Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com
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Learning Support & SEND

General Admissions and Appeals Curriculum Learning Support & SEND International Links Careers Departments Community School Finances The People Examinations Learning Support & SEND Head of Learning Support:  Mrs Katie Etheridge  etheridgek@poolegrammar.com The school caters for students with a variety of special educational needs such as physical impairments (including mobility   difficulties), sensory impairments (speech, vision, and hearing),...

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POOLE GRAMMAR SCHOOL: Providing Growth and Success, through working together and learning for life

Intent our ambition for our pupils; how we achieve the best in everyone

At Poole Grammar School, our intention is to deliver a broad and balanced grammar school curriculum which is dynamic and challenging, even for the most able. Every student should become an autonomous learner with high aspirations.  We want our students to believe in themselves and be actively engaged in their learning, seeing the connection between what they learn today and what they want to become tomorrow.

Underpinning our curriculum are a number of key principles, these are:

  • To build confidence in our students
  • To provide stretch and challenge for all
  • The development of students’ cultural capital by proving a knowledge-rich curriculum
  • The building of skills that will enable our students to continue to be successful on leaving Poole Grammar School
  • To inspire a love of learning and a curiosity in the world in which they live

This will be achieved through delivering a curriculum, broadly in line with the National Curriculum; where the focus on Quality First Teaching ensures academic coherence, whilst at the same time supporting a student’s extracurricular interests.  This will be achieved through a rich programme of activities that will inspire, ignite and fuel the interests of the boys in our community.

Part of the rich curriculum offer is the delivery of several cross-curricular skills that will equip the students for their future.  We value the skills of literacy, numeracy and oracy as the foundations of learning, without these students are less likely to flourish once they leave school.

Literacy

This the art of written communication, “Literacy” is a fundamental life skill that is highly valued and developed in all subjects at this school:

Literate students should be able to:

  • Explain their methods
  • Analyse their results
  • Compare and contrast their points of view
  • Form and express their conclusions

All the above provide avenues and opportunities for the development of high levels of literacy across the curriculum.  Literacy also facilitates the communication and assimilation of knowledge. Not only is “Literacy” a major medium for learning, it is also a key tool for the communication of learning.

As a school, we closely monitor the literacy of our students. We have a Literacy Co-ordinator who works with small groups of students who have been identified as having weaker literacy skills.  They work through a carefully planned programme in order to address their individual needs.

Numeracy

Numeracy involves skills that are not always taught in the classroom. This is the ability to use numbers and solve problems in real life. It means having the confidence and skill to use numbers and mathematical approaches in all aspects of modern society.

Numerate students should be able to:

  • Interpret facts and figures
  • Assess and clarify various sources of information
  • Solve mathematical problems
  • Use appropriate units of measurements
  • Understand that numeracy is more than just ‘Maths’

Numeracy is a skill that permeates life. As a school, we appreciate and encourage the cross-curricular opportunities that this vital life skill provides.

Oracy

Oracy is the ability to express oneself fluently and grammatically in speech. It is the development of the self confidence in the spoken word and the ability to speak with purpose and meaning to the correct audience.

Confident speakers should be able to:

  • Use formal vocabulary
  • Make eye contact with their audience
  • Use key subject specific vocabulary
  • Project their voice loudly and clearly
  • Use full sentences and articulate each word
  • Replace fillers (‘like’ and ‘stuff’) with precise, academic language
  • Listen attentively and respond
  • Present an argument fluently and confidently

This is the most recent focus for the school, following research undertaken by the Deputy Headteacher and forms a separate initiative of the Curriculum strand of the 2019-20 School Development Plan.  A significant contribution to this has been through the raised awareness and increased opportunities for students to take part in Public Speaking Competitions.

Our knowledge-rich curriculum at Poole Grammar:

  • places powerful knowledge at the heart of the curriculum
  • has carefully chosen content
  • is organised in a coherent way, ensuring it builds from year to year
  • is cumulative, constructing firm foundations from which children can build conceptual understanding and skills over time
  • is an entitlement for every child, regardless of background
  • is coherent and ensures that teaching does not jump from topic to topic, but enables children to develop knowledge and a love of learning

 Implementation – how we expose our pupils to powerful knowledge and provide education with character

Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and you will see differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subjects. Standardised written assessments, for example, play less of a role in performance subjects such as music, drama and physical education. The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time, and we are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers of the same subject to plan together and collaborate. 

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice.

Everything from which children learn in school – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the co-curricular provision and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – are to be seen as part of the school curriculum.

We work a 50 period timetable over two weeks. There are 5 periods in a day, 4 periods before Lunch and 1 period after. We have breaks at mid-morning and a break for lunch. Our lunch hour lasts one hour and ten minutes, enabling students to pursue the many extra-curricular interests they may have.

The subject allocation can be seen in the table below:

 

SUBJECT

YEAR 7

YEAR 8

YEAR 9

YEAR 10

YEAR 11

SIXTH FORM

English

7*

5*

5*

7

6

‘A’ Level subjects normally have 9 periods per cycle (Year 12 and 13)

 

Games 2

 

Enrichment 2

Mathematics

5

5

5

6

6

Biology

2**

2

3

 

 

Chemistry

2**

3

2

 

 

Physics

2**

2

3

 

 

Science (Double Award)

 

 

 

9

9

RP

2

3

2

3

4

ICT

2

3

3

   

Tutor Period/PSHE

1

1

1

1

1

PE/Games

4 (2+2)

4 (2+2)

4 (2+2)

4 (1+3)

4 (0+4)

French

4

3

3

4 optional subjects chosen – having each 5 periods per cycle in Years10 and 11.

 

French, German or Spanish must be taken as one option.  The second language may be selected in addition.

German or Spanish

2

3

3

Computer Studies

 

 

 

Design Technology

4

4

4

Geography

3

3

3

History

3

3

3

Music

2

2

2

Art

3

2

2

Drama

2

2

2

Triple Science

 

 

 

* English includes Literacy in Years 7 and 8

** A Science course, containing aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, is delivered by one member of staff to each tutor group in Year 7.

The Key Stage Three Curriculum:

Students in the first three years follow a programme which includes the core and foundation subjects prescribed for Years 7-9 of the National Curriculum. These include English, Maths, Combined Science, ICT, History, Geography, Modern Languages, Art, Music, Design and Technology, Religious Education, Physical Education and PSHE. In Year 7, students will study French or Spanish as their first language. In Year 8, there will be the opportunity to broaden the Languages offer to study German in addition to the first language

Personal, Social, Health, Economic and Education (PSHE) is delivered in a number of ways: through a programme of tutor lessons, assemblies and through a series of special days and occasions. In Year 9, we begin an additional programme of Personal, Social and Health Education which includes Health Education and Careers Education. This programme and our curriculum emphasise an inclusive approach, personalised learning approaches and follow assessment for learning strategies.

The Key Stage Four:

At Key Stage 4, Years 10 and 11 students study ten subjects for GCSE. The basic ten are English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, a Language (French, German or Spanish), Religion and Philosophy and either Double Award or Triple Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and two or three (depending on their science selection) optional subjects chosen from Art, Computer Science, Design & Technology (Electronics, Food, Graphics or Materials) French, Geography, German, History, Spanish, Music, Drama and Religious Education. All students in Key Stage 4 also take courses in Personal and Social Education (which includes Careers and Citizenship) and Physical Education. Some students will have the opportunity to take Level 2 Further Mathematics.

The Key Stage Five:

The School offers breadth of choice at ‘A’ level; most of our students will study three ‘A’ levels. Some students may choose to study four ‘A’ levels. We expect and encourage students to choose subjects, for the right reasons; especially enjoyment, career choice and ability in that subject. The subjects that we offer are Ancient History*, Fine Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Studies, Design Technology* (Electronics, Art and Design, Resistant Materials), Economics, English Language, English Literature, French*, Geography, Geology*, German*, Government and Politics, History, Mathematics, Maths with Further Mathematics, Core Mathematics (AS),  Media Studies*, Music, Physics, Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology*, Spanish* and Theatre Studies*. (*offered in collaboration with Parkstone Grammar School.) We encourage students to consider taking the Extended Project Qualification alongside their three A level choices.  This can be completed in either Year 12 or Year 13. Occasionally, we allow students to choose a fourth A level subject.

In addition, all Sixth Formers will have the opportunity to be involved in a programme aimed at enriching their academic studies. All students participate in a games/sport and an enrichment activity each week. This is a central part of the Sixth Form curriculum, as engaging in sports and enrichment helps students improve on skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership and problem solving. Examples of sports options include: football, rugby, cricket, athletics, badminton, tennis, swimming, windsurfing, sailing, rock climbing.

Enrichment options involve giving something back to either the school community or the local community. For example, school enrichment activities include, students mentoring boys in Year 7 or running a student society; community enrichment activities include helping out local charities or volunteering at organisations like Montacute Special School.

Personal, Social, Health, Economic and Education (PSHE) is delivered in a number of ways: through a programme of tutor lessons, assemblies and through a series of special days and occasions. We offer dedicated support in our curriculum to the students making the next step from Poole Grammar School into the world of work or Higher Education.

 Impact – how we measure and secure continuous improvement for all

We continue to work to develop a range of formative and summative assessment in all subjects.  We recognise that assessments need to vary to meet the differing requirements of subjects and year groups.  Standardised written assessments, for example, play less of a role in performance subjects such as music, drama and physical education.

Our formative assessments are designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject. Teachers use questioning as a form of assessment to identify gaps in learning and misconceptions: it is imperative that these are revisited and retaught.  Regular oral and written feedback inform teaching and supports student progress.

There are summative assessments which allow students to demonstrate their growing understanding of their subjects and teachers to assess the impact of their teaching. Outcomes from summative assessment are used to review the curriculum offer.

Students are prepared extensively for their future in terms of future careers and education pathways, as well as for public examinations.  Every child has an equal right to a challenging and enlightening curriculum. By teaching this curriculum well, and developing effective habits in our students, we bring out the best in everyone. The culmination of our curriculum is that pupils leave our school with the confidence and intelligence to thrive. We know our pupils as individuals which enables us to provide curriculum and careers guidance throughout their time with us. We expect all pupils to leave our school with the grades required to progress to their desired destination, and the character required to flourish once they get there.

By teaching our curriculum well, and delivering education with character, we bring out the best in everyone.