Principles

  • The curriculum at AGFS is unashamedly academic. Our belief is that all our scholars have the right to a traditional and academically rigorous curriculum so that they have access to the maximum number of options in their future.
  • We do not facilitate a vocational pathway or seek ways to artificially boost our provision in school league tables.
  • 95% of scholars at AGFS are entered for the academically rigorous Ebacc qualification and over 50% of scholars study Triple Science. All scholars take either French or Spanish from Year 7 through to GCSE level. Selected scholars have the opportunity to study Mandarin as a 2nd language from Year 7.
  • We believe that high levels of literacy are the key to unlocking student potential. The whole school reading programme and ‘read now’ phase of each lesson ensures scholars read for at least 90minutes every day.
  • The school’s co-curricular provision sits alongside the academic curriculum. The enrichment timetable is built into provision at Key Stage three and ensures all scholars take part in community service, creative activities, sport and young enterprise. The Drop Down Day programme allows scholars to enjoy a wide range of educational trips, visits and life enriching experiences.
  • The character programme helps scholars to develop the personal characteristics of confidence, oracy, good manners and respect.

Year 7-9 Curriculum

Subject

Y7 lessons per fortnight

Y8 lessons per fortnight

Y9 lessons per fortnight

English Language and Literature

10

9

9

Mathematics

9

10

9

Science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry)

9

9

10

Geography

4

4

5

History

4

4

5

Religious Studies/ Philosophy

2

2

2

MFL

7

7

6

Physical Education

4

4

4

Computing

2

2

2

Music

3

3

2

Art

2

2

2

Drama

2

2

2

Enrichment

2

2

2

 

Year 10- Year 11 Curriculum

Scholars follow a broad curriculum until they select their GCSE options at the end of Year 9. Scholars study ten subjects at GCSE level in total. These are separated into two categories: Core and Optional. 95% of our scholars are entered for the academically rigorous EBACC qualification.

  • Core subjects are compulsory and will be studied by all scholars
  • Optional subjects are when scholars choose to study certain subjects and not others. Scholars can choose to study three options. Teachers will offer guidance and support to ensure appropriateness of option subjects.

Core Subjects:

All subjects will study each of the following subjects:

Subject

Lessons per fortnight

Number of GCSEs gained

English Language and Literature

11

2

Mathematics

11

1

Combined Science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry)

11

2 – Triple science may be selected as an ‘option’ to gain an additional GCSE

Core PE

2

0 – GCSE PE can be chosen as an ‘option’

French or Spanish*

5

1

History or Geography

5

1

*A very small number of scholars may be selected to study additional English, maths and science instead of a modern language.

Option Subjects (worth one GCSE)

All scholars select three of the subjects below as their options:

  • Art and Design
  • Computer Science
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Studies/Philosophy
  • Statistics
  • Triple Science

 

Curriculum Planning

Subject curriculum planning at AGFS is delivered in the following ways:

  1. Primary to university progression – each department carefully considers the knowledge and skills scholars have in the subject when they join the school and what knowledge and skills will be required for access to the best universities in the UK. The progression model in each subject ensures all scholars have access to the entry to the best universities in the UK, regardless of their starting point.
  2. Subject Power standards – these are the ‘essence of each subject’. Scholars will develop mastery in these standards across each year group and progress in each subject will be tracked against them.
  3. Core knowledge – scholars are expected to complete self-quizzing and revision of the most powerful knowledge required for success in all subjects at home. Independent practice of core knowledge is essential for success.
  4. Medium term plans – departments complete detailed medium-term plans for each unit of work so that all scholars receive the same, high quality instruction.
  5. 4-part lesson – all lessons at AGFS include four elements:
    1. Read Now – rigorous reading activity often using supportive non-fiction, key content or an aspirational/ careers link.
    2. Daily review – a quiz or mini-test to consolidate independent learning, linked to powerful knowledge.
    3. Exposition – objective-led explanation of the content using modelling and checks for understanding.
    4. Deliberate practice – Scholars work independently on challenging material. Cognitive load shifted to the scholar. Teacher gives occasional moments of feedback.

  1. Learning behaviour - all scholars are expected to conduct themselves in a scholarly manner during lessons. We define this as:

   

 

Independent Learning

Principles:

  • Research suggests that the impact of homework on learning is consistently positive and can lead to an average of five months’ additional progress.
  • Research shows that in the most effective examples, homework is integral to the learning, not just an add on.
  • Independent Learning (homework) is most effective when it involves practice or rehearsal of subject matter already taught. Scholars should typically not be exposed to new material to learn at home, unless they are deemed as ‘expert learners’. Complex or open-ended homework is often completed least effectively; short frequent homework which is monitored closely by teachers is likely to have a bigger impact.
  • A recent study examining the correlation between time spent on homework and academic achievement showed that homework completed by the student independently for 60-70 minutes a day had the biggest impact (Institute for Effective Education, 2015).

At Key Stage 3:

  1. All subjects will issue scholars with the core knowledge required to be successful in a term’s programme of study to quiz via their core knowledge booklet. This will be broken down into ‘phases’ so that scholars can master each phase before moving on.
  2. In Maths, scholars will be quizzed on the core mathematical vocabulary required via Quizlet as well as completing consolidation activities via Hegarty Maths.
  3. To demonstrate their understanding of the core knowledge, scholars will ‘self quiz’ the core knowledge each week using their independent learning exercise book.
  4. Scholars will be given at least 48hours to complete these tasks before the responses are reviewed and checked.

At Key Stage 4:

  1. Independent learning will follow the same format as in Key Stage 3, but an additional 2 x 40min written/ preparatory tasks will also be set according to the schedule below:
  2. To help scholars develop good routines, there is a standardised timetable that all scholars should follow from the beginning of Key Stage 4. This sets out the minimum expectations for work and builds in time for breaks and rest.

Instructions, links and additional resources will be shared via Show My Homework and written into scholars’ planners. Scholars are encouraged to make use of Computer Science 3 after school each day to complete independent learning.

Online resources to support independent learning:

The school uses the following subject specific platforms to further support independent learning:

  1. www.hegartymaths.com: KS3 & KS4 maths
  2. www.ttrockstars.com: KS3 maths
  3. www.senecalearning.com: English, history, geography, religious studies, music, KS3 science
  4. www.my-gcsescience.com: KS4 biology, physics, chemistry
  5. www.startprofile: careers
  6. https://uk.language-gym.com: French and Spanish
  7. www.thisislanguage.com: French and Spanish
  8. www.groklearning.com: computer science
  9. www.quizlet.com: all subjects

While additional tasks using these websites may be set by teachers, scholars are expected to use these independent to supplement their in-class learning. Usage data from these platforms is tracked and scholars who make frequent use will be rewarded via weekly and termly celebration assemblies.

 

Bibliography:

Education Endowment Foundation (2018). Homework (Secondary). Teaching & Learning Toolkit. Available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/evidencesummaries/teaching-learning-toolkit/homework-secondary

Huntington Research School (2017). Homework: What Does The Evidence Say?

Available at: https://huntington.researchschool.org.uk/2017/11/10/homework-what-does-theevidence-say/

Huntington Research School (2016). Homework: Are We Asking The Right Questions? Available at: https://huntington.researchschool.org.uk/2016/11/03/homework-are-weasking-the-right-questions/

Institute for Effective Education (2015). How much homework is too much? Available at: http://www.beib.org.uk/2015/04/how-much-homework-is-too-much/

Lee, S (2018). How all stakeholders helped redesign our homework process. Available at: https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/blog/redesign-homework/

Vatterott, C (2010). Five Hallmarks of Good Homework. Available at: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/summer11/vol68/num10/FiveHallmarks-of-Good-Homework.aspx#

Willingham, D (2016). Important New Study of Homework. Available at: http://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2016/10/18-1