Key Stage 3 Curriculum
At Test Valley School, we view the curriculum as journey from Year 7 to Year 11 and then beyond. Years 7 acts as a bridge between the primary and secondary phases and the school aims to provide a smooth transition between Years 6 and 7. The curriculum for Years 7, 8 and 9 introduces some subjects which are studied discretely, enabling depth of study. The curriculum enables greater depth and breadth in learning as appropriate to the needs of children in the School and prepares them for selecting the personalised curriculum on which they will embark in Key Stage 4.
In Years 7, 8 and 9 (Key Stage 3) pupils follow a broad and balanced curriculum including the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science alongside a wide range of Foundation subjects. In English and Mathematics, the curriculum builds on the core skills that pupils will have learnt at Primary school, extending their experience and application of these skills to a deeper level in readiness for the challenges of Key Stage 4. In Science, the focus is on enquiry led learning, linking scientific exploration with real world examples and drawing together a number of strands in scientific thinking from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
High quality teaching means that at Test Valley School, we recognise that young people’s talents and challenges vary across subjects and therefore, we apply a flexible approach to pupil grouping to enable us to respond effectively to the needs of each learner. Teachers focus their planning on key learning objectives; using misconceptions as opportunities for learning and where the individual excels in a subject, ensuring opportunity for greater depth in their learning.
In addition to the core subjects, our curriculum includes discrete teaching in Geography, History and RE – and the combined teaching of Citizenship with Personal Social and Health Education. Languages, Creative Arts, Technology, Computing and Physical Education are all part of the weekly timetable and delivered in purposefully designed teaching areas that maximise learning opportunities. We have specialist teachers in all subject areas whose enthusiasm for their subject resonates through the schemes of work that pupils experience in Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
The Key Stage 4 curriculum is characterised by opportunities for pupils deepen their knowledge and understanding of subjects they have experienced in Key Stage 3. Religious Education is also part of the core curriculum for all pupils in Years 10.
Pupils will have an opportunity to focus their learning as they choose their subjects for examination entry. We expect many pupils to continue with a Modern Foreign Language, and we strongly encourage pupils to consider a subject in Humanities because alongside a range of other subject disciplines, qualifications in these disciplines are a sound foundation for post-16 learning. The school takes a varied approach to the organisation of teaching groups to ensure that the challenges of learning in different disciplines are effectively met.
Throughout Years 10 and 11, Maths and Science will focus on GCSE in either Combined or Separate Sciences. All pupils will take GCSE English and Literature in our school as part of their core provision. Where pupils have particular interests in music, sport or drama, for example, the school provides ample opportunities for them to pursue their interests even if not taken as an examination subject. We actively promote these opportunities in our school and are keen to celebrate the achievements of our pupils in their participation in these additional learning opportunities. Our extra-curricular music and sports programmes in which many pupils participate, are a key part of the school.
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