The Focus School secondary curriculum ensures a seamless transition from the primary to the secondary key stages. Whilst courses are largely traditional exam-based courses, they are studied through a series of assignments, facilitating self-directed learning, which is giving opportunity for students to broaden and deepen their learning in styles and environments that they understand and enjoy.
The curriculum comprises a core range of academic subjects to which are added additional subjects including a range of practical and business-related courses. Focus has written a series of vocational courses which have now been given City & Guilds Accreditation and we also encourage students to take an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in a subject of their choice.
This self-directed approach to learning is allowing students to take themselves to new levels, giving them the confidence to broaden their horizons and to reach out to realms beyond them.
The Focus Learning Network has opened up specific courses such as Law to more students, giving scope for students to study by the online ‘flipped learning’ approach which in itself is an important experience in the self-directed learning process.
Tracking the progress of individual students over time is a critical factor in our management of teaching and learning, so the recording, analysis and use of accurate and reliable data is absolutely essential.
Half termly AP are used to at fixed points throughout the year to collect CWA grades, we also have internal online markbooks that are live documents. This data is thoroughly analysed every half term and teacher and student (examination groups) progress meets are held and should parents have any queries or concerns at any stage during the year, the progress lead will always be available.
Our school uses a triangular approach to confirm the data, including teacher assessment, work evidence and formally assessed and moderated attainment. This occurs throughout the key stages, providing a picture of progress over time that can be compared with both other schools in the Focus group and national statistics. This enables intervention to be provided at an early stage and helps to ensure that each and every student stays on track with their true learning potential.
Explaining the 1-9 system- moving away from A*-G in GCSE:
Traditional A*-G grades have been replaced by a numerical system that scores students on a scale from 1-9. GCSE results day 2017 saw students pick up numbered results in maths, English language and English literature only. All other subjects will follow suit for results in 2018. The reformed assessments promise to be more demanding with less reliance on coursework. Students will also be required to sit all their exams at the end of Year 11, rather than in separate bite-sized modules. Education chiefs have promised that the new system will remain largely in step with the familiar A*-G boundaries. But it will be extremely hard for pupils to gain straight 9s, which are a step above A*s. The 1 grade equates to a high G or low F.
Here is a breakdown of what each numbered grade means. In SBN we will be using fine-tuned grades as below to closely monitor progress and help stretch students into the next grade, or support them to move into a more secure grade, but final awarded grades will be full numbers- not – = or +
The following are the Secondary Curriculum overviews for 2018-19:
Please click the Year group that you would like to find information about the curriculum in each subject and in each term.