Years 7 to 9 in Senior School are designed to give our pupils a sound basis for studies at GCSE and beyond.
As well as a strong emphasis on the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science we consider languages to be important, and so offer French and Spanish. Creativity abounds in our Art, Music and Drama programmes, and History and Geography lessons teach pupils about our world, both past and present.
Computing offers exciting possibilities to understand and control new technologies. Physical Education and Games encourage health and fitness, as well as providing opportunities to acquire and develop skills and attitudes to individual endeavour and teamwork. Add to the mix the moral and ethical dimensions discussed in PSHE and Religious Education and you have an academic programme that is broad and balanced, enjoyable and intellectually demanding.
In Year 9, Business and Electronics are introduced to ensure that pupils experience all of our GCSE subjects before choosing which subjects they wish to study further. EAL is offered as a specialist subject throughout Senior School.
Throughout Senior School, pupils are assessed regularly to ensure that they are working hard and achieving to the highest possible standard. Formative and summative assessments are reported to parents via Progress Check Cards which grade pupils on their attitude to learning, classroom contribution and independent learning. Certificates are awarded for those who achieve well and work hard. Written reports (twice a year for most pupils) give teachers the opportunity to comment more fully and suggest strategies to ensure improved academic attainment.
The school subscribes to the CEM scheme, run by Durham University, and pupils take MIDYIS tests in year 7, YELLIS tests in Year 10 and ALIS tests in year 12. These tests measure developed ability – students’ underlying learning potential – rather than achievement based on the curriculum, and so form an excellent way to identify the learning profile of the pupil. Based on this, and our own knowledge of the pupil, we can produce strategies to build on strengths and target areas that may need extra support.
Our aim is to ensure that every pupil fulfils his or her academic potential, and so academic progress is measured and tracked by regular progress checks, the results of which are reported to parents.