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Key Stages 3 and 4

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

All classes are small, up to six pupils, with a teacher and a Learning Support Assistant for every class. Extra support can be provided by the pastoral day team and residential staff. If it is deemed appropriate, they can be given a bespoke curriculum and/or one to one support.

At High Close, we follow the National Curriculum guidelines and try to give each pupil a broad variety of content and interest. The Core Subjects are delivered by specialists to ensure a solid grounding in Key Skills needed for further study. In addition to this, our provision includes Humanities, Sciences, Art, DT, Food Tech and PSHE.

In Key Stage 3, we use cross-curricular project work alongside our formal National Curriculum lesson structure to help create links between activities and subject areas. As well as being entertaining, this shows pupils how all learning is interlinked and important.

The progress of each student is tracked and monitored, allowing the school to implement individual strategies to stretch and challenge or to help and support. This could include a bespoke 1:1 literacy or numeracy intervention, extra assistance with life skills and study techniques or extension work to push the boundaries of their knowledge and understanding.

Key Stage 3 Progress tracking

As part of government reforms to the National Curriculum, the system of ‘levels’ used to report children’s attainment and progress has been removed and will not be replaced. By removing levels, they wish to allow schools greater flexibility in the way that they plan and assess pupils’ learning. The government have stated that the curriculum must include an assessment system which enables schools to check what pupils have learned and whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the key stage, and to report this effectively to parents.

At High Close School we have chosen to use a colour band system which allows us to see current attainment and monitor much progress has been made over time. Each band has a set of statements attached to it, the pupils will be taught the skills and knowledge needed to achieve each statement and progress will be assessed against them every term.

What are the bands called and how do the subjects use them?

KS3 Colour Bands

What is the expected progress in each subject?

As a school we set high expectations for every pupil.  Each term they should be able to move on roughly one third of a band, but adjustments are made according to the subject and the delivery time given in the timetable.

Over a term we would expect the following percentage of bands to be made.

KS3 Colour Bands Progress

If a pupil does not reach their target at any one assessment point, it is just a reason to find a different way to learn the skill or information. We believe that with enough effort and focus they will be able to reach their targets.

Some pupils have slightly different progress targets to reach depending on their individual learning needs.  These are communicated to parents separately.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)

As well as making excellent progress educationally and behaviourally pupil also successfully learn to make new friends, grow in confidence, take on new roles and responsibilities and develop social skills they will need as adults. Ofsted 2016

At High Close School we aim to give pupils every opportunity to succeed and therefore offer several exam subjects and vocational courses. The number and variety of qualifications offered have grown over the years. Courses are provided at different levels so pupils can gain useful qualifications bespoke to each learner.

Pupils in Key Stage 4 take a wide range of nationally accredited examinations ranging from GCSE's and BTEC's to more vocational qualifications. All students are required to take English, Mathematics, Science, IT and CoPE and can pick from a selection of options to enhance their education. Teachers use a range of methods and resources, including the latest technology, to engage the interest of each pupil and encourage them to reach their potential.

The Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE award) is a nationally recognised qualification outcome of the ASDAN programmes. The qualifications offer imaginative ways of accrediting young people's activities. They promote, and allow centres to record a wide range of personal qualities, abilities and achievements of young people, as well as introducing them to new activities and challenges. There is strong evidence to show that ASDAN qualifications encourage pupils to try new experiences and, even though it is not a wholly written course, they also help to improve performance in English and Mathematics.

We offer pupils across the key stages the chance to learn through a range of educational trips and visits as well as different experiences within the school. We are confident these events enrich the pupil’s time with us at school.

In recent years, students leaving High Close School have taken with them an average of seven qualifications which have allowed them to enter further education, apprenticeships or a career.

ASC and Additional Needs Classes

There are three ASC classes, vertically grouped into KS3 and KS4, and an additional needs class, vertically grouped for KS3, that cater for pupils who cannot cope so well with the changes through the day. They follow the National Curriculum which is differentiated for their needs and is delivered by staff dedicated to those groups.

Point Scores

Every qualification is awarded certain number of points. These points are then used by colleges and universities when considering applications. The government has recently changed how these points are awarded for various qualifications.  The changes mean that some courses we offer no longer hold the points weighting they did. This is particularly so for the vocational courses and does therefore affect us in the school performance tables.  At High Close School we believe all the qualifications we provide are still essential to our young people in terms of their academic and social development. These courses, particularly ASDAN, are held in high regard by colleges as they develop key skills and independent working therefore we will continue to offer them.

For a full list of qualifications offered for Years 10 and 11 please click HERE.