We believe that KS3 should construct the foundations that enable pupils to become skilled and effective learners, and we do this by nurturing what we believe are the key qualities: Effort, Understanding, Recall, Independence and the Ability to Communicate. Our KS3 curriculum has been designed not to be limited just to the National Curriculum but to stimulate minds with knowledge we believe is essential for a broad understanding of the wider world. Pupils are then able to engage in independent deep thought and have the confidence to apply their knowledge to more challenging problem solving tasks. We live in a beautiful area with a great deal to offer its residents, and we encourage our pupils to appreciate that, to value their environment and to understand their place in it. However we are also aware that our pupils are in many ways detached from the urban and multicultural experiences available to many young people in the UK. Our curriculum has therefore been designed to look both inwards and outwards, teaching pupils about all that there is to value in their own county, but also providing them as far as possible with an understanding of a much wider and more varied world beyond East Anglia.
Our belief that KS3 should promote an outstanding attitude to learning has led us to removing all grades at that level. Our younger pupils need to focus on what will make them better, not at where they rank on an exam specification that they have not yet started. No grades means no fixed flightpaths and no set targets; we ensure no pupil is restricted in any way by their own or others’ limited aspirations.
School is not only about learning more, remembering more and being able to do more, but is about personal growth and development both in and out of the classroom. We want our pupils to go home and tell their parents how much fun they have had as learners and how much they are enjoying their learning. We complement our lessons with a wide variety of super and extra-curricular activities that widen pupils’ understanding and help them to develop connections between study and day to day life.
At KS4 we recognise the importance of EBacc subjects, but understand that these must be accompanied by creative and practical subjects in order to give pupils the opportunity to experience the breadth of learning that all schools should offer. In KS4 pupils take the first significant steps towards personalising their learning and shaping their own futures. All curricular experience is backed up with high quality careers activities, which help connect our curriculum to pupils’ futures and personal development, ensuring we produce skilled, effective and enthusiastic learners who understand our society and know how to find their place within it.
In short, our curriculum prepares pupils with the personal qualities and qualifications they need to become happy, successful individuals with fantastic futures.