Education should help students respond to the opportunities and challenges of the rapidly changing world in which we live and work. In particular, they need to be prepared as individual citizens, to respond to the changing pattern of work and leisure, the expansion of communication systems and the increasingly global nature of our world.
In this context we have developed a balanced curriculum framework which allows a flexible but coherent approach to study for all pupils. We are committed to raising the achievements, attainments and aspirations of everyone in our school community and address equal opportunities by carefully considering the diverse needs for our young women with regard to ability and cultural background.
The core purpose of Secondary Education is to enable young people to learn and achieve. We work with determination to ensure that literacy, numeracy, Information Communication Technology and thinking skills progress from Primary School and are integrated into the basic skills' curriculum for all students. Curriculum extension and enrichment are key elements of the opportunities offered within the day and in Out of Hours Clubs and Teams.
We have high expectations for our students, which are clearly communicated through our monitoring and target setting processes. Regular individual and group reviews and assessments provide information regarding progress and help us to review together what is learnt and taught, and provide intervention should this be necessary. Pupil progress is reviewed on a regular basis throughout the academic year.
The timetable is based on 25 lessons each week; this means that there are 5 lessons of 1 hour each day, and an opportunity for form period, assembly and other meetings.
Cross Curricular Themes
There are themes which are embedded in the school's curriculum and taught through the full range of subjects including form time, Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education. These include:
- Careers Enterprise Work Related Learning
- Study Skills
Throughout the year pupils take part in a wide variety of enrichment opportunities, each carefully selected to support students personal and academic development.
Healthy Relationships Programme
In PSHE, each year group study a unit about healthy relationships, which concentrates upon Personal Relationships rather than physical processes. The parental right of withdrawal from the Healthy Relationship Programme extends to all pupils. However, as the school takes great care to prepare a complete "life skills" programme extending through the PSHE lesson, we very much hope that this right of withdrawal by a parent or Carer will not be exercised. (Sex education in Science is part of the national curriculum and therefore compulsory).
By the age of sixteen we expect all our leavers will have developed confidence in their own ability, pride in their own achievements and the achievements of others and a love of learning which will continue throughout their lives.
Underpinning the taught curriculum is the development of social, moral and spiritual learning and values. These are defined in the school Code of Conduct, and reinforced across curricular and additional curricular activities, and through a range of teaching and learning styles. Students follow the subjects of the National Curriculum, together with appropriate accredited courses. A wide range of additional support is offered for students who experience any barriers to learning, through our entitlement team. Our home liaison staff are always available to talk with parents and carers, and many opportunities exist to extend and enrich the experiences for all students within and beyond the taught day.
Whole School collective worship according to the regulations laid down in the 1988 and 1993 Education Acts takes place each day of the week. These regulations define collective worship as worship of a broadly Christian character which reflects the broad traditions of Christian belief. They also allow for us to provide acts of worship which are in the tradition of Islam and other faiths, provided the majority of acts of worship over a term are mainly of a Christian character. Our collective worship also follows the regulations in being appropriate to the family background, age and aptitude of our pupils. Time and space are given for reflection on the target for the week, which will contribute to the National Curriculum cross-curricular themes linking our Collective Worship to our PSHE programme. In this way the school is able to devote valuable time to such crucial issues as Citizenship, the Environment, Careers Education, Health Education and Enterprise Education. Any parent who, on the basis of religious grounds, wishes to withdraw their daughter from either Religious Education or Collective Worship, should write to the Headteacher who will make the necessary arrangements.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
All maintained schools are required under the 1993 Regulations to include in their prospectus information about the ethos of the school, which underpins pupils' spiritual, moral, cultural and social development.
We believe that spiritual and moral development is fundamental to the whole educational experience, and we strive to harness the diversity of faiths and beliefs within the school population of our consideration of spiritual and moral issues.
Through the ethos of the school, collective worship and assembly time, the personal support system, the teaching of Religious Education and the National Curriculum we endeavour to convey to our pupils principles and values which reinforce the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, together with an understanding of the reasons for the difference. We emphasise the importance of telling the truth, keeping promises, respecting the rights and property of others, acting considerately towards others, helping others less fortunate than ourselves and taking responsibility for our own actions. We reject bullying, deceit, cruelty, irresponsibility and dishonesty.
By offering pupils opportunities to contemplate and to ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life, we strive to increase their spiritual awareness and help them towards a better understanding of themselves and a clearer perception of the value and importance of relationships with other people.