Our Curriculum

 
At The Kingsmead School we believe that it is important that our curriculum is broad, balanced and absolutely focused on preparing our students to become responsible, caring and hard-working citizens who can engage fully in society.  We offer all students a broad range of leaning experiences and opportunities which encourage both cooperative and independent learning.  For some pupils on personalised programmes this means that the core elements of the package are enhanced to support access to the curriculum.

We aim to be flexible enough to meet the individual needs of each student. This means that we keep our curriculum offer under regular review to ensure that the range of academic and vocational qualifications is both relevant and meaningful for all our students.

Through our PSHCE programme and other enrichment activities students are encouraged to understand democracy, the rule of law, liberty, equality, mutual respect and tolerance across all faiths and beliefs.

Our ‘SOUL’ curriculum supports personal development and the curriculum delivery and enrichment activities help to foster confidence and self-belief.

 

At KS3

The majority of the curriculum is delivered in a small group setting by a class teacher and a Learning and Pastoral Support Worker, creating a secure and nurturing environment that supports learning.  This is strengthened by specialist teaching in key subject areas.

All pupils are taught English, Maths, Science, ICT, PSHE, Art and Food Technology.  In addition we deliver Themed Curriculum which combines History, Geography, RE and Languages.

For the equivalent of one day a week students are involved in enrichment activities which include PE and Sport, and more practically based activities including some vocational opportunities.

 

At KS4

We focus on ensuring that we thoroughly prepare all students for the next stage in their learning journeys so that they are enthusiastic about and see the value in lifelong learning and that they can be successful in post 16 education, training or employment.

Students follow accredited programmes suited to their individual needs in English, Maths, Science, ICT, and PSHCE.  In addition they can opt to study GCSE courses in Art, Design and Technology, Food technology and Childcare. They can also access accredited programmes in Sport and Leisure.

We have an extensive range of vocational options to enhance the pupil’s curriculum (see below). All of these courses accredited and support transition into Post 16

 

More detail about each subject area…

 

English

At KS3, students follow a three year rolling programme of study where they engage in a variety of reading, writing and speaking and listening activities.   Students study a range of poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries, in order to prepare them for future programmes of study at KS4.

At KS4, students undertake a 2 year course studying a range of texts, again from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. They prepare for two GCSEs in Language and Literature. Along the way, they may also complete Functional Skills qualifications.

All students have individual profiles with clearly identified targets; all teaching and assessment derive from these to ensure our students make progress and fulfil their individual potentials. In KS3 and KS4, students are assessed in line with their Individual English Profiles.  This is through questioning; a range of speaking and listening activities; completed reading and writing class activities; ½ termly assessments in reading and writing and completed coursework assignments (until 2016).  Both programmes of study allow for students to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually; to acquire new knowledge and build on what they already know.

 

Maths

Mathematics is an essential part of our daily lives. It is in everything we construct, everything we calculate and almost every problem we have to solve. Lessons in the department therefore frequently relate subject matter to real life situations. The department makes use of interactive whiteboards, laptops and i-pads when relevant to the pupils’ learning.

In KS3 pupils work on individually tailored programmes, building on their own ability and focusing on any areas of weakness, in order to progress through each strand of the New National Programme of Study. This approach helps maximise each pupil’s full potential in mathematics.

At KS4 most pupils work towards a GCSE examination at the level appropriate to their ability. As part of the preparation for this, pupils will be offered the opportunity to take other external examinations (Functional Skills Entry Level 1-3 certificates, Level 1 and Level 2 certificates).

 

Science

Science at Kingsmead is taught across all Key stages. At KS3 our young scientists are taught a broad science curriculum covering various aspects ranging from Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They are taught to think about, and appreciate the world around from a scientific point of view.  They are also taught to ‘work scientifically’ during practical sessions and follow scientific methodology.

At Key stage 4 we follow the OCR core science Gateway qualification. Students build on all the scientific principles learnt at key stage 3 in more depth and understand how their lives are affected by science every single day. They also learn how scientists follow scientific practices and principles outlined by ‘How Science Works’. Kingsmead students will begin the new Science GCSEs in the 2016/17 academic year.

 

ICT

At KS3 students undertake a scheme which gives them flavour of ICT and computing related topics. All of them learn topics like e-safety and IT Security, binary numbers, animations and networking.

In KS4 the pupils study the TLM IT User skills qualification at Level 1 and Level 2. The qualification covers a wide range of skills including website design, emailing, computer games, multimedia software, sound manipulation and video editing.

 

PSHE

The aim is to develop resilience, independence and knowledge in order for our students to start adult life with a positive transition. At Key Stage 3 students are taught a variety of topics including: Relationships and Sexual Health Education, Healthy Lifestyles, Internet Safety, Substance Awareness and Misuse, Emotional and Economic Wellbeing, Diversity and Cultural Awareness.

At Key Stage 4 the curriculum is enhanced with Careers Information, Advice and Guidance, a Faith and Diversity qualification and other appropriate accreditation. In Year 11 the emphasis is on ensuring a successful move into Post 16 education and students are supported to visit different providers, develop interview techniques, explore their strengths and difficulties and make applications to college and training providers.

Across the curriculum there are regular activities linked to developing students’ wider understanding of their world including: Charity Days, Careers days, Sexual Health Roadshows, Theatre visits, Healthy Eating activities, internet safety session etc.

 

Themed Curriculum

AT KS3 pupils have the opportunity to engage in Themed Curriculum which incorporates History, Geography, Religious Education and Modern Foreign Languages. It is a stimulating opportunity for the pupils to learn about different issues through a range of engaging and thought- provoking activities. Throughout each module we strive to strengthen our links with the local community and to expand the pupils’ understanding of who they are, where they fit in within an ever changing society and what role they play in their community as well as in the wider world. Pupils’ will have the opportunity to be able to take part in learning outside of the classroom, such as trips out to important historical, religious and influential sights, as well as meeting guests speakers. Currently our Themed Curriculum is undergoing some exciting changes where the current modules are being re-modelled.  During the first half term of this academic year pupils’ have been studying various aspects of The Slave Trade and will be concluding the term with gaining an insight into influential world leaders.

 

Vocational Programmes and Opportunities

Pupils have the opportunity to sample and then follow more intensive programmes in a brilliant wide range of vocational experiences, delivered through Junction 16. Courses include Construction, Engineering, Hair and beauty, Music, Sports and Leisure, and farm based placements. All of these courses achieve nationally recognised accreditation.

 

Due to the nature of our provision students join us at different points in the year and in their learning journeys.  Where students come to us needing to complete their studies in an area or with a particular aptitude for a subject that we do not currently offer we will work in partnership with other schools and providers to ensure that where possible we can meet this need.