Key Stage 3, Years 7-9 (age 11-14)

Transition from Primary

Starting Year 7 is a big step in any student’s education and the time, under the British system, where pupils move from Primary to Secondary School.  We acknowledge the anxiety this move can sometimes cause, and work with Year 6 pupils to help them prepare for their first day in Secondary.

As part of the transition process, our own Year 6 are already taught a range of lessons by Secondary specialists in Art, French, Physical Education and Science. In addition, we run a thorough Transition Week in June where all pupils in Year 6 are given their provisional Year 7 timetable and invited to the Secondary School. They take part in Assemblies, lessons, activities and workshops that allow them to meet their new Form Tutors and teachers, get a feel of their new subjects and familiarise themselves with the growing expectations upon them as they enter Secondary School.

Year 7 & 8 Curriculum

Pupils in Year 7 and 8 follow the National Curriculum of England and Wales. Subjects studied include English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Art & Design, Drama, Music, French, Computing, PSHE, Spanish, Panamanian History & Geography and Physical Education.

Single lessons are 50 mins long and double, usually in Mathematics, Science and Physical Education are 1hour 40 mins long. Physical Education is taught once a week in a double lesson.

Year 9 Curriculum

In Year 9, we continue to build upon the subjects taught in the previous two years, although in English, Science and Mathematics pupils start to access GCSE-level content. Additional subjects studied include Geography, History, Art & Design, Drama, Music, French, Computing, PSHE, Spanish, Panamanian History, History, and Physical Education.  Physical Education is taught once a week in a double (1h 40mins) lesson.

Towards the end of Term 2 of Year 9 pupils begin to receive advice and support on choosing the subjects they may wish to study in Years 10 and 11.  An information sharing event for parents as well as an options day for pupils is arranged before pupils are asked to decide on the final subjects they will study in Year 10 and 11.

Assessment, Recording, Reporting and Tracking

We assess pupils in KS3 using a system based upon the new 9 – 1 grading system at Key Stage 4 ranging across 9 Thresholds from Novice to Excellent. We report Termly on a pupil’s attitude to Learning, Homework, Use of English, predicted grades and aspirational Grade/Threshold based upon our belief that ALL students should “Aspire to Excellence”.

The Thresholds are shared with students following any Formative or Summative Assessments, which allows students to identify where they are in terms of their skills and subject knowledge, and better understand what they need to do to progress to the next threshold. Pupils are expected to make a minimum of one level of progress from their baseline to their predicted/aspirational grade (flight path). Pupils will be expected to be working at a “Secure” level by the end of an academic year, especially in core subjects in order to progress to and better access the next phase of learning (Phase before Age).

Pupils and Parents receive three reports each year and will also be invited in to meet with your child’s Form Tutor and Subject Teachers. For further information please download our Parent Guide to Assessment as well as our Assessment Calendar for Parents.

 

Key Stage 4, Years 10-11 (age 14-16)

Becoming a successful (I)GCSE student

Years 10 and 11 mark a very intense period of study under the British system as students begin to prepare for, and then take, examinations known as (I)GCSEs – (International) General Certificates of Secondary Education.

Students will be expected to be more independent in their study habits and to start to enter into a regular revision programme whereby they are reviewing and revisiting topics they have covered in preparation for the examinations they will take at the end of Year 11. We would expect students in Years 10 and 11 to be studying for approximately 1½ hours per evening in order to make good progress – this study time will not always be directed by class teachers via homework tasks and it is important for pupils to undertake private study and review any gaps in their understanding.

Attendance is another key factor to success at IGCSE.  If your child is sick and needs to stay at home they should contact friends or teachers using their school-provided email address and Google Classroom page in order to remain on top of any work they are missing.  Attendance rates of 95% are expected of all Year 10 and 11 students; please note that attendance of 90% represents one day off every two weeks or approximately 240 lost learning hours over the two-year course – the impact of low or non-attendance on a pupil’s final attainment is obvious.

Year 10 & 11 Curriculum

Students in Years 10 & 11 study a core curriculum and are also able to choose two optional subjects:

Compulsory IGCSE Subjects Compulsory Complementary Studies Optional IGCSE Subjects (Subject to demand)
English Language
English Literature
Mathematics
Spanish (A-Level)
Biology
Chemistry
PhysicsComputer Science
Physical Education
Personal, Social & Health Education
Panamanian History and Geography
Business Studies
French
Geography
History
PE
Art

Lessons are normally delivered in double periods (1h 40).

 

External Examinations

Compulsory and optional IGCSE subjects will culminate in examinations at the end of Year 11. Early entry for Year 9 and 10 typically include Spanish and English as an additional language. Please note that these examinations are externally set, marked and moderated by one of two examination boards. (I)GCSE is a highly regarded qualification which is accredited by OfQual and currently examined, in our school, by CIE(Cambridge) and Pearson (Edexcel).

Examination timetables are set by the boards each year and cannot be altered.  Speaking and practical examinations can take place as early as March of Year 11, whilst written examinations normally take place from the beginning of May until the end of June.  It is imperative that parents do not book any holidays for pupils in Year 11 after Christmas as any examinations that are missed cannot be taken at another time and normally result in an X (NO RESULT) grade in the final exam.

 

Assessment, Recording, Reporting and Tracking

Pupils in Years 10-11 are currently assessed against the existing GCSE criteria using a scale of 9-1 (9 being the highest available grade). You will receive three reports each year and will also be invited in to meet with your child’s Form Tutor and Subject Teachers.

In the January of Year 11, all students sit “Mock” examinations which serve to provide a snapshot of where the pupils sit on their flightpath and provide a better indication of possible outcomes in the formal GCSE examinations.

Official results are usually released at the end of August. Students have online secure access to their results on results day. Original certificates are posted to the school at the end of November and can be collected from our Admissions Office.