Curriculum

The curriculum at William de Ferrers School is the key to achieving our schools vision, values and beliefs. In Key Stage 3, we aim to ensure that pupils are provided with a first-class forward-thinking education that prepares them fully for the challenges of Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

We aim to provide our students with the knowledge, skills and vocabulary which raise self-confidence and encourage independence of mind. We want our students to be able to formulate reasoned judgements and opinions and be able to engage in debate and conversation. Learning at William de Ferrers is academically challenging and provides opportunities to develop creativity and individuality. Every opportunity is taken to ensure that students are able to explore what it means to be a citizen of a global community, as well as understanding modern British values.

The key stage 3 curriculum provides the foundations for high levels of literacy, an extensive knowledge base and mastery of skills. The curriculum has been carefully researched and planned by subject specialists to incorporate the essential content and skills needed for success in each curricular area. The curriculum builds on prior learning at primary school and prepares students for the rigorous demands of the new GCSEs. It is essential that each student enjoys a rich and varied learning experience. Subjects are delivered in a coherent manner and build upon previous learning, to ensure that pupils understand not only what they are learning but why.

Within Key Stage 3, both mathematics and literacy are taught in ability groups from Year 7 until Year 9. These groups are determined by the results of Key Stage 2 assessment, ‘Accelerated Reader’ test results, and internal assessment mechanisms. For the remainder of the curriculum in Year 7, pupils are taught in mixed-ability groups. In physical education, boys and girls are taught separately and in broad ability groups.

Moving into Years 8 and 9, students continue to be ability grouped for mathematics, literacy and PE (these groups are more finely grouped by ability than in Year 7) but, also in English and science. Students in Year 9 begin their GCSE studies in the final summer term of each academic year. Students select their optional subjects for study at key stage 4 in the early spring of Year 9.

Please click here for the Year 9 Options Booklet.

Please click here for the application forms for 2017

Open Pathway

Ebacc Pathway

For more information regarding the options process and a copy of the 2017 options evening presentation please click here

Key Stage 4 Curriculum
 
In Years 10 and 11 students study subjects which lead to national examinations, mostly GSCE but also some BTEC and vocational qualifications. In many subjects pupils are grouped by academic ability, but some are taught in mixed-ability groups. The core curriculum at Key Stage 4 is as follows:
 
It is compulsory for all pupils to study particular subjects throughout Years 10 and 11 – this is called the Compulsory Curriculum which is outlined below.
Subject Number of lessons per fortnight
GCSE Mathematics 8 lessons

GCSE English Language

GCSE English Literature 

9 lessons
GCSE Religious Studies (full or short course) 3 lessons 

GCSE Seperate Science 

GCSE Combined Science - Support Group 

9 lessons 
Personal, Social and health Education (PSHE) 1 lesson
Physical Education  2 lessons 
 
Pupils are able to select a maximum of three additional subjects that they can study during Year 10 and 11; these complete each pupil’s personalised curriculum. These are called the Options Choice Subjects. Each Option Choice Subject is studied in 6 lessons per fortnight.  Students will be given individualised pathway option sheets which are split into two separate pathways:
1) EBACC pathway
2) Open Pathway
 
EBACC Pathway
 
Students need to select from one of:
1) Geography or History.
2) French, Spanish or German.
3) Open choice from all remaining subjects.
 

Open Pathway

Students select 3 subjects of any combination from the subjects below.

GCSE Subjects   Level 1 and 2 Vocational Subjects 
Art
Geography
 
BTEC – Level 2 Sport
Graphic Products
Electronic Products
Resistant Materials
Textiles
BTEC LEVEL 2 Business
 
Business Studies
German   BTEC - Level 2 Health and Social Care 
Child Development
Graphic Products  
VTCT Level 2 – Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy
Computer Science
History   WJEC Level 2 - Construction 
Drama
Hospitality (Catering)  
Graphic Products
Electronic Products
Resistant Materials
Textiles
Economics Music  
BTEC LEVEL 2 Business
Electronic Products Physical Education     
Engineering  Resistant Materials    
Food Technology Spanish    
French
Support Studies 
   
Games Design Textiles    

Before making choices from the above options subjects it is recommended that you refer to the detailed subject information that is available in the options booklet which explains the content and assessment arrangements for each of the qualifications identified above.

There is a detailed programme of consultation prior to the selection of subjects and a Careers Convention to assist students and their parents in making appropriate choices, there is a small number of pupils who may be offered the choice of following a programme of Alternative Education at KS4.
 
Key Stage 5 Curriculum

William de Ferrers Sixth Form offers a wide range of AS and A Level subjects as well as Level 3 BTEC courses which are equivalent to A Levels. These BTEC courses can be taken as a single award (worth 1 A Level) or a double award (worth 2 A Levels). An A Level is a General Certificate of Education (GCE) qualification designed around an individual subject which is usually assessed predominantly by examinations.  In progressing towards Year 13 you will also take AS Level examinations in these subjects.

A BTEC is a vocational or applied coursework based qualification that is also well regard by universities and employers.

Sixth Form students follow one of three pathways based on their GCSE Point Score. These pathways are:

THE GREEN PATHWAY
Students on the Green Pathway take 4 A Levels and are recommended to have a GCSE point score of 46 or above. Students will have the option to drop down to 3 A Levels in Year 13. 

THE RED PATHWAY
Students on the Red Pathway take 1 vocational/applied qualification and up to 3 A Levels. The number of A Levels taken depends on whether you choose a single or a double vocational/applied qualification. Students on this pathway are recommended to have a point score between 40 and 46. 

THE GOLD PATHWAY
Students on the Gold Pathway take at least 2 vocational/applied subjects and, if required, have the option to resit GCSE Maths or English in order to achieve a Grade C.  Students on this pathway will have a point score of between 36 and 40.

In order to take specific courses within these pathways, students will also be required to meet the entry requirements for individual subjects. These can be found in the sixth form course guide later in this booklet. 

In addition to these academic qualifications, students also have the option to take a number of enrichment options, the details of which can also be found in the sixth form course guide.

Please follow this link to the sixth form course guide or contact Mr Russell, Director of Studies for the Upper School by using this email link for further information.

 

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