The Curriculum at Willingdon Community School
The curriculum at Willingdon Community School offers a broad, balanced, personalised and challenging educational experience, which builds on students’ experiences in the primary phase of their education. It aims to provide all students with the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes which are necessary if they are to become successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve the best they are capable of.
The curriculum model at Willingdon is a dynamic model, reviewed annually to take into account educational developments at national, local and school levels. The school is committed to maintaining its consistently high levels of achievement in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science; at the same time we continue to place a high value on the humanities and creative subjects, and provide a wide range of opportunities for students to pursue their interests in these areas at GCSE level. The school’s EBAC results are strong.
At Key Stage 3, the curriculum complies with our statutory obligations to provide courses in National Curriculum subjects: English, mathematics, science, history, geography, French, design technology, ICT, art, music, drama and P.E., together with religious education (delivered as ‘Ethics and Philosophy’), citizenship, careers education and sex education. Although still part of a three-year Key Stage 3, the year 9 schemes of work are designed to introduce students to areas of study, learning styles, and assessment procedures that they will encounter in Key Stage 4. Some subjects, including science, art and ICT, begin elements of their GCSE courses in year 9. Students are taught in ability sets for English, mathematics and science; other subjects follow the setting for English, while others are part-set or are taught in mixed ability classes.
As a school with a fully comprehensive intake, Willingdon is committed at Key Stage 4 to providing an appropriately differentiated and yet challenging curriculum for all of its students. Students are offered a broad range of subjects, mostly at GCSE level. Sufficient flexibility is built in to the model, however, to ensure that we meet the individual needs, strengths and aspirations of each learner as they make their choices. Every student follows examination courses in English (Language and Literature), mathematics and science (double or triple award), together with four other subjects in current Year 11 and three other subjects in Year 10. At KS4, students are taught in ability sets for English, mathematics, science, and core PE, and for the most part in mixed ability sets for their optional subjects. We have revised our KS4 curriculum carefully in light of the new, more challenging GCSEs and from September 2017 students in Year 10 take 3 options rather than 4 to enable more curriculum time to be devoted to the more demanding content in all GCSE subjects.