Our curriculum intent
We strive to ensure that all students leave our school, not only with the qualifications they need to access the next stage of their education or career of choice, but with the skills and confidence to make an active contribution to the communities to which they belong.
In order to realise this vision, we ensure that all students access a broad, rich and deep curriculum with academic excellence at its core, supported by a wider curriculum where students can develop knowledge and skills to ensure that they are safe, happy and secure. This is supported through the structure of a three year Key Stage 3 and two year Key Stage 4. At the end of Year 8, students go through a mini-options process so that they can begin to personalise their curriculum. Students make their GCSE options choices at the end of Year 9. This ensures that we have the curriculum time to develop students’ interest in their subjects and teach areas of the subject which we believe to be important before specialising at the end of Year 9 on the topics required by GCSE specifications.
At Key Stage 4, all students have access to an EBacc curriculum. We operate a Stage not Age approach with students completing two of their GCSE options in Year 10 and two in Year 11 when they also take GCSEs in their Core subjects. We do this for a number of reasons including that it enables us to keep a wide curriculum in place for our students by running subjects on alternate years which attract fewer students such as Drama and Music. It also enables us to have specialist teachers with deep subject knowledge. Students feed back that the Stage not Age approach helps them to manage workload and reduces exam stress.
Our high aspiration for all is exemplified in all students having access to the full curriculum and being taught within mainstream classes.
At Key Stage 5, in collaboration with King James’s School, Knaresborough, students have access to a wide range of Level 3 qualifications including A Levels and BTECs. Students are also encouraged to broaden their studies by completing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or CeFS (Certificate in Financial Studies). All Year 12 students have a week of work experience.
PSHCE and Careers education is threaded throughout Years 7 to 13 and alongside statutory requirements, our curriculum is developed to meet the needs of students in our area.
The governors of Boroughbridge High School have carefully considered the importance of the EBacc subjects alongside wider curriculum principles. The key considerations were discussed, most recently, during a strategy day in July 2021. The following sets out the agreed position of each school in relation to the EBacc and other study options at GCSE.
It is a fundamental principle that all pupils have access to the full suite of EBacc subjects. At GCSE all pupils study Maths, English language and Literature, Combined Science (or triple science depending on ability) Core PE, Core RE (in Year 10) and PSHCE. Beyond this core curriculum, all pupils have access to 16 further options subjects. They choose four of these, with guidance. We strongly encourage all students to study one EBacc subject (usually Geography or History). They study two options in Year 10 and the other two options in Year 11.
Our curriculum has considerable breadth, however the EBacc subjects (Geography, History and French) are given more time than Arts and creative subjects at Key Stage 3. Many of our pupils choose to take History, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages. Typically, at GCSE, 70% study Geography, 35% study History, 15% study Computer Science and 20% study a Modern Foreign Language. They all study at least one EBacc subject. Many other pupils wish to develop their talents and interests in the arts, social science, ICT, and creative subjects.
It is the position of the governing board that all option subjects at GCSE should be open to a free choice. Both schools continue to signpost the EBacc subjects and to provide pupils with the best advice and guidance to support their next steps. Their destinations data and examination outcomes demonstrate that their pupils achieve well and go on to aspirational and sustained pathways for further study. This demonstrates that the curriculum both schools offer is broad, balanced and fit for purpose.