Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Years 7-9)
On entry into the school at the age of 11+, students are divided into two mixed ability populations, known as Arks and Royals, of equal size and each representing the full ability range.
For registration and pastoral purposes a population is divided into four mixed-ability groups, each under the care of a form tutor. The members of a tutor group will be in the same House. In Years 7 to 9 (Key Stage 3), all students follow a broad and balanced curriculum consisting of the National Curriculum with the additional subjects of two Modern Languages, drama and a tutorial (Learning 4 Life) programme, Citizenship is also compulsory.
In Year 7, students are taught in tutor groups for all subjects except Mathematics and Modern Languages, where students are set during the first term. As students move into Year 8, they are grouped according to their ability in each of the following curriculum areas: English; Humanities; Languages; Mathematics and Science. This encourages able students to be extended, and those needing more help and support will receive it, usually in smaller classes. This means that a student who may be very good at Mathematics, average in English and weaker in Languages can be placed in sets which meet his or her needs. Therefore, students’ needs are met individually and not ‘averaged’ out by placing them in the same class for all subjects.
Modern Foreign Languages and Latin
Each student will study two Modern Languages to the end of KS3. All students will take at least one language to GCSE level. On entry in Year 7 students will be placed in half year populations which determine the language studied. For entry in September 2016 one half of the year will study German and Spanish and in the other half year the students will study German and French. In exceptional circumstances, if parents have an educational reason for requesting either combination, they may do so. Parents should be aware that requests are treated individually, acceptance is not automatic and might jeopardise the friendship groups in which the students have been placed.
On entry to Year 9, more able linguists add Latin to their course as an additional subject. In Key Stage 4 they have the opportunity to follow an accelerated GCSE languages course in the two languages studied during Key Stage 3. Some students, for whom it is deemed appropriate to study a more vocational curriculum in Key Stage 4, may take the GCSE early at the end of Year 9.