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.
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.
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...
KS3: Students in Year 7 and 8 follow a two 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. Students in Year 9 follow a bespoke one year programme of study that is more focused around KS4 outcomes. They begin taking regular KS4 style assessments while preparing for the demands of GCSE and Functional Skills.
KS4: In Years 10 & 11 we aim for all students to fulfil their individual potential, therefore we offer two pathways; GCSE and Functional Skills. All students are assessed and supported to access the English curriculum; to encourage progression towards their personal goals and targets. Students have the opportunity to prepare for two separately certificated GCSE subjects in Language and Literature and have access to the Functional Skills qualification framework, as an equivalent qualification, which provides an alternative to GCSE study.
In 2015 the GCSE syllabus changed and coursework is no longer required. There are no higher and foundation tiers and each subject is assessed by two end of year exams. The new English Language specification focus is on close, insightful reading and crafting writing, whilst assessing technical accuracy and creativity. Also students are required to engage in speaking and listening opportunities.
Where part of an individual programme, the English Literature specification provides students with opportunities to study drama, poetry and prose form. Students study pre-twentieth Century texts as well as those written after the year 2000. Social, historical and cultural contexts are considered as part of the study of texts and these allow students to view alternative perspectives and acquire a broader knowledge base.
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 iPads 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 at Kingsmead is taught across Key stages 3 and 4, following the National Curriculum. At KS3 our pupils are taught the foundations for understanding the world around them through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Through building up a body of key knowledge and understanding, pupils are encouraged to offer the rational explanations to natural phenomena and develop a sense of curiosity and excitement about the world around them. Through regular and engaging practical learning sessions, pupils understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, make predictions, and analyse causes.
At Key stage 4 we deliver a suite of qualifications that enable to engage, enjoy and succeed in science. Pupils work towards the nationally recognised AQA dual award Entry Level Certificate in Science. This qualification equips pupils with both the skills and knowledge that support positive transition to either work or further study. This is co-taught alongside GCSE Combined Sciences to ensure excellent and aspirational progression opportunities are available to our young people.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Design and Technology
In the Design and Technology course students at key Stage 4 study for the WJEC Level 1/2 Award in Planning and Maintaining the Built Environment. The course is designed to support learners in developing awareness of the key issues for successful planning and maintenance to ensure safe, economical and sustainable built environments. The course provides students with a broad introduction into how the built environment is maintained and develops practical hands on skills, as well as identifying career opportunities.
The award is made up of three units, encouraging students to consider how they use and apply the knowledge to the workplace and the impact that will have on individuals, employers, society and the environment.
In Childcare students study for CACHE Level 1 Caring for Children qualification. This qualification encourages an understanding of the knowledge and skills needed for the care of young children. It covers areas such as children’s growth, learning and development. This is a nationally recognised qualification which will support students into careers in Childcare and/or further study.
This is a broad based GCSE course which offers the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding using practical skills, whilst developing an understanding of the wide ranging areas of art, craft and design. Students will experiment with a range of materials and techniques, including drawing, painting and 3D work.
The course is made up of two components, coursework worth 60% of the final grade and a final set task, worth 40% of the final grade. Both components are essentially made up of practical responses and practical study, with some written work.
Art, Craft and Design builds skills to enable progression to any of the GCE AS and A level Art and Design courses. It also enables progression to a range of vocational courses including apprenticeships
BTEC Level 1/2 Award in Home Cooking Skills
The home cooking award offers a variety of career pathways including food nutritionists, chefs and hotel management.
The course aims to give young people the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy cooking meals at home, develop this knowledge to adapt and develop recipes to continue cooking at home and in other environments and also give young people the knowledge about the benefits of having a healthy diet including the benefits to wellbeing.
For a young person to be successful they should
- Be able to plan a nutritious, home-cooked meal using basic ingredients
- Be able to prepare, cook and present a nutritious, home-cooked meal using basic ingredients
- Understand how to cook economically at home
- Be able to pass on information about cooking meals at home from scratch.
Pearson BTEC Level 1 Award/Certificate/Diploma in Sport and Active Leisure.
The Multisports/P.E programme is designed to empower, build confidence, self-esteem, fitness and team work skills through Sport.
The course is taught by our 2 Sports Coordinators and allows students to achieve various relevant qualifications in Sport. In addition to this qualification students are also offered the opportunity to gain the Sports Leaders Award whilst receiving first aid training for sports related injuries. The programme comes highly recommended for those who engage through sports and enjoy a practical approach to learning.
We work alongside the students to build up their experience and gain employability skills as well as prepare students for further education in this field.
The course is a mixture of practical and theory with students producing a portfolio of evidence to the required level.
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.