In Year 9 students are taught in Sets for English, Maths, Science, and core PE. They are taught as mixed-ability option groups for all other subjects.
Students begin to study their option choices in year 9 and embark upon a 3-year key stage 4. The school feels that this in no way reduces the broad and balanced nature of the curriculum, in fact, it has broadened the curriculum offered to students. A greater variety of subjects can be offered due to students opting for four subjects; in particular, there has been an increase in the number of vocational subjects available to students; which reflects the local community that our school serves. All subject areas, including Languages, Humanities, The Arts, Sports, Technology and Vocational are available to all students, who are encouraged to select from a range of faculty areas. Students who have the ability to cope with the demands of studying a Language, alongside a Humanities subject are actively encouraged to do so during the Options process in order the meet the government targets for students achieving the EBacc. With the change to students now opting for four subjects there has in fact been an increase in the number of students opting to continue to study a Language. In addition, the school feels that spreading the key stage over three years rather than the traditional two has additional benefits for students. Students have more opportunities to develop both leadership skills and subject-specific skills that enhances their cultural capital. The additional time devoted to options subjects, particularly those of a practical or vocational nature allows for a greater opportunity for the development of key employability skills. In addition it reduces the stress that staff and students feel under to cover the extra content in many of the GCSE subjects; which is beneficial to the mental health of all concerned, especially to students when in Year 11. The options process is reviewed yearly to ensure it remains student-centred and meets the specific needs of each individual cohort.
Through the culture programme the school ensures core national curriculum coverage is maintained throughout Years 9, 10 and 11. All students in Years 9 and 10 continue to study content linked to Languages, Geography, History, Religious Education and the Arts. In addition students develop their digital literacy by working towards achieving the iDEA Award.
Each fortnight students will be timetabled:
English (8 hours), Maths (8 Hours), Science (8 hours), PE (4 hours), Philosophy & Beliefs (1 hour), Culture (1 hour), Option Choice 1 (5 hours), Option Choice 2 (5 hours), Option Choice 3 (5 hours), Option Choice 4 (5 hours). At least one of the option choices must be Geography or History.
The range of option choice subjects is as follows:
Art, Computer Science, Construction, Drama, Engineering, French, Geography, Health & Social Care, History, Hospitality and Catering, ICT, Music, Photography, Physical Education, Spanish, Sport Science, Travel & Tourism, Triple Science.
Details of the content taught in each subject area can be found on the school website in the Subjects area.