Curriculum Description 2015/16

John Whitgift Academy offers a broad and balanced curriculum tailored to suit all abilities and aptitudes.

The Academy operates a three year Key Stage 3 and a two year Key Stage 4. This model allows the Academy to provide more personalised pathways through the 13-19 curriculum for different groups of students and this broader more personalised curriculum increases students’ motivation and engagement, which combine to deliver higher standards of attainment.

Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8 and 9

In Key Stage 3 all students follow the same core curriculum, comprising English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Art, ICT (information and communication technology), French, Geography, History, Religious Education, Physical Education, Music, Drama and Preparation for Life (this includes spiritual, moral, social and cultural education). In all subjects students are taught in ability groups. Regular assessment takes place and the setting of students is adjusted accordingly.

Key Stage 4 – Years 10 and 11

During Year 9, students and their parents/carers make choices about which courses they will follow in Year 10  leading to the Key Stage 4 examinations and assessments at the end of Year 11. Using prior attainment data and subject and pastoral staff’s knowledge of the students they work with, each student is recommended for one of the pathways in Key Stage 4. Each pathway suggests which combination of course students should consider for Key Stage 4. Some students will be recommended to follow the Ebac pathway. This pathway gives students the opportunity to achieve the English Baccalaureate standard of education which is made up of GCSEs at grades A*-C in English, maths, history or geography, science and a language.

The Academy is able to offer a range of more than fifteen courses in Key Stage 4 leading to both GCSE and BTEC qualifications. Full details of each of these courses are in the options booklet, which is distributed to all students and parents/carers during the course of Year 8. These courses include traditional school subjects such as geography and history and new subjects such as hospitality, health and social care and sport.

Whichever pathway and combination of courses an individual student chooses, all students follow the same core curriculum in Key Stage 4. This core curriculum consists of English, Maths, Science, Physical Education and Philosophy and Ethics (this includes spiritual, moral, social and cultural education). The core curriculum takes up 60% of curriculum time.

All of the pathways available to students in Key Stage 4 lead on to further study in post 16 education.