Secondary Phase Curriculum
In Years 7, 8 and 9, students follow a broad curriculum taught by specialists within separate subject departments. We place much emphasis on the core areas of literacy and numeracy, as these are the basis of success in all subjects. Within Science, students study elements of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. In Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), students continue their study of French, together with Spanish or German. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is taught as a separate subject in Years 7, 8 and 9.
In Years 10 and 11, students can choose subjects from a broad range of GCSE, and some vocational courses. The school-based learning programme is enhanced by visits to places such as Norwich Castle and the Swaffham Ecotech Centre. A ‘chocolate day’ is a very effective part of the Year 8 literacy programme! Curriculum enhancement days include an adventure activities programme at Bramley Lakes for Year 7 and an expressive arts programme, including a London visit, for Year 8. A range of visits to other countries, in the recent past, have included the Normandy beaches, German Christmas markets and Paris at the end of October, as well as the annual ski trip.
In the upper school, specialist visits are made in connection with GCSE and other study programmes. Students have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and work experience is part of the curriculum in year 10.
PE and Sport
As a holder of the ‘National Sportsmark Award’, Physical Education is a very important part of our curriculum. We aim to equip all students with the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to maintain a healthy lifestyle into adulthood, regardless of their physical abilities. Activities are designed to develop skills, teach students to work as part of a team and as individuals and to reach their full potential.
Students are encouraged to join extra-curricular sports clubs and to participate in competitive sport through house matches. Those with particular ability have opportunities to develop their skills through regular extra coaching and inter-school sport matches and competitions.
In Years 10 and 11 students with a particular interest in sport can opt for the GCSE course.
A balance to the team games is offered through dance, gymnastics, athletics, cross-country and swimming. We enter school athletics teams and cross-country teams in both area and county events.
Facilities include a superb seven acre playing field with pavilion and a large multi-jumping area for athletics. A fully equipped, refurbished gymnasium is used for a variety of sports. A floodlit multi-purpose playing area is available and we also regularly use the Dereham swimming pool. A state-of-the-art dance studio opened in February 2011.
The curriculum is delivered exclusively by specialist trained physical education teachers. Specialist coaches are also involved in delivering extra-curricular sport and we have strong links with local sports clubs.
Students who have particular musical ability are well provided for. Expert tuition is offered by the county’s peripatetic music specialists who visit the school regularly. There is an annual summer concert, in addition to other performances. We encourage the full range of musical activity from classical quartets, through choir to rock bands. There are strong links with the West Norfolk Jubilee Youth Orchestra and Concert Band. Individual instrumental tuition is available on string, woodwind, guitar, brass and percussion instruments. Arrangements are possible for tuition on other instruments too. The department has a range of sophisticated electronic support equipment.
A charge of £55 per term is made to help cover the costs of individual instrumental tuition except where it forms part of the national curriculum.
Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)
IAG is the name given to the work we do with students to help them prepare for study and work in the next phase of their life. It includes careers education, guidance on choosing optional subjects in Years 10 and 11 and post-16 choices. Much of the work takes place in the citizenship, social and health education (CPSHE) elements of the impact day programme.
Special Educational Needs
Students who have special educational needs receive additional support. This is given by extra support in subject classes, small group work, counselling or adapted timetables. We prefer the student not to be withdrawn from the lesson or the peer group (though occasionally students are withdrawn for a specific purpose). Students are supported both within the classroom and in small groups.
Gifted and Talented Students
Gifted and talented students are encouraged to develop their abilities through extension work and through extra-curricular activities such as drama workshops, theatre visits, mathematics enrichment activities, university enrichment programmes etc.
Sex and Relationships Education
Sex education is covered sensitively and broadly at appropriate stages in students’ physical and emotional development. Aspects of sex education and personal relationships are integrated into the personal, social and health education tutorial programme for all students and subjects such as Science, Religious Studies and English contribute to the programme. Parents are welcome to come and discuss any concerns or raise any questions. There is an agreed sex education policy statement which is available to parents.
Religious Education is delivered in accordance with the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus, a copy of which may be viewed at the school on request. Religious Education is taught to all students up to the end of Year 9 as a separate subject. Any parent considering withdrawing their child from Religious Education should contact the Headteacher.