Curriculum Overview

Learning at The Forest School is broken down into three Key Stages – Key Stages 3, 4, and 5.


 

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8 students follow a national curriculum (https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum/key-stage-3-and-4) that is designed to:

1. Be broad and balanced, giving students a common body of knowledge and information,whatever GCSE subjects they subsequently take

2. Maximise their learning. We want all our students to be guided in their studies by our ASPIRE ethos. Their learning help them to build an aspirational mind set, whilst in a safe environment, designed to allow them to express themselves, instil resilience and learn from their experiences. We teach our students to be prepared and independent, to be respectful and excellent.

3. Ensure students are engaged and ready for, and excited by, the challenges of GCSEs. We thus ensure that students cover a full range of subjects, including:

Core subjects  - English, Maths and Science                                                

Humanities - History, Geography, RE and PSHE                                                      

Art and Technology - Fine Art, Product Design and Food Technology            

Physical Education                                                                                            

Modern Foreign Languages – currently all students study French or Spanish in Y7.

Performing Arts subjects – Music and Drama

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

In Year 9 students start GCSE subjects, and take English Literature, English Language, Maths, two or three Science subjects and four option subjects from a broad range, including Art, Drama, Music, Business Studies, IT, Computing, French, Spanish, Physical Education and Product Design.

The KS4 curriculum is broad and balanced: details of all courses leading to GCSE or equivalent qualifications are detailed in the Options booklet.

This includes personalised learning routes for students to help them progress and achieve their best. There are four KS4 suggested pathways for students to follow to maximise engagement and progression on to the next stage of their learning, whether this be FE, HE including Oxbridge and Russell group, apprenticeships or the world of work.

Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5

Sixth Form

Our purpose built co-ed Sixth Form runs a wide variety of A Level courses, and a selection of vocational alternatives. Retention rates from GCSE students moving into Year 12 are very high. Students opt for one of three pathways, according to their GCSE results, their area of interest and what they want to study at university. Students get full support in their applications for apprenticeships or to university, including dedicated support for those applying for Oxbridge places.

Year 12 students complete a week of Work experience and take part in the National Citizen Scheme and many take part in a World Challenge Expedition.

Retakes for both maths and English GCSE are timetabled, and therefore students see the importance in these subjects.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE)

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE)

The PSHE is a programme of study designed to help students to develop their knowledge and understanding of skills which will support them through all areas of their future lives. The programme encompasses SMSC development, Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG).Timetabled weekly lessons cover:

  • Health: healthy lifestyles; healthy eating and exercise; mental and emotional health; sex and relationship education; drug, alcohol and tobacco education.
  • Risk: financial and career choices; personal safety and internet safety.
  • Relationships: developing and maintaining positive relationships; dealing with negative relationships which may include bullying.
  • Loss: bereavement, separation and divorce.
  • Change: managing transition; adversity and developing resilience.
  • Career choices: enterprise, business and finance.
  • Personal finance: savings, debt and finance.

Students are served well outside the timetabled curriculum because there is wealth of well attended extra curriculum activities from homework club to a DT club, as well as community volunteering in the 6th Form.  The school has a strong heritage in sports and successful extra curricular fixture programme, and therefore helping students' well being.

British Values

The Forest School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom.  It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.

The Forest School is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.

The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools.  The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. Information from Department for Education can be found here

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