We want to see students succeed. We are confident that we offer a curriculum that matches the needs of all students in terms of content, learning styles and qualifications. OfSTED recognised this curriculum offer as ‘outstanding’ in our last inspection report.
We are very proud of the fact that we offer a very wide choice of courses at all key stages. This will allow some students to follow specialist courses if they have a particular interest or learning style, or a broad and balanced range of subjects to keep options open in the future.
The Year 9 curriculum is carefully co-ordinated with the work of Years 7 and 8 in the middle schools. In the core subjects (English, Maths and Science) we are taking advantage of the completion of KS3 in our partner middle schools to start the GCSE programme in Year 9. All students will now have the opportunity to obtain two GCSEs in English and three qualifications in Science.
In the foundation subjects, students follow a broad course covering all areas of the National Curriculum, before making choices about the courses that they wish to follow at Key Stage 4.
We have now brought the options process forward so that students will start on their full Key Stage 4 programme in all subjects in June of Year 9, instead of waiting until September. Students will complete the KS3 programme of study in these subjects in May of Year 9.
The Key Stage 4 course is very flexible and students get the chance to select five optional subjects – half of their total lesson time. Most of these courses are GCSEs, but we also run BTEC and OCR National courses where appropriate.
We have strong consortium links and some students will follow courses that allow them to spend one day per week at another location such as Bedford or Shuttleworth College to follow vocational courses such as Hair and Beauty, Equine Studies and Construction. At present, about 20% of the year group take up this option. In addition, both GCSE and BTEC courses on the Redborne School Farm are very popular.
In the sixth form we have a very wide range of advanced courses. Once again, flexibility is the key and because we spread our courses over five option blocks, the overwhelming majority of students are able to choose the combination of subjects that they wish. Because we have a large sixth form with over 400 students, many of the more popular subjects will occur in several blocks, further increasing choice and flexibility. These economies of scale also mean that we can ensure that we run classes in ‘minority’ subjects which are sometimes unviable in smaller schools due to lack of demand.