As you will have been aware the curriculum for schools has been under constant government review and a number of changes have already come into effect. A few of these include:
- All GCSE examinations are now examined through linear assessment, an exam at the end of the course.
- There are very little coursework assignments or controlled assessments in new specifications and only qualifications of full GCSE size will count. (The academy used to offer short course, half qualifications in Citizenship and Religious Studies).
- There are no opportunities for retakes in most subjects and modular examinations have been scrapped.
- The academy operates a five period day, with each period lasting one hour.
- There is no change to the start and finish times of the academy day.
- Period one starts at 8:55 after a registration period starting at 8:45am; the tutor period will be at the end of the day.
- There are four periods in the morning and one period and a tutor/assembly time after lunch.
- English, maths and science all receive additional teaching time; all KS4 option subjects receive additional time.
- All students are entered for English Language and English Literature.
- Religious Studies and citizenship are taught in focus days at five points in the academic year rather than through one lesson per week. Religious Studies is also offered as a full option subject for GCSE. The current year 10 students who were on course to be entered for the full course qualification are offered lunch or after school provision to complete this course.
- Level 3 students, in the Sixth Form, have one lesson for each A' Level every day.
TIMINGS OF THE SCHOOL DAY ARE:
|Registration||Period 1||Period 2||Break||Period 3||Period 4||Lunch||Period 5||Tutorial|
|8.45 - 8.55||8.55 - 9.55||9.55 - 10.55||10.55 - 11.15||11.15 - 12.15||12.15 - 1.15||1.15 - 2.05||2.05 - 3.05||3.05 - 3.30|
The Academy is committed to providing a stimulating curriculum which meets the needs of all learners and provides all students with the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential. We believe that the changes made will provide all students the best possible chance of achieving outstanding results in subjects which retain validity and therefore maximise their career prospects.
The timetable structure enables us to set in English, mathematics and science independently. This allows all students to be challenged effectively in all lessons. Previously, students were placed in a group which was a compromise of their overall ability across a number of subjects. We also have pathways at Key Stage 3 with different allocations of subjects depending on ability level. The grammar students will now find that they are placed in the V or W band in Year 7 and 8, this band completes Key Stage 3 in two years and students will their GCSE studies in Year 9.
V and W are grammar streams; there is no intended ability differential between V and W, V1 should match W1 and V2 should be equal to W2.
X band originally had three groups in each year, but as numbers increased we have created 4 X groups in some years. It is very difficult to timetable 4 X band classes at the same time in each subject as some departments don't have that number of teachers to cover this, so in Year 7, 8 and 11 we have split the X band into two groups of 2. These are X1 and X2 in one block of two and XA and XB in the other block. This works in the same way as the grammar bands. X1 and XA are the same ability and X2 and XB are the same ability.
We have introduced this X band structure to Year 7, 8 and 11 this year and resetting was done to even out the abilities on each side. If a year 8 student has moved from 7X1 last year to set 8XA this year they have not moved down a set, they are still in the top X band set.
Secondly, setting only applies to maths, English and science. All other subjects are not in sets, they are mixed ability classes so being in X1 or X2 is not an indication of ability in that area, this is the same in the grammar band.