Curriculum

Years 7 – 11

Our curriculum is not simply broad and balanced, it is also forward thinking and wide-ranging. From Mandarin to Engineering, we have opportunities to suit every need and aspiration.

 

Through our wide horizons curriculum, we seek to instil important values, attitudes and knowledge that will help all of our students to thrive in a rapidly changing society.

 
 

Key Stage 3

In years 7, 8 and 9, students follow the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

 

The MYP is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.

 

The MYP comprises eight subject groups:

  • Language acquisition (Modern Foreign Languages)
  • Language and literature (English)
  • Individuals and societies (History, Geography)
  • Sciences.
  • Mathematics.
  • Arts.
  • Physical and health education.
  • Design.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) values education more as the transformation of personal understanding and the collaborative construction of meaning, and less as the transmission of knowledge and rote memorization of facts. Consequently, conceptual understanding is a significant and enduring goal for teaching and learning in IB programmes.

 

IB programmes offer curriculum frameworks and courses that are broad and balanced, conceptual and connected. In the MYP curriculum framework, students engage with a defined set of key and related concepts. Over time, students grow in the sophistication of their understanding as schools create challenging opportunities for them to encounter new ideas in engaging learning environments.

 

A concept is a “big idea”—a principle or notion that is enduring, the significance of which goes beyond particular origins, subject matter or a place in time (Wiggins and McTighe 1998). Concepts represent the vehicle for students’ inquiry into the issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance, providing the means by which they can explore the essence of a subject.

 

Concepts have an essential place in the structure of knowledge. They require students to demonstrate levels of thinking that reach beyond facts or topics. Concepts are used to formulate the understandings that students should retain in the future; they become principles and generalizations that students can use to understand the world and to succeed in further study and in life beyond school.

 

The exploration and re-exploration of concepts lead students towards:

  • deeper understanding of the subject group
  • appreciation of ideas that transcend disciplinary boundaries
  • engagement with complex ideas, including the ability to transfer and apply ideas

and skills to new situations (Erickson 2008).

 

Students gradually work towards a deepening of their conceptual understanding as they approach concepts from a range of perspectives. The concept-driven curriculum frameworks of the MYP help learners to co-construct meaning as they become increasingly competent critical and creative thinkers, able to transfer knowledge and take responsibility for their own learning.

 

Teaching through concepts encourages teachers to work across national and cultural boundaries. Concepts promote a broad approach to education that can encompass many ways of thinking, inspire a variety of experiences, and open doors to exciting and highly relevant interdisciplinary learning.

 

The concept-driven curriculum values student inquiry and experiences in which students create personal meaning by making connections and applying their learning in unfamiliar situations.

 

A concept-based model is used in the MYP because it encourages students to:

  • process factual knowledge at a deeper intellectual level as they relate the facts to concepts and essential conceptual understandings; this synergistic thinking (interplay between factual and conceptual thinking) engages the intellect on two levels—factual and conceptual—and provides greater retention of factual knowledge because synergistic thinking requires deeper mental processing
  • create personal relevance, as students relate new knowledge to prior knowledge, and promote understanding of cultures and environments across global contexts through the transfer of knowledge
  • bring their personal intellect to the study as they use a key concept to personally focus on the unit topic in order to increase motivation for learning
  • increase fluency with language as students use factual information to explain and
  • support their deeper conceptual understanding
  • achieve higher levels of critical, creative and conceptual thinking as students analyse complex global challenges, such as climate change, international conflicts and the global economy, and create greater subject depth through the study of discipline- specific related

The model allows teachers to group together issues or topics in a wide-ranging curriculum under the critical concepts and understandings in each subject group. In a concept-based teaching model, teachers use knowledge as a tool to help students grasp transferable concepts and understandings. Knowledge provides the foundation and support for deeper, conceptual thinking. Teachers ensure that assessment includes understanding and application of the prescribed concepts.

 
 

Key Stage 4

In years 10 and 11 at Stantonbury, we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, which will enable students to progress to further education or to suitable employment. Students will acquire the skills and knowledge which will help them to take their place in a complex and rapidly changing world.

 

All students continue to follow a compulsory core curriculum of English, Maths and Sciences, which are examined at the end of year 11. In addition, students will also follow non examined courses in RE and PE.

 

Students then select four other options, from a range of GCSE, BTEC and technical awards. This allows them to pursue their learning interests, and career goals.

 

We guide students towards a “pathway” to help them to select appropriate courses that

will suitably challenge them.

 

We strongly recommend a full EBACC route for all Pathway 1 students. This route will suit students who plan to attend 6th Form and University. A Level courses typically require at least five GCSE’s at grade 5 or above. Following this route will allow students the opportunity to achieve the English Baccalaureate (EBACC). This is national recognition that students have secured a grade 5 or above in a core of academic subjects including: English, Maths, Science.

 

The mixed GCSE route is strongly recommended for all Pathway 2 students. This route will suit students who plan to attend Higher Education / 6th form college and possibly onto university. A Level courses typically require five GCSE’s at grade 5 or above. This is a more flexible route through Key Stage 4, the recommendation is that students select at least one EBACC subject as part of their four option choices. This can be History, Geography, French or German. Students then select three other options from the choices available.

 

The Wider Achievement route is recommended for Pathway 3 students. This route would suit students who are considering going to further education or training. Sixth Form BTEC courses will require 4 grades which can also come from GCSE or BTEC courses. Students on this pathway are encouraged to select any four options from the choices available. This pathway is a general and flexible route through Key Stage 4.

 

 

Key Stage 5

Our Sixth Form is a vibrant place to study and where we seek to instil important values, attitudes and knowledge to help all our students thrive in a rapidly changing society. A core part of our mission is to prepare all students for adult life and help them achieve their full potential by offering excellent teaching and learning with high quality resources.

 

As well as striving for academic success, we also encourage students to participate in a broad range of extra-curricular experiences both within the school and the wider community. Every year, students are offered the opportunity to take part in a range of educational visits and many choose to volunteer or take part in charity work.

 

We offer a range of A level subjects (subject to minimum applications), including: Art, Business, Computer Science, Design Technology, Economics, English Literature, History, Maths, Further Maths, Music, Philosophy and Ethics, Government and Politics, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Sociology, Theatre Studies.

Students applying for A Level and Applied A Level courses should have a minimum of five level two qualifications (e.g. 9-5 at GCSE). At least four of these grades will come from GCSEs

 

In addition, we offer a range of level 3 vocational awards, including: Art and Design Extended Diploma, Business Extended Certificate, Creative Media Extended Certificate, Health and Social Care Diploma, Health and Social Care Extended Certificate, Music Extended Certificate, Performing Arts Extended Diploma, Sport and Fitness Diploma, Sport and Fitness Extended Certificate. Students applying for the BTEC in Performing Arts, Media or Sports qualifications that are equivalent to three A Levels should have a minimum of four level two qualifications (e.g. 9-5 at GCSE or BTEC equivalent)

 

Full curriculum details for each year group can be found below. Further information is also available from our Year Leads and Heads of Faculty; please see the contacts page.