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Curriculum

Curriculum Intent Statement 2023-24

 

Faringdon Community College – Curriculum

 

Our vision at FCC is to provide a curriculum and an environment that enables all pupils to be engaged, to make progress and to succeed. Academic rigour is of real importance and ensuring learners are challenged is one of our priorities. The challenge provided has to be suitable for all learners, however, and a broad curriculum that develops a whole range of skills in our learners is of significant importance. For this reason, pupils at FCC study the full curriculum until the end of Year 9 and do not narrow the breadth of their study until Year 10. This allows two years to study subjects at the depth that is required for GCSE and other equivalent qualifications.

Our curriculum is underpinned by a commitment to high quality teaching and assessment in all subjects which enables all pupils to make good or better rates of progress. Our programmes of study in the earlier year groups are informed by GCSE and preparing pupils for GCSE is, of course, important but this is far from the sole purpose of KS3. At KS3, our desire is to instil a passion for lifelong learning through an enriching and engaging curriculum. Decisions are made, mainly at department level, on what should be taught and when, to prepare pupils for their future studies and to equip all pupils with the range of skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We have a school assessment policy in place, but departments are free to implement this in an appropriate way to suit their subjects.

Whilst the bulk of our curriculum design is focused on ensuring our pupils make genuine academic progress, many of our subjects develop pupils’ practical skills and the importance of pupils’ personal development is a recurring theme across all curriculum areas. We aim to enable pupils to develop personal resilience and an ability to effectively self-evaluate. We have a carefully planned Citizenship programme across the key stages, to help equip our learners to be responsible, respectful and active citizens. We offer a number of services to help those pupils who need extra support to develop their resilience, confidence and independence.

 

As a school we  follow the National Curriculum for England. Where we use schemes of work these are in line with the aims and programmes of study that are set out in the National Curriculum. To find out more about the National Curriculum please click on the following link National Curriculum in England - Secondary Curriculum. You can find out more about the way we deliver the National Curriculum at Faringdon Community College for each individual subject by clicking on each subject's page below. Here you will find information about each subject's curriculum intent statement.

If you need more information about a particular subject please contact the Subject Leader. Contact email addresses can be found on the Contact Details page.

 

To find information on our Accessibility Plan please visit the Policies page.

More detailed information regarding the intent in different subject areas is given within the subject pages.

 

KS3

At KS3, we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum programme of study and that places real value on the importance of all subject areas. Of course, the core subjects of English, Maths and Science are given significant curriculum time, as are the key Ebacc subjects; Geography, History and MFL, as well as Design & Technology, which we judge to be very important for the practical skills it develops. All subjects are taught for at least one hour per week. In addition, in Year 7, to help all pupils improve their reading fluency, they have an “Accelerated Reader” session once per fortnight, to further support the reading they do within other lessons. The full range of subjects taught throughout KS3 is:

 

Art, Design & Technology, Drama, English, Geography, History, ICT, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages (French, German & Spanish), Music, Physical Education, Religious Education, Science

 

It is our belief that pupils should be mainly taught in “mixed-ability” groups for the maximum benefit of all learners. At KS3, the only exceptions to this are in Maths (pupils are grouped by ability from Year 7) and in Science (pupils are grouped by ability from Year 8). In these subjects, it is felt that all learners benefit from being in groups more closely matched to their ability.

 

KS4

 

At KS4, our ethos is to offer each pupil a curriculum package that we believe to be in their best interests.  We are proud of the broad curriculum we offer and the wide range of subjects and qualifications this covers. As an example, pupils in the current Year 10 study well over 30 different courses, which are mainly GCSEs but include BTECs, Cambridge Nationals and other Level 1/2 Awards. Each year, a number of students with SEND study fewer options than their peers and have additional support with their study from the SEND department.

 

We do not believe that “early entry” is in pupils’ best interests and so all GCSE courses are examined at the end of Year 11, with just the one exception of RE. The structure of our curriculum allows this subject to be taken at the end of Year 10, to slightly lessen the burden of exams for pupils at the end of Year 11 and to give additional curriculum time for option subjects during Year 11.

 

When option choices are made in Year 9, we offer a great deal of guidance and support, but we make no attempt to force students to choose a subject they don’t want to study. Success comes from students studying subjects that they are interested and engaged in. We highlight to students the academic importance of studying the full range of Ebacc subjects and all students, with very few exceptions, have to study the core of English Language and Literature, Maths, Science and RE. For the reasons already given, we do not require any individual students to study Geography, History or a Language, meaning that sometimes our entry rate for Ebacc is below the level aimed for by the government.

 

Throughout KS4, significant emphasis is also placed in providing pupils with excellent careers education, advice and guidance.

 

KS5

The ethos and values of key stages 3 and 4 are continued into 6th form, though the curriculum offer is narrowed slightly to focus mainly on A levels and, on the whole, more traditional “academic” subjects. This means, typically, a little under half of our Year 11 pupils continue into the school 6th form, with many pupils instead attending nearby colleges, which are better equipped to deliver a wider range of more vocational options.

 

 

 

 

The Curriculum at FCC

School   Timetable Arrangements 

 

Each day consists of 5 periods, each for one hour. We operate a two-week timetable to give us more flexibility in how we distribute the 50 lessons in a timetable cycle. In addition, each day the students have 30 minutes in the morning with their tutors. Year group assemblies take place weekly. 

 

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) 

 

Students cover a common curriculum meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum Key Stage 3 programme of study. The range of subjects taught, and the time allocated to them is shown in the table. Most subjects are taught to mixed-ability tutor groups in Y7 with ability setting in Math’s. Setting in Science is introduced in Y8 and Y9.  We have been redesigning our schemes of work in all subjects to aid smooth progression across KS3 and onto KS4, based around Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which will help them develop the skills they need for their GCSE studies. 

All students starting in Y7 study two foreign languages in KS3, either French and Spanish or French and German. 

 

The allocation of lessons in KS3 is as follows: 

 

Subject 

Number of hours per fortnight 

 

Year 7 

Year 8 

Year 9 

English 

Math’s 

Science 

Design & Technology 

History 

Geography 

RE 

PE 

Languages 

Art 

Music 

Drama 

ICT 

Accelerated Reader 

 

 

PSHE  

 

 

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11) 

 

These years focus on the preparation for GCSE. There is a common core of subjects taken by all students, enriched   by some option choices, which allow individual interests and abilities to be developed. 

 

Most students will take GCSE or equivalent examinations in between 8 and 12 subjects but the combination of subjects varies for different individuals, with a focus on vocationally based and life-skills courses for some, and on academic study for others. 

All students study RE with the GCSE exam taken at the end of Year 10. Some students will take the full-course exam and some the short-course. 

English provides the opportunity for students to gain GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature. The more able Mathematicians have the opportunity to take an additional GCSE in Further Mathematics. 

Science is taught as separate lessons in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, taught by subject specialists. Around half of the year group take separate GCSEs in each of the sciences and the remainder take a Combined Science qualification, which counts as 2 GCSEs, still has separate exam papers in all three subject areas and does form a suitable basis for A level study for students who do well on it. 

For their options, students currently choose either three or four (depending on whether they take separate sciences or not) subjects from a range including in Art, Business, Child Development, Computer Science, Creative Media, Dance Drama, French, Geography, German, Health & Social Care, History, IT, Music, PE and Spanish. They can also choose from a range of Design & Technology specialisms including Food & Nutrition, Resistant Materials, Textiles, Graphics, Hospitality & Catering and Engineering 

We expect the vast majority of our students to be aiming for at least the level 2 threshold equivalent of 5 higher grade GCSE passes, but most will go well beyond this. 

 

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13) 

Many of our Year 11 students stay on to study academic A levels in our Sixth Form. They can choose from a broad selection of subjects all taught by specialist teachers. For further information please visit the 6th Form tab on the school website. 

 

 

FUTURES AND ASPIRATIONS 

Our Futures and Aspirations programme embraces a number of core, valuable experiences for all students, across the curriculum as a whole:

  • Citizenship and PSHE curriculum
  • Working with local business leaders
  • Encounters with visiting speakers and organisations

 

This programme is delivered through the Personal Development Days and have a ‘Futures and Aspirations’ focus that are experienced by all year groups, where these topics can be explicitly taught. On these days, the normal college timetable will be collapsed and, instead, pupils will undertake a day of activities that aim to increase pupils’ awareness of the wider world which they will enter, when they complete their time at FCC. Year 10 and 11 will also be using the time to develop crucial revision skills as well as receiving direction on writing exemplary CVs.

Opportunities to meet and interact with visiting, local business leaders and engage with high quality visiting speakers and organisations are also created. This may also enable students to make contacts that can facilitate work experience placements for them in the future; we are lucky to have our own Careers Advisor on site who helps with the organisation of this. These encounters are designed to introduce students to potential educational pathways that they may wish to pursue in future years: be this in the medical profession or engineering, for instance. We intend for all students to have the widest variety of experiences and interactions that prompt their interests and passions. Alongside these specific days, this programme of study is part of students’ form time and assemblies, so that this is a part of their day-to-day school life.

To complement the Futures and Aspirations curriculum, there are many other active roles within the college that contribute to the development of students as active citizens. We have student voice committees, which allow pupils to make a key contribution to the development of a positive school culture. It also allows pupils to have a sense of ownership, giving them opportunities to exhibit responsibility and develop leadership skills.

If you would like more information about the curriculum that we are following please contact us using the contact enquiry form https://www.fccoxon.co.uk/contact-details/

 

 

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