The curriculum is designed around both local and national needs. In September 2017 we started a 3 year key stage 4 (years 9, 10 & 11). The importance of Maths and English have been given due consideration and the weighting of the subjects in each area has been increased significantly in the last 3 years to reflect the need and importance of strong English and Maths results for school leavers. The labour market trends of the Leeds City Region are considered and as such Technology and Computing remain a strong feature of our 5 year journey with the students to reflect this. We operate a one week timetable of one hour long lessons. Lunchtimes are split to enable kitchens to accommodate students fairly and to promote a safe and calm environment for students.
The year 7 & 8 curriculum is traditional although we expect to see some GCSE terminology and content being explained and brought into the classrooms. In all subjects students are placed into ability sets, furthermore there is the separate Pathways sector in each year group for the students who are very low ability on entry to high school. English, Maths and Science co-ordinators have total control over the setting arrangements for their own subject. In other subjects setting is organised by subject co-ordinators collaborating to create ability sets which span several subjects due to the timetabling model.
At key stage 4 students study English, Maths and Science at GCSE, they all have PE and choose 4 options. Every student is directed to choose History or Geography and can then choose 3 further subjects from a range of GCSEs or vocational subjects. The EBACC suite of subjects is available to a selection of students based on ability. In two of the four choices students must pick a vocational subject which will be completed by the end of year 10. The time which was allocated to these two subjects is used to further enhance the outcomes of English and Maths for every student. Throughout key stage 4 students are placed in three ability bands (X,Y and Z) for the purpose of teaching and setting. X is the higher ability, Y is the lower ability and Z is the Pathways students. The X band has a ratio of 1:25. The Y&Z bands have a ratio of 1:17 and are taught together to allow movement and integration from Pathways – this also prevents a ceiling being placed on progress of the Pathways students. Research into the grade distribution of students shows that banding reduces the amount of grades staff teach to in each set, reduces some of the need for differentiation and improves teaching focus.
PSHCE and Beliefs and Ethics enables us to deliver some key themes regarding British Values. Stop The Clock Days are included in our annual timetable which allow for the PSHCE curriculum to be delivered. These also provide opportunities for departments to work collaboratively across subjects to enrich the learning experience of the students and subjects can run trips to support the curriculum and promote areas of it. External providers are also brought in to deliver and show elements of the curriculum that a usual 1 hour lesson cannot allow for. Religious Education has been renamed Beliefs and Ethics. BE is a core timetabled subject delivered to every student in year 7 and 8. BE is a valuable part of our curriculum due to its ability to introduce cultural diversity. Religion and faith is not a large part of our community and this subject is therefore important in ensuring students understand the connotations of religion and facilitate exploration of the moral undertones of the subject.
The table below indicates the hours per week for each subject and year group.