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Curriculum

The curriculum provided is the total learning package on offer, in and out of class.  Our aim is to empower our pupils to achieve the very best of which they are capable, by enabling them to develop as individuals and as contributors to society, the economy and the environment.

Pupils with identified Special Educational Needs are supported and, where necessary and practicably possible, provided for in school in order that they can fulfil their potential.  In addition, the school assists those who are experiencing difficulties with their studies through our Mentoring Programme.

The School week is divided into 50 periods of 32.5 minutes. 

8.50 am

-

9.05 am

Registration / Assembly

 

 

 

 

 

9.05 am

-

9.37 am

Period 1

 

12.03 pm

-

12.35 pm

Period 6

9.37 am

-

10.10 am

Period 2

 

12.35 pm

-

1.08 pm

Period 7

10.10 am

-

10.42 am

Period 3

 

1.08 pm

-

1.48 pm

Lunch

10.42 am

-

11.15 am

Period 4

 

1.48 pm

-

2.20 pm

Period 8

11.15 am

-

11.30 am

Break

 

2.20 pm

-

2.53 pm

Period 9

11.30 am

-

12.03 pm

Period 5

 

2.53 pm

-

3.25 pm

Period 10

The 2014-15 curricula, including period allocations at the various Key Stages are given in the following tables. An annual process of review and evaluation is in place and from time to time there may, therefore, be some changes to these figures.

 

KEY STAGE 3

At Key Stage 3 (Years 8-10), the school provides a broad and balanced curriculum which meets the statutory requirements of the Education Order 2006, including Learning for Life & Work (incorporating Home Economics, Personal Development, Local & Global Citizenship and Education for Employability), Skills & Capabilities (incorporating Communication, Using Mathematics, ICT, Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities) and the General Learning Areas which take up most of the pupils’ time.

 

                                                     NUMBER OF PERIODS PER WEEK

SUBJECT

YEAR 8

YEAR 9

YEAR 10

ENGLISH

7

7

6

MATHS

7

7

6

BIOLOGY

2

2

2

CHEMISTRY

2

2

2

PHYSICS

2

2

2

TECHNOLOGY & DESIGN

2

2

2

HOME ECONOMICS

2

2

2

ICT

2

-

2

HISTORY

3

3

3

GEOGRAPHY

3

3

3

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

3

2

2

ART

2

2

2

MUSIC

2

2

2

FRENCH

4

3

3

SPANISH

-

4

4

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

2

2

2

GAMES

2

2

2

LLW (Citizenship)

1

1

1

LLW (Employability)

1

1

1

LLW (Personal Development)

1

1

1

TOTAL

50

50

50

 

KEY STAGE 4

At Key Stage 4 (Years 11 & 12), there is greater flexibility and the school provides a menu of 21 courses. English, Mathematics, Double Award Science or Single Award Science and LLW (x 2 GCSEs) and ICT are compulsory GCSEs and all pupils study Learning for Life & Work, Religious Studies [a ½ GCSE] and Physical Education as required by the Education Order 2006. Beyond that, the arrangements give freedom in terms of subject combinations. Pupils are able to make informed and appropriate choices which best suit their interests, abilities and ambitions for A Level, university and their career. The school is working towards full implementation of the Entitlement Framework by 2015.

 

COMPULSORY SUBJECTS

PERIODS

PER WEEK

YEAR 11

PERIODS

PER WEEK YEAR 12

GCSE SUBJECT

 

ENGLISH

5

5

1 x GCSE

MATHEMATICS

5

5

1 x GCSE

DOUBLE AWARD SCIENCE

OR SINGLE AWARD SCIENCE & LLW

9

9

2 x GCSE

ICT

5

5

1 x GCSE

LEARNING FOR LIFE & WORK  (incorporating Citizenship, PD & Employability)

1

1

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

2

-

 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION / CLASSICAL CIVILISATION (Short Course)

1

3

0.5 X GCSE

GAMES

2

2

 

OPTIONAL SUBJECTS

All pupils choose 4 extra subjects from the following list:

20

 

20

 

4 x GCSE

 

Further Maths

Art

Business Studies

Child Development

English Literature

French

German

Geography

History

Home Economics

Music

Physical Education

Physical Education (Double Award)

Religious Studies (full course)

Spanish

Technology & Design

TOTALS

50

 

50

9.5  x GCSE

           

NOTE:

1.         All pupils follow courses designed to enable them to obtain 9 full GCSEs and 1 short-course GCSE.

 

SIXTH FORM (YEARS 13 & 14)

Pupils wishing to enter the Sixth Form have to meet the published entry criteria. They are interviewed, and in the light of their career plans, advised on courses of study.  Final decisions are made following discussions among senior staff, parents, pupils and the careers staff.

The school provides a menu of 24 courses. The majority of pupils study 4 GCE AS subjects in Year 13 and 3 A2 subjects in Year 14. A small number of pupils could, with the Principal’s agreement, take 4 subjects to A2.

The school is working towards full implementation of the Entitlement Framework by 2015.

 

SUBJECTS – GCE AS & A2 LEVELS

 

Art

English Literature

History

Physics

Applied Science

Environmental Technology

Home Economics

Psychology

Biology

French

ICT

Religious Studies

Business Studies

Geography

Mathematics

Spanish

Chemistry

Government & Politics

Music

Technology & Design

Computing

Health and Social Care

Physical Education

Travel and Tourism

 

NOTES:

1.         All students have two Games periods in which a wide range of activities are available.

2.         A Class Tutorial is timetabled for all students in both Years 13 and 14.

3.         Pupils in Year 13 have one Careers period.

4.         Pupils studying languages have one timetabled Conversation Class per language per week.

 

CAREERS EDUCATION, INFORMATION, ADVICE AND GUIDANCE (CEIAG)           

         Careers education is provided in three ways:

1.      A timetabled programme of

- careers education / employability and guidance for Years 10 to 14

- employability for Years 8, 9 and 10.

2.      Through subject areas.

3.      Through support services (visiting speakers, industrial and educational visits and the Careers Service of NI which offers both testing and interviews for all senior pupils).

Years 8 – 10 currently have one period per week during which they follow the CCEA programme of study for Employability. This is divided into three sub-sections, namely ‘Work in the Local and Global Economy’, ‘Personal Career Planning’ and ‘Enterprise and Entrepreneurship’. Employability aims to inform young people about the skills and qualities sought by employers in addition to qualifications; about career opportunities in Northern Ireland and abroad and about the opportunities and challenges derived from becoming an entrepreneur. In Year 10, the programme also includes guidance on choosing subjects for GCSE. All Year 10 pupils have a guidance interview with a careers teacher.

Year 12 pupils follow a programme that covers personal career plans, CVs, job application forms, interview techniques, labour market information and options after GCSE. All pupils in Year 12 are offered the opportunity to have a guidance interview with one of the local Careers Officers.

Year 13 pupils have a discrete Careers class for one period per week as well as a tutorial lasting one period per week during which speakers from a range of UK and Irish universities visit the school to give presentations on the courses they offer, as well as employers such as the armed forces.

Year 14 pupils have a weekly tutorial during which workshop sessions are organised with UCAS referees on the completion of the UCAS application form, in particular the personal statement. In addition, they are provided guidance on the CAO system (Republic of Ireland University entrance system) and student finance, budgeting and scholarships.

Year 14 pupils also have the opportunity to gain interview experience by availing of a mock interview which is provided by panels of professional people with a wide range of experience and expertise.

All Years 13 and 14 pupils have a guidance interview with a careers teacher.

All senior school pupils have the opportunity of a period of Work Experience in Year 13.

Pupils also have access to the careers suite which houses a dedicated computer and a range of books, periodicals and leaflets. The school library also stocks a range of guidance books and prospectuses that students may use. Careers staff are readily available to give support, advice and guidance.  

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The school holds regular non-denominational, but Christian acts of worship, teaches Religious Education to each pupil up to the end of Year 12, and enters students for GCSE and GCE advanced level examinations.  Parents have the right to request (in writing) if they wish their children to be exempted from acts of worship or Religious Education classes.

DRUGS EDUCATION

It is the policy of the Board of Governors of this School that pupils should be encouraged to adopt healthy life-styles and to refrain from abusing any substances likely to be harmful to them. 

The Drugs and Substance Abuse Policy (available on the school website) sets out the school’s approach to Drugs Education and the roles, responsibilities and procedures to be followed in the event of suspected use of illegal drugs or substances by pupils. 

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