“Building aspiration through great learning”

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Curriculum overview

Curriculum overview

How we organise our learning time

How we organise our learning time

The school day is divided into five, sixty minute lessons. There are twenty five periods in a week. We operate a two-week timetable so there are 50 lessons in the two-week cycle with Week A being different to Week B.The number of lessons devoted to different subjects in each year group over the two-week cycle is shown in the table below.

Key Stage 3
  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
English 7 7 7
Mathematics 7 7 7
Science 6 6 6
Modern Languages 5 5 5
Physical Education 4 4 4
PSHE 1 1 1
ICT 2 2 2
Technology 4 4 4
Humanities 9 10 9
Performance 2 1 2
Music 1 1 1
Art 2 2 2
Total 50 50 50

 

Key Stage 4
Subject Year 10 Year 11
English 9 9
Mathematics 8 7
Science 10 10
Physical Education 3 3
Options x4 5 5
  • In KS3 students study 14 different subjects over three years with subject content all based on the English National Curriculum. We work with other schools in our Trust to enhance this curriculum content still further to ensure that our pupils are provided with a rich experience that leads from Key Stage 2 and prepares them for our two year Key Stage 4 curriculum.
  • In Key Stage Four, almost all students study nine GCSE qualifications or equivalent over two years. The vast majority of these areas of study can also be followed at Level 3 as part of our Post 16 provision. Our curriculum encourages students to meet the government’s EBacc standard and is also compliant with government requirements on curriculum accountability.
  • Pupils take French and Spanish in Years 7 and French and German in Years 8 and 9. Pupils are strongly encouraged to select one of those languages as a GCSE course which they will then follow to GCSE in Year 11. Into the future, French and Spanish will become our two languages taught throughout the school.
  • Design Technology in Years 7, 8 and 9 deals with food, textiles, resistant materials and control technology.
  • English Language and Literature are taught simultaneously in Years 10 and 11.
  • GCSE Science starts in Year 10. Most pupils do Combined Science in KS4. Approximately 20% of the year group will take triple science as an option.
  • Physical Education in Years 10 and 11 offers an options programme which includes leisure pursuits, traditional field and individual sports. We also offer GCSE PE and BTEC Sport as options at KS4.
  • PSHE comprises elements of religious education, multicultural education, health and sex education, consumer education, work-related learning including careers education and relationships and citizenship and is taught through Years 7-13.
  • There are a number of pathways through KS4 ranging from a very academic, English Baccalaureate approach to a more vocational route including appropriate options for a smaller cohort. All pathways can lead a student into Higher Education degree settings including Russell Group Universities. See our KS4 Pathways booklet for further info.

Each subject area has produced detail about their curriculum, with information on how to support your children in their studies.

Our curriculum rationale

Our curriculum rationale

The curriculum is designed to be broad-based and balanced to inspire and support students in their progression to Post 16 education and to their chosen career path. We also seek to build the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, intellectual and physical development of our students and to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life in this country and beyond. We also promote British values, for example, democracy and the rule of law.

We have a well-developed care, advice and guidance programme to support students at each point in their school career, especially around the time when decisions are made in Year 9 with regard to Key Stage 4 study and in Key Stage 4 for Post 16 pathways. See how we support the KS3 to KS4 transition.

Our extra-curricular programme includes a large range of educational visits and sports, drama, music and community based involvement. Please see our up-to-date offer.

Our programme of assemblies also has an important part to play in terms of developing whole school ethos, drawing attention to important national, international and local themes as well as supporting the positive progress of our pupils, both in school and out.  See our assembly programme for 2018/19 and the first half of 2019/20 (Pdf).

Home study

Home study

We believe that home study makes an invaluable contribution to our students’ progress, and so we support them to develop good independent learning habits, either at home or in the school library with its extensive IT facilities.

Students have told us that they prefer variety in the tasks set and to have choice. Therefore tasks and projects range from interviews and experiments to research and essay writing. Every student has a personal home study organiser and guidelines on the appropriate length of study. We ask parents to check and sign these organisers on a weekly basis as a signal of their engagement in the 'home-school contract'. Our home study is set via our home/school portal known as Insight.

Post 16 (age 16-19) study programmes

Post 16 (age 16-19) study programmes

The WMAT partnership

We work in partnership with the WMAT Post 16 centres at Wellsway School and IKB Academy. This means that we can offer a much wider variety of subjects for you. If there is a course that we do not provide at SBL, but is available at one of the other centres, you will be able to study it with one of our partner schools.

This means that you can choose to study at one place alone or, if you wish, you have a wonderful opportunity to make the best use of the courses, resources and opportunities at our partner schools. If you need to travel between schools for particular lessons, transport is organised, free of charge, to that centre for you.

Post 16 study entry requirements

Students require a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 or better including either Maths, English Language or English Literature; if a student does not have one of either Maths or English, they will need to re-take it as part of your sixth form programme. If a student is taking one of the A Level Sciences or Psychology, but is not taking either another Science or Maths alongside it, they will be required to take Core Maths as an additional subject.

The vast majority of students will study three courses, except where a Maths/Further Maths combination is taken. Students with an exceptionally high GCSE average score may also consider a fourth subject, or the highly regarded Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

All A Levels are two year courses with no AS Levels taken.

We offer the following A-Levels subjects:

Art (Fine)

Geography  

Art (Textiles)

History  

Art (Photography)

Maths  

Biology  

Maths (Further) 

Business  

Music 

Chemistry  

Physical Education  

Computer Science  

Physics  

Economics  

Product Design  

English Language 

Psychology  

English Literature 

Religious Studies  

English Language and Literature

Sociology  

French and German  

Theatre Studies

… and these Level 3 (equivalent to A Level) Vocational Courses

Applied Science  

Business  

Engineering  

Health and Social Care

Public Services  

Sport

We also recommend these Additional Level 3 qualifications for some:

Core Maths  

EPQ 

Typical Level 3 academic study programme:

Planned Hours

 

Qualification Hours

Non-Qualification Hours

A Level 1

176

 

A Level 2

176

 

A Level 3

176

 

PSHE

 

30

Community service (volunteering)

 

10

Employability skills/preparation for HE

 

30

Enrichment

 

23

Tutorials/Assemblies (linked To PSHE Focus)

 

27

Totals

528

120

Study programme (Vocational) 2019-20

Planned Hours

 

Qualification Hours

Non-Qualification Hours

Vocational Course (CTEC)

176

 

Vocational Course (BTEC)

176

 

A Level

176

 

Maths GCSE

105

 

Community Service (Volunteering)

 

10

Employability Skills/Preparation For He

 

30

PSHE

 

30

Enrichment

 

23

Tutorials/Assemblies (Linked To PSHE Focus)

 

27

Totals

633

120

Additional Information:

Year 12

Year 12 have an enrichment and PSHE programme which focuses on study skills, preparation for university, employability skills, financial literacy and British values.  Some students will take the EPQ and have a more intensive preparation for university programme. Recreational PE and sport sessions are also provided.

Year 13

Year 13 have a non-qualification programme that focuses on employment and university application. Students will also have a programme focusing on financial literacy, preparation for adult life and managing stress/mental health. Recreational PE and sport sessions are also provided.