Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students, which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life.

As part of United Learning, we follow the United Learning Curriculum.   This curriculum has been developed by hundreds of teachers and leaders.  This Curriculum is based on these key principles:

  • Entitlement – We believe that all children have right to learn what is in the United Learning Curriculum.  This encompasses our desire to teach the best that’s been thought, said and done.
  • Mastery – We want all students to achieve a full understanding of the knowledge specified in the Curriculum for each year.  We use the Rosenshine principles of instruction to help our students develop knowledge and understanding.
  • Stability – We won't constantly amend the Curriculum: while we should make occasional adjustments in the light of feedback and experience, we will aim for stability over many years, so that teachers can develop expertise, and we constantly build assessments and teaching materials to support.
  • Concepts not context – The Curriculum is intended as a concise specification of knowledge and content to be taught and learned; it is for schools and teachers to decide how to teach and bring it to life.

This academic year sees us rise to the challenge of ensuring that learning continues despite the restrictions placed on us by dealing with Covid-19.  School is also mindful of the need to provide time for students to work on areas of learning that may not have been completed during Year 8.  This has led us to make decisions regarding the time that can be allocated to each subject during this academic year.  This section gives details of the subjects taught in Years 7, 8 and 9 and the allocation of teaching time to each subject.

Overview of the Curriculum 2020-21

If you require any further information please contact Dr Alan Stokes, Director of Curriculum, at school or by emailing alan.stokes@whgs-academy.org.

Year 7 starting in 2020-21

  • Students are grouped into seven teaching groups.  In Year 7 the groups reflect the abilities of the students in their mathematics as indicated by their KS2 Teacher Assessments and performance in the baseline tests.  Students remain in these teaching groups for all their subjects.  There is the possibility for students to move between teaching groups at different points in the year.  A smaller transition class is also created in Year 7 to allow additional focus on Literacy skills.
  • The transition class will have additional support for their Literacy rather than the full teaching time for MFL.

Year 8 - 2020-21

  • Students are grouped into seven teaching groups.  In Year 8 the groups reflect the abilities of the students in their English and mathematics as indicated by their KS2 Teacher Assessments and Year 7 Assessments.  Students remain in these teaching groups for all their subjects.  There is the possibility for students to move between teaching groups at different points in the year.  A smaller transition class is also created in Year 8 to allow additional focus on Literacy skills.
  • The transition class will have additional support for their Literacy rather than the full teaching time for MFL.
  • Students identified as having a reading age below their chronological reading age will be offered English support and catch up sessions during time allocated to MFL.

 

Year 9 - 2020-21

  • Students are grouped into seven teaching groups.  In Year 9 the groups reflect the abilities of the students in English, mathematics and science as indicated by their KS2 Teacher Assessments and Year 7 and 8 Assessments.  Students remain in these teaching groups for all their subjects.  There is the possibility for students to move between teaching groups at different points in the year.  A smaller class is also created in Year 9 to allow additional focus on Literacy skills.
  • The smaller class will have additional support for their Literacy rather than the full teaching time for MFL.
  • Students identified as having a reading age below their chronological reading age will be offered English support and catch up sessions instead of a Modern Foreign language. These will take place during the school day.

Encouraging a love of reading is a culture that we really foster, both throughout the English department and the school as a whole. Students are encouraged to read widely forenjoyment and understanding. Every student has access to the latest library system and once a fortnight, they have a timetabled library lesson.

Research Findings: Reading Means Achieving

Recent research into the reading skills of 15 year olds across the world found that children who are more interested in reading do better at school than those who don’t read for pleasure.

The study also found that parents who talk to their children about books, TV programmes and films help to keep their children interested in reading.

Having books, newspapers and magazines around at home also made a difference to how interested children were in reading.

Top tips to help support reading: 

You can help support your child’s reading by making them the ‘expert’ and getting them to tell about all the things they already know and can do.

  • Help your child to find books they will enjoy by joining the public library, if you are not already members. It is free to join and many libraries have CDs and DVDs that can be borrowed very cheaply, as well as many different types of books that can be borrowed for free.
  • Read together. Try picking reading material about interests or hobbies you share, like your football team or a place you have visited together. 10 minutes a few times a week will make a difference.
  • Talk to your child about the types of reading they think they will be asked to do in secondary school; get them to explain to you what they already know about types of non-fiction (factual writing), and try to match them to the subjects your child does at school.
  • Chat about which books or magazines your child might read, to learn more about the subjects they are studying.
  • Buy a book, book token or magazine as a present/reward.
  • Go online to have a look at sites that might be useful for different subjects. All libraries have free internet access which can be booked. For information about safe websites for children, visit the Parents Information Network at www.pin.org.uk or Parents Online at www.parentsonline.gov.uk.

Use the following checklist for each piece of written work:

Audience Purpose Form

  1. Who is my intended reader? Is the language I am using appropriate for this reader?
  2. What is the purpose (reason for writing)? Does the language I have used meet the purpose of the writing?
  3. Have I used the appropriate form or layout (e.g. letter)?

Punctuation, Punctuation, Punctuation! . , ! ? “ : ; () -

  1. Do all sentences start with a capital letter?
  2. Do all sentences end with a full stop, exclamation mark or question mark?
  3. Do all the names of people, places and titles have capital letters?
  4. Do all other words have lower- case letters?
  5. Have I read my work out loud and put in full stops or semi-colons where needed, instead of commas?
  6. Have I used apostrophes for omission (e.g. hasn’t) and possession (e.g. William Hulme’s Grammar School)?
  7. Have I used quotation or speech marks when I have copied out someone else’s words?

Organization and Paragraphing

  1. Have I included a date and title?
  2. Have I used headings and subheadings where I need them to organize my writing?
  3. Have I numbered my answers neatly in the margin where I need to?
  4. Have I organized my writing into paragraphs where I need to?
  5. Have I used connectives to link sentences and paragraphs?
  6. Does my work have a suitable introduction and conclusion?
  7. Have I read my work out loud to make sure a reader can follow my ideas?

Vocabulary

  1. Have I used the most accurate, or the most adventurous, words I can?
  2. Have I looked up spellings I am unsure about?

In their written work, students are taught to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length, for a range of purposes and audiences, including:

  • Essays
  • Stories, scripts, poetry and other imaginative writing
  • Notes and scripts for talks and presentations
  • A range of other texts, including arguments, and personal and formal letters.

They learn to summarise and organise their material and apply their growing knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and text structure to their writing. 

They are taught to plan, draft, edit and proof-read their work, considering how their writing reflects its intended audience and purpose, amending their vocabulary, grammar and structure to improve their writing, and paying attention to accurate spelling and punctuation.

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

Financial Accountability and Freedom of Information
Website Terms, Cookies and Privacy
Policies

United Learning