Headlands School Curriculum
Details of the many courses offered at Headlands School, are outlined in the pages below. Booklets are available to view or download for each term, for each year.
We also offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including extra revision and homework classes at our After School Club.
We also have many sports, performing arts and art classes. There is something for everyone, every night of the week.
Gifted & Talented
A Headlands School a strong emphasis is placed on inspiring and motivating the most able students, as well as promoting their academic achievements. This is very successful and echoed in every aspect of the school. For example student artwork and images of current and past students and their university / career routes are displayed around the school.
Top figures in their field provide workshops and lectures for the most able to raise their awareness and aspirations. Recent workshops include: Oxford & York University and BAE systems.
We have created an ethos where the most able students can flourish in Key Stage 3. Our curriculum is carefully structure, taking into account the most able students’ knowledge and understanding from Key Stage 2 onwards:
- We ensure that activities carefully build on this knowledge and understanding alongside the strong development of resilience and mastery.
- We have highly detailed subject-specific criteria that are used across all subjects to identify and carefully monitor the achievement of all students, including the most able through an online assessment package called “Doddle.” This ensures that student progress is not limited to core subjects.
Close attention is given to nurturing and encouraging those with particular gifts and talents in all aspects of the school’s work:
- Information is gathered during transition meetings with our primary school partners and then in one-2-one meetings between Heads of Year and parents / carers on specialist areas of high academic attainment evident in school and other specific skulls students use of school.
- A register of all skills is set up before students start at the school and shared directly with staff. This close attention to detail, gathered through careful research, monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and students work, is given equal weighting at all key stages.
The most able disadvantaged students receive bespoke experiences depending on their personal and academic needs. Routine practice at the school to support these students includes:
- one-to-one mentoring and guidance
- paying for trips, books or resources to aid learning
- funding interview practice
- paying for university visits
- accompanying these students to visits and interviews where necessary
The school employs a well-trained and dedicated leader to oversee this specific aspect of its work.
The views of the most able students are routinely gathered and acted on to improve the curriculum. As a result, Leaders ensure that the curriculum is tailored for the most able at all key stages, not just at Key Stage 4.
At Headlands School we are determined to provide the necessary additional opportunities for the most able students and allow them to achieve accreditation where possible in a range of subjects. For example:
- Talented musicians are challenged and entered for grade 5 theory exams as soon as they are ready for them
- An elite athletics programme delivered by Latus Training is used to deliver specialist strength and conditioning sports training for gifted and talented students
At Headlands School we have adopted a strategy for homework and lessons that requires the most able students to investigate more complex issues and problems and use higher order evaluative skills. Students welcome the element of choice they receive and the opportunity to be creative in the completion of tasks set.
Homework is planned to meet the specific learning needs of the most able students. Students who require additional stretching in their reading are challenged to use a wider range of sources to complete historical research.
Extensive support for the most able disadvantaged students to complete homework at Headlands School is proving very successful:
- Students can attend the Breakfast Club from 8am or the school library with support from Achievement Mentors to help with their queries and provide feedback on homework.
- Homework clubs run each lunch time and after school for every year group with the sixth form study area open until 6pm daily.
- This in-school support is supplemented by additional resources, including early support for interview technique and preparation for any future application process.
The school works exceptionally hard to develop students’ interests beyond the classroom.
- Enrichment and extra-curricular activities are used for additional experiences, such as different sports or cultural development through theatre trips.
- Talented musicians deliver workshops and contribute to lessons for Year 7 & 8 students.
- The most able mathematicians are used as ‘maths leaders’ in Years 7 & 8.
At Headlands School we are clear that improving the learning of the most able students does not happen by chance. Leadership programmes are seen as an essential and integral part of the school curriculum:
- We ensure that all teachers receive training to meet the needs of the most able students
- We do not focus the skills of their best teachers disproportionately on the upper key stages
- Subject specialists using their expert subject knowledge to challenge and stretch the most able students are the norm in all key stages. This enables teachers to plan lessons that accelerate the learning of the most able students
The Leadership Team at Headlands School focus on developing the leadership skills not only of staff but also of students. Coaching for improvement is therefore an embedded part of the professional development culture within the school:
- The strong emphasis on the impact of teaching on students’ achievement is at the heart of every learning conversation.
- The findings from this process are carefully analysed and used to plan for additional training and support or further amend the curriculum offered.
The impact of such a strong emphasis placed on this aspect of the school’s work is evident in the success rates to further destinations. In 2015, 97% of students gained places at universities, including 20% at Russell Group destinations.
Senior leaders within the school do not view careers guidance, advice and support as separate from the curriculum offer, but integral to it.
A dedicated member of staff is employed to support students through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application process. The school has worked hard to develop exceptionally strong links with many different universities, former students, leading businesses and national institutions:
- Formal visits to universities take place for students from Year 8 onwards.
- University staff from Russell Group universities, including Oxford, provide regular guidance on the application process and being successful at interview.
- Trips to science and higher education fairs are routine. Such sessions raise students’ aspirations and their awareness of what choices and options are available in the next phase of their education or training.
At Headlands School we are careful to ensure that students are given the highest quality guidance from school staff to ensure that they can make informed choices about the correct courses and routes for their future education or training:
- Weekly tutorial programmes support students when writing their personal statements.
- School staff work with students to help prepare them for interviews.
- A formal partnership arrangement with Hull University enables Year 9 & 11 students to attend open day experiences.
- Former students including doctors, lawyers and accountants regularly give talks about their career routes and courses to show what is possible.
- Those students who are the top achievers and also in receipt of the pupil premium receive guaranteed university offers.
As a result of this collective effort, outcomes for the most able students have continued to rise since the time of the last full inspection in November 2013. In 2015, A’ Level Maths secured an ALPS score of 1. The proportion of students achieving A*–B grades in Year 13 was 78% - an amazing achievement!