Key Stage 3 Curriculum Overview
We provide all young people with a personalised timetable designed to meet their social, emotional and academic needs. The curriculum on offer provides opportunities to develop cultural capital and for both personal development and academic success. We take great pride in ensuring every young person has a destination when they leave us at the end of Year 11.
At Key Stage 3, pupils often arrive disillusioned or worried about English. This can be the result of a poor level of literacy, of feeling self-conscious about reading aloud or having spelling test results read aloud to the class. Sometimes it is the lack of structure in writing and the ‘fear of a blank page’ that prevents engagement.
Key Stage 3 English at the CE Academy seeks to address this through a series of different approaches.
Our Scheme of Work is deliberately large, allowing staff to pick texts and themes that will appeal to their class – in effect making each series of lessons bespoke. The texts chosen deliberately work through the history of Western literature from the ancient Greeks to the modern day, giving the pupils a wide experience of different periods, genres, genders, ethnicities and realities. We firmly believe that we have a moral duty to educate pupils in the powerful knowledge that will give them the information to understand and engage in the world around them whilst also opening the doors to new literary experiences that could spark a lifelong love of reading.
A large part of this powerful knowledge is the ability to communicate in Standard English. We are careful not to dismiss non-standard forms of English but instead promote SE as a means to communicate with any person, of any age from any part of the country. To this end, we have developed a scheme of work that works on all aspects of SE, from eye contact to body language and choosing the appropriate tone and vocabulary. It takes pupils from working on a familiar subject with a familiar audience right up to asking them to improvise on a new subject with an unfamiliar audience.
Literacy is taught as a formal subject to all pupils at Key Stage 3. It is the first lesson of the day and is forty minutes of targeted input.
Pupils are tested using the Lucid Exact testing program during their first week at CE and the data from this test, combined with information given by the referring school is used to
create a bespoke Literacy Plan.
This involves advice for teachers as well as recommending one of the programs used by shore-up specific areas of their learning.
- Reading Wise (phonics and comprehension skills)
- First News (comprehension and current affairs)
- Free reading
- Reading from a novel as a group
- Handwriting and improving hand-eye coordination
- Ruth Miskin Read, Write Inc. (phonics)
Young people can move between programs as their skills develop or referred to the SENCO or other professionals if issues with their development are raised, which is, in turn, fed back into a re-written literacy plan. Literacy plans are available online for all staff and are interactive, encouraging a conversation that helps shape our response to the pupils’ needs.
We focus on teaching skills relevant to the age of the pupil whilst addressing the essential skills that are missing from their education. Key aims are:
- to re-engage disaffected pupils;
- identify and address areas of need crucial to progression within the subject;
- maintain and extend existing knowledge to enable identified pupils to be re-integrated to
- promote a sense of value and enjoyment in the subject;
- identify pupils of higher attainment and encourage a desire to achieve at the highest level;
- prepare pupils for GCSE courses in year 10.
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is based on the Smart Science scheme and incorporates use of the Boardworks KS3 Science resource. The scheme follows the National Curriculum programme of study and aims for all young people to engage with Science so that they;
- Learn to enjoy the subject
- Progress to enable a successful reintegration back to mainstream education, if
- Raise their confidence and self-esteem
- Learn to collaborate
- Develop enquiry skills
- Engage in practical work
- Prepare them for KS4 learning and their GCSE exams
- Engage in scientific thinking
- Consider applications and implications of science
- Reflect on the cultural context of science
The scheme is designed to complement the KS4 IGCSE scheme of work and is a year-long scheme.
Art and Design
At Key Stage 3 young people follow schemes of work linked to the national curriculum for art and design. A two year programme enables young people to develop skills and understanding.
The programme allows them to develop vocabulary and techniques and to be able to give a considered evaluation of their own and others' work.
Each year there are six project titles which are linked to artists, craftspeople or designers that young people are encouraged to investigate. The schemes of work allows for a variety of learning styles and includes opportunities for verbal discussion, written evaluation as well as the development of hands-on practical skills.
Fermyn Woods Contemporary Arts Workshop
Small groups of KS3 young people attend the arts workshop 1 day a week where they experience a huge array of art forms, learning new techniques from experienced art practitioners. The rural setting encourages the creative spirit and the freedom to experiment in an environment that promotes self-growth. Pupils work towards Arts Awards.
PACC is an acronym, standing for PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) Activities, Careers and Citizenship. The topics covered in PACC education aim to help young people stay healthy, safe and prepared for life and work. We consider PACC to be a vital opportunity to engage pupils in these aspects of their education. To this end an entire half a day is dedicated to its delivery across all campuses. All staff play an equal role in its delivery in order to promote its importance and to form part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
At KS3 topics include relationships, puberty, pregnancy, consent, contraception, drugs and alcohol, first aid and careers.
Design and Technology
At Key Stage 3, the curriculum allows young people to design and construct a range of products that incorporate a variety of processes and materials. The scheme of work provides opportunity for individual enquiry and scope to communicate design ideas using traditional graphical media and also through the utilisation of CAD and CAM technologies. Modern materials are explored and the concept of quality is investigated through the honing of existing skills and the development of fresh ideas and competencies. The scheme of work allows for a variety of learning styles, experimentation, discussion and research.
Pupils have the opportunity to learn how to cook dishes that are healthy, low budget and can be completed in a lesson of 1 hour and 10 mins. They will develop a range of useful life skills which will help them in adulthood. Each week is themed and can range from cooking dishes from a range of cultures to learning about pastry. Pupils develop their kitchen skills (chopping, preparing, and hygiene) and learn about different dietary needs including gluten free food and vegan and vegetarian options.
All dishes are shared out at breaks for pupils and staff to taste and enjoy which not only celebrates achievements but improves and develops social skills at eating times. All pupils are encouraged to sit and eat at a table together.