Carleton Community High School Curriculum Statement

The curriculum is designed around both local and national needs. In September 2017 we moved to a 2 year key stage 3 (years 7 & 8) and 3 year key stage 4 (years 9, 10 & 11). The importance of Maths and English have been given due consideration and the weighting of the subjects in each area are now reflected in the amount of time allocated to the timetable. The needs of the students in our local area have also been considered as we continue to take a small number of students at the end of KS2 with levels well below national average and as such have the Pathways curriculum from year 7 with this small cohort for who we aim to reintegrate back into mainstream at the end of year 8. On a larger yet still local scale, considering the labour market trends in the Leeds City Region means departments such as Technology and Computing needs to remain a strong feature of our 5 year journey with the students.

PSCHE is still a core timetabled subject delivered to every student from year 7 to year 11. In KS4 a large portion of the PSHCE time is spent ensuring adequate post 16 provision is in place, ultimately ensuring we have destinations for our students for post 16 and reducing the amount of NEETs which is currently 2.96% against a national of 6.6% and local of 4.4%.

RE has been renamed Beliefs and Ethics. BE is still a core timetabled subject delivered to every student from year 7 to year 9. BE is a valuable part of our curriculum due to its ability to introduce the diversity which is sometimes lacking in our community due to its low exposure to BME in our community. Religion and faith is not a large part of our community and therefore some students misunderstand the connotations of religion. Our aim is to have the students explore the moral undertones of the subject. Sociology is now a popular KS4 option in its first year of delivery. Both PSHCE and BE enables us to deliver some of key themes regarding British Values.

As an indication of our intention to raise standards in the core subjects, in comparison to students who started at Carleton in year 7 in 2010 (left summer 2015), those who now start at Carleton in year 7 and stay for 5 years will have an extra 155 hours in English (equivalent of an extra year of teaching), an extra 78 hours in Maths and an extra 60 hours in Science.

The year 7 & 8 curriculum is traditional although we expect to see some GCSE terminology and content being explained and brought into the classrooms. In the majority of subjects students are placed into at least 3 ability sets in each of the two sectors, furthermore there is the separate Pathways sector in each year group for the students who are very low ability on entry to high school. Setting is organised by subject co-ordinators collaborating to create ability sets which span several subjects due to the timetabling model. English, Maths and Science co-ordinators have total control over the setting arrangements for their subject.

From year 9 students begin their GCSE courses. Students study English, Maths and Science at GCSE, they all have PE, PSHCE and choose 4 options of which every student is directed to choose at least one EBACC subject. 3 years ago we reduced the number of options from 5 (4 hours per fortnight) to 4 (5 hours per fortnight) to give more teaching time to each option subject. The full EBACC suite is promoted to all students and parents however it is optional. Except in the option subjects, students are placed in three ability bands (X,Y and Z) for the purpose of teaching and setting. X is the higher ability, Y is the lower ability and Z is the pathways students. The X band has a ratio of 1:25. The Y&Z band has a ratio of 1:17 and are taught together to allow movement and integration from pathways this also prevents a ceiling being placed on progress of the pathways students. Research into the grade distribution of students showed that banding reduced the amount of grades staff taught to in each set, reduces some of the need for differentiation and improves teaching focus.

Three Stop The Clock Day’s are included in our annual timetable. These are opportunities for departments to work collaboratively across subjects to enrich the learning experience of the students. Subjects run trips to support the curriculum and also promote areas of it. External providers are also bought in to deliver and show elements of the curriculum that one hour lessons cannot allow for.