The 'Ready for Opening' Curriculum
The 'ready for opening' curriculum is designed for every child in the community, enabling high standards of achievement for all students.
It will be challenging and rigorous while recognising the direct connection between social and emotional well-being and achievement at school. Placing relationships at the heart of learning is the cornerstone of our vision and ethos.
The curriculum will provide a strong learning framework for Years 7, 8 and 9 in September 2013 and pave the way for Year 9 students moving into GCSE programmes of study in 2014 and beyond.
Aspirations are high; our target is to be one of the highest achieving schools in Dorset, and nationally, while encouraging our students to be 'all-rounders' with interests that expand their horizons well beyond the classroom.
Our school will stretch and challenge students of all abilities, interests and backgrounds. Delivering an inclusive yet ambitious curriculum requires committed staff and diligent students; we have high expectations of the whole school community. Students in Years 7 and 8 (Key Stage 3) will embrace challenging schemes of work in the core subjects (maths, English, science, at least one language, music, PE and ICT) as well as an innovative project-based programme covering art and design, history, geography, philosophy religion & ethics (PRE), drama, and citizenship. The first project, 'Heritage and Beyond', has been developed in partnership with Durlston Country Park and will take full advantage of Swanage's stunning location.
Students joining in Year 9 (Key Stage 4) will be ambassadors for the school, setting a benchmark for the future. Our first Year 9 cohort will be special as they will be the oldest members of our student body through to the end of their GCSEs. These students will be invited to partner the principal, staff and governors in shaping the ethos of the school and reinforcing the values we hold in high esteem: mutual respect, courtesy and treating people equally.
A specific curriculum for the first Year 9 cohort will provide an inspiring foundation year for GCSE. These students (currently in Year 7) will study a 'Foundation for GCSE' curriculum for the first two terms, choosing their options in the spring term of 2014. They will have the opportunity to 'taste' each subject before creating their GCSE package.
An inspiring curriculum
The National Curriculum is currently under Government review and the proposed changes affecting secondary schools are likely to begin from September 2014. Therefore, we are planning our curriculum with these already in mind and will incorporate new developments right from the start.
Teaching and learning will be based around 3 clusters of subjects within the National Curriculum; Core, Foundation and Basic. All students will cover the 'Core' subjects of maths, English and science. The majority will also study the 'Foundation' subjects of art and design, geography, history, modern foreign languages, music and PE. There is also a 'Basic' curriculum comprised of citizenship, design technology, ICT, careers, PRE, sex and relationships education (SRE) and, for some students, work-related learning.
We will provide a broad, balanced curriculum at GCSE enabling students to embark on "learning pathways" that cater for their individual needs and providing opportunities to study up to 13 subjects.
For example, a keen linguist can study two languages, a student interested in learning a craft , skill or trade can do so, and those with scientific interests can study three separate sciences; biology, chemistry and physics.
We aim for each student to progress from The Swanage School looking back fondly on their education and feeling proud of their achievements. Progression to the school from the partner Primaries, and from the school to post-16 providers, is of central importance to us.
We will offer a 'fast track' programme to engage more able learners in study beyond level 2 (GCSE), giving them an opportunity to access learning at level 3. We will provide enrichment opportunities for all students by involving inspiring speakers, visiting universities and inviting 'expert witnesses' to inspire them about the wider world.
Community based and extended learning
We are linking with local businesses, organisations and voluntary bodies to develop our Local Curriculum provision and students at The Swanage School will benefit hugely from a close relationship with the community. In fact, we are overwhelmed by the extent of community support in this respect with numerous offers of from local people, clubs and other bodies. We will expand our links beyond Swanage to encompass a wide range of day trips and residential visits both in the UK and abroad so that our students become national and global citizens.
The curriculum will take advantage of the natural environment, for example in cross country running, and go beyond standard school sports to include sailing, sea rowing, tennis, cricket, etc. using our excellent local facilities.
We want to encourage every individual's development intellectually, creatively, culturally, physically, emotionally, morally and spiritually. Therefore all students will be offered a range of extended learning opportunities inside and outside school: debating society, environment club, practical skills workshops such as stone carving, additional twilight GCSE options and the Extended Project Qualification.
We also plan 'Exceptional Days'; inspiring days off-timetable for the whole school to participate in activities within and beyond Swanage. For example, students might try a stone-carving workshop, build a dry-stone wall at Durlston or visit another part of the country.
We value respect for all people and for the environment, so students will also be asked to participate in a community service. For example, they may assist in conservation work, help the elderly, work with children in our partner primary schools or within the school on reception or library duty.
The Swanage School Challenge
The Swanage School Challenge is a special award to recognise the achievements of all our students. Each will accumulate points in every aspect of their school and community life. At the end of the year, the school will assemble to celebrate these achievements as a learning community. We believe the award will foster learning beyond the classroom and develop skills of teamwork, self-management and creativity. This will promote values of self-help and self-responsibility so that our students are prepared for their future as global citizens.
A highly qualifed and committed staff
We have recruited exceptional, fully-qualified teachers who are flexible, hard working and inspiring. We want our students to be independent learners, with a thirst for knowledge yet an understanding of how to think critically. Our students will feel included, supported and will have a voice in the school so that they make the very most of their potential in all respects.
- The School Curriculum
- Project Based Learning
- Learning, Care & Guidance
- Human Scale Education
- FAQ Sheet
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