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Curriculum

Whitefield Curriculum Statement

Intent 

The curriculum at Whitefield is a place where every student, no matter their starting point, can find their passion and succeed. Students become experts in their chosen fields with a focus on knowledge, understanding and language to achieve ‘great grades’ and have the ambition to take their learning further. 
 
The curriculum is ambitious in the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills that students acquire. Whilst KS3 focuses on core knowledge and language acquisition and there is an expectation that many students will follow a core English Baccalaureate curriculum in KS4, the additional choices of subjects and extracurricular opportunities are broad and varied. This ensures students can find their passion and pursue qualifications for their future ambitions. 
 
The curriculum develops ‘great character’ through embedding the we ARE Whitefield ethos in the classroom through our disruptive free learning approach. This ensures students work hard and show effort in every lesson. 
 
Wider personal development and cultural capital enhancement ensures students leave with a better understanding of the world around them and plans for their next steps. 
 

Implementation 

The sequencing of learning ensures that difficult skills, topics and vocabulary is built up over time and enforced periodically.  Every subject promotes the teaching of literacy for all abilities so that students are not only literate in the English language, but also the technical languages of their chosen subjects, thus supporting them in their next academic steps and into employment. 
 
Our unique bridging year in Year 9 allows students to make some subject choices. This means students can experience some of the exciting option subjects earlier, study them in greater depth and in a more practical way than with a traditional curriculum model.
 
We recognise the context of our students and that some require tailored support and different pathways. This is provided through alternative qualifications in core subjects, and SEN and EAL curriculum pathways for some students. 
 
Throughout their curriculum journey students are supported at every stage with careers and transition guidance ensuring they make good choices to support their future goals and ambitions. RSHE lessons further develop students' emotional intelligence and understanding of British Values and life skills. 
 
The enrichment curriculum provides opportunities for students to learn in different settings such as clubs and trips and build cultural capital. Every student attends at least one enrichment trip and there is an abundance of clubs for students to choose from. 
 

Impact 

The we ARE Whitefield ethos expects students to work hard and produce high quality work every lesson. 
 
High quality teaching leads to students knowing more, remembering more and applying knowledge and understanding in greater detail. This is reflected through retrieval practice at the start of every lesson, effective ongoing assessment and students final outcomes. 
 
In addition to their academic outcomes, students leave Whitefield having developed great character, through cultural learning, sporting and enrichment experiences, both through the taught and wider curriculum. The careers education programme ensures all students know and are supported in their next steps in education or work. 

Year 7 to Y13 tree transitionsWe know that our students have one chance of a good education: one chance of getting the qualifications and experiences that they need to succeed in life. At Whitefield School we offer a curriculum which:

  • Is broad and balanced

All students will have the opportunity to follow all subjects of the national curriculum at KS3, including PSHE. They will be able to develop intellectually, creatively, socially and physically.

  • Promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

All students will develop as rounded citizens through the totality of their educational experience.

  • Provides enjoyment, boosts self-esteem and raises aspirations

The curriculum, including enrichment, will motivate all students to want to learn

  • Emphasises the importance of Literacy and Reading

All students are able to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in Literacy and Reading through discrete lessons and across the curriculum.

  • Prepares young people for the future

​​​All students will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and understanding to achieve as highly as possible, with a clear focus on careers guidance

Click below on a subject to learn more.

ENGLISH

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English 19

MATHS

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Mathematics 19

SCIENCE

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Science 19

GEOGRAPHY

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Geography 19

HISTORY

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History 19

MFL

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MFL 19

MUSIC

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Music 19

DANCE

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Dance 19

ART

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Art 19

PE

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PE 19

RE

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RE 19

IT

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IT 19

DRAMA

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Drama 19

SOCIOLOGY

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Sociology 19

FOOD & CATERING

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Food_Catering_19

DESIGN TECH

Design Technology 19

FILM

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Film 19

TRAVEL & TOURISM

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Travel & Tourism 19

TEXTILES

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Textiles 19

BUSINESS STUDIES

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Business Studies 19

PSHE/SMSC

PSHE SMSC 19

 

KEY STAGE 3 – YEAR 9

Students choose four gateway courses to study in depth in Year 9, one of which must be either History or Geography. This process is a deliberate action to engage students and enable them to really enjoy their curriculum and learn in depth, whilst ensuring a breadth of subjects are still studied by all. This curriculum also allows students the potential to study subjects previously unavailable in Year 9 and provides the opportunity for creative and imaginative lessons.

In addition to the selected options, the curriculum maintains lessons in Maths, English, Science, PE and Languages (French or Spanish). Students continue to follow the MISST programme and receive peripatetic lessons throughout Year 9. There is also a comprehensive PSHE curriculum.

In some cases we will tailor the curriculum for students and direct them to English as an Additional Language lessons to support with initial language acquisition, or specialised lessons to support with special educational needs. This is managed on an individual basis with parental consultation.

Directors of Learning for each subject ensure there is a comprehensive wider curriculum in Year 9 to develop passion and enjoyment of subjects and learn in a different environment.

These gateway courses are not GCSE options or externally examined, but lay the foundations for KS4. In Year 9, pupils are able to move between subjects within option blocks thereby ensuring that they are satisfied with their curriculum choices.

A GCSE options process begins in the spring term of Year 9 whereby students select GCSE choices to start in Year 10.

KEY STAGE 4 – YEARS 10 AND 11  

Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is diverse and personalised. Students are supported through a rigorous options process that provides challenge and support to ensure students choose suitable choices for their ability, learning preferences and interests.  The majority of classes are small with English, Maths and Science having additional staffing in KS4 to ensure this.

All students follow a common core of English, Maths and Science. Triple Science is available within the core curriculum for those identified as able to complete the course, otherwise students will complete the double award. 

Students elect to study four option subjects. The school operates a policy of determining the timetable around student choice rather than asking students to choose from a fixed structure. This policy allows for a high level of student satisfaction. 

Students are expected to select at least one EBac subject (History, Geography, Computing, Modern Foreign Language) and many will be encouraged to select at least two. Those students on our higher academic pathways Ash and Birch are expected to select GCSE courses for all options, and those on Cedar and Oak are given the choice to select from a range of vocational courses. 

In some cases we will tailor the curriculum for students and direct them to English as an Additional Language lessons to support with initial language acquisition, or specialised lessons to support with special educational needs. This is managed on an individual basis with parental consultation. 

THE SIXTH FORM (KEY STAGE 5 – YEARS 12 AND 13)

The principle of organising the timetable around the needs of the students also applies in the Sixth Form. Students choose 3 A level and/or L3 BTEC subjects to study in the Year 12 and 13 from a wide range of subjects. Students are taught in smaller classes than in Key Stage 3 and 4.  Students are also expected to continue with Mathematics and English study if they need to gain a qualification in these at GCSE level or equivalent. The subjects on offer for 2020-21 are listed in the Whitefield School Sixth Form Prospectus. In addition, students are expected to undertake work related learning and do community service. Every student also has private study periods on their timetable.

COMMUNITY LANGUAGES

If students are bilingual or fluent in a Modern Foreign Languages (or Heritage Language), they will be given the opportunity to take a GCSE in that language. Choosing to do a Community Language GCSE is an extra subject and will not replace any of the elective subjects. Students who achieve a Grade B or above at GCSE will be able to move on to complete the AS and even A2 GCE in that language in later years.