English is a vital form of communication in school, public life and internationally. We place great importance on the development of students’ skills over the three main language areas: spoken language, reading and writing. Emphasis is placed on basic literacy skills over all key stages. Literacy is an essential tool for the development of students’ skills in English. As well as lessons of English each week, students also spend time in their own learning groups developing basic literacy and language skills. There is a strong emphasis in these sessions on developing students phonological awareness as well as developing their reading, writing and spelling skills. At each key stage students are encouraged to express themselves creatively and imaginatively through a varied and stimulating programme of study. Areas of focus include:
We aim to ensure that all students appreciate the power and importance of Mathematics throughout their school lives and beyond. We further aim to devise imaginative, thorough and innovative styles of teaching to enable students to gain a positive attitude to Mathematics, developing confidence, enjoyment and perseverance. An ability to be precise and logical will be complemented by an appreciation of the wider applications of Mathematics. Students are able to learn the subject in a variety of ways including using computers, interactive whiteboards, calculators and through individual, pair and group work. From entry, students are expected to question, communicate mathematically and justify their work, preparing them fully for external certification at Key Stage 4. All students are prepared for GCSE and/or Entry Level and Functional Skills in Maths at Level 1 and Level 2. In each of Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, students are taught Mathematics drawn from all the sections of the joint programme of study:
Students can also access ‘My Maths’, an online tutorial programme.
At William Henry Smith School, we believe it is paramount for our young scientists to develop their sparkling imaginations, fertile minds and curiosity through investigative first-hand practical experience as much as possible. This enables them to discover the magic behind the scientific processes for themselves.
Science at the William Henry Smith School is kept as practical as possible, with students learning through doing and having the opportunity to explore and develop their own ideas through asking questions and making discoveries. The main vehicle for this way of working is our Nature Garden, which encompasses our animal compound and our allotments. Thus the practical elements experienced outside in the Nature Garden are followed up in the classroom with the theory.
Science is an important core subject which touches the daily lives of our students. As such the subject is taught so that students can appreciate the link between the teaching and learning in the classroom and their own individual life experiences.
Throughout school students study Science through a topic based approach to develop the skills to enable them to be effective scientists.
Overall we aim to give our students an understanding of the world around us so they can make responsible decisions about our planet as they become the citizens of the future. We do this in a fun way by providing them with quality experiences and make it interesting!
Many students will achieve AQA Unit Awards linked to Science and some students will have the opportunity to work towards and Entry Level Certificate.
Computing is an ever growing and important subject area in school. As such Computing is taught both as a core subject within learning groups and in a cross-curricular manner within subjects.
The school has a customised ICT suite, holding 12 computers installed with suitable educational software. In addition, all classrooms have at least seven computers with printers, internet access and interactive Promethean Whiteboards. All school computers are networked and students have their own personal log on pins so they can access their own work wherever they are. As a school we teach all the students in KS4 as ICT qualification which will be certificated at the level appropriate to the ability of each student whilst younger students are taught through subjects and cover all elements of the National Curriculum. Students' skills are developed over the years in each of the main applications of Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Databases, Graphics, Presentation, Programming, Control Technology and Web Design. The work they complete steadily builds up their skills and knowledge to enable them to gain qualifications and prepare them for the world of work.
Some students will have the opportunity to become Digital Leaders in school.
Art has a distinctive role to play in the National Curriculum and in students' education. It provides access to a wide area of experiences within Art and Design and enables students to develop their skills and understanding of the formal elements of the subject. It also forms part of the development of students' understanding of the rich diversity of Art and Design from multicultural origins both past and present.
The programme of study for Art at the William Henry Smith School has been devised to enable students to develop the skills and understanding of Art/Art History. The content for each project is chosen and presented in a format that the students can relate to. It is important that each student, regardless of background, can relate to the subject and reap the benefits of all it has to offer. Each project provides each student with the opportunity to develop and build on the skills and knowledge to meet appropriate targets in the National Curriculum.
The department encourages students to:
Student progress is monitored, recorded and exemplification of standards is kept throughout KS3. All students have the opportunity to be prepared for the GCSE Art course.
The School's commitment to providing a supportive environment for experiential learning extends far beyond the classroom. Opportunities for Outdoor Learning are integral to our curriculum and the experiences which students have at the school.
The principals underlying our approach to Outdoor Learning emphasise:
Outdoor Learning provides opportunities for developing new skills and understanding through tangible experiences in the outdoors.
At the heart of many of these activities and experiences are opportunities to build confidence, self-esteem, empathy and social skills. Students learn the relationship between perseverance and success and are able to apply this to their approach to academic work and other areas of their lives.
Activities undertaken include:
Some activities are linked to specific awards and certificates e.g. DofE, AQA Awards, and the year culminates in week-long residential camp in July, where the particular camp and activities are matched to the student's abilities and needs.
Lessons change on a half termly basis, allowing students to take part in different areas of the curriculum. These include gymnastics, swimming, games, leisure activities and outdoor adventure pursuits. Students also have the opportunity to take part in extracurricular activities to further develop their skills.
Throughout these activities the Physical Development and Healthy Lifestyles Department will:
Educate students through physical activities”. It aims to develop students’ physical competence and knowledge of movement and safety, and their ability to use these to perform in a wide range of activities associated with the development of an active and healthy lifestyle. It also develops in students, both as individuals and in groups or teams, confidence and generic skills, especially those of collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking and aesthetic appreciation. These, together with the nurturing of positive values and attitudes in Physical Development and Healthy Lifestyles, are foundations for students’ lifelong and life-wide learning to face the challenges of the 21st century.
We aim to help students:
We aim to give all students the opportunity to develop the skills needed in order that they can fit into the world in which they live and make a positive contribution. Students are able to learn and develop these skills in a variety of ways, for example, role-play, outside speakers, debate and discussion, educational visits, practical activities and ICT.
The key elements of our PSHE/RSHE curriculum are:
At KS2 and KS3 much of the work is approached through cross-curricular themes.
PSHE RSHE education aims to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes students need to keep themselves healthy, safe and develop empathy to be able to relate to others and take part in group activities. Throughout their time in school, students are supported to explore their own emotions and feelings in a range of different ways. They are also encouraged to reflect on their actions and how this can affect others within the group. Students are encouraged to make healthy choices and carry out tasks that promote a healthy lifestyle. The PSHE ethos is woven throughout each day in the provision that we provide at a time and place when the students most need that support or education. The curriculum is flexible and supports students at their greatest time of need to help them be the best that they can be.
Key themes which are taught throughout school include:
In Year 9 students have the opportunity to begin an Entry Level Course in PSHE. Students in KS4 are able to work towards further accreditation in Life and Living Skills, Enterprise and Employability and Preparation for Working Life.
All topics offered are in line with current guidelines and expectations of the new National Curriculum. Students in school are encouraged to participate in 'Student Voice' our representative School Council, which meets every fortnight.
We teach all children and young people about good physical and mental health, how to stay safe on and offline and the importance of healthy relationships.
Students are taught about the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, which determines their physical health and how to build mental resilience and wellbeing. Our students are encouraged and supported to talk in an age appropriate way about the features of healthy friendships, family relationships and other relationships they are likely to encounter. Our secondary students, build on the foundations of relationships and at the appropriate time, extend their learning to include intimate relationships as well.
All students will learn about staying safe online, complementing the existing computing curriculum and how to use technology safely, responsibly and respectfully. Lessons will also cover how to keep personal information private.
All students have access to RE in accordance with the 1988 Education Act. We aim to give all students the opportunity to learn about the different cultural and religious groups in a multicultural society. We promote tolerance and understanding and encourage students to question and respond to the beliefs and practices of other people, in the hope that they will be able to develop a greater understanding of the world in which they live. Students are able to develop these skills in a variety of different ways: role-play, educational visits, visiting speakers, ICT simulated experiences e.g. taking part in a Seder meal, games, variety of practical activities. At KS2/3 students learn through a cross-curricular approach.
In KS4 students have the opportunity to work towards Entry Level Certificate in Religious Studies as well as the option to take up GCSE Short Course in Religious Studies.
All students are encouraged to take part in Class and House assemblies, the themes of which are often linked to work being studied in class through Religious Education.