Curriculum Plan

Churchmead School Curriculum Overview

Intentions

We aim to deliver a high quality, rigorous and coherent curriculum with a range of pathways that provide a stimulating and demanding education for students of all abilities.

The intentions for our curriculum are:

  • To meet the needs of our students and keep as many options open to them as possible
  • To build an enriched curriculum around the personalised needs of the student
  • To ensure high quality learning over time
  • To ensure substantial knowledge and language acquisition
  • To secure the best possible academic results for all our students
  • To practise and develop transferable skills development
  • To prepare students for the next phase of their education or employment and life in modern Britain
  • To develop well-rounded, confident and open-minded young adults

Running through all of our curriculum, including the pastoral curriculum, are strands of Personal, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education (PSMSC) which cover themes such as:

  • Making and maintaining positive relationships
  • Staying safe and healthy (including Sex and Relationships Education, Radicalisation and cyber-safety)
  • Respect of self and others
  • Equality and inclusion – especially tolerance, respect and understanding of people from protected groups, including those with different faiths and beliefs
  • British values eg: rights and responsibilities, democracy and the rule of law

Implementation

The curriculum will be implemented with our intentions as the drivers behind our actions. By ensuring we think about what we learn, who we are when we are learning, how we act when we learn. Our implementation plan ensures our curriculum keeps a focussed view at all times.

Churchmead operates a 5 Year GCSE flight path. In KS3, students are given a wide variety and diet of numerous elements of the curriculum before they select their subjects going into KS4. Great time and effort is put into ensuring that students benefit from their lessons, these include:

  • A variety of teaching methods so students can develop a range of learning styles
  • Lessons are differentiated to ensure that all students are challenged and make effective progress
  • Students are encouraged to be creative, to ask questions and to have high expectations of themselves
  • Homework is set on a regular basis and there is a whole school approach towards assessment and marking
  • There is also a wide variety of extracurricular activities and trips which enhance learning across the curriculum
  • Learning beyond the classroom is encouraged and supported at all times
  • Students are given the opportunity to experience ‘real’ exams from Year 7 onwards. This gives them the opportunity to have exams in exam halls and prepare for what it will be like in the future.

Students are taught in the most appropriate grouping for each individual subject.

  • For Mathematics, settings are based on prior attainment/ability
  • Science is taught in mixed ability sets, with Year 10 and 11 being set and offering Triple Science to the more able students. Triple Science is also an option for all pupils going forward
  • All other subjects are taught in mixed ability groupings
  • Carousal groupings occur in Year 7 and 8 for Technology and Art
  • Physical Education is taught as a mixed gender group
  • PSHE drop down days are organised and integrated with RE at KS3

Time Allocations

At Churchmead School all students will cover Key Stage 3 in two years. At the end of those two years, students will choose their options for Key Stage 4.

We offer two programmes of study in order to cater for the needs of all students. The majority of students study the following:

Subject

Time Allocation per fortnight (KS3)

Time Allocation per fortnight (KS4)

English

8

8

Maths

8

8

Science

7

8

Religious Education

3

4

Modern Foreign Languages

3

5

Geography

3

5

History

3

5

Computing

N/A

5

PE

4

3

Art

3

5

Technology

3

N/A

Food Prep and Nutrition

N/A

5

Engineering

N/A

5

Business Studies

N/A

5

Media

N/A

5

Photography

N/A

5

Performing Arts

3

5

Information Technology

2

N/A

Textiles

N/A

5

Literacy Intervention

Bespoke

Bespoke

Maths Intervention

Bespoke

Bespoke

Total

50

50

Any of the subjects in the KS4 column, which have 5 hours, are option subjects. Students currently select 4 options to take into KS4 with them.

Whilst the students are in Year 8 they will be advised on the best pathway for them prior to choosing their options for GCSE. The three pathways of study are: EBACC, Traditional and Applied

Exam Progression Routes

Programmes of Study

Pathway:

EBacc

Traditional Pathway

Applied Pathway

Core:

English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education

English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education

 

 

English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education

 

 

Option

Choices:

4 GCSE including an MFL with History or Geography and 2 others

4 GCSE - must include 2 of the following

Computer Science, History or Geography

 

PLUS

 

2 other free choices

1 GCSE – must include either Computer Science, Language, History or Geography

 

                      PLUS

 

3 other free choices

 

Likely 16+ Choices:

Post 16 Study

AS / A Levels

Applied A Levels

Level 3 BTEC / Diploma

Apprenticeship

University Level Study

Post 16 Study

AS / A Levels

Applied A Levels

Level 3 BTEC / Diploma

Apprenticeship

University Level Study

Post 16 Study

AS / A Levels

Applied A Levels

Work Based Learning

Apprenticeship

University Level Study

Level 3 BTEC / Diploma

 

GCSE's

GCSE qualifications are graded on a scale from 9-1 with 9 grades being awarded for outstanding achievement.  Grades 9-5 are known as Level 2 passes and grades 4-1 are known as Level 1 passes.

GCSE exams are un-tiered in most subjects now.  The foundation tier allows students to gain 4-1 grades.  The higher tier is aimed at students likely to gain grades 9-5.

Level 1 programmes are provided on a bespoke level based upon the needs of individual students.

Vocational Programmes (BTEC/ V CERTS)

Every year almost half a million learners study BTEC qualifications.  Popular for years in colleges, vocational qualifications are now being offered in many schools.  They were developed in consultation with industry and professionals, ensuring that they are relevant, progressive and recognised by professional bodies, employers and universities.

Each vocational programme is made up of a number of units.  For example, a BTEC First Certificate (which is equivalent to 9 GCSE’s at grades 9 - 4) has 3 units.  In order to achieve each unit, learners’ projects have to show achievement set against a set of ‘outcomes’.  Each unit is graded Pass, Merit or Distinction, according to how the learner has performed against a set of criteria.  Once the students have completed all units, the exam board calculates and overall Pass, Merit or Distinction.

ENGLISH BACCALAUREATE

The English Baccalaureate recognises the success of students who attain GCSE’s at grades 9 - 5 across a core of academic subjects – English, Mathematics, History or Geography, the Sciences and a language.

  1. The Government believes that schools should offer students a broad range of academic subjects to age 16 , and the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) promotes that aspiration.
  2. The EBacc recognises students’ achievements across a core of selected academic subjects in getting good passes in rigorous GCSE’s.  The EBacc will cover achievement in English, Mathematics, Sciences, a language and a Humanities subject.

Many students at Churchmead follow these subjects as part of their curriculum. However, Churchmead, in line with the school ethos recognises that not all students are suitable to follow this pathway and encourages them to follow a pathway which best suits them.

Home Languages

Churchmead has a wonderful array of students who’s home language is not English. We endeavour to ensure that these students have the opportunity to sit exams in and get their qualifications in their native tongues. Some of these languages include: Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Urdu, Polish to name just a few.

What subjects and qualifications will count towards the English Baccalaureate?

Full GCSE’s at grades 9 - 5 including Double Award GCSE’s will count towards its achievement. Further details of the specific components are given below:

English

  • GCSE in English Language or GCSE in English Literature
  • GCSE Double Award in English
  • English Studies and English Literature are not included

Mathematics

  • GCSE in Mathematics

Science

  • Achieve grades 9 - 5 in Science and Additional Science GCSE’s

Humanities

  • GCSE in History or GCSE in Geography

Languages

  • GCSE’s in Modern Foreign Languages. For the majority of students at Churchmead this will be French

The EBacc will become an important factor in the entry requirement to all Universities in future years.  We strongly recommend than any student considering going to University should choose a language, History or Geography and either double or triple science as part of their options.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

As a school, Churchmead recognises that not all learning takes place in the classroom, therefore many opportunities are created over the course of the year to ensure students have the benefit of experiencing learning in an array of environments. These include:

  • Variety of STEM trips to places including Legoland and Volkswagon
  • Business Enterprise fairs with other schools to encourage future entrepreneurs
  • Learning to Learn days
  • Drop down days
  • Masterclass week
  • Trips to foreign countries

Key Stage 4 Pathways (Year 9 to 11)

There are three pathways at Key stage 4 in order to cater for the learning needs of students.  We shall provide an interview for every student when course choices, personal strengths and weaknesses and career areas can be discussed with a senior member of staff.

The Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Each student will be required to study the core subjects at Key Stage 4.

  1. The Core – English Language and English Literature, Mathematics, Science, Religious Studies, Personal, Social, Health and Education and Core Physical Education.
  2. The Guided Choices – students are able to choose additional subjects in Art,  Business Studies, D&T –Food & Nutrition, D&T – Engineering, Drama, Geography, History, ICT, Media, Modern Foreign Languages – French, Spanish, Photography, GCSE PE.  All students will study Core and Additional Science.

 Each student’s combination of subjects should:

  • Provide a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Prepare for them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
  • Promote their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development
  • Provide breadth of opportunity
  • Provide a curriculum that is personalised to meet their individual needs

Career “Routes”

There are different ‘routes than can be taken by students when they leave compulsory education.  Each required certain qualifications:

  1. Full time study at Churchmead School Sixth Form or a College of Further Education

Over 99% of Churchmead School students go into the Sixth Form or a College to continue their education.  Our Sixth Form offers a wide choice of courses at Level 3 and has excellent links with East Berkshire College and Local Colleges offering courses at Level 1, 2 and 3 in both academic and vocational subjects.

  1. Apprenticeships

There are three different types of Post 16 apprenticeships, which take between 1 and 4 years.  As an Apprentice, students will have a job and a wage or be on a work placement with a weekly training allowance.

  1. Basic Apprenticeship – it takes at least 12 months to complete and leads to NVQ Level 2, Key Skills, and possibly a relevant knowledge based qualification.  The work in mainly hands-on.  Students will develop technical skills and gain valuable work experience.  There is also the opportunity to progress to an Advanced Apprenticeship.
  2. A Level Passes Advanced Apprenticeship – As an Advanced Apprentice, students will be in full-time employment with an appropriate wage, aiming for a technical supervisory or junior management role.  The training, which usually lasts 24 months, leads to NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and a relevant knowledge-based qualification.
  3. Higher Apprenticeships – Higher Apprenticeships work towards work-based learning qualifications such as NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation Degree

       3. Straight to Employment

Employers usually require school references and examination results.  All students will leave with a Record of Achievement which should be very valuable.  From 2015 they are required to stay in education until they are at least 18 years old.

Key Stage 5 at Churchmead School

Through our collaboration with East Berkshire College, we offer A Level Maths, English Literature, Photography, Media, Art and BTEC Level 3 Business Studies. 

Impact

We strive to ensure that all our students’ attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with, or exceeding, their potential, when we consider each of their varied starting points. We measure this carefully using a range of materials, including GCSE criteria and our school 5 year GCSE flight path, but always considering their end of Year 11 targets. The impact of this is that all students’ will be guided to the right paths and given the tools and resources to succeed in whatever they choose to do after school.

Throughout their time in Churchmead we look at the student as an individual, and recognise that we have a responsibility to develop them not only academically but socially and morally. Our curriculum will allow students to be fully rounded characters with a clear understanding of complex values like courage, compassion and commitment. Only by really learning what these mean will our learners be able to develop a character that prepares them for living in a world demonstrating tolerance and equality. This is measured by general attitudes, interactions and behaviours of our students in the learning environment.

Our students will become resilient and will not fear approaching challenges in their lives. The impact will be that they do not give up, they will be highly motivated to believe that they can achieve and succeed in anything that they put their minds to. When the leave Churchmead, students will be equipped with all the personal skills to do this.

Every child matters in Churchmead, regardless of when they have come to the country or when they joined our school community. Our curriculum ensures we cater for the individual and specialised needs of anyone who comes across our threshold.

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