Every student is entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum that meets individual learning needs. Importantly, it is recognised that while much of what is taught is laid down within the National Curriculum, it is vital to develop skills, which will be needed for a lifetime of learning. These skills will equip students to enter a competitive job market with a framework in which to make use of freedom to make the right choices about their lives.
At Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8), students follow courses in: English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Technology, Information Technology, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Art, Music, Drama and PE. Pupils can access the full EBACC qualification as all students can study either French or Spanish in Years 7 and 8, with the option to study a language at Key Stage 4.
At Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11), students follow a common core of English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, RE and PE with four option choices in Year 9, which reduce down to three in Year 10 to give more curriculum time to Maths, English and Science under the new, reformed GCSEs. All students are guided into suitable option choices, of which one choice must be either a language or a humanities, based on where their strongest performance is. We ensure the curriculum meets their individual needs but also allows them to maximize the best possible outcomes from Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures. The curriculum includes a range of vocational and academic courses.
A broad range of relevant learning opportunities is offered at both Key Stage 3 and 4, which aims to enable:
- The development of full academic potential
- Support for the development of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills
- The development of the skills needed to continue learning independently as an adult
- The development of a team spirit
Students learn successfully when teaching and learning is aimed to meet their needs, by recognising the strengths of individuals whilst supporting them in making progress in their weaker areas. The framework for learning at St George is such that students can be placed in different teaching groups for different subjects. We aim to use the information passed to the college from feeder schools to identify where help is needed to improve literacy and numeracy skills. Our Integrated Studies programme supports students with particular difficulties in Literacy and Numeracy. Learning Support Assistants are used to help students in the classroom. There is a good programme of activities for students who are gifted and talented in particular subjects. For some students, Spanish is on offer as well as French from Year 8.
Personalising the curriculum is essential for continued success and achievement, enabling every student to progress and meet their full potential.
Successful learning, in which students make the best progress, is possible when there is good communication about the extent to which suitable academic potential is being achieved.
St George has developed a good system of monitoring student progress, which uses:
- Information from the feeder school
- External tests – SATs results
- Teacher’s professional judgement through teacher assessments
This system enables clear targets to be set for each individual above expected progress throughout Key Stage 3 and 4. Every subject sets a minimum and a challenge grade each year,which is to be reached by the end of the academic year. As far as possible, personalised learning programmes are arranged which meet the individual needs of the student, recognising and rewarding achievement. Importantly, it is also possible to identify students who are giving cause for concern.
Parents are kept fully informed of progress each term with assessment sheets giving information on effort, current performance and targets. It is our aim to target students who are under-performing and work with parents to help their child to overcome the problems limiting their progress. Parents are kept informed about their child’s potential and how help can be given at home. Parents have the opportunity to meet with tutors three times a year at Mentoring Days and once a year with teachers at Parents’ Evenings. On all of these occasions, parents are informed of their child’s current progress and performance.
Key Stage 3 Life Without Levels
The St George bands in Year 7 are based on age-related targets, individual to the subject. All students should ASPIRE to be in at least the applying band. This will give them the best chance of securing a higher grade pass in that subject at GCSE.
To ensure all students are challenged to make progress from their Key Stage 2 starting point, they are given minimum target grades. There is no ceiling to their potential but we do expect students to make good progress over the year and this is reflected in their target grade.
To reflect the level of progress a student is making in each subject, we use symbols. If a student is working at current expectation, they are on course to meet their target grade at the end of the year.