Note: To be read in conjunction with the School Curriculum Plan, which is an appendix to this Policy
Rishworth sees the academic curriculum in three main ways:
It follows, that, whilst we embrace the spirit of the National Curriculum - and in many ways go well beyond it in scope - we cherish and exercise our freedom as an Independent school not to adhere to it to the letter. We find that such latitude enables us to meet better the needs of individual pupils. The curriculum is regularly reviewed to ensure it remains pertinent to pupils’ needs and to the world at large.
In accordance with ISI requirements, we provide:
In the broadest sense, the curriculum consists of all the experiences a child has during their time at school. By careful planning we aim to create an environment in which all those experiences are positive, and in which all children can learn and enjoy success.
In addition to the School’s overarching curricular aims, as set out above, the more specific purposes of the Heathfield Curriculum are:
The content of the curriculum closely aligns to the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals and the National Curriculum at Key Stages 1 and 2. This content is delivered in rich and varied ways to ensure accessibility by pupils of varied abilities. Opportunities to promote personal, social and moral development and to use I.C.T. are actively pursued. Homework is used to support the work carried out in the classroom.
During their time at Heathfield children gather knowledge and skills in a wide variety of academic subjects, with the following forming the basis of the timetabled week:
Lessons are differentiated for children of varied ability, and there is set work, but classes are of mixed ability. Swimming lessons begin in Nursery. During the Foundation Stage and Year 1 many subjects are taught by class teachers and Key Workers. From Year 2 more subject specialist teaching is introduced, with a wide range of extra-curricular and co-curricular activites to enhance the curriculum.
The Heathfield Curriculum appendix gives greater detail concerning the curriculum followed by children from Nursery to Year 6 and describes the key curriculum aspects for children in Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
We believe that too great a specialisation at an early stage can be unwise. From the age of 11, therefore, pupils are provided with a broad, balanced curriculum comprised of the usual range of subjects found in secondary education.
In Year 7, subjects tend to be taught in mixed ability groups, as experience has shown that at this stage such an approach benefits all pupils. In Year 8 setting is introduced in English, French, Spanish and Mathematics, with Science being added in Year 9.
In Years 7 and 8, the following subjects form the basis of the timetabled week:
Art, Design Technology, Drama, English, French, Geography, History, Home Economics, Information and Communication Technology, Mathematics, Music, PSHCE, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Science and Spanish.
In Year 9, the following subjects form the basis of the timetabled week:
Art, Design Technology, Drama, English, French, Geography, History, Home Economics, Information and Communication Technology, Mathematics, Music, PSHCE, Physical Education, Science and Spanish.
In Years 10 and 11 pupils are able to be a little more selective about the subjects they wish to pursue but the aim is still to maintain a balance between the arts, humanities, and practical subjects in addition to the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Languages. During Year 9, every pupil is given guidance in a carefully-worked-through process in order to ensure that the best use is made of individual strengths and aptitudes. Parents are consulted throughout. The timetable subjects at the time of publication are:
Core: English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, a Modern Foreign Language (or special provision for EFL and PLN), plus non-examination PSHCE as well as non-examination PE/Games. (The most able scientists will take separate GCSEs in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and the most able mathematicians may take GCSE Statistics).
Option Subjects: Art and Design, Business Studies, Design Technology (both Resistant Materials and Graphics Products), Drama, Geography, History, Information & Communication Technology, Music, GCSE Physical Education
Entry to the Sixth Form represents a major step in a student’s development. A process of social and academic adjustment occurs as students are encouraged to read more widely, think more deeply and develop the skills of intellectual inquiry. Consequently they mature very rapidly at this stage; personalities begin to flower and self-confidence and assurance grow. The School takes great care to consult and advise students and their parents on the choice of sixth-form courses. Most pupils seeking entry to higher education take four subjects at AS Level in the Lower Sixth and then specialise in three of these to full A Level in the Upper Sixth. In addition, an enhanced programme of study is followed including general studies (which can also optionally be taken as an examined subject), careers advice and life skills, and a wide range of practical, topical, social and moral issues for discussion. All Sixth Form students are allocated a Personal Tutor. This will be a member of the teaching staff who will take special care to monitor a pupil's progress academically and pastorally and who will advise on careers, further education and the completion of U.C.A.S. applications etc.
Current AS/A2 level subjects offered are:
Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Design Technology, Drama, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, History, Information Technology, Mathematics with Mechanics, Mathematics with Statistics, Further Mathematics, Music, Physics, Psychology, Sports Studies, Spanish
In addition, at both GCSE and A level, other subjects may be taken by individual agreement (for example in other Modern Foreign Languages) where this is commensurate with a particular student’s aptitudes and experience and where the School can make suitable provision. Educational provisions which can lead to other forms of nationally-recognised certification are also available, for instance: for PLN pupils, ASDAN; for Modern Linguists ELC; for EFL students, IELTS and IGCSE English; and, for students generally, Trinity College (or Associated Board) Music Examinations, Sports Leadership Awards and Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.
In essence, Rishworth adopts the same tri-partite perspective on the broader curriculum as on the academic (see above), since the purpose of both is ultimately the same. We understand the broader curriculum to include not only formal elements (such as out-of-class activities and clubs) but also less tangible ones (constituting what has been called the “hidden” curriculum) such as the values the School espouses in principle, encourages in practice and expresses in daily life. These broader “curricular” elements, encompassed by the School’s Statement of Purpose and Aims, underpin everything the School stands for and everything it can and does achieve. These vital elements are reinforced by diverse means, both implicitly and explicitly, such as through the quality of interpersonal relationships, the standards of conduct and appearance expected, assemblies and individual pastoral work, charitable undertakings and opportunities for teamwork and leadership.
Reviewed Michaelmas 2011
Next Review by: Michaelmas 2013