On entry into the school pupils become members of a mixed aged house based tutor group. The tutor groups together with our strong primary school links and transition programme help ensure the move into secondary education is successful. The Form Tutor is central to the pastoral care and academic progress of our pupils, they work with a ‘Head of House’ who has responsibility for the overall welfare, progress and development of students. Tutors meet forms each morning for registration.
There is a 50 period, 10-day timetable for students of all ages. Assemblies are held at least once a week and are supplemented by ‘Thought for the Day’ in tutorial groups. There are many special events throughout the school year including curriculum trips, focused Flexible Learning Days and fund-raising events. We have an active School Council, where representative students and teachers discuss a wide range of school matters. Parent consultation evenings are run regularly.
In Years 7 and 8 all students follow the same basic curriculum. Year 7 are taught in groups to start with. Setting is introduced in a number of subjects at appropriate points in the first three years. Extra support is available for those with special educational needs. Our SENCO heads a dedicated team of teaching and support staff.
Year 9 is a transition year where students are able to sample new subjects within a broad curriculum. They continue to study a core curriculum that includes a modern foreign language; humanities subjects; expressive arts as well as the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Philosophy and PE.
In Years 10 and 11 all students follow GCSE and vocational courses in core subjects and many choose a modern foreign language, a humanity and a further 2 optional subjects. Subject choice is guided in discussion with teachers and parents during Years 8 and 9. Philosophy (Beliefs, Values, Ethics) and Character and Culture are taught separately. We have good experience of working with local colleges and employers on ‘alternative pathways’ for some of our students, and have been working towards greater flexibility for a number of years. This may include studying level 1 qualifications in Maths and English in combination with GCSE courses.
Students in the Sixth Form are placed in separate Year 12/13 tutor groups. There are six Sixth Form tutors and a Head of Sixth Form. Sixth Formers whose service and commitment to the school warrant it are made Senior Prefects. A Head Boy, Head Girl, and their Deputies are elected from this group, annually. The Sixth Form Senate meets half-termly to discuss matters of interest. There is a lively social and extra-curricular programme for Sixth Formers. The annual ‘Charity Week’ is a particular highlight of the Autumn Term. Sixth Formers have their own Common Room and workrooms, and priority use of the School Library. Sixth formers also have the opportunity to become subject ambassadors; this is an opportunity for them to support younger students in the classroom and also to be involved in events such as options evenings.
The curriculum offer includes AS/A levels, VCEs, BTEC Level 2 qualifications and vocational courses. Option blocks are created as a best fit based on students’ preferences. All students take part in the Character and Culture lessons. Enrichment courses such as ‘Community Sports Leaders Award’ are also available. GCSE English and Maths is offered as a retake subject. The Sixth Form Prospectus gives full details of the curriculum offer and can be found on the website.