At The King's School, students follow a two year Key Stage 3 (years 7-8) and a Preparation for GCSE programme of study whilst in Year 9.
In today's increasingly competitive world, colleges, universities and employers are increasingly looking at students and young people who possess a series of well balanced skills and aptitudes. In order to equip our students with every possible chance of success as they progress towards Key stages 4, 5 and beyond, we have decided to strengthen our current provision at Year 9 in order to focus on specific key skills, alongside the subject specific content, which will provide our students with the best chance of success as they progress to Key Stage 4 and 5.
Academic research and employers have consistently identified the following key skills and aptitudes needed by today's learners in order to both ensure success in examinations and in the workplace:
- Public Speaking
- Research Skills
- Problem Solving
- Project Planning & Management
- Skills for writing
- Financial planning & management
From September 2013, as part of the 'Preparing for GCSE' programme of study in Year 9, students will explicitly focus on these key skills as part of the subject content taught across the different subject areas. Students will also focus on a specific ‘preparing for GCSE’ skill together with those outlined above in order to further provide our students with the skills needed for success at Key Stage 4.
The curriculum model at Year 9 remains unchanged from previous years: no subject area will see a reduction in curriculum time in order to deliver these key skills. From the considerable research that has been conducted on ensuring students gain independent learning skills, key skills are at their most effective when delivered as part of the subject content. Department areas will therefore deliver the key skills which best complement the subject content that they deliver in Year 9. The delivery of these key skills has been carefully mapped out across the academic year so that an even spread of departments and key skills are being covered across the three terms. In order to highlight the fact that these are transferable skills students will, in most circumstances, learn these key skills in at least two different subject areas. In this way we hope that our students will gain an appreciation that key skills such as these are both relevant and applicable across subject areas.
In order to assess our students’ progress towards meeting the key skills, the assessment and reportingcycle will follow the traditional model operating in Year 9. However, together with reporting the national curriculum levels gained by students on the subject specific content and skills in each department area, students will also be assessed against a set key skills criteria. These will be recorded throughout the year and shown in students’ reports.
Preparation for GCSE awards ceremony, 2014
We strongly believe that the Year 9 Preparing for GCSE programme of study marks a different stage in our students' learning experience at The King's School. As part of our ongoing and steadfast commitment to our firmly held ethos of Achievement for All, the Preparing for GCSE Year will conclude in an end of year formal awards ceremony where students are both recognised and rewarded for their hard work during the year and the progress and effort that they have shown in these skills. This will be an opportunity to formally celebrate the achievements of our students whilst at the same time highlighting that the next stage of their education, Key Stage 4, is about to start where they will need to quickly use these skills in order to master the demands of GCSE study. Details and invitations for this awards ceremony will be given to parents nearer the time.