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Key Stage 4

BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR SUCCESS

Balancing the curricular against the co-curricular at Key Stage 4 is a complex task, and whilst it is important that we don’t limit pupils’ options for the future, we also believe that education is about respecting the dignity of the human being, fostering a life-long passion for learning and building critical thinking skills. It is all too often the case that the sense of fun, curiosity and pleasure that should characterize learning disappear when pupils are forced to race through too many courses that, despite teachers’ best efforts, can feature more and more exam-driven teaching. There is, therefore, no ‘standard’ number of GCSEs that girls at More House must sit. Whilst the majority study 9 subjects (6 ‘core’ + 3 ‘options) some will sit as many as 12, others as few as 6.

Where appropriate, some will study fewer than three ‘Options’ and will substitute one of these for English and/or Maths support.

Mathematics, MFL and Science continue to be taught in sets, with the English Department typically teaching two larger mixed-ability sets with a smaller, accelerated group to extend the more able. All other subjects continue to be taught in mixed-ability classes.

THE KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM 

In addition to the ‘Core’ subjects – English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science* and Religious Studies – girls choose up to 3 optional subjects from the following:

  • Art
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Drama
  • French**
  • Geography
  • German**
  • History
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Spanish**

* At the end of Year 10, girls will either continue to study the Combined Science (double) award, or study for three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

** Girls are strongly recommended to study a language.

THE ENHANCED CURRICULUM

THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD

At More House, all pupils at Key Stage 4 take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Bronze level. This is run in conjunction with the expedition provider TrekCo (based in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex). The award offers girls the chance to learn new skills, including group work and community service, and is a fantastic way of building self-confidence. Participants are required to complete a personal programme of activities including community service, sports, skills, and the completion of an assessed expedition.

DROP EVERYTHING AND READ 

Every Wednesday morning, students in Years 10 & 11 take part in ‘Drop Everything and Read’ – a national programme which has had widespread success in creating a reading culture in schools and in enabling all pupils to see themselves as readers, that is, as individuals who independently choose to read and feel confident in identifying themselves as someone who reads. In the first half of the year, girls are read to by their form tutors and take part in a short discussion of the book they are reading. From the Spring term onwards, each form votes for their book of preference, which is read each week during the Spring and Summer terms.

CAREERS

The school offers an extensive careers programme at Key Stage 4 which offers guidelines and information as well as personalized advice and support. We are aware that the changing nature of work requires special skills on the part of our students. As adults, they will need to be able to adapt to emerging patterns of employment, operate in a climate of competition and be willing to develop new knowledge, skills and competencies throughout their working lives. Through a structured and progressive programme of learning, we expect students to develop an understanding of the demands and challenges of the workplace; the rewards and satisfaction work can bring; the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees; knowledge of the requirements of employers and educational institutions, and sources of information and guidance. This provision is offered through the PSHE curriculum, form time sessions and assemblies, clubs and extracurricular activities and also through careers clinics with the Careers Coordinator on a one to one basis.

PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education, including RSE – Relationships and Sex Education)

PSHE sessions facilitate opportunities for pupils to learn and discuss age-appropriate content through morning form sessions, themed weeks, the assembly programme and visits from specialist speakers. At the heart of the success of our PSHE programme is the trust that characterizes relationships between girls and their form tutors.PSHE sessions facilitate opportunities for pupils to learn and discuss age-appropriate content through morning form sessions, themed weeks, the assembly programme and visits from specialist speakers. At the heart of the success of our PSHE programme is the trust that characterizes relationships between girls and their form tutors.

Topics covered at Key Stage 4 deepen knowledge and understanding developed in KS3 and are based on three core themes: Health and Wellbeing; Relationships; and Living in the Wider World. PSHE addresses both current experiences and preparation for the future. Pupils learn to manage diverse relationships, their online lives and increasing influence of peers and the media. There is a focus on physical and mental health, including self-care techniques, as well as opportunities to discuss economic wellbeing, future plans and career aspirations. The PSHE programme endeavours to build resilience, help pupils assess risk and develop decision making skills.

A full programme of study is available upon request.