Here at Oxted School we are ambitious for all our students are conscious of the competitive world of work they will shortly enter; with that in mind we aim to offer every child, every opportunity to access a broad and balanced curriculum that enables them to strive for excellence and meet the challenges ahead.
…”at the very heart of education sits the vast accumulated wealth of human knowledge and what we choose to impart to the next generation …”
Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector
The curriculum is timetabled in a ten day cycle of 50, one hour lessons. The size of our school enables us to cover a wide range of courses and meet students’ individual needs and aptitudes more easily.
Teaching Group Arrangements
At Key Stage 3 there is ability setting in the linear subjects Mathematics, Science and Modern Languages. In Humanities (Geography, History and RE), and English the most able students are set together, each population has two groups set by ability and four mixed groups. In all other subjects there is mixed ability teaching; at Key Stage 4, more curriculum areas in the core use setting, though there is no setting in the option subjects. Additional support is given to students by the Head of Inclusion, classroom assistants and support teachers.
Movement between groups is possible, frequent and determined by students’ progress. This is constantly monitored through continuous assessment, regular testing, end-of-year examinations and a diagnostic review of the progress of all students.
Curriculum and Student Groupings for Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and Year 8)
On entry into the school at the age of 11+, students are divided into two mixed ability populations, known as population A and population B, of equal size and each representing the full ability range. In Year 7 and Year 8 (Key Stage 3), all students follow a broad and enhanced National Curriculum.
In Year 7 the majority of students will take two languages, by Year 8 this will reduce to about half of the year group. However there is a very small number of students who do not do Languages in Year 7, this group of students can become slightly larger during Key Stage 3.
All Key Stage 3 subjects use the same 9-1 assessment criteria used for GCSE subjects at Key Stage 4, so there is a continuity in how students are assessed across the two key stages.
Curriculum for Key Stage 4 (Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11)
In Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum, students will follow courses leading to GCSE or equivalent qualifications. In Year 8, students select their GCSE courses from a wide range of programmes. All students do the following:
- GCSE or equivalent English language and Literature
- GCSE or equivalent Maths
- GCSE Combined Science (worth two GCSEs)
- GCSE RE
In addition there are 22 GCSE or Level 2 equivalent options to choose from.
In pursuit of an individual learning programme for all students, we aim to provide a flexible curriculum which allows them to vary the number and type of qualifications they study to suit the particular interests and needs. For the majority of students most follow courses leading to GCSE qualification while others also study vocational courses with their GCSEs. Over 50% of students follow a combination of courses that reflect the English Baccalaureate (EBACC)*. This is not a qualification, it is the achievement of this set of GCSE qualifications (English, Maths, two Science, one MFL subject and one Humanities subject) that represents success in a traditional academic curriculum and for all those who are able, this is the pathway we recommend our students to take.
The vast majority of these students will take 10 subjects at Key Stage 4, but some students will take 11 subjects, if they choose to take Separate Sciences. For those not following the EBACC route, some will take more vocational subjects (Level 2) and have Curriculum Studies lessons. This provides teacher support for students to complete homework, improve coursework or revise for any of their subjects. A small minority of those students on the non-EBACC pathway will be selected to receive additional English and Maths support as an option.
Student voice indicates (and has done for a number years) the students and parents find the option process successful. 73% answered ‘Yes’ to the statement “I feel I was well informed to make the right choice” and 77% answered ‘Yes’ to the statement “I am confident that I have made the right choice”.
Curriculum for Key Stage 5 (Year 12 and Year 13)
The current Sixth Form Course Guide (September 2019) offers 36 courses at Level 3, consisting of 30 A-level courses and 6 vocational BTEC courses. In Year 12 students study three Level 3 subjects and may combine A–levels and vocational BTEC subjects if they wish.
It is our expectation that all students beginning a course in September 2019 plan to study the full two year program and therefore students will not be entered for AS examinations at the end of Year 12.
The Key Stage 5 curriculum and its assessment has undergone considerable change in recent years and at the start of the 2019 academic year all A-levels will be in the new linear format. These differ from the previous AS/A2 format in that the AS course has become stand-alone qualification, from the two year A-level course. Therefore, in all A-level subjects, although the AS level can be examined at the end of the first year, it will now not count towards the grading of the final A-level, which will be assessed via linear exams at the end of the second year. Students will therefore continue all of their chosen subjects into Year 13. Students may study for four subjects if they wish but only after consultation with the Sixth Form Team. Moreover, the expectation would be that the student will maintain a four A-level / BTEC Level 3 program of study over their entire two years in the sixth form.
In the summer term of Year 12 students have the option to undertake the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) alongside their programme of Level 3 subjects.
We do not provide Level 2 courses at Key Stage 5 or resit classes for GCSE English or Mathematics.