Learning

 

At GTS our ethos is to ensure that all pupils are able to make outstanding progress in their learning and personal development in their 5 years with us. We will look at each cohort as they join GTS and evaluate the best learning pathway for all the pupils.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

At GTS Key Stage 3 is taught over years 7, 8 and 9. All pupils entering the school in this Key Stage will sit CAT tests. These are Cognitive Ability Tests and allow the school to assess the pupils’ correct academic grouping. GTS use CAT alongside KS2 test scores as these give the school a solid base line on academic potential removing issues such as literacy or the previous school not sitting KS2 SATs.

In year 7 pupils follow the GTS Learner’s Baccalaureate. This is an exciting curriculum that is focused on developing their learning, thinking, numeracy and literacy skills. By enhancing these skills when pupils start GTS, they will enjoy greater academic success later on. These are delivered through a series of engaging challenges that are designed to provide pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum. Pupils will follow these challenges in, differentiated, mixed ability groups of about 20 pupils. Flexibility has been built into these challenges to allow more able pupils to excel whilst giving time and support to those pupils who require it. The subjects that require repeated practise to learn - modern languages, maths, PE - are delivered as discreet subjects. Classes for these subjects are set by ability as this allows pupils that require extra support with their literacy and numeracy to have to 4 extra hours of tuition a week in place of learning a modern foreign language This also allows our most able pupils to be taught both French and Spanish.


When pupils progress into year 8, they will be taught in discrete subjects with an over-arching theme or
‘Big idea’ which will connect their learning in all of their different subjects. By year 9 pupils will study all
subjects discreetly so that they are able to make an informed choice when they choose what they will
study at GCSE. This selection is made through our ‘guided choices’ process.

In Year 8 & 9 pupils are taught all subjects in one of three curriculum pathways; progress, core or
accelerated. This allows the teachers to ensure that the pupils are working at a pace that best suits their learning needs, receiving support or extension when necessary. The progress groups typically small, comprise of up to 20 pupils and frequently have Teaching Assistant support. Pupils may receive an additional 3 periods a fortnight of literacy or numeracy support to help them develop these key skills.
Pathways allow for flexibility in teaching with a pupil being able to receive an education that best suits
their needs; a truly personalised curriculum.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

At GTS Key Stage 4 is taught over years 10 and 11. The aim of the KS4 curriculum is to give the pupils the best possible chance of attaining up to 12 good GCSE passes. The number of GCSEs entered will be dependent on the pathway that the pupil is in. All pupils will study 3 option subjects. The pupils will also study all of the core subjects of English, Maths, Science, ICT and PE. It is the aim that the majority of pupils will take GCSE English Language, GCSE English Literature, GCSE Core Science, GCSE Additional Science, Cambridge National in ICT, GCSE Mathematics and either full course or BTEC PE. All of the subjects that are studied at GTS are full course meaning that they are equivalent to 1 GCSE. We do enter some pupils for BTEC, Cambridge Nationals and ASDAN courses; if it is appropriate to their learning needs and post 16 learning pathway. These are all equivalent to 1 GCSE. GTS does include the possibility of participating in work based learning in years 10 & 11; this has proven very successful for a number of pupils who have gone on to apprenticeships at the same employer. We are very proud of our links with local employers.


In Key Stage 4 all pupils are taught in one of three curriculum pathways; progress, core or accelerated. This allows the core subject departments to ensure that the pupils are working at a pace that best suits their learning needs, receiving support or extension when necessary. Option classes are mixed ability. Pupils in the accelerated pathway will be following the separate science GCSEs of Chemistry, Biology & Physics. They will also sit iGCSE Mathematics and FSMQ Additional Maths (a pre-A Level course). Pupils are encouraged to follow the English Baccalaureate if this is the correct pathway for them, thus ensuring that they have the best possible foundation for applying to College and University.

Enrichment & Intervention 2 2 2 From 2015 Rt. Hon. Michael Gove M.P. (Secretary of State for Education) has announced that new style GCSEs will come into effect. These will be examined, for the first time, in 2017. The new GCSEs will be linear examinations, which means they will only be tested by examinations at the end of year 11 and contain no modules that can be retaken throughout Key Stage 4. The GCSEs will count towards the English Baccalaureate measure which will remain the golden standard for all pupils to attain alongside other school progress measures that takes into consideration other ‘high value’ qualifications.

At GTS we will ensure that all pupils will continue to study courses that are most appropriate to their
learning needs and will develop a curriculum to meet the needs of the new GCSEs and other changes in national education policy, but most importantly our pupils.