In recent years, our curriculum has focused on English, Maths and Art, along with developing strategies to improve behaviour. Last year, we introduced Accelerated Reader onto the teaching curriculum with a view that improved readers make better learners. Our strategy is proving to be effective and reading across the school has improved in terms of performance and more importantly, enjoyment.
Last year, we have also introduced Functional Skills in Maths and English at Level 1 (and Level 2 for those we feel are able); 100% of our Y11s have passed English and 87% have passed Maths (of those that entered). One pupil was entered for Level 2 in English and Maths and passed both.
Our leavers of 2018 also earned 100% Grades 1 - 9 in Maths, Art and English (of those that were entered) and 67% achieved Grades 5 - 9 in Art.
We will continue with Functional Skills in English and Maths at Levels 1 and 2 from November 2018, as well introducing IT at Functional Skills level in the new year.
We are now taking the curriculum to the next level by introducing a variety of subjects across the curriculum; all of which have recognised qualifications at the end for our pupils to potentially leave Hope High with.
Developing our Curriculum
Our curriculum has evolved as we tailor the needs of our children to what they can achieve; we listened to the pupils when they talked about their aspirations in life. Some of our pupils aren't motivated by academic subjects, and if they aren't motivated, they can be drawn into disruptive behaviour. We have looked at the subjects that reflected their aspirations and ambitions and developed our curriculum accordingly; some want to be chefs, so we have introduced BTEC Home Cooking, some are motivated by playing games so they can now succeed in BTEC Sport and Active Leisure, whereas others want to work in the construction industry; we have now revived Design Technology where pupils are working towards either a GCSE in DT or a BTEC in Construction. As an SEMH school, we have to adapt our teaching, both in terms of style and content, to encourage the children to embrace their learning. Not all children are able to meet the demands of the new GCSE syllabuses. We have introduced BTEC as it provides a better learning platform for our children; 'hands on learning' where they develop portfolios over time to achieve success. Further to this, we also recognise, and promote among the children, that achieving a BTEC Level 1, along with qualifications in English and Maths especially, will enhance their options at college or in employment when they leave school. BTECs in Level 1 provide a clear gateway to courses on offer at colleges; we promote the idea that they will be able to pursue the BTEC pathway into Level 2, 3 and ultimately, a career.
We listen to our pupils. We know our pupils. And we want them to achieve all they can while they're at Hope High School.
To strengthen this approach, we begin our Key Stage 4 teaching in Year 9. This allows our pupils more time to work on their individual projects and portfolios across the BTEC curriculum. It further allows the teachers more time to focus on developing the skills and knowledge required to achieve in the academic subjects we offer; this year, we have added RE GCSE to our curriculum; pupils will become more aware of the world around them and understanding of the many different cultures on our planet, and issues that prevail.
Our curriculum will offer GCSEs, BTEC/ Level 1 and 2 certificates, AQA certificates and ASDAN awards. The subjects are being taught from Y7 through to Y11 and include:
- Sport/ PE
- Food Technology
Aside from the academic curriculum, each class will also follow a programme in Forest School and some will be selected for the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award if they show commitment.
We have also introduced SEAL to our daily programme, where pupils have the opportunity to develop their social development; this allows us th focus on the social and emotional aspects of learning, namely self awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills. All pupils regroup at the end of each day to reflect on their days, as individuals and groups as they go through their points, respect points and dispatches. The children work together to work out their percentages of scores, followed by the opportunity to discuss issues that have arisen through the day with staff. After this, they can spend the time bonding as a group, or in smaller sub groups, or go to enjoy an activity where they can develop their social skills; sport, lego, craft, art, computing.