Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Our broad and balanced Key Stage 3 curriculum is followed by Years 7, 8 and 9. Students follow a 25 period a week timetable. The curriculum is designed to provide depth and breadth of study whilst ensuring that appropriate time can be devoted to Mathematics, English and Science. Our intention is to give students a ‘taste’ of as many subjects as possible, whilst preparing them for and informing them about, potential KS4 subjects further down the line. Literacy and numeracy skills are developed in every subject and across the curriculum. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Citizenship (SMSC) underpins the whole ethos of our curriculum and whilst it is not taught explicitly as a discrete subject, students in Years 7, 8 and 9 benefit from a range of assemblies, form-time activities and enrichment days across the year. Some students will study MFL in KS3 whilst others will do additional literacy. This is a decision based on the learning need of the student.
The curriculum becomes more choice-based in year 9 with students opting for two subjects from the Creative Arts (Music, Drama, Art, Dance), and moving through a rotation system in Law, Business, Computer Science, ICT and Creative iMedia, with a period spent studying each subject.
Key Stage 3 Assessment
In line with the new government performance indicators that use a 1-9 grading system, staff at Oldbury Academy will assess students using these grades. Students will no longer receive either National Curriculum levels or A*-G grades that may have been used in the past. Our reports will follow this structure and our regular parent’s evenings and raising achievement events will further guide you through the meaning of these grades. On-going formative assessment takes place throughout the year, in each subject, with a progress and monitoring report issued to parents in each term. Summative assessments take place at the end of a specific topic and at the end of the year – teachers use this assessment information to evaluate the progress of our students. Assessments will cover a variety of skills and are used to prepare pupils for the challenges and expectations of Key Stage 4 courses. Assessment will take many forms in Key Stage 3 from formal assessments to assessment for learning, where pupils are encouraged to self- and peer-assess in order to promote target-setting and self-evaluation. The main purpose of assessment, however, is to enable all pupils to access the skills necessary for them to become a successful learner.
Key Stage 3 Homework
Homework tasks and activities, for KS3 students, will be used to stretch and support learners in developing the following skills:
- Independent Learning
- Online Learning & Use of ICT
- Developing specific subject knowledge and skills
KS3 students can expect to be given several pieces of homework to support and consolidate their learning. We offer an after-school homework club which students are welcome to attend where they can receive help with their homework. ALL homework will be set using our online programme of Show My Homework. Any concerns about the use of SHMW should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key Stage 3 Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Our Special Educational Needs Team work closely with students who have barriers to their learning. The changes in the ‘Children and Families Bill’ affect the way children with SEN are supported in schools. The new approach begins in September 2014; placing students at the centre of planning and provision mapping. The key principles are:
- Young people and families should be involved in discussions about the support they need
- Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC) will replace ‘Statements of Special Educational Need’. However, there will be up to a 3 year transition period in place from September.
- School Action (SA) and School Action Plus (SAP/SA+) coding’s will be replaced by a single school-based category for students who need additional specialist support.
Oldbury Academy has adopted these changes and we shall continue to work closely with Sandwell LA to access training and support, over the remaining two years of the handover period. Our Local Offer Summary for students with SEN and Disability:
- We uphold the right for children to have a high quality education
- We recognise the diverse educational needs within our local community
- We acknowledge the fact that the needs of our students might change and we believe it is our duty to offer full educational access and inclusive provision to all our students
Some students need increased support to access learning because:
- They may have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of other children of the same age
- They have a disability as defined under the Equality Act, which affects their ability to access and benefit from the educational opportunities generally enjoyed by other children of the same age
Thus, we aim to ensure that all barriers to equal access in our school are removed or overcome. We monitor and track the progress of all children so that the support we provide is as effective as possible. We welcome the full engagement of parents and carers and, where necessary, we seek support and advice from specialists outside of Oldbury Academy to ensure that we develop and maintain and range of flexible resources to meet the needs of all our students.
Key Stage 3 SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Citizenship Education)
All pupils receive two designated tutor sessions per week of PSHE/SMSC. During this time they participate in lessons aimed at ensuring our pupils are able to keep themselves safe and grow up into well rounded individuals that will make a positive contribution to the community. In addition year 7 now receive a discrete lesson of SMSC/PSHE in addition to the form sessions. This is to enable us to target year 7 with specific topics that will ensure a positive start at Oldbury Academy and help to establish the foundations for a positive future.