Our Key Stage 3 curriculum in Years 7 and 8 is built upon a foundation of core knowledge and skills, providing our students with deep learning opportunities through a broad and balanced programme.

We believe it is crucial that our students grow up to be independent learners and so will encourage them to explore their thinking, and understand how they learn, within a curriculum which is relevant, engaging, creative and academically challenging.

Changes to Key Stage 3

There is no requirement for schools to use a levels system for assessing children at Key Stage 3. Schools develop their own methods for assessing and tracking pupils. We use a system called the Blacon Assessment System (BAS). Each subject area has a series of assessment statements linked to key skills and curriculum knowledge. Teachers assess pieces of work linked to the statements and students can reach four levels of attainment: Emerging (E), Developing (D), Secure (S) and Mastery (M) – where M is the highest level of attainment.

Students will have a Key stage target of E, D, S or E. As students complete the assessments throughout the year, the average attainment will show progress towards their target.

If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the KS3 subject areas, please call 01244 371475 and ask to speak with the relevant Head of Department.

In Years 9, 10 and 1, all students take Core GCSE courses in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and AQA Trilogy Science (for which they are awarded to GCSE grades).

In addition to the Core qualifications, students currently have the option to study:

GCSE subjects: Geography, History, French, Media Studies, Art, 3D Design and Graphics,

BTEC Music, BTEC Performing Arts,

OCR Cambridge Nationals in: Enterprise and Marketing; Health and Social Care; iMedia; Child Development and Sports Science.

Students also study PSHE and Core PE throughout the academic year. At KS4, Religious Education is explored through PSHE lessons and SMSC tutor activities.

In summer 2017, students' GCSE English and GCSE Maths exam results will be graded from 9 - 1 instead of from A* - G. From summer 2019, all GCSE subjects will be graded this way.

Why is the current system changing?

The new GCSEs, which will begin teaching in September 2015, are intended to be more challenging.

The changes to the grading system will help to provide more differentiation between the highest and lowest performing students, and the standard for a 'good pass' is slightly higher than before.

How does the numerical system work?

We currently have eight grades and when the new grading is introduced we will have nine, with grade 9 bring the best available grade. How will the new system correlate to the old one?

The new system allows for greater differentiation, having nine numerical grades in place of eight letter grades

The new numbered grades will not translate directly from the old grades A* - G, but we do know that approximately the same proportion of students who currently achieve:

grade A or higher will receive a grade 7 or higher

grade C or higher will receive a grade 4 or higher

Grade 9 will be a new grade for very high performing students, to be set as the top fifth of the current A grades

Grade 5 will be the benchmark for a 'good pass'

The bottom of grade 1 will be the same as the bottom of grade G