Curriculum

As an Academy we have the freedom to decide the best curriculum for our very able students and we keep our model under constant review to ensure our students benefit from the best opportunities available. Breadth of opportunity is particularly important to us and this aligns closely with our school vision. For our students to be individuals and have the true opportunity to explore their place in the world, it is vital that the curriculum remains as broad as possible, for as long as possible. We believe passionately in the study of four subjects at Year 12 and in the academic value this brings, even if only three A levels are taken as examination subjects in Year 13. We believe excellent academic outcomes are supported by this approach, rather than by merely focusing on narrow examination content. Likewise, we nurture excellence through supporting each other and focusing on the individual, and reflecting this our curriculum is student centred. At key stage 4 we don’t have option blocks, instead building the timetable around students. This is about knowing, valuing and supporting our students as unique learners. At Pate’s we ‘embrace challenge’ as part of our vision. ‘Academic rigour’ is important and students of our calibre should rightly be challenged by a curriculum that expects them to go deeper and far beyond the National Curriculum. All the subjects we offer are rigorous academic disciplines.

Key Stage 3 - Years 7, 8 and 9

Students joining us in Year 7 study Art, Computing, Design and Technology, Drama, English, French, Geography, German or Mandarin, History, Mathematics, Music, Personal Development, Physical Education and Games, Religious Education and Science. As they progress through their first three years, they also have the opportunity to start learning Spanish. On Tuesday afternoons we further enrich our curriculum with a wide range of additional learning activities from cookery and climbing to yoga and bushcraft! Year 9 is a transition year when in most subjects students meet some GCSE skills and content. During Year 9 our information, advice and guidance programme helps students in deciding which subjects they will choose to study in Years 10 and 11 to GCSE.

On Tuesday afternoons we further enrich our curriculum with a wide range of additional learning activities from cookery and climbing to yoga and bushcraft! Year 9 is a transition year when in most subjects students meet some GCSE skills and content. During Year 9 our information, advice and guidance programme helps students in deciding which subjects they will choose to study in Years 10 and 11 to GCSE.

Key Stage 4 - Years 10 and 11

Students take all their external GCSE qualifications at the end of Year 11. All students have a core curriculum of English Literature, English Language, Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. They can then choose four options subjects from the list below, on top of the non-examined subjects of PDC (Personal Development Curriculum), Physical Education, Core PTE and Games. Tuesday afternoons and termly Flexible Learning Days provide extra opportunities for enrichment activities and careers advice.

Art, French, Business Studies, Geography, Music, Computing, German, Physical Education, Design and Technology, History, Religious Education, Drama and Spanish.

Our student-centred system means we give free choice, under guidance of the pastoral and academic teams, as to which GCSEs a student would like to follow. We then build the curriculum around them. We feel this is the best approach to meet the needs of each individual student in our care.

Key Stage 5 - Years 12 and 13

The Sixth Form years offer exceptional opportunities for academic progress and self-development. Our curriculum meets all aspects of the Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds - our IAG (Information and Guidance Programme) and a vast array of enrichment and super-curricular activity supplementing pupils' core academic study. We offer a unique combination of A level and Pre-U qualifications - recognised as the 'gold standard' by universities and allowing some of our students to have their achievements at this level to be recognised as 'beyond A*'.

The majority of our students begin year 12 on four advanced level or Pre U courses, usually moving onto three in year 13. A small number of students studying Maths and Further Maths may wish to study 5 subjects, but this is the exception rather than the norm. Many students also elect to complete an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification), an area in which our students have had outstanding success.

Subjects currently on offer at Pate's Sixth Form:

English (Pre U), Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Art, French, Economics, Geography (Pre U), Music, Computing, German, Physical Education, Design and Technology, History, Religious Education, Politics, Drama and Spanish.

The impact of our curriculum is clear to see. Our students achieve the very highest possible outcomes in terms of academic qualifications (attainment and progress), that see them go on to the very best University courses (both in the UK and abroad) and also increasingly to highly competitive Higher Apprenticeship courses. Crucially however, our students also embody the skills and qualities set out in our school vision. These skills are recorded, reflected on and assessed through our Personal Development Curriculum – resulting in the happy, curious, resilient and well-rounded young individuals who are the hallmark of our school.

For more information on the Pate's Curriculum please see the Faculty pages on our website, our  Whole School and Sixth Form Prospectuses or contact the school office - office@patesgs.org

"The range of subjects we do is amazing and the Tuesday Afternoon Enrichment Block has allowed me to do activities such as Mandarin, Cookery, Public Speaking and Bushcraft in addition to all my usual subjects on my timetable" (Year 8 student)