Fred Longworth High School aims to provide a curriculum which provides all students with the foundations of knowledge and skills to enable them to be lifelong learners and achieve success in school and throughout their life. Furthermore, they will be equipped with a good understanding of the world around them so that they can make a positive contribution to their local, national and international communities.
The school is committed to providing a curriculum that is broad, balanced, challenging and fosters a love of learning. We match our curriculum to the abilities, interests and aspirations of our students, to give every child the opportunity to strive for personal excellence. As a school, we aim to open doors for every pupil, and we therefore value the contribution that academic, creative, practical and vocational learning brings to a child’s development. Our hope is that every child who leaves Fred Longworth High School has the qualifications, skills, knowledge and character to access aspirational Post-16 opportunities and to lead a life that includes positive relationships, resilience and financial independence.
Our Curriculum intent is enshrined in the school’s B.E.S.T vision:
Belonging, Engaging, Succeeding Together.
How our curriculum is organised and delivered
In order to fulfil these ideals, our five-year curriculum requires pupils to engage with a wide range of subjects in Year 7, 8 and 9 and then provides a more bespoke approach through our “options routes” in Years 10 and 11.
Beyond the classroom, we aim to open the door to a wide range of experiences. The curriculum is supported by a rich and varied extra-curricular diet, which all students are encouraged to take part in.
The diagram below outlines in visual form, an over view of our curriculum (click to enlarge).
Years 7 to 9 (key Stage 3 or KS3)
The KS3 curriculum serves a clear purpose in every subject at Fred Longworth High School. Curriculum teams plan their schemes of work to ensure they deliver the relevant content of the national Programme of Study, and that high challenge, enjoyment and enquiry are at the heart of learning. Alongside the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science, Year 7 students study a broad range of non-core subjects from day one. MFL, English, Religious Studies, Computing, Technology and Physical Educations are integral to our curriculum alongside a strong emphasis on Art, and the Performing Arts, an enduring legacy of the school’s status as a successful arts college.
At KS3 class groups are organised into two ‘bands’ of 5 parallel groups North and South. We use a mixture of mixed ability teaching and setting. Core subjects are taught in sets whilst other areas of the curriculum favour more mixed ability groups. In both Y7 and Y8, the Arts are always taught in form groups and we do this deliberately to develop cohesion within each form, which in turn contributes significantly to the family ethos of the school.
At KS3 we also create what are known as Accelerate groups. In Y7, these are identified with input from the Y6 teachers. The Accelerate groups are designed to support our most vulnerable learners who, will struggle to access the normal curriculum. The Accelerate group will follow adapted versions of the normal programmes of study as well as receiving additional support for Maths and English. In lessons, they are supported intensively by two specifically trained, learning coaches.
Years 10 to 11 (key Stage 4 or KS4)
The options process takes place in Year 9 at Fred Longworth High School. Through this process, we aim to give our pupils as much choice and flexibility as possible, whilst ensuring they follow examination courses that lead to positive outcomes and give them access to Post-16 opportunities at the correct level. Y9 students are allocated a recommended options ‘route’ according to their ability and aspirations, and are asked to choose up to four Options subjects available on that route. Option Routes 1 and 2 prioritises the English Baccalaureate subjects, which we believe opens the doorway to many opportunities in employment and Higher Education; in addition, students in Option Route 1 may access the triple sciences. Students in Option Route 3 and 4 can also access the EBacc should they choose to do so. There are a small number of students within Option Route 4 who will follow a vocational curriculum through the Prince’s Trust, this programme, known as the Achieve Pathway, has been running successfully for a number of years and many students who have participated have found routes directly into employment because of the skills that they have developed through the programme.
A range of Vocational Qualifications are available to students in every options route. We allow the same amount of curriculum time to Vocational Qualifications as GCSE courses to allow pupils the experience of exciting and relevant work-based projects alongside their assessed content. Please see the Options page for more information on the qualifications we offer on each route.
The teaching of option subjects at KS4 is in largely mixed ability groups whilst the teaching of English, Maths and Science is across three ability bands – North and South – with an additional band for students in the Achieve Pathway. Students in Achieve and some of the groups in South access a bespoke English curriculum to bolster their literacy and to encourage wider reading.
Raising aspiration is an absolute key tenet to our curriculum. We have very strong provision for careers education, which was recently recognised through receipt of the Inspiring IAG Award for Excellence in Careers Provision. As well as discreet careers lessons in Y10 and Y11, a number of Faculties have also established links with external providers and employers who will regularly come into school to speak to students, or to arrange visits to places of employment or further education. Schemes of work in a number of subjects are designed with a strong ‘real world’ element, which gives students the opportunity to see their subjects in a real context. We run an Aspire Higher Programme for students in Y8 , Y9 and Y10, which incorporates a programme of motivational workshops and which also includes visits to prestigious universities. We organise careers conferences and world of work theme days at various points throughout the year. Our STEM links and links within the Construction industry are particularly strong and continue to evolve; the governing body ably supports the school in growing these links.
- Our most recent destination data shows that 96.4% of students went on to further education or are engaged in an official training programme. Our NEET Figure (Not in Education, Employment Training) is 0.04%.
- In May 2019, 80% of students positively rated our careers information, advice and guidance programme.
- Since we have made changes to our curriculum, PASS test results for students in Y7 and Y9 have revealed high levels of student satisfaction and engagement with the curriculum. Internal scores, which we use to measure poor Attitudes to Learning and to identify students at risk of underachievement, have fallen significantly.
- Behaviour continues to be ‘outstanding’ as evidenced by internal monitoring of behaviour; incidents of low-level disruption in lessons remain low and our exclusion figures are well below the National average.
- There is a sustained improvement in the reading ages of students across all year groups because of a renewed focus on reading in the curriculum. Since this focus, the average reading age (tests taken when students are in Y9) has risen from an average of 12 years in 2017 to 14.4 years in 2019.
- In Y9, 95% of students have responded positively to the provision of ‘Real World Learning’ (experiences that have been offered by Faculties) with 31% of students commenting on how this work has changed their attitudes towards school. All students in Y8 attended a STEM Day for Science and a Careers in Construction and Engineering Day. Both events were highly rated by the students.
- During the 2018-19 academic year a total of 50 students across Y8, Y9 and Y10 were involved in the Aspire Higher Programme. The programme positively engages students with school and raises aspiration. 89% of participants agreed that the programme had helped them to improve their attitude towards school. All the students involved agreed that the programme had made them more aware of the benefits of FE and HE. In total, 34 students from Y8, 9 and 10 attended talks about Oxbridge. 70% of these students agreed that they were more likely to consider applying to an Oxbridge university. Some of the students in the 2019-20 Aspire Higher cohort will be visiting Cambridge University in February 2020.
- In 2019 students accessing the EBacc rose to 30% of students entered, with 24% achieving a pass in EBacc subjects. In the current Y10 cohort, 47% of students are accessing the EBacc.
- Students enjoy attending school. Overall Attendance for the academic year 2018-19 was 95.4% (1% higher than the National average).
- We have positive levels of engagement in Extra Curricular Activities. Examples:
- 122 students receive Music Tuition
- 90 students involved in the school concert
- 176 students attended regular Art based activities
- 68 students involved in Drama extra-curricular programmes
- 467 students engaged with an extra-curricular sporting activity