CURRICULUM

The Kenton School Curriculum – September 2018

Intent

Kenton School aims to offer, both inside the classroom and in extra-curricular time, a broad and balanced curriculum that prepares pupils for the demands of life in Britain in the twenty-first century. We aim to balance the learning and retention of knowledge required to achieve examination success with the acquisition of skills and the development of the whole person, which will give students the knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and qualifications to thrive when they leave Kenton School, preferably at the age of 18.

The bedrock of our classroom curriculum is a solid grounding in English and Maths. This is supported by a robust approach to numeracy, oracy and literacy across the curriculum. In most subjects pupils are expected to produce some extended writing at least every half-term.

All curriculum decisions are taken in the best interests of our pupils.

Implementation

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of our pupils who are grouped into three 'Populations':

Population One comprises those pupils in the school with the highest prior attainment, largely based on their Key Stage 2 results, but supported by rigorous internal baseline testing in Year 7. These 90 pupils receive a slightly different curriculum diet, which includes computing and the opportunity to study more than one foreign language. The goal is that all these students will apply to a Russell Group university.

Populations Two and Three are equally divided in Years 7, 8 and 9 (Key Stage 3) and are taught in sets, largely based on their academic achievement, supported and monitored by termly assessments. Subject leaders are free to develop their own curriculum and assessment but do so with an understanding of the testing system at GCSE, in order to prepare pupils gradually for the demands of linear examinations as they move through the school.

Most pupils at Key Stage 3 will study

  • English
  • maths
  • science
  • a modern foreign language
  • humanities
  • religious education
  • physical education
  • music
  • art
  • technology

Technology is taught in a carousel in Years 7, 8 and 9 to allow all pupils the chance to sample each area within technology and to specialise in a subject in Year 10, should they wish to do so.

At Key Stage 4, pupils opt for their GCSE subjects. In some subjects this is done at the end of Year 8 into Year 9. At this time pupils have the opportunity to specialise in either Spanish or French and must choose either history or geography.

At the end of Year 8, pupils must also opt for an arts subject. This is compulsory and is designed to ensure creativity permeates our curriculum. Currently pupils will choose from:

  • GCSE art
  • GCSE ceramics
  • GCSE graphics
  • GCSE textiles
  • GCSE photography

This year we have added GCSE music into this option block, as pupils have expressed a desire to broaden the arts choices.

All pupils then make further choices at the end of Year 9, complemented by the core subjects of English, maths, science and physical education.

All children are encouraged to choose English Baccalaureate (EBACC) choices. In Humanities, pupils must choose History or Geography, with some opting to study both. Almost all children are able to choose a modern foreign language and all pupils study Science. Our more able pupils will study triple science – namely biology, chemistry and physics.

Pupils with lower Key Stage 2 scores on entry are encouraged to access the same offer as all other pupils but are supported, where appropriate, by access to Entry Level and Level One courses at Key Stage 4; they are also given a broad Level 2 offer at Key Stage 5. These students also benefit from a range of literacy and numeracy interventions which raise skill levels and self-esteem.

The development of the whole child is equally as important as examination success. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) aspects of life permeate the whole curriculum. In addition, Lifeskills lessons are taught by form tutors. Here pupils learn to develop their LORIC (leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative, communication) and employability skills through the PIXL Character and Culture programme. Lessons are adapted to address specific local issues, such as those identified by NHS England and our termly safeguarding review. This is in conjunction with our commitment to providing high quality and impartial careers education, information, advice and guidance, where all eight of the Gatsby benchmarks will be achieved by February 2019.

We believe the acquisition of skills and knowledge can be enriched outside the classroom. We are committed to the "school experience", and these opportunities are overseen by our School Experience Coordinator. All pupils will have the opportunity to participate in a number of clubs, which run before school, at lunch break and after school. Our committed teaching staff organise a wide variety of trips and visits during the year, from places of local interest to destinations much further afield. In recent years, Kenton students have visited Russia, China and Tanzania, for example.

Key Stage 5

We believe in a truly comprehensive Post-16 curriculum at Kenton. We provide a range of courses from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) completion opportunities to A Levels in traditional subjects. In 2017, our students achieved the highest value added score in academic A Levels (progress from GCSE to A Level) of any state school in Newcastle upon Tyne, with vocational progress the second highest in the city.

There is a balance of both academic and vocational subjects on offer, and, unlike many centres, we allow students to combine the two. We also teach retake GCSE Engish and maths.

Students with special educational needs are encouraged to remain at Kenton into the sixth form and to access the best support possible. We have a bespoke programme that offers students the chance to work on a range of social and employability skills to prepare them for independent life beyond school.

Students with English as an additional language are supported to achieve their higher GCSE grades in English and maths, if necessary, but they also have access to A Level or BTEC subjects, including first language GCSE and A Level, which allows them to take the next steps in their education.

Our curriculum allows students to choose a range of subjects that are suited to their needs, with an option of subjects that include science, maths, psychology, media, ceramics, law and English literature, as well as engineering, business studies and sport. All subjects have defined entry requirements to help influence and motivate students and it is vital that students understand the impact of their GCSE results on what they are able to do next. We try to include subjects that are studied at GCSE as a pathway on to either work-related learning or, more commonly, university experience. We also have a link with Studio West within our academy trust; this allows students from both schools to access a wider range of courses, and may mean they are able to access high-level work experience placements that can be linked to a degree level apprenticeship later.

Students are encouraged to play an active role in the life of the school. Our student leaders in Year 13 are the Presidents of the Student Union, which plays an active role in the decision-making process of Kenton School. We also have a life skills programme that provides guidance for important areas of life, such as financial support and information about loans and credit cards. Students access the PIXL Futures programme, which gives expert and current advice on apprenticeships, university and employment. We try to enrich the student experience as much as possible, so that when students leave us at the end of Year 13, they do so as well- rounded, aspirational and high-achieving students.

Impact

The impact of our curriculum offer on pupil outcomes and well – being is reviewed regularly. Impact will be measured against the following goals;

  • We expect all subjects to balance the need to prepare pupils for examinations with the development of skills and a wider understanding of how the subject fits into the wider world
  • We expect to see year on year improvements in the progress made by pupils in all subjects at all key stages
  • We hope that the diverse curriculum offer that we have strived to protect, enthuses and inspires young people to attend school regularly and reach their academic potential
  • We aim to recruit and retain the best available subject specialist teachers
  • We would prefer our pupils to remain at Kenton School and move into Sixth Form at the end of Year 11, but understand that some pupils following independent advice and guidance will choose to further their studies elsewhere
  • We hope that all Kenton pupils will be inspired by their education (inside and outside of the classroom) at school to seek out and follow a career in a field for which they hold a passion
  • We want all of our pupils to be in education, employment or training when they leave us, either at the end of year 11 or year 13

Courses by Key Stage

A full list of courses and qualifications offered by academic year has been provided to help parents/carers and learners discuss the best options for study at our school.

On each page, you will find details of:

  • The awarding body for the course
  • The qualification the course provides
  • A link to the course specification provided by the awarding body (where available)
  • The academic year(s) who are taught the course
  • A link to details about the department which teaches the course
  • Details of how the course is taught at Kenton.

How to find out more about our curriculum

If you would like to know more about any aspect of our curriculum offer from Key Stage 3 through to Key Stage 5, please contact Andy Clark (Vice Principal) at Andy.Clark@kenton.newcastle.sch.uk

If you have a Safeguarding issue, please contact us as soon as possible and talk to a Designated Member of staff.

At Kenton School we strictly follow the principles and rules as outlined in the Keeping Children Safe in Education policy.

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© 2018 Kenton Multi Academy Trust