Year 9 to Year 11
The Pathways Curriculum
Key to our philosophy is to equip every child with the skills and knowledge to be able to pursue their personal ambitions and goals. To fulfil this we have placed considerable emphasis on the quality of teaching as without good teaching good learning is unlikely.
In re-designing the curriculum we have changed the length of Key Stage 4 from 2 to 3 years. This was done to allow students the chance to develop the understanding and skills required of GCSE and BTEC courses – and it is working well.
Pathways is a time when children are making big choices about their future
While it is important to allow young people the chance to make choices about the courses they follow, the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science are an essential basis of any education and followed by all. Children’s career aspirations, interests and talents also define them and need to be included to ensure their education is relevant to them.
Helping the children and their parents make the right decisions is vital to our ethos
In January each year we write to all Year 8 parents advising them which one of the two routes available, we advise their child to take. This is followed by a parents’ evening and an opportunity for students and parents to ask more about the route advised. Whichever route a child takes through the first three years of Pathways they have choices of GCSE and BTEC courses and in addition all students follow a core curriculum that includes Maths, English and Science plus PE, PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economics) and Citizenship.
Since introducing the new curriculum about two thirds of students follow the EBacc (English Baccalaureate) route so study, in addition to their two chosen GCSEs, Maths, English, English Literature and at least two Sciences, along with Geography, History, French and PE. The second route is the Applied approach and students follow the core subjects, PE, ICT and Creative Media plus two options.
Understanding how students are performing to Help them achieve their potential
In addition to good teaching effective use of data is essential. We need to know the levels children are working at and students need to know where they are now and what specifically they need to do to be able to improve. Our new “@altitude” tracking system that runs throughout Pathways ensures these diagnostic conversations between teachers and students take place at least 5 times each year.
This system is being rolled out through the Academy to help us achieve the continuum referred to above with any slip in progress being identified early and support being put into place as soon possible and definitely before it is too late.
In September 2011 we opened our own Sixth Form and this now forms the final two years of the Pathways phase. The Sixth form is growing and offers a range of A Level and BTEC courses designed to provide an appropriate route for learners whether they are aiming for further education and university or to enter the job market aged 17 or 18.