Curriculum overview 2017/18

Curriculum Statement

CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

We endeavour to offer all our students an outstanding curriculum that equips them to meet the challenges they will face in the future, so maximising their life chances.  We also strive to ensure our students leave St Martin's as confident and independent individuals who are able to adapt to the many challenges in adult life.

Our students are at the heart of our family and what we do and as such our planning of the curriculum focuses entirely on the needs of our students and how best to support them through close work with our primary schools, colleges and other outside agencies to ensure all transitions are as smooth as possible.

We provide a balanced pastoral structure to give our students the confidence to develop holistically through our wellbeing programme (Click here to view our Wellbeing Programme) so that they are able to demonstrate teamwork and leadership skills.  Our curriculum prioritises to allow for our students to achieve high standards in attainment and make excellent progress in all their subjects.


KEY STAGE 3 (YEARS 7, 8 AND 9)

There have been a number of changes to the Key Stage 3 curriculum recently. 

Our aim is to provide students with a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum that fosters a love of learning and enables all students to reach their academic potential.  

We build on students' achievements in Key Stage 2 to develop the breadth and depth of their knowledge, skills and understanding, preparing them thoroughly for the end of Key Stage tasks, tests and assignments in Year 9 and for taking GCSE and Vocational courses at KS4.   

Each year within Key Stage 3 has a different emphasis:

  • In Year 7 the focus is on reinforcing and strengthening numeracy and literacy skills; establishing high expectations and developing students' enthusiasm and independence for learning.
  • In Year 8 the focus is on maintaining high expectations, developing self-motivation by providing a very wide range of learning opportunities including the world beyond school and raising the level of challenge to stretch the most able.
  • In Year 9 the focus is on preparation for the end of Key Stage tests or assignments, the demands of GCSEs and on making choices for Key Stage 4.

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum at St. Martin's is broad, balanced and reflects the aims and ethos of the school: in Year 7, 8 and 9, students have 30 lessons per week, divided according to the chart below.


                     St Martin's KS3 Curriculum

  • English, Maths and Science, the core subjects, are given priority time.
  • History, Geography and Religious Education are taught separately but provide opportunities for collaboration.
  • Modern Languages form a major part of the curriculum with every student studies both French and Spanish during Key Stage 3.
  • Performing Arts: the importance of Performing Arts is reflected in the time allocated.   Every student will study Music and Drama every week.  
  • Physical Education is given time each week to allow team sports and individual skills to be developed in conjunction with a wide and impressive range of extra-curricular activities.
  • Art and Design has a high profile in the school with specialist rooms offering access to a wide range of materials including photography, printing and sculpture.
  • Design and Technology: all students have the opportunity to study Food and Nutrition, Textiles and Product Design in a suite of specialist rooms.
  • Computer Science is delivered through weekly lessons in Years 7, 8 and 9. 
  • Wellbeing is delivered by a specialist team of teachers in all key stages.  Topics include: Government and Politics, Rights and Responsibilities, Sex Education, Drugs Education and Careers.

KEY STAGE 3 CORE SKILLS

NUMERACY AND MATHEMATICS

We use every relevant subject to develop students' mathematical fluency. Confidence in numeracy and other mathematical skills is a precondition of success across the national curriculum at St Martin's.  Students understand and appreciate the importance of Mathematics across all their subjects. Students are taught to apply arithmetic fluently to problems, understand and use measures, make estimates and sense check their work across all subjects. Students also apply their geometric and algebraic understanding, and relate their understanding of probability to the notions of risk and uncertainty. They are taught to apply their Mathematics to both routine and non-routine problems, including breaking down more complex problems into a series of simpler steps.

LANGUAGE AND LITERACY

Teachers develop students' spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for students, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects here at St Martin's.


Spoken language is taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. Students learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. They are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. Teachers develop students' reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. Students are taught to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and are encouraged to read for pleasure.

A range of strategies are employed to provide additional support for students who have not achieved secondary ready standards in English and Mathematics by the end of Year 6.

For those students who join us with additional needs in Literacy, Numeracy or English we provide additional support tailored to those students throughout KS3 and KS4.


KEY STAGE 4 (YEARS 10 and 11)

The Key Stage 4 curriculum is followed by Years 10 and 11. We offer a wide range of academic and vocational courses. All students are given subject options advice, guidance and make their choices during the spring term in Year 9.  We guide our students to follow the EBacc pathway. EBacc subjects consist of the following choices:

  • English Language  and English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • GCSE Sciences; Combines Science or Triple Science
  • Computer Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • A modern or ancient foreign language 

The number of students following this pathway continues to grow.  Where this pathway does not meet the needs of the students we tailor their KS4 provision accordingly.  

YEAR 10 OPTIONS

The table below shows the number of 50 minute lessons allocated to each subject per week and their percentage of the curriculum as a whole.

Science 5 (16%)
English Literature3 (10%)
English Language 3 (10%)
Mathematics 5 (16%)
Option A 3 (10%)
Option B 3 (10%)
Option C 3 (10%)
Physical Education  2 (6%)
Wellbeing1 (3%)
Religious Education 2 (6%)


OPTION A:
Drama, French, History, Computer Science, BTEC Sport, Psychology

OPTION B: 
Art, Business Studies, French, Health & Social Care, Music, Spanish, Sociology 

OPTION C: 
BTEC Business Studies, Geography, History, Health & Social Care, Business Studies, Psychology  

YEAR 11 OPTIONS

The table below shows the number of 50 minute lessons allocated to each subject per week and their percentage of the curriculum as a whole.

Science 6 (20%)
English Literature2 (6%)
English Language 3 (10%)
Mathematics 5 (16%)
Option A 3 (10%)
Option B 3 (10%)
Option C 3 (10%)
Physical Education  2 (6%)
Wellbeing1 (3%)
Religious Education 2 (6%)


OPTION A:
Geography, History, Art, French, Health & Social Care

OPTION B: 
French, Health & Social Care, History, GCSE PE, Graphics

OPTION C: 
Spanish, Geography, Drama, Music, Business Studies