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Teesdale 2017-177

Curriculum overview

A carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built and at Teesdale School we believe our curriculum has the attributes to deliver this.

The curriculum is broad, balanced and carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited so that learning ‘sticks’. Whilst it undoubtedly prepares students excellently for external examinations there is a strong emphasis through the various elements on developing:

  • a ‘love of learning’.
  • the soft-skills required to be a productive member of the work force.
  • an understanding, through the careers programme, of the opportunities available to students once they leave school.
  • an understanding of ‘British Values’ and the implications for life in modern day Britain.
  • students spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning.

Our curriculum is constructed on the following principles to support the above; namely that:

  • acquiring subject-specific knowledge is key for students to be able to solve complex problems.
  • students need to practise the knowledge and skills they have learnt in lessons so that they can use them when they need.
  • many opportunities are built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve previous learning so that it can be embedded. This enables students to apply knowledge with increasing confidence
  • the vast majority of students should be entered for the English Baccalaureate - as this provides an academically broad and balanced curriculum.
  • care is taken to ensure that students encounter the prior knowledge needed to access the curriculum before it is needed in class. This is achieved through careful curriculum planning (for example, ensure mathematical skills needed in science are taught in maths before they are applied in science) and through the pastoral programme which develops the language and wider knowledge needed to then access more formal learning.
  • development of language is the remit of all subjects
  • all students should experience a careers education based on the Gatsby benchmarks that underpin a world class careers education.
  • the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect of those with different faiths and beliefs are taught explicitly and reinforced in the way in which the school operates.
  • SMSC is embedded into pastoral and curriculum programmes.
  • a three-year Key Stage 4 is a deliberate action to enable students to really enjoy their subject and learn to a depth and breadth that is beyond the published specification. There is time to study and follow students interests which would be more limited if a two year programme was followed.

The curriculum is structured in the following way to facilitate these aims:

Subject (KS3)

Hours per week in KS3

Subject (KS4)

Hours per week in KS4

Notes

English

3

English Literature (Core)

4

All students study English Language and Literature.

English Language (Core)

Mathematics

3

Core

4

 

Science

4

Combined Science

4

All students begin studying separate sciences.  Separate sciences share 4 periods in Year 9 and then receive 2 hours per week in Years 10 and 11.

Biology

2

Chemistry

2

Physics

2

Geography

2

Option

3 / 2

All students study either history or geography.

History

2

Option

3 / 2

All students study either history or geography.

French

2

Option

3 / 2

The vast majority of students are expected to study French or Spanish

Spanish

1

Option

3 / 2

The vast majority of students are expected to study French or Spanish

Art

1

Option (BTEC / GCSE)

3 / 2

 

Business studies

0

Option (GCSE)

3 / 2

 

Design Technology

1

Option (GCSE)

3 / 2

 

Food

1

Option

3 / 2

 

IT

1

Option (OCR National)

3 / 2

 

Music

1

Option (GCSE)

3 / 2

 

PE

2

Core - Non-accredited

1

 

 

 

Option (GCSE / BTEC)

3 / 2

Delivered through pastoral sessions and drop down lessons.

RE

1

Not applicable

 

 

In KS4 students study English, mathematics, separate sciences, and select four option choices. Students therefore study for 10 GCSE qualifications. They must select geography or history as one option and a modern foreign language (Spanish or French).