Pupils - Curriculum Information
On entry to the school pupils are placed in Year Tutor Groups of around 25 pupils.
The year and tutor group system generates:
- A sense of identity
- Progress with learning
Each Year Group is led by a Head of Year who works closely with Tutors and Assistant Heads of year. Pupils are taught in Learning Groups, some of which are determined by the pupil’s ability. We spend time in year 9 advising and guiding pupils in making appropriate choices of the subjects they will follow for their GCSE courses. Parents’ evenings are held in year 8 to provide information about subject choices available.
We operate a two week timetable with 50 lessons across both weeks. All lessons last 1 hour each and there is a 20 minute tutor time that runs every morning.
In order to ensure we have an accessible curriculum for all, we’ve introduced a curriculum model that appeals to all our pupils. We operate two pathways, one focusing on mainstream pupils and one appropriate for our ‘Nurture Groups’.
We have built more time into the timetable to align our school with that of the upcoming changes to the GCSEs, with a double weighting on English and Maths. Consequently we’ve provided additional lessons in Maths and English to ensure we’re able to cover the expanded Maths curriculum and account for the changes to English and inclusion of English Literature.
Our curriculum model also provides opportunities for pupils to not only be able to access EBACC subjects but also to be able to customise some of their subjects, based on their future interests. This allows pupils to have breadth and balance in their allocation, whilst also appealing to the pathway they wish to choose.
In KS3 we’ve also created ‘express groups’ for more academically gifted pupils, whilst still ensuring that all students have access to a broad and balanced curriculum in both key stages. Departments will plan for year groups that will not have had the new KS2 curriculum, but will have to sit the new GCSE in Maths and English.
If you’d like to find out further information about the curriculum, please can you contact Carolyn Forsyth, Deputy Headteacher.
Our Curriculum Model
Download a printable PDF of our Curriculum Model by clicking here
In addition to the prescribed curriculum, we also run a range of key interventions based on a number of factors:
- BookMates for pupil premium pupils (and some other pupils) that have a lower reading age than chronological age.
- Maths intervention for groups of pupils, again heavily weighted towards PP pupils, who need help boosting their levels.
- Period 6 for year 11s from January to offer additional support through the use of an additional timetabled lesson per day.
- DEAR Time – this is used once per day to ensure that pupils actively read in a designated lesson per day, thus working towards fostering a culture of readers and therefore having a positive impact on their reading ages and literacy.
‘Nurture Groups’ are smaller in size and help support pupils. In the NG curriculum, a bespoke programme is put together by the Director of Inclusion, which covers a range of issues, including building social skills, business and enterprise course in coordination with Manchester City Football Club. In addition to this, there are classes in Art Therapy, Relaxation and also ‘mainstream’ subjects.
For some pupils, neither mainstream nor nurture is the correct path and for these pupils we’ve personalised a vocational route, which allows pupils to access placements/training elsewhere in the community, whilst still ensuring they have access to a range of subjects when they are in school. This programme runs through KS4.
Departments continuously rewrite schemes of work to ensure we are factoring in the key changes to the GCSE curriculum but also with a view to an inclusive curriculum that is accessible for all and that the underpinning elements are evident in our medium to long-term planning.
It’s important we consider that the 5 years that pupils spend at Reddish is not just seen as two key stages, which can lead to a disjointed curriculum.
We are also carefully considering our strategy in relation to ‘life after levels’ - looking at the new GCSE 9-1 plans, we are aiming to introducing assessment criteria that will fit in seamlessly with the changes at GCSE.
Preparing Our Pupils for Life in Modern Day Britain
Our curricula are designed to ensure that pupils are not only building up knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to content, but also with a view that a Reddish Vale pupil should be able to adapt to life in modern day Britain. Employers are seeking skills such as self-management, communication and teamwork. These skills are evident in our debating sessions we see in History, English, Citizenship and across other areas, which all contribute to fostering confidence and self-assurance amongst pupils. Furthermore, we have introduced a bespoke PSHE lesson in the school, which will look at developing these skills in pupils to help build their career aspirations. Our PSHE course will also take into account the mental and emotional well being of our pupils, with a close eye on safeguarding.
Tutor time and assemblies are used effectively to communicate to pupils on a range of issues from bullying to e-Safety, with the emphasis on keeping our pupils safe in what are changing technological times. We value Religious Education and Citizenship in the school, as it promotes equality and together with PSHE, tutor time and assemblies, we feel there is a vehicle to communicate what’s important for a modern day Reddish Vale student in modern day Britain.
Supplementing the Formal Curriculum
In addition to ensuring that we offer a first-class curriculum in the classroom, we also provide pupils with ample opportunities outside of the traditional learning environments. This is done through a range of before school, lunchtime and after-school events, ranging from participation in sports teams, revision clubs, film clubs etc. Attendance is checked at each of these sessions and we also strategically plan to ensure that our targeted groups in the school (PP) attend and feel that there is something for them to achieve in.