KS3 Curriculum at Caedmon College Whitby
As many parents are aware the KS3 curriculum has been changing over the last six months. Probably the most important thing to note is there is no longer a requirement by teachers to assess or report using national curriculum levels which have disappeared. The College is at the forefront of making significant changes to how we assess the students and instead of using national curriculum levels, we will be focusing on those key skills, knowledge and understanding which we feel students need to have as part of their learning process. Students will be assessed by teachers in such a way that the teachers know what to do next and so will the students. Our internal monitoring systems will link these skills, knowledge and understanding to GCSE criteria. These are also changing so the curriculum at the College will no doubt change year on year over the next three to five years as the new KS3 and KS4 curriculum structure becomes embedded in schools across the country.
The College operates a 30 period week where most lessons are 50 minute singles but some are taught in one hour forty minute blocks. This is particularly useful for practical subjects and in doing this this year it allows us to have a one week rather than a two week timetable.
The typical structure in KS3 this year is:
|MFL (Y7 Fr)||3||Set (year 7), banded in Year 8 & 9|
|Art||1||MA (tutor group)|
|Music||1||MA (tutor group)|
|Enrichment||2||MA (Tutor groups in Year 7 & 8)|
Organisation of Students
Students are put in the most appropriate grouping that we feel will allow each individual to make the most rapid progress. This means that rather than having a single system students could find themselves in sets, in banded groups of students of a similar ability or in totally mixed ability groups. In Year 7 the breakdown currently is 60% sets, 20% bands and 20% mixed ability.
One of the great advantages of our new College is that staff are shared across KS3, KS4 and KS5. There are somewhere in the region of 30 staff working across all key stages in the College now so that students will see familiar faces from Year 7 right through to Year 13.
Features of the KS3 Curriculum
The teachers are working weekly on developing the most appropriate scheme of work for your sons and daughters. Although the long term plans have been in place since before the start of term, the medium and short term planning is something which is much more fluid as we get to grips what is best for our learners.
Teachers use a system called ‘planning for progress’. A key feature of this is that teachers are looking at all groups of learners in their class and making sure that the work is appropriate for all of them. One of the biggest issues we all face within the KS3 curriculum is developing literacy skills of reading and writing and numeracy skills which apply not just in maths lessons but of course across a wide range of subjects. Parents can support us very effectively if they can also see opportunities to encourage their son or daughter to focus in those skills, particularly reading as being a good reader usually means students are good writers too.
If parents wish to know more about the actual detailed planning, please refer to the individual subject pages, or talk to your son or daughters class teacher who will be only too pleased to describe learning in their curriculum area to you.