The Curriculum at QKS
Academic and ‘Whole Child’
At QKS, the curriculum is the heart of everything we do.
Our wider, ‘Whole Child’, curriculum including pastoral support; assembly activities and topics; Form Time and Citizenship programme; House competitions and extensive extra-curricular opportunities; all work in synergy with our Proud to Belong ethos which underpins everything we do. We are very proud of the wide-ranging opportunities that are on offer to every student – please click on the ‘Whole Child’ Curriculum Hills, Clubs, Trips and Proud to Belong documents below for further information.
The curriculum is the vehicle in which we deliver our vision to ensure all students are supported and stretched to reach their potential and leave as happy, well-rounded individuals with the knowledge, qualifications and skills they need for the next stage in their lives. We monitor how well we are achieving our vision through academic progress together with our annual Form Tutor reference which celebrates all the wider aspects of our curriculum.
The curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge they need to know, the skills they need to apply it, and the ability to combine the two successfully. This is achieved through an extensive provision of learning opportunities, which stimulate, engage and encourage students to be resilient and have high aspirations for themselves. Department and subject areas think carefully about the rationale for their subject and the knowledge and skills they aim to develop. As a result, subject teams give careful consideration to the content covered and the sequencing of it. The links within units of work and with other subjects are made explicit; this empowers students with ability to make memorable connections. More information about this can be found in each subject area. As students move through Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, they are able to exercise greater choice in terms of the subjects they study. Our philosophy for KS3 and KS4 students is one that encourages a large common core and stresses a broad balanced curriculum for all. All students have equality of choice and all options are available to all students.
Subject-based Curriculum: Key Stage 3
Our principal philosophy for Key Stage 3 is that students enjoy their learning; our aim is that all students acquire a genuine and deep interest in the core knowledge and skills of each subject area.
We recognise that Year 7 students join our community with a tremendous wealth of knowledge, skills and understanding and we work hard to celebrate and build upon this to ensure all students make rapid progress. In Years 7 and 8, all students follow the same curriculum; students are taught in mixed ability groups for all subjects except Maths, which creates classes according to mathematical ability. In Year 7, students also study Resilience and Growth Mindset, and in Year 7 and 8, they participate in the Accelerated Reader programme. Students will be encouraged to share responsibility for their own learning; improve work based on teacher feedback to develop study skills through self-organisation and regular homework; to make use of Information Communication Technology; and to take advantage of any additional curricular, pastoral and personal support available to them. We provide Catch Up opportunities for students entering secondary below National Standards at Key Stage 2.
By Year 9, students have an opportunity to specialise their own curriculum through taster preliminary options. All students study a broad and balanced curriculum including the Core subjects of English, Maths and Science and all continue with Ebacc subjects including at least one Modern Foreign Language, Geography and/or History together with Religious Studies, ICT and Core PE. In addition, students then choose four additional subjects to build foundations in Year 9 from over 22 curricula as a foundation for KS4. This successfully allows students an opportunity to trial new subjects to ensure they study subjects they enjoy and are good at in Year 10 and 11. In term two, Year 9 students will make a guided choice of optional subjects to be taken at Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11).
All students in Year 9 also have the opportunity to attain the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award as part of our ‘Whole Child’ curriculum.
Please see parents' section of the website for options details for Years 8 and 9.
Subject-based Curriculum: Key Stage 4
Our principal philosophy for Key Stage 4 is that students strive to achieve their best in core and chosen subject areas; our aim is that all students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in examinations, but more importantly, develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around them in order to prepare them for opportunities in later life.
In Years 10 and 11, all students study Maths, English Literature, English Language and Dual Award Science (with higher ability students studying Triple Science) and one Ebacc subject, plus three options from a broad range of over 22 subjects (including GCSE, Cambridge Nationals, BTec Tech Awards). See curriculum breakdown and course list links below for more detail. Dependent upon student numbers (we cannot always run every subject), we run subjects offering to meet the needs specific to each cohort. In addition, all students also study a Core PE and Citizenship programme. We strongly recommend that students study a Modern Foreign Language and Geography or History to ensure broad and balanced option choices that follow the English Baccalaureate. Throughout, students will receive help and advice concerning the opportunities available to them post-16. Some students follow a further personalised curriculum including Level 1 college courses such as Motor Vehicles or Level 1 Horticulture. We have high aspirations and expectations of all students and we will make appropriate and reasonable provision for an individual’s needs within the resources available.