Competition & Markets Authority, Production & Productivity, Costs, Revenue & Profit, Internal & External Economies of Scale, Diseconomies of Scale, Business Growth, Gross & Net Pay, Labour Markets & Wage Determination, The role of money as a medium of exchange, Interest Rates, Role & importance of financial markets.

Year 11
Economic Growth, Unemployment, Income distribution, Price Stability, Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy, Supply-side Policies, Market failure & Externalities, International Trade, Balance of Payments, Exchange Rates, Globalisation.

Key Stage 5

Many students that opt to study A ‘Level Economics have already studied GCSE Economics, however there are always a small number of students who have no prior knowledge of basic economic concepts and the course is always delivered in a way that makes it accessible and challenging for all students.  Throughout year 12, pupils have 10 lessons which are usually split equally between their two teachers.  Students study microeconomics in the form of theme 1; The Introduction to markets and market failure.  The UK Economy –performance and policies is the theme 2 macroeconomics content and is taught in parallel to theme 1 during the course of year 12; students have one teacher for each theme which helps to avoid confusion.  Year 13 pupils also have 10 contact lessons over a fortnight which are shared equally between two teachers. Pupils study theme 4, A global perspective for the macroeconomics element of the course and the microeconomics theme 3 element is Business behaviour and the labour market, both themes are again taught in parallel.  The course is delivered in parallel as it enables students to make links between micro and macro concepts, this is particularly important for the synoptic nature of paper 3 where students must be able to analyse and evaluate the microeconomic and macroeconomic implications of policy decisions or market changes.

Current topics taught are:

Year 12 and 13

Year 12
The nature of economics, How markets work, Market failure, Government intervention & Government Failure.

Economic Growth, Inflation, Employment & Unemployment, Balance of Payments Aggregate demand, Aggregate supply, Circular Flow of income, The Multiplier Effect, Output Gaps, Keynesian V Classical Approach, Economic Cycle, Macroeconomic objectives, Fiscal Policy, Monetary Policy, Supply-side Policies, Conflict between objectives & Policies.

Year 13
Sizes & Types of Firms, Business growth, Demergers, Business objectives, Revenue curves, cost curves, Normal & supernormal profits & losses, Efficiencies, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Monopolistic Competition, Perfect Competition, Monopsony, Contestability, Demand for Labour, Supply of labour, Wage Determination, Government intervention.

Globalisation & Trade, Specialisation & Comparative Advantage, Protectionism, Trade Patterns, Terms of Trade, Economic Integration & Trading Blocs, Balance of payments, Exchange Rates, International Competitiveness, Poverty, Income & Wealth inequality, Measures of Development, Factors influencing growth & development, Strategies influencing growth & development, The financial sector, Role of the state in the macroeconomy.

A prescribed model of teaching has been implemented in KS4, mainly because historically it has been taught by non-specialists.  Centrally created departmental resources are used across all teaching sets; each lesson at KS4 has been intricately planned and designed to ensure that all students receive a consistent diet irrelevant of teacher allocation.   All lessons across KS4 and KS5 are planned to provide students with the opportunity to practise the skills of application, analysis and evaluation and go beyond merely recounting basic knowledge.  At KS5 teachers plan their own lessons closely designed around the scheme of work for each theme of the specification, this allows teachers to enhance their own subject knowledge and make use of their own skills and abilities in their lesson planning.  These resources incorporate real-life examples and use of numerical data, thus enabling students to build up a portfolio of appropriate examples that can be used to demonstrate contextual understanding in their examination answers.   Teachers within the department are aware of students that have SEND within their classes and ensure that required provisions are put in place to ensure that they have equal access to learning and progress.  All students in KS4 have an individual copy of the OCR endorsed textbook, although no textbook is provided by the school for KS5 students, there are a number of online resources that the students are directed towards for independent study.  Teachers use their own professional judgement to set suitably challenging homework that either builds on lesson content covered or introduces a new concept to pupils.

Retrieval practice is embedded within the departmental schemes of work.  Links are consciously made between current and previous topics and concepts are deliberately revisited to ensure that students are able to recall previous topics to ensure they are part of their cognitive load. Starter activities are often based on previous knowledge or concept recall, this is in addition to new topics often being introduced to students and students then being asked to obviously consider and think about how it relates to a previous topic studied.  Teachers within the department pay particular attention to verbal contributions made by students where key ideas or links are omitted from an answer and teachers will routinely and frequently prompt students to make reference to the key concept.  The repetition of these key concepts and the links made are heard by the whole class and this helps to reinforce the importance of making links and enable students to retain the link and the information in their long term memory.  In KS4, A3 Revision map templates are used to encourage recall of concepts as part of student revision and enables students to focus the structure of their revision to make the best use of their time and to maximise retention of crucial concepts in their long-term memory.

All students across all year groups sit centrally created common assessments which are sat under examination conditions at regular intervals throughout the course, in line with the school assessment policy.  The Assessments are designed to mirror the examination requirements and are marked in-line with these requirements and exam board expectations.  Pupils with SEND have their needs met effectively; extra time and other required provisions are accounted for by members of staff within the department.  Pupils receive detailed feedback on their assessment performance with extensive ebi comments for improvement being provided by teachers in line with the school assessment policy.   Extension tasks are also sometimes provided to ensure that pupils are able to embed key concepts and apply them fluently to their long-term memory but also engage with topics in different contexts.  Mock examinations are also sat by all year groups and the results of these assessments are used to help identify areas of focus for students in terms of next steps and to plan support and required intervention at crucial stages.

The extra-curricular offer within the Economics department is currently fairly limited due to historical staffing difficulties.  A second in department has been recruited to start in September 2019 and his responsibility will be to increase our departmental extra-curricular offer.  In July 2017, year 12 visited the Bank of England, In November 2016 we hosted an IEA Economics conference here at the school which was attended by year 12 and year 13 students. Each year, students in year 12 and year 13 have the opportunity to participate in the Student Investor Competition and before the competition ended two years ago, we had several cohorts of year 12 students participate in the Target 2.0 Bank of England Competition.

Impact:

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through the outstanding examination results that our students achieve at GCSE and particularly A ‘Level.  These results are clear evidence of the challenge and level of expectation provided by teachers within the department on a daily basis.

Students develop a strong foundation in Economics and their learning sparks a desire for them to continue their learning and enable them to access the next steps in their education and future. The retention rate between GCSE and A ‘Level is extremely high and the number of students from Sir Joseph Williamson Mathematical choosing to study Economics at undergraduate level is extremely high.  Many students that do not go on to higher education at university often take on apprenticeships in areas closely linked to the study of Economics, for example Accountancy.

Our students enjoy Economics, as evidenced by their exemplary behaviour and engagement in lessons, the written work in their books, responses to assessed work and their responses to student surveys each year.  They develop a sound foundation in skills that are applicable across a range of subjects, ability to analyse, make justified judgements, being critical of evidence.  Our students demonstrate these skills by performing well in other subjects, SEND pupils are not disadvantaged and achieve at least in line with their peers.

Students develop a wide understanding of many SMSC issues throughout the topics studied at both KS4 and KS5 thus equipping pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in later life.

Economics GCSE Unit 1 – Year 10

Economics GCSE Unit 2 – Year 11

Economics A Level Theme 1 – Year 12

Economics A Level Theme 2 – in progress

DRAMA CURRICULUM STATEMENT

Intent

Drama is a thought provoking, challenging and creative subject at The Math. Delivery of this subject offers pupils opportunities to develop crucial transferable skills such as communication and cooperation as well as the chance to explore fundamentally what it means to be human.

Pupils are encouraged to make connections between and trace developments of theatrical practices between historical eras and to recognise their influences in contemporary performance.

Overall, the department aims to provide pupils with a broad range of topics through which to develop curiosity, empathy, communication and analytical skills. In teaching a breadth of genres, historical eras and topics, and using a wide variety of activities throughout the curriculum, the department aims to teach Drama as an academic subject which progressively builds pupils’ knowledge and understanding; through its practical delivery the parallel aim is to engage pupils with complex and significant topics while simultaneously developing in them self-confidence and self-knowledge to support their intellectual and social development.

The department aims to teach Drama progressively through and across the two key stages it is taught in, building upon previous learning. The department adopts the Arts Council recommendation that the three interrelated activities of creating, performing and responding provide a useful framework for identifying and assessing progression and achievement, which match similar categories in other arts subjects such as music: composing, performing and appraising. For the purposes of planning and assessment, creating, performing and responding are treated as separate strands, although they are frequently integrated in practice. Pupils improvising, for example, are simultaneously making, performing and responding. the emphasis placed on each can change across the key stages; KS4 for instance involves more frequent reflection on individual practice and increases the demand of written analysis and evaluation in the responding aspect. However, the aim is to include aspects of each activity in each scheme of work.

Creating encompasses the many processes and activities employed when exploring, devising, shaping and interpreting drama.

Performing covers the skills and knowledge displayed when enacting, presenting and producing dramas, including the use of theatre technology.

Responding incorporates reflecting on both emotional and intellectual reactions to the drama. This reflection is deepened as pupils gain a knowledge and understanding of how drama is created.

To ensure breadth of study during each key stage, pupils are taught the skills, knowledge and understanding required to create, perform and respond to drama through:

  • A broad range of stimuli, including artefacts, literature, non-fiction and non-literary texts such as photographs and video clips
  • Working in groups of varying size and as a class
  • Performing to a range of audiences
  • A range of genres and styles
  • Seeing a variety of live and recorded performances from different times and cultures
  • Using ICT to explore and record ideas, research themes and enhance their work

KS3

Drama is taught one lesson per fortnight.

Where possible, cross-curricular links are incorporated e.g. in three of the KS3 terms, the Drama topic complements what students study in the KS3 English curriculum (Shakespeare x2 and Curious Incident.)

The curriculum in KS3 builds from a baseline assessment and an introduction to transferable skills at the start of year 7, taking pupils through yr 7, 8 and 9 in the exploration of five distinct theatrical eras or genres, four historical events, two different Shakespeare plays, and culminates in more GCSE style topics in year 9 such as a devising project and the introduction to major theatrical practitioners such as Stanislavski and Brecht. The aims are that year 9 pupils are equipped with the necessary knowledge, understanding and experience to approach the option process with confidence should they wish to select GCSE Drama as an option, and that all pupils have a breadth of knowledge and understanding of the process of creating performance and a critical and cultural appreciation of the performing arts.

KS4

Drama is taught 4 lessons per fortnight.

The curriculum begins in term 6 of year 9. This is used as a foundation term to accelerate students into GCSE level work – focus is on acquiring subject specific vocabulary, assessing skill levels and introducing new dramatic devices.

In year 10 the aim is to introduce each of the three components of the GCSE and establish for the pupils how they complement one another; introduce the set text through practical workshops and performances, experience working in combination with other students, develop analytical and evaluative skills and vocabulary, interpret text, learn theatrical theory and explore the devising process. At the end of this year pupils complete Component One: Devising Theatre.

In year 11 Students revisit the set text and focus on examination skills for the written paper, as well as completing Component Two: Performing from a Text for an external examiner. A second theatre visit reconsolidates pupil learning in relation to evaluating live theatre ready for Component Three: Interpreting Theatre.

Implementation

KS3 Current topics taught:

Year 7 – Folk Tales ( Baseline), Serious Fun ( intro to Drama), Greek Theatre, Roald Dahl, Evacuees, Shakespeare ( The Tempest)

Year 8 – Commedia Del ‘Arte, Urban Legends, War, Melodrama, Let ‘m ‘Ave it (miscarriage of justice), Shakespeare (Macbeth)

Year 9 – How Theatre Works, Devising Project, Scripted performance (Stanislavski), Epic theatre (Brecht), Physical Theatre

KS4 Current syllabus:

Year 10 – Drama Toolkit, Live Theatre Evaluation, Set Text practical workshops (DNA), Responding to Stimulus Material, Devised Performance,

Year 11 – Live Theatre Evaluation, Scripted Performance, Set Text written analysis and revision.

To support progression in each key stage, pupils are able to:

  • Explore and research ideas, issues, plays and other texts such as diary entries, poems, photographs, films and paintings, using a variety of drama skills and techniques
  • Devise, improvise, shape and structure dramas of different kinds
  • Use drama skills and knowledge to interpret a range of texts, for example play-scripts, pictures or stories
  • Prepare and perform both scripted and devised dramas
  • Use and develop their knowledge of drama from different times and cultures, as well as classic and contemporary practice
  • Reflect on, evaluate and analyse the structure, meaning and impact of their work and the work of others as both participant and audience

In addition to this, every opportunity is taken in discussion, reflection and evaluation activities to explore the connections between topics, and revisit previous learning in order to consolidate, retain and apply knowledge and understanding acquired so far in the drama curriculum, as well as take note of cross-curricular links.

Students in KS3 are internally assessed in terms 1, 3 and 5 reflecting their progress across the three elements of creating, performing and responding. Feedback to students is passed on to them verbally in lessons throughout the key stage and recorded in written teacher notes. Pupils are given frequent feedback, and take and offer peer and self- assessment after performing their work. Work is modelled and analysed in lessons by teachers, and some lessons are delivered by teacher-in–role to demonstrate role play, characterisation and performance skills. The www and ebi system is used in verbal feedback and specific advice added to written reports.

The department has set up the ability for pupils to take LAMDA qualifications through private lessons in public speaking and acting, arranged with a visiting LAMDA teacher/examiner. Many pupils are consequently able to develop their skills and confidence during KS4 and KS5. This is a welcome opportunity given that drama is not a discreet subject offered at KS5. LAMDA qualifications at level 2 and 3 can earn pupils valuable UCAS points.

The department provides students with regular opportunities to take part in school productions (two per year), both as performers and crew, as a way to further their vocational interest in performance or develop skills.  Additional performances are arranged in regular showcases, e.g. Sixth Form Drama Academy (enrichment programme) and LAMDA Showcases. Collaboration with the Music Department is a feature of the delivery of these extra-curricular activities.

Theatre trips and workshops with visiting arts organisations or experts are organised to complement and enhance engagement with the Drama curriculum. These include stage combat, performance poetry, and vocal coaching workshops as well as participation in National Theatre Connections Festival. GCSE pupils take part in two theatre trips during their course. Visits and productions are chosen, where possible and appropriate, to complement learning in other areas e.g. Classics (School production of Antigone) or English Literature. (GCSE Theatre trips to productions of Macbeth and Frankenstein).

Impact

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through a number of measures.

  • Pupils are clearly engaged in lessons and enjoy their drama lessons, as shown through their focused and committed approach to activities
  • Pupils have a wide base of knowledge by the end of Key Stage 3, which contributes to their understanding, and appreciation of theatre and performance as a cultural and commercial enterprise.
  • Pupils have demonstrated empathy with and tolerance of others in their consideration of a variety of topics and in their ability to work in a team.
  • Internal assessment processes demonstrate that pupils effectively progress in knowledge and skill that they can later apply and develop.
  • Formative assessments of performance, particularly related to voice and interaction, show pupils’ ability to develop and apply skills.
  • Students are able to communicate clearly and effectively any connections between different genres and eras of theatre taught.
  • SEN and disadvantaged students achieve outcomes in line with their peers.
  • Questioning and discussion are used to gauge and deepen pupil understanding – thinking skills are challenged and championed.
  • Students develop a wide understanding of many aspects of fundamental British values along with a well-developed SMSC awareness and knowledge.
  • Consistent uptake of Drama at GCSE, with consistently successful outcomes, indicates that students are enjoying the subject, have confidence in its delivery and are able to continue with their studies.
  • Success of pupils in applications to study performing arts subjects post 18 who have studied drama at GCSE and participated in school productions shows them as well prepared as possible for the next step of their education.

Key Stage Three Drama Curriculum

GCSE Drama