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Whitefield Curriculum Statement

The curriculum at Whitefield aims to develop confident individuals and successful learners who are able to lead fulfilling lives and make a positive contribution to society, the environment and the economy – all underpinned by our ‘Live, Learn, Aspire, Achieve’ ethos.

LIVE – we expect students to take full advantage of what we offer as part of taught curriculum, our extra-curricular and extended schools programme. Including MISST (Music in Secondary Schools Trust) which provides fully-funded peripatetic music lessons to every student throughout Years 7, 8 and 9, FInding your Voice, Bikeability, Discovery Hour and Exam Magic.

LEARN - We prepare students for the 21st Century, so they become a lifelong resilient learners, responsible citizens showing tolerance and compassion, and appropriately equipped for the world of work. We expect our students to behave exceptionally well as recognised by OFSTED our Behaviour and Welfare is Outstanding. We believe good order in every classroom allows everyone to learn from the very best opportunities that our teachers provide.

ASPIRE - No matter what a young person’s starting point in life, we believe that all students should have the opportunities and support to become whatever they aspire to be. From a bespoke programme of careers education to a comprehensive package of enrichment opportunities, students will be exposed to a vast range of experiences that will develop cultural capital and inspire aspiration.

ACHIEVE – we believe that students can achieve all that they possibly can, even above and beyond what their prior attainment tells us is possible.

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

English 19

MATHS

Mathematics 19

SCIENCE

Science 19

GEOGRAPHY

Geography 19

HISTORY

History 19

MFL

MFL 19

MUSIC

Music 19

DANCE

Dance 19

ART

Art 19

PE

PE 19

RE

RE 19

IT

IT 19

DRAMA

Drama 19

SOCIOLOGY

Sociology 19

FOOD TECH

Food Technology 19

DESIGN TECH

Design Technology 19

FILM

Film 19

TRAVEL &TOURISM

Travel & Tourism 19

TEXTILES

Textiles 19

BUSINESS STUDIES

Business Studies 19

PSHE/SMSC

PSHE SMSC 19

Our School Day

The school operates a two week timetable with 25 one-hour periods a week. There are 5 periods per day (4 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon) with registration taking place at the start of morning and at the end of the day. There are two 30 minute food breaks. Morning registration lasts for 15 minutes and school assemblies also take place at this time. Teaching time is 25 hours per week, which is in excess of the government’s minimum requirement.

8.45 - 9.00 AM Registration
9.00 - 10.00 Period 1
10.00 - 11.00 Period 2
11.00 - 11.30 Food Break 1
11.30 - 12.30 Period 3
12.30 - 13.30 Period 4
13.30 - 14.00 Food Break 2
14.00 - 15.00 Period 5
15.00 - 15.10 PM Registration

Other useful documents

Year 8 Guided Choices Booklet

Guided Choices Form - Ash & Birch

Guided Choices Form - Cedar & Oak

The Curriculum 2018/2019 & beyond

The curriculum at Whitefield school is innovative and personalised, built around students’ individual needs and based on their ability, capacity and potential. We are responsive to the national agenda and ensure that our students are well taught and are fully prepared for their next steps.

KEY STAGE 3 – YEARS 7 AND 8

At Key Stage 3 students in Years 7 and 8 study broadly:-

English

Geography

Art

Mathematics

History

Drama and Dance

Science

Religious Education

Music

Physical Education

Modern Foreign Languages French / Spanish

Personal Social Health Economic Education(PSHEE)

Information Communication Technology (ICT)

Catering, Food & Nutrition

Design and Technology

Added to this we are fortunate to be one of only nine schools in the UK supported by MiSST (Music in Secondary Schools Trust) scheme. All pupils in Year 7 receive instrumental lessons as part of the core curriculum and are loaned an instrument (currently violin or viola) to take home. This scheme continues throughout Key Stage 3.

Following the Government’s decision to abandon National Curriculum levels at KS3 and allow school’s to develop their own systems for tracking student progress; Whitefield has introduced a system of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to identify student’s current skills and attributes within each subject and set targets for development.

It can be expected that a student will spend some time working within a particular KPI, as they are broader and more skills focused than old national curriculum levels. The benefit of this is that students focus on their individualised targets for development with an open mind set. These targets will be recorded and used in class by teachers to individualise learning and for students to continually track their progress.

An overview of the four KPIs are outlined below, however each subject will be creating extensive subject specific KPIs.

KPI

Expectation

Flight path for GCSEs grades

Mastered

Can successfully apply skills of the subject consistently in a variety of assessments tasks.

8-9

Secured

Good application of subject skills and knowledge demonstrated in assessment tasks.

6-7

Developing

Can apply some skills and a key terminology to assessment tasks

4-5

Emerging

Beginning to understand basics skills and language of the subject

3 or below


Table explained:

KPI: These are the four possible KPIs that a student can achieve.

Expectation: This explains the performance expectations of each KPI. Every subject has created its own specific criteria and for students to be assessed against based on the skills and knowledge required for KS3 study.

Flight path for GCSEs: This shows what GCSE grade a student is on path to achieve if they attain that KPI at the end of KS3. It is important to note that the GCSE grades are an indication of a pupil’s potential attainment; they are not a prediction for GCSE grades in the future.

End of KS3 KPI targets will be set on a student’s KS2 performance, by taking their KS2 Scaled Scores directly for English and Maths, then calculating an average score to set targets for all other subjects. This is outlined in the table below. If a KPI target is achieved before the end of KS3, then further aspirational targets will be set to challenge students further. At the same time, if students are falling below expected progress with KPIs, teachers will put in place intervention to support rapid progress. Every students will be given a targeted of at least Developing.

KS2 scaled score

End of KS3 Target KPI

Flight path for GCSEs grades

105-120

Mastered

8-9

93-104

Secure

6-7

80-92

Developing

4-5


As we continue to roll out this new KPI reporting system, subject specific targets for your child will be shared with you. This will allow you to more effectively support your child outside the classroom.

We believe that KPIs are an innovative response to national change in assessment that will further support the learning of your child and prepare them for the challenge of GCSEs.

If you have any question or queries regarding KPIs and KS3 assessment, please contact your child’s form tutor who will be happy to discuss this with you.

We run Discovery Hour Lectures for all Key Stage 3 students.

Students take part in a Discovery Hour session once each term. The session is run as a 15-20 minute lecture followed by independent study.

Sessions are delivered by members of staff on a topic completely of their own choosing. The session is split in three main parts: Part one is a short session on effective listening and note taking. Part two is the lecture and part three is when students make a start on the piece of work that they will submit.

Students are located in the main hall in exam style seating and work completely independently on producing a piece a work following the lecture.

In Year 7 students are given completely free reign to produce a piece of work linked to the lecture they have heard. This may take the format of a poster, a video, a poem or an extended piece of writing or any other format of their choosing.

In Year 8 the expectation is that the lecture will be posed as a question and students will  write a balanced argument on the question that has been posed.

In Year 9 students will be expected to produce an extended piece of writing in line with the literacy expectations of the school.

 

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. 

NEW CURRICULUM TIMELINE

We're currently in the process of phasing in our new curriculum which will be fully in place in September 2021 ready for the academic year 2021-2022.

2019-2020

Year 10 and Year 11 are studying in mixed year group classes and completing the second year of their KS4 courses. 

2020-2021

Year 11 will study two courses over the course of the academic year which they will selected towards the end of Year 10.

Year 10 will being their two year courses which they selected in Year 9

2021 AND BEYOND

Two year Key Stage 4 fully in place with options selected in Year 9 and studied over Year 10 and Year 11. 

 

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 2017-18 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.

MIXED ABILITY TEACHING, SETTING AND DIFFERENTIATION

Staff are mindful that individual students have preferred learning styles: some work well in groups while others prefer to work individually; some perform best in long-term projects while others like well-defined shorter tasks; some respond well to oral work, while others prefer written work.  To take account of these differences and the range of ability in any class, all staff have a responsibility, when planning work, to meet the needs of all students. This will involve, at different times, adapting tasks, providing different resources, developing extension work, catering for a variety of learning styles and environments, setting individual goals, giving different levels of support and offering a variety of ways to demonstrate knowledge and understanding.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

Further information on curriculum-related issues may be found in the School Policy Documents, all of which are available from the school. In addition, guidance on the National Curriculum can be found on the website of the Department for Education: http://www.education.gov.uk

Student entitlement

All students in years 8-13 are entitled:

  • to find out about technical education qualifications and apprenticeships opportunities, as part of a careers programme which provides information on the full range of education and training options available at each transition point;
  • to hear from a range of local providers about the opportunities they offer, including technical education and apprenticeships – through options events, assemblies and group discussions and taster events;
  • to understand how to make applications for the full range of academic and technical courses.