Purbrook Park 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 pupils, to give every child the opportunity to strive for personal excellence. We are an academic school that aims to open doors for every pupil, and we therefore value the contribution that creative, practical and vocational learning brings to a child’s development alongside the traditional subjects. Our hope is that every child who leaves Purbrook Park 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.
In order to fulfil these ideals, our five-year “through-curriculum” model requires pupils to engage with a wide range of subjects in Year 7 and 8 and then provides a more bespoke approach through our “options routes” in Years 9 to 11. You can read more about how the curriculum is organised in each school year below. For a more detailed overview of the topics taught in each discipline, please see the individual subject pages.
Years 7 and 8
The Year 7 and 8 curriculum serves a clear purpose in every subject at Purbrook Park. Curriculum areas plan their schemes of work to ensure they deliver the content of the national Programme of Study, and that high challenge, enjoyment and enquiry are at the heart of learning. It is important to us that the Year 7 and 8 curriculum is much more than a means of preparing pupils for Years 9 to 11. Curriculum mapping has taken place in every department to ensure that the skills required for assessment in Year 11 are developed from the start of a pupil’s journey in Year 7 and that learning from primary school is built upon and not repeated.
Alongside English, Mathematics, Sciences, Religious Studies and Physical Educations, Year 7 pupils study a broad range of non-core subjects from day one. Art, Performing Arts, Computing and Technology ensure that their curricula give pupils an experience of both the academic and vocational aspects of their subjects. We give more curriculum time to Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages. All pupils study either French or Spanish in Year 7 and 8, apart from a small number of pupils who require additional support with English and Maths. This gives them access to the same range of subjects as their peers but provides extra time to focus on Literacy and Numeracy in small focus groups run by our SENCo.
Class groups are organised into three ‘bands’ of 2 parallel sets, promoting higher expectations for all groups and no sense of ‘bottom sets’. Pupils access the full spectrum of subjects in Year 7 and 8 with mixed-ability groupings in many subjects and sets in Maths.
Beyond the classroom, we aim to open the door to a wide range of experiences. All subjects provide additional learning contexts including annual school productions and high-performing sports teams in the majority of disciplines. You can find more information on these on the subject pages.
Years 9 to 11
Our options process takes place in Year 8, allowing pupils nearly three years of study on their chosen examined courses. This decision is in keeping with our principles, as we believe the three-year examination course gives our teachers scope to embed depth and love of learning whilst covering the content required for assessment at the end of year 11..
Through the options process, we meet the statutory national requirements and aim to provide a bespoke curriculum. For us, this means giving 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.
A range of Vocational Qualifications are available to allow pupils the experience of exciting and relevant work-based projects alongside the assessed content. Please see the Options page for more information on the qualifications we offer on each route.
In August 2020, we are forecasting that 55% of pupils will achieve a Grade 5 in both English and Maths. Our Overall Attainment 8 is forecast to be 49.06. English are forecasting that 69% of pupils will achieve a 5+ and 62% in Maths. We are very proud of the outcomes our pupils achieve as the result of our innovative curriculum and outstanding teaching. In the last two years, every pupil has progressed to further education, employment or training.