Overview of KS3

Key Stage 3 overview

When students join the school in Year 7 they are placed into one of two pathways, core or extension, based on their academic ability and other information they arrive with from primary school. The school has the same high expectations for students on either pathway and students are challenged to achieve the very best they possibly can through expecting the very best from them. Students are taught in mixed ability classes within each pathway. 

The subjects students study on each pathway are the same but content and the time spent learning some subjects are varied to ensure that all students make the best possible progress based on their prior attainment. Movement is possible between pathways at various stages throughout KS3 if appropriate.

Curriculum Intent – What are we trying to achieve in Key Stage 3?

The curriculum aims to expose students to the best that has been said, thought and done by humanity and is viewed as everything a student experiences during their time at school either in lessons and also through extra-curricular activities including trips and visits and also through homework. 

We want our curriculum to foster and develop a love of learning in all our students and to nurture and develop them into knowledgeable, successful, confident young people who are articulate and responsible citizens. We want the curriculum to ensure that students gain the knowledge and the cultural capital they need to succeed in life, irrespective of their socio – economic background.

The vision for the Key Stage 3 Curriculum

  • A seamless transition from Key Stage 2, with good support for students to settle quickly into school life.
  • High expectations of all students based on their starting points.
  • A well planned coherent curriculum, which builds on prior learning and challenges all learners.
  • Students taught well and in a way that helps them to remember things over time through the application of Rosenshine’s principles of instruction and our own principles of teaching.
  • Students that learn well, own their own learning and make good progress in all subjects.
  • Students that understand what they are expected to learn and have clear content to learn through the use of knowledge organisers and other well-presented resources.
  • Formal assessments and regular feedback so that students are clear on what they are doing well and what they need to do to improve their work.
  • High quality work in books and through displays for learning.
  • Resilient learners who are able to cope with failure and set backs.
  • Excellent relationships between students and teachers.
  • Involved parents who support the school through attendance at Parents’ Evenings.
  • Students who are well prepared to thrive in KS4 through acquiring appropriate knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • A well planned, robust careers education, information and guidance programme using Gatsby Benchmarks
  • Students with high aspirations who have a clear plan in place for progression into KS4 and beyond.
  • Students who are happy, engaged, enjoy their learning and are proud to attend Tewkesbury School.
  • Students make good progress, so that they are able to thrive in KS4 and beyond.

Click here for a summary of the school’s curriculum vision.

Curriculum Implementation – How do we deliver our Curriculum?

The curriculum in KS3 at Tewkesbury School is an ambitious, coherent, knowledge based curriculum, which is broad and balanced across 3 years and has a strong academic core of subjects, which is rooted in the Ebacc. All subjects follow a curriculum, which is similar in breadth and ambition to the National Curriculum.

Each curriculum area has clearly defined topics and learning objectives for each half term from Year 7 to Year 9, which is planned backwards from Year 11, using a curriculum overview. This includes key homeworks and also a knowledge organiser for that half term. These can be seen in the ‘curriculum intent by year group’ section of the website.

Each curriculum area has clearly defined end points that the curriculum is building towards and clearly states what knowledge and skills students will gain by the end of each half term and how they will be assessed across KS3.

The KS3 curriculum enables the evaluation of students’ knowledge and skills against the curriculum aims for each half term through common formal assessments which are assessed using each subjects KS3 assessment framework.

Assessment framework provide benchmarks for the big themes and key concepts of each subjects curriculum using assessment strands, which are measured using a 9-1 grading scale. Each subjects curriculum overview and assessment framework can be found on the department pages of the website.

Weekly Curriculum Lesson Allocation for 2019-2020

 

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Subject

Core

Extension

Core

Extension

Core

Extension

 

Art

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

Computing

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

Design Technology

2

2

2

2

2

2

 

Drama

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

English

5

4

4

4

6

4

 

French

2

3

2

3

0

4

 

Geography

2

2

2

2

2

2

 

History

2

2

2

2

2

2

 

Maths

4

4

5

4

6

4

 

Music

1

1

1

1

1*option

1*option 

 

PSHEE (PD)

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

Physical Education

3

3

3

3

3

3

 

RE/ Ethics

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

Science

3

3

4

4

4

4

 

 

Curriculum Allocation for 2020 – 2021 

 

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Subject

Core

Extension

Core

Extension

Core

Extension

 

Art

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

Computing

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

Design Technology

2

2

2

2

2

2

 

Drama

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

English

4

4

4

4

5

4

 

French

3

3

2

2

2

3

 

Geography

2

2

2

2

2

2

 

History

2

2

2

2

2

2

 

Maths

4

4

4

4

4

4

 

Music

1

1

1

1

1*option

1*option 

 

PSHEE (PD)

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

Physical Education

3

3

3

3

2 (3 if not music)

2 (3 if not music)

 

RE / Ethics

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

Science

3

3

4

4

4

4

 

Curriculum Impact – How well are we delivering on our KS3 Curriculum Aims?

We have invested lots of energy and time into improving the coherence, structure and quality of our Key Stage 3 curriculum. Over the last 18 months we have been able to respond to the recommendations in our last Ofsted report and have developed systems to track the progress being made by s within KS3. These systems are being refined constantly to ensure we are able to be clear on which students are making the progress in their learning we expect and which students we need to further support and challenge to improve through quality first wave teaching and further intervention.

Impact of the KS3 Curriculum in 2018-2019

Year 7: 94% of students made expected progress

Year 8: 94% of students made expected progress

Year 9: 86% of students made expected progress 

Aspects of sex education are taught from Year 7 onwards as part of the Science and Personal Development programmes. Students are encouraged to have a regard for moral considerations and the value of family life. Material is presented in a non-threatening way. Students are not asked questions of a personal and private nature. Discussion of moral issues, however, is encouraged. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the sex education programme and should do so in writing to Mr Adams, Deputy Head.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the Religious Studies, Ethics and Philosophy programmes and should do so in writing to Mr Adams, Deputy Head.

Assemblies are non-denominational in character and it is hoped that parents will not withdraw their children on religious grounds. If parents wish to do so they must contact the Headteacher, Mr G M Watson.