The curriculum we offer in year 7 and 8 at Biddenham is a modern and exciting connected curriculum. By this we mean that different subject areas will be seamlessly linked through a ‘learning journey’ based around topics giving our students rich, diverse, first hand experiences.
A connected curriculum has already been very successful in Primary Schools for many years, we understand the importance of students building skills in making connections between subjects. To build on this we have created a curriculum that enables students to make connections between subjects. A skill that is often seen as a barrier when they embark on their GCSE journey. We pride ourselves in a curriculum that supports the challenging transition from primary to secondary school by building on subject knowledge in subject specific areas delivered by specialists and enable learner the time to reflect on their learning through topics that are changed every term to make them aware of the links the curriculum they are studying has to real life scenarios and subjects.
For learners who are joining from Middle schools it is an exciting time for students to study many subjects linked together with an overarching topic. Each topic will last for a full term and begin with a ‘stunning start’ (something exciting and memorable that will engage the students in the topic). At Biddenham we are keen to continue to provide opportunities for learners to become independent; this will be a key feature of the year 7 curriculum where students will have access to fantastic ICT facilities. All learners will receive their own Chromebook when they join in September 2016.
The students will then begin on their exciting learning journey which will see ICT, educational trips and independent learning as key features. Families and the wider community will be very much part of their child’s learning, with families being encouraged to offer their expertise in topics we can explore together. Topics will end with a ‘fabulous finish’ which will celebrate the achievements and successes of the projects. These will be very carefully planned to ensure they are personalised to meet the needs of all children and will ensure students progress in a range of key skills mapped to the requirements of the national curriculum. The topic work will be complemented by the rigorous and daily teaching of Maths and English to build on the important skills necessary for success at GCSE level. Parents will be encouraged to come and observe the fantastic work the learners have produced in all subject areas at the end of every term.
A key feature of our curriculum is our commitment to developing learners’ skills so that they are GCSE ready. We do this by offering opportunities for students to experience lessons in subject specific locations, for example Science will take place in the science labs and PE will use the fantastic facilities already a feature of the school. In this way students can be prepared to make GCSE choices in year 9. Individual subjects will teach subject specific skills lessons and students will also study that same subject with a topic based focus. The subject areas that will be taught outside of the year 7 and 8 block are:
English , Maths, Science
Geography, History, Religious Education and Citizenship
Project Based Learning
German and French
Half termly rotation: Design Technology, Art and Textiles, Food, Resistant materials Dance and Drama.
Skills: A robust set of skills sessions that aim for students to improve necessary skills in English, Maths.
Essential Life Skills – Built into tutor time a transitional PSHCEE program to support the whole student. Focusing on wellbeing skills to support transition from KS3 into KS4 and beyond.
Computing is delivered as off timetable days to allow students to explore exciting projects over a period of time.
We have worked on developing a rich and varied curriculum for year 7 and you will notice that some of the subjects are on a rotation. This will allow learners to experience some of the fantastic subjects that are offered at GCSE level and start to develop strong relationships with the teaching staff two years prior to selecting options in year 9.