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Smithdon High School

Curriculum

Our Curriculum

At Smithdon High School our curriculum is one of our greatest strengths. We believe that all children should study a broad and balanced curriculum that allows them to develop the knowledge, skills and love for learning that they will need to be successful as they go through life.

Our values of strength, integrity and excellence mean we hold strong the belief that every single young person at our school is capable of achieving something great. At the heart of our curriculum is a determination to prepare every child for the challenges of the outside world and their future beyond our classrooms. By providing a rigorous, academic curriculum that is rich in carefully sequenced knowledge, our goal is to enable students to take their place in the community of educated citizens. It is also our shared moral purpose to develop the core skills of literacy and numeracy. The development of our students academically, morally, physically and socially reaches beyond the walls of the classroom, but it is the knowledge gained between these walls which sets them on the path to the happiness and success which they deserve.

As such, all of our students follow our ASPIRE curriculum (Achievement, Self-awareness, Purpose, Involvement, Relationships and Emotional intelligence) for 2 hours per fortnight during tutor time, which enables them to develop the skills and experiences needed for life outside school including relationships, health and careers.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7, 8 and 9, we offer a broad and balanced, knowledge-rich curriculum that gives our students a strong academic grounding in preparation for GCSE study. A three-year programme of study helps us to ensure that our students are offered the very best curriculum and experiences. It ensures students have enough time to explore all subject areas deeply enough to equip them with the foundation knowledge that is important for their future and allows for additional content and themes to be explored alongside the key concepts being committed to memory.

Key Stage 3 allocated hours per fortnight from September 2020

English

Maths

Science

Geography

History

French

8

8

6

4

4

4

Art

Drama

ICT/DT/Food rotation

Music

PE

RE

2

2

4

2

4

2

Our lessons are based around continuous low-stakes assessment which gives students the chance to show off what they have learnt. Using simple quizzes at the start and end of lessons, students will be reviewing and developing their knowledge. We use other activities in class to ensure students can use and apply what they have learnt.

Alongside these lessons students are supported to work at home using their termly-issued Knowledge Organisers. Once combined, this knowledge and opportunity gives our students both the cultural capital and the academic underpinning they require to make them exceptional learners at GCSE and beyond.

For an overview of curriculum topics for Years 7-9, please click here.

Key Stage 4

At the end of Year 9 students are able to personalise aspects of their curriculum through the choosing of Options subjects, for their final two years of study at Smithdon High School, that reflect their interests and abilities.

  • All students continue to study English, Maths and Science as GCSE subjects until the end of Year 11, comprising two GCSE grades from English - Language and Literature - and two or three grades from Science - with students either completing the double Science Award or qualifying with an independent grade in each area of Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Students then choose 3 additional GCSE subjects for further study, at least one of which must be from Geography, History or a Language.
  • All students also continue to have weekly core Physical Education lessons for fitness and wellbeing.

Our Key Stage 4 curriculum builds on the prior learning of the Knowledge Rich Curriculum embedded in Key Stage 3. Lessons are tailored to include knowledge quizzes, deep questioning and regular classroom assessment to monitor and address gaps in learning.

Lessons incorporate a high standard of subject content along with British Values and literary articles. This is aimed at developing the capital and culture of our students, ensuring they are well prepared and able to access a wide range of cultural content.

For an overview of curriculum topics for Years 7-9, please click here.

Current subjects choices at Key Stage 4 (from 2019 onwards) include:

French

German

Geography

History

Art

Design & Technology

Drama

Food & Nutrition

GCSE PE

Health & Social Care

iMedia

Music     RE

Year 10 allocated hours per fortnight from September 2020

English

Maths

Science

Core PE

Options Subjects

10

8

10

2

5

Year 11 allocated hours per fortnight from September 2020

English

Maths

Science

Core PE

Options Subjects (not incl. RE)

10*

8

10

2

5

*English Sets 1 & 2 have 8 periods per fortnight of English and 2 periods per fortnight of RE