CURRICULUM AT KESGRAVE: POWERFUL AND PROGRESSIVE
We believe the curriculum is a powerful mechanism for enriching the lives of all our students. It is therefore open and accessible to all, frequently reviewed, challenging and highly motivational. Academic knowledge is crucial and alongside skills unleashes the broad curriculum that enables specialism only when appropriate. We carefully map the knowledge, key skills and concepts at all levels of the curriculum to ensure that we build upon and consolidate academic knowledge, and strengthen vital subject skills.
lesson structure allows for consolidated learning and deep, reflective thinking, teaching students to argue and reflect. The fundamental role of our curriculum is to help students make the connections, chunking the knowledge and skill development appropriately through a process of discovery.
Our values statement enshrines the importance of active learning, group work, reflective thinking and learning without limits. We aim to develop our students as confident learners through a very rich offer of curricular and extra-curricular activities.
In English, Maths and Science, we have a five year plan enabling a strong foundation to be built for GCSE commencing in Year 9, given the demands in these subjects. English, Maths and Science (including Computing at Key stage 3) account for 46% of curriculum time at Key Stages 3 and 4, increasing to 53% from September 2019 at Key Stage 4, in recognition of their significance.
In Key Stage 3 all students follow Humanities (History, Geography, Ethics and Philosophy), Creative subjects, Technology, Languages and Physical Education until the end of Year 9.
In Key Stage 4 in addition to the core subjects, all students are encouraged to take a Technology and Creative subject, recognising the importance of keeping balance for our students up until the age of 16. Students also take an EBacc subject. We have three open blocks which allow freedom and flexibility, which is very popular with students and parents. This curriculum model took 18 months of detailed consultation to develop, and feedback has been incredibly positive. It gives students balance and breadth, yet allows them to develop a bespoke curriculum to play to their strengths. A student can choose three Humanities or Arts subjects for instance. We strongly encourage all students to consider studying a Language, with Spanish now a choice in addition to French and German.
The Sixth Form offers over 40 different subjects at Level 3, which include both A Level and Btec courses. Our students have the opportunity to choose four subjects without restrictions and are therefore able to have a programme of study that is bespoke to their interests and strengths. Our entry requirements of at least 6 passes at grade 4 or above makes the sixth form accessible, and the elective programme gives students opportunities and experiences beyond their academic studies.
Furthermore, we have been successful in expanding the subject offer to include vocational and applied subjects such as Food and Nutrition, Film, Engineering, Accounting, Photography and Dance. Although we developed the curriculum to meet the Progress 8 requirements, our overriding goal was to create a flexible and enriched curriculum that would be highly motivational, and prepare our students for the 21st Century.
Educating students beyond the realms of examination subjects is also crucial as we strive to grow well rounded citizens. We have a very creative, contemporary PSHEE programme and devote one hour per week across the school to deliver this. Key themes such as Online Safety, Mental Health and RSE are delivered through an age appropriate spiral curriculum across all key stages and are underpinned by our 3C’s – Culture, Character and Currency. Essential life skills are also delivered through our Enrichment Programme to prepare our students to face their world and thrive.
We value all subjects as having equal worth and students are able to access all subjects; however, we do have mechanisms to support students who find several qualifications overwhelming. Our curriculum content is regularly reviewed to ensure that it challenges, inspires and has relevance to preparing students as lifelong learners.