The prime aim of King Charles I School is to support successful futures. Our vision is that all students should have the opportunity to attend the top universities and we believe the best way to do this is to offer a curriculum that:
- supports students’ academic success by promoting knowledge based learning;
- is academically challenging and rigorous;
- is broad and balanced offering both breadth and depth; and
- promotes students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development
Our courses in Years 7 to 11 comply with the requirements of the National Curriculum. The curriculum is reviewed each year.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)
- All subjects promote a knowledge approach to the curriculum. The knowledge students are expected to know is specified in all subjects. This knowledge forms the foundations for curriculum planning including the schemes of work, the knowledge organisers, homework and assessments.
- We do not explicitly teach 21st century thinking skills (creativity, collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking and communication). Every student naturally develops these skills within the school environment. Furthermore, these skills can only be applied to 21st century problems if children have a broad base of academic knowledge.
- The National curriculum content is carefully tracked to ensure that pupils have covered all the necessary content by the end of Year 8.
- We will not cover GCSE material, or use GCSE style assessment, in Years 7 or 8 as we believe this reduces the quality of the provision.
- A knowledge-based approach to the curriculum is accessible for all learners and therefore we do not expect to see differentiated tasks or objectives in lessons. Instead we keep scaffolding in place for longer whilst maintaining our high standards so that the students can master the essential elements of the curriculum.
- We firmly believe that improving students’ reading, building their vocabulary and their knowledge of language is a prerequisite of success. If students cannot read to a minimum of their chronological age then they are not able to access the curriculum in its entirety. Literacy is a focus across the curriculum through being promoted in all subjects as well as explicitly during reading lessons and tutorials.
- Students are taught in form groups for the majority of their subjects: computer science, art, music, geography, history, RE, reading lessons and PSHE. Form groups are mixed ability.
- English, mathematics, science, modern foreign languages and technology set their classes at Key Stage 3.
- PE is taught in single-sex groups.
- The PSHE programme and collective worship tutorials are designed to develop students’ social, moral and cultural development as well as understanding British values and culture.
- Students’ spiritual development is delivered through RE, PSHE and collective worship tutorials.
- The extra-curricular programme enriches students learning, opening opportunities to experiences that broaden students’ horizons.
- At Key Stage 3 we do not narrow the curriculum. We expect students to learn arts and technology based subjects alongside the core curriculum offer. The timetable for Key Stage 3 is based on a two-week cycle and comprises of a 25 period week with 5 periods per day (3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon). Each period lasts one hour. Lessons are scheduled as one hour sessions and are taught as mix of double or single periods where appropriate for the subject.
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Key stage 4 options
Year 8 students complete their Key Stage 3 courses and express a preference about which Key Stage 4 courses they will study in Years 9, 10 and 11.
In Year 8, pupils choose 4 subjects to study in depth in Year 9. This is a deliberate action to enable pupils to learn the depth of their subject they will go on to study at GCSE. The curriculum model allows students to choose 4 subjects in addition to the core Maths, English, Science, PE and PSHRE lessons. These transition courses are not externally examined but lay the foundations for KS4. Students begin their GCSEs in Year 10 and are examined during Year 11. In year 9, pupils are able to move between subjects within option blocks thereby ensuring that they are satisfied with their option choices at the start of their GCSE courses.
Students consider which subjects they would like to study based on their preferred way of learning, interests, ability and future aspirations. Students and parents/carers are given clear information, advice and guidance throughout the options process.
If you would like further information about any aspects of the curriculum please contact Jamie Butler at school.