At Headlands School, we are passionate about the importance of providing all students with a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum offer that enables them to study not only the more traditional subjects of Maths, English, Science, History and Geography, but also gives all students the option to study a modern foreign language and Computer Science, as well as the more creative subjects such as Technology, Art and Design, Music and Drama which over recent years, have found themselves squeezed out of some school curriculums.
In addition, every student in KS3 and KS4 at Headlands School has core P.E., an opportunity to engage in some physical exercise which has consistently been shown to benefit both a student’s physical as well as their emotional well-being. At Headlands School, we believe passionately in a curriculum that caters for the needs, aptitudes and interests of all our students; a curriculum that is as diverse, individual and inspiring as each of them.
Our fundamental aim is to provide a curriculum that will ensure that when a student leaves us at the end of KS4 or KS5, they do so in the knowledge that they have been equipped with the necessary skills to enable them to experience success, fulfil their potential and ultimately realise both their hopes and aspirations.
Every day, we have five periods of 60 minute lessons making 25 periods in the week. At the beginning of each morning, there is a form period of 20 minutes where students spend time with their form tutor; we consider this to be an invaluable part of the school day as it is designed to ensure that all students are equipped, prepared and feel supported for the day ahead of them.
As part of their tutor programme, each class has a text which the staff and students read and explore together in designated sessions designed to promote a love of reading and encourage them to think about a number of challenging issues. In addition, we also have a rolling PSHE lesson that takes place during a different period every week, the content of which is bespoke to each year group.
Break (15 minutes) is between Periods 2 and 3 and lunch (40 minutes) is between Periods 4 and 5. School starts at 8:25am with the five minute movement bell and finishes at 2:45pm. Beyond the official end of the school day, however, there are numerous clubs and activities which are open to all students and their participation in these is actively encouraged.
Should you require any further information on the Curriculum please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Gill Rogers (Assistant Head – Curriculum) either via the schools main reception or email firstname.lastname@example.org
KS3 is designed to build on the students’ experiences and successes in KS2 whilst also providing a solid foundation for KS4 where they will effectively tailor much of their own curriculum through the options they choose to study. In KS3, they are exposed to the full range of subjects offered in KS4 so they are then able to make informed choices when the time comes for them to select their option subjects. In KS3, Year 7 and Year 8 follow broadly the same curriculum which encompasses a variety of academic subjects and practical based subjects. In Year 7 and Year 8, all students study a modern foreign language but half the year group study French whereas the other half study German. We adopted this model in September 2018 to ensure that those students wishing to go on to study a foreign language beyond KS3 have a good grounding in one of the options on offer here at Headlands School, again reflecting the broad nature of our curriculum.
In KS4, students must study GCSEs in English, Maths and Science; they then choose which subjects they would like to study alongside the core curriculum, selecting their preferences from our carefully planned option blocks. We believe strongly in the importance of providing our students with choice whilst also ensuring that they are guided to make informed decisions that will enable them to achieve their goals and aspirations in the future. In 2010, the government introduced the EBacc, a combination of subjects that the government thinks is important for young people to study at GCSE including English Language and Literature, Maths, the Sciences, History or Geography and a Language. By 2025, the government wants to see 90% of students studying the EBaac subjects and therefore, this ambition is reflected in our KS4 curriculum offer. However, we also recognise that many of our students are passionate about studying more creative and practical based subjects and therefore, all students still have the option to select to study at least one of these subjects as part of their bespoke curriculum.
With the introduction of the reformed qualifications at GCSE, we made the decision to move to a 3 year KS4 in 2016. This was to enable more curriculum time for the teaching of content, embedding of knowledge and understanding as well as the development of the necessary skills to meet the increased demands of these courses. Whilst we are ambitious for our students and believe in the value of the EBaac pathway, we also wanted to retain breadth and balance for all students; therefore, in 2017, we altered our curriculum offer at KS4. We now have two pathways for our KS4 students: Headlands Highway and Headlands Runway; we also have an increased curriculum offer which means that students are now able to study 4 option subjects. Ultimately, our aim in doing this was to encourage more students to opt for the EBacc subjects, these are open to all students regardless of their pathway, whilst also enabling those students on the Headlands Highway to have the option of choosing subjects such as BTEC P.E., Music, Drama, Art etc.
Whilst our students in current Year 9 did opt for GCSE courses to commence at the beginning of the academic year, we have made some changes to the Year 9 curriculum for this academic year and beyond. Present Year 9 will not commence their GCSE courses for English and Maths until the start of Year 10 and in relation to their other subjects, we very much regard Year 9 as a bridging year. Our students are able to study courses of their choosing in the knowledge that if they decide that a course is not for them, they are free to change their mind and switch to an alternative course. In addition, we recognise that students should not be assessed against KS4 criteria whilst still in Year 9. Instead, students are assessed using bespoke criteria following our KS3 mastery model; these are very much focused on developing and deepening key knowledge and skills. From September 2020, we will be reverting back to a 3 year KS3.
From September 2019, all students in Year 9 will have 5 hours of English, Maths and Science; R.S. will also be delivered across the year to all students. At the end of Year 10, some students will be offered the opportunity to be entered for the 3 separate sciences which awards them 3 GCSEs whilst some will be entered for the combined sciences which will award them 2 GCSEs. This will be done in consultation with students and their parents / carers; the route suggested for them will be based on a range of factors but central to any decision will be the individual student’s best interests.
The current Year 10 study 5 lessons of English, 4 lessons of Maths and 6 lessons of Science; R.S. is also be delivered across the year to all students.
The current Year 11 were offered the choice of studying separate sciences as one of their options from the start of their Year 9 course; therefore, if a student chose to do this, they now only study 3 other option subjects as illustrated in the diagram below.
All other students study 6 lessons of English, 4 lessons of Maths and 6 lessons of Science; they then study their 4 option subjects.
To illustrate the breadth and diversity of the choices available to our students, below are some real examples of our students’ experiences: