Curriculum

The Curriculum at The Matthew Arnold School

The curriculum is designed to support the following aims:

  • To ensure all students make the progress they need to achieve high academic standards
  • To ensure that all students develop and fulfil their potential
  • To provide an education which is appropriate to the demands of the 21st century global society
  • To encourage our students to adopt an analytical and problem-solving approach to their studies
  • To provide an educational framework appropriate to each student's age, ability and aptitude ie to meet the needs of all learners
  • To provide students with the skills to help them become independent, self-motivated learners within a framework of clear expectations and an appropriate code of behaviour
  • To foster and nurutre an independence of mind, an enjoyment of learning and confidence in their own potential, sharing and celebrating success and achievement whenever possible
  • To provide a system of academic tutoring which ensures that every learner's progress is monitored and high expectations are communicated
  • To enable each student to become a conscientious and responsible adult, developing self-esteem, self-discipline and respect for others
  • To provide a good foundation and appropriate pathways for students to continue their studies post-16.

Key Stage 3

This covers years 7 and 8 with students choosing their options at the end of year 8, so that they are ready to embark on the new specifications for increasingly challenging GCSEs from year 9.

In years 7 and 8 departments continue to teach topics within the national curriculum and examples of topics and sequences of work can be found within the English, Mathematics and Science sections. Programmes of study in other areas are available on request from the school. These subjects include Art, Drama, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, PE, Religious Studies, Science and Technology. The basics of ICT are delivered through our core subjects and PE theory lessons as a cross-curricular scheme.

Key Stage 4

All students study a core curriculum of GCSE English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science (double award), a Modern Foreign Language, Religious Studies and an option in Health (GCSE PE or Hospitality and Catering, or BTEC Health and Social Care).

Students then choose a further three GCSEs from Art, Business Studies, Computer Science, Drama, Geography, History, Resistant Materials, Textiles and Triple Science. There is an expectation that students will select either History or Geography as one of these options and within the option system can choose both if desired.

This curriculum offers students the opportunity to be eligible for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), although this is not compulsory with the present year 10 and 11, and Progress 8 government performance measures which will be used in all schools.

Assessment Rationale

The Matthew Arnold School believes that effective assessment systems enhance progress and ultimately achievement. Rigorous assessment allows all pupils to be supported and challenged for all subjects in all years.

All students are set aspirational yet realistic targets for all subjects in all years. Targets are set based on a variety of information including end of Key Stage 2 data for English and Maths, Fischer Family Trust (FFT) evaluation tools and internal benchmarking. Targets are reviewed every half term to ensure pupils are set appropriately and no ceiling is placed on achievement.

We use a numerical assessment scale from 0.5 - 9.0 across the school to allow for clear reporting and understanding and effective transition between Key Stages 3 and 4. Our numerical assessment scale is in-line with the new GCSE levelling system of 9-1. Students also receive a Learning Profile in the areas of Focus, Classwork, Equipment, Homework, Community, Relationships and Resilience as we believe that ensuring the correct work ethic is important in the long term achievements of each individual.

At The Matthew Arnold School, assessment can be in the form of self-, peer- or teacher assessment. It may be formative or summative and is delivered through a variety of methods such as feedback on homework tasks, mock exams, controlled assessment tasks, work scrutiny, end-of-unit tests, extended writing or practical performances.

Assessment is analysed internally every half term.  Formal reporting to pupils and parents happens at the end of every term and there is timetabled calendar dates for parental consultation review evenings. Reports include information on what student targets are for the end of their year, their current position in relation to their target and their learning profiles for all subjects. This information is scrutinised every half term by middle leaders and subject teachers to ensure that no Matthew Arnold School student slips through the net and all groups of students make good or accelerated progress to achieve their true potential.

To view our Curriculum Policy, please click here.