The Elmgreen School Curriculum Statement
‘The Elmgreen Way - Every Day’
Ensuring that all members of the school community learn and progress is a priority at The Elmgreen School. We are committed to ensuring that ‘everyone achieves’ and we want all students, whatever their starting point, to succeed.
The Intent for our curriculum is to offer a knowledge rich, broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum for all students. It has been designed with the end in mind, ensuring that skills and knowledge are mapped across all key stages. It is responsive to the needs of students and Key Stage 4 option choices reflect this with a mixture of GCSE and BTEC qualifications. Similarly, in Key Stage 5 students can choose to opt for A Level or Applied General Qualifications (vocational) or a combination of both. Our curriculum is designed to promote intellectual, creative, physical, cultural, social, emotional, moral and spiritual development to support our diverse student community both now and in preparation for their next steps.
Key Stage Three Curriculum
Our three year Key Stage 3 curriculum meets all statutory requirements and is designed to be broad and balanced. Alongside our core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, Modern Foreign Languages, History and Geography, students also study Art, Dance, Drama, Music, PE, Textiles, Food Studies, Information Technology and Resistant Materials. Personal Social Health Citizenship and Economic Education is also taught from Year 7 - 9. Our work to become an Anti-Racist organisation started in Septmeber 2020 with auditing the Year 7 curriculum and work on decolonising the curriculum continues with a year group each year. All Key Stage 3 students continue to broaden their cultural capital through the school’s rich extra-curriculum programme.
Key Stage Four Curriculum
The Key Stage 4 curriculum is designed to be broad enough so that further study and career pathways remain open to students. All students study the Core Subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, as well as core PE and PSHE. In English students study two GCSEs; English Language and English Literature, in addition to Combined Science which is also worth two GCSEs or Biology, Chemistry and Physics worth one GCSE each. Additional subjects on offer are Art and Design, Computer Science, ICT (BTEC), Dance (BTEC), Drama, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Business Studies (BTEC), Music (GCSE and BTEC) Physical Education (GCSE) or Sport (BTEC), Religious Studies, We strongly encouraged students to choose either History and/or Geography and a Modern Foreign Language such as French, Spanish or Mandarin. Students who speak a foreign language at home are also invited to sit a GCSE in this language. Alongside Key Stage 3, all Key Stage 4 students have a rich extra curricular programme.
Key Stage Five Curriculum
Our sixth form enables students to enjoy an adult learning environment offering a quality education in a wide range of subject options at both A Level & Applied General qualifications alongside the option to study the Extended Project Qualification or Core Maths (Level 3). GCSE Maths and English resit are also offered for students who have not achieved grade 4 or above . We constantly review our curriculum to meet the needs of our students and will be offering the new T-Level qualifications in Digital Production, Design and Development in September 2022 which will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience. In addition to a broad curriculum, we develop important skills with our leadership programme, work experience, careers support and enrichment programme.
Reading is fundamental to our approach to improving the life chances of our students. We have adopted a rigorous and sequential approach to our reading curriculum, both in English lessons and beyond, in order to develop pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. When students arrive at our school, we use a standardised test to assess them to identify any gaps in their reading and quickly put support in place to support the development of this essential skill. In addition to the support of our highly experienced library team, pupils may be offered support from the SEN Department delivering the Fresh Start reading programme with reading books connected closely to the phonics knowledge pupils are taught when they are learning to read. This ensures that any gaps in students' reading are addressed quickly and efficiently. This is also supported by a tutor ‘reader’ to ensure pupils are reading widely and often, with a degree of fluency and a level of comprehension appropriate to their age. For our most competent readers, we run a number of book clubs and author events and students have access to our extensive library facilities before and after school. The English curriculum is also centred on challenging texts by authors ranging from Arthur Conan-Doyle to Malorie Blackman in Year 7.
Numeracy development is vital for students to be able to confidently navigate the world around them. Explicit links are made between science and maths curriculums to ensure a standardised approach is adapted. Based on recommendations for the Educational Endowment Foundation, targeted Year 7 and Year 8 identified from their baseline test are withdrawn from non-core lessons and receive small group teaching and have mastery learning, every fortnight. In KS3 tutor time twice a week, students focus on activities to promote numeracy, including practising their times tables. Engagement in numeracy is also encouraged with events such as Pi Day, National Numeracy Day, UKMT Maths Challenge and speed-stacking activities.
Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)
The aim of our CEIAG curriculum and programme is to raise students' aspirations, broaden their horizons and counter stereotyped thinking about what they and others can achieve. The curriculum is designed to extend their knowledge of the changing labour market opportunities, requirements and pathways in learning and work. To bring learning to life, departments make links in their curriculum to the wider world of work and life. This helps students to visualise their learning in a real world setting. All students have access to Unifrog which enables them to online access all the available careers information into one single, impartial, user-friendly platform, helping students make appropriate choices as well as supporting them to submit further education and higher education applications.
Enrichment and Extra-Curricular
We believe the academic curriculum should be complemented with enrichment and extra-curricular activities. We offer a wide range of before and after school and lunchtime activities for students from Year 7 to Year 13 . These range from STEM clubs, Oxbridge preparation, reading clubs, medical societies, sporting activities and many arts and drama clubs. Our highly successful ‘Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’ scheme continues to grow in numbers with the addition of offering the DofE Gold Award for the second year running. Participation in enrichment and extracurricular improves students self-esteem and builds confidence. Students gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working and communication skills, while also enhancing CVs and uni and job applications.
As well as clubs, the school also believes in the importance of trips and visits in London and further afield. Throughout the year, different departments organise academic visits to enhance the learning of their subject and at the end of the year Super Curricular Week ensures that all students get the opportunity to take advantage of what our great city has to offer. Super Curricular Week takes place in the final week of the summer term and all students from Years 7-10 are off-timetable and given the opportunity to experience a range of different activities and visits in and around London.
Our Scholars’ Programme offers our High Prior Attaining Students access to opportunities that enrich their education through broadening their horizons, developing new interests and extending their skillsets. The Scholars’ Programme runs throughout the school, from Key Stage 3 through to the Sixth Form. As a result, students can access different opportunities as they get older. Students can access a programme of events, workshops, and conferences, which provide stretch and challenge outside of their timetabled lessons, as well as developing some of the softer skills such as public speaking, debating and working effectively in a team. For example, this year, some of our year 9 and 10 scholars have been working with the Brilliant Club - an organisation that partners up with PhD tutors to provide university style tutorials. The scholars learn about their world leading research and are set the challenge to complete a 2000 word assignment. The Programme also runs trips, including visits to Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities, subject-specific conferences, in-house guest speakers, skills and employability workshops and careers showcases.
Life in Modern Britain
We prepare students to be able to navigate and succeed in the world they live in by teaching them to value and celebrate diversity and respect the cultures of others; they need to be able to build relationships and interact successfully with people from all walks of life. Developing the whole student to be fully prepared for life in modern Britain is crucial to everything we do at The Elmgreen School. The Relationship Sex and Education (RSE) curriculum is specifically taught through the PSHE programme of study through Tutor Time, assemblies, Science, other subject curriculum lessons and Elmgreen Days. RSE lessons are taught by teachers and tutors who are trained to deal with the content of this curriculum and how to deliver it in a sensitive and effective way with support of other professionals where appropriate. Our Drugs Education and Prevention Education aim to inform students about drugs and their effects and promote a positive attitude towards a healthy lifestyle. It also aims to increase students’ understanding of the health and social implications of the use and misuse of drugs and inform them about the course of action open to them if they or people they know become, or might become, involved in drugs activity and inform students about support and resources available in school and outside school.