There is much change going on in education, including a new National Curriculum, new tougher GCSEs and also new style A levels. Most of this is happening over the next few years and your daughter will experience all these changes.
The new National Curriculum has a greater focus on knowledge development, along with the opportunity to study the ‘big ideas’ of a subject in greater depth. Another key change is the removal of assessment levels, something which students and parents have become familiar with. Overall I am very happy with these developments because it provides opportunities to provide a more appropriate Key Stage 3 curriculum which builds the important foundations for Key Stage 4. We should no longer see KS3 and KS4 as separate courses, but rather as a continuum.
The new National Curriculum also gives us the chance to develop better assessments which highlight specific strengths and areas for development within those ‘big ideas’, rather than a vague overall level which can often be meaningless. What we hope to achieve is a KS3 curriculum and assessment model which:
- Is focused on developing the key concepts, knowledge and skills needed for success in KS4
- Is based on high expectations and challenge for all
- Adopts a mastery approach to teaching and learning, and uses proven effective teaching methods.
- Uses regular assessment and feedback which gives all students the chance to develop a secure understanding of the key ideas.
- Incorporates high quality end of topic assessments which help students develop the skills needed to tackle GCSE examination questions.
- Data from assessments reliably identifies what students have/have not understood and informs future teaching and learning, including intervention needs.
These are ambitious targets, but we are committed to do all we can to prepare our students for the challenges that lie ahead.
KS4 English Teacher / Teaching & Learning Lead