WHOLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM STATEMENT

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 are prepared for a rapidly changing world. Our curriculum aligns with our values to “nurture excellence through embracing challenge, supporting each other and shaping the future”.

Breadth of opportunity is particularly important to us: 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. For example, during our three-year Key Stage 3, all students embrace the challenge of studying two languages from a choice of four, alongside specialist lessons in each of the Arts and Humanities. Tuesday afternoons (TPM) provides additional flexible curriculum time that enriches and widens students’ cultural capital and practical skills by covering a plethora of activities from public speaking and digital literacy to cooking and ironing.

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. Similarly, at key stage 5, most students start with 4 A level subjects, giving them time to explore which subjects they really want to study further; they are then carefully guided down the appropriate pathway that will support their individual aspirations for the future.

‘Academic rigour’ sits at the heart of our curriculum; students of our calibre should rightly be challenged to go deeper and far beyond the National Curriculum. All the subjects we offer are rigorous academic disciplines, and we are proud of our subject specialist staff who deliver them. The Extended Project Qualification in the 6th Form provides an opportunity for students to engage in learning which goes beyond the usual curriculum studies, planning and carrying out research on a chosen topic not covered by their A levels.

KEY STAGE 3 - YEARS 7, 8 AND 9

Students joining us in Year 7 study Art, Computing, Drama, English, two from French, German and Mandarin, Geography, History, Mathematics, Music, Personal Development (including Life Skills e.g. cookery), Physical Education and Games, PTE (Religious Education) and Science. As they progress through their first three years, they also have the opportunity to start learning Spanish. Tuesday afternoons (TPMs) include cookery, climbing, yoga and bushcraft to name but a few of the activities students meet! Year 9 is a transition year when students continue to study the same broad curriculum as in Years 7 and 8, but begin to 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 knowledge enrichment and careers advice.

The GCSE option subjects are:  

  • Art
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Drama
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Mandarin
  • Music
  • Philosophy, Theology and Ethics (PTE)
  • Physical Education
  • 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, and students’ core academic studies are supplemented by our IAG (Information and Guidance) Programme and a vast array of enrichment and super-curricular activities. Alongside the broad and flexible combination of A level qualifications that we offer, this attracts a large cohort of students to the sixth form both from our own Year 11 and from other schools across the region.

The majority of our students begin Year 12 on four A Level 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

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Maths
  • Further Maths
  • Music
  • Philosophy, Theology and Ethics
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • 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.

Pate’s Curriculum Overview

If you would like to find out more about our curriculum please contact the Academic Deputy Headteacher, Mr Henley by emailing ahenley@patesgs.org