The High Arcal School Curriculum

We want our students to become successful learners and are committed to ensuring that the rich curriculum, both inside and outside the classroom is designed to expand students intellectual capacity and develop their cultural horizons.

We have recently reviewed and changed our curriculum to ensure that it is broad, balanced and relevant to the needs of all our students. It offers a range of personalised progression pathways and enables our students to make rapid progress in both core and foundation subjects, whilst giving our students the opportunity to experience a wealth of other enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities. At High Arcal we offer over 30 subjects and are very proud of the range of STEM courses that we have available at KS4. Please see our curriculum offer for more information.

At Key Stage 3 (Year 7 & 8), our curriculum places a strong emphasis on ‘the basics’, ensuring that students make good progress in English, mathematics and science in order for them to be successful at GCSE and beyond. However, students also get the opportunity to learn 2 foreign languages, 3 humanities subjects, 2 technology subjects, 3 expressive arts and have 2 PE lessons a week. The curriculum offers stretch and challenge to all students and additional support is timetabled for those students that may require a boost in their literacy or numeracy or have specific learning difficulties. The Learning Support faculty supports students and offers a range of personalised intervention programmes. Please click here to view the Learning Support Page.

At Key Stage 4 (Year 9,10 & 11) students specialise in their option subjects ready for their GCSE examinations at the end of Year 11. Here students get the opportunity to take a range and variety of subjects based on their individual needs, interests and skills. All students and their parents are invited to a meeting with a senior member of staff to jointly decide the most appropriate personalised pathway and subjects to choose at KS4.

Our curriculum not only develops students knowledge and understanding in a range of subjects, it enables them to develop the skills required to become independent, articulate and confident learners.

School Curriculum

Due to national changes to GCSEs with English and mathematics being the first subjects to be taught under the new specifications from September 2015, the school has increased the time for these subject areas. Other subjects will also have new specifications for the start of delivery in 2016 and 2017. These new specifications and syllabuses have more content and have little or no controlled assessments. This will mean that students will need additional time to cover the breadth of the new GCSE specifications.

The key changes are:

  • Key stage 3 will now be condensed into two years (Yr 7 &Yr 8).
  • Key Stage 4 will be extended into three years (Yr 9, 10 & 11).

The school will continue to deliver the National Curriculum programmes of study in: English, mathematics, science, art, design & technology, ICT, history, geography, Philosophy Ethics & Religious studies (PEARS), Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), music, drama and Physical Education (PE). A condensed KS3 curriculum removes repetition, adds pace and challenge and guarantees a stimulating experience for all students. Students are able to make option choices during Year 8, ready to commence GCSE or equivalent study from the start of Year 9.

The three year approach to KS4 will increase the flexibility and range of options available, personalising the curriculum pathways for students, enabling stretch and challenge for all abilities. The additional time will also ensure that all students can secure the range, number and quality of qualifications and experiences that suit their ability, needs, interests and aspirations. From 2015, the majority of students will gain a minimum of 8 GCSEs with the opportunity of taking up to 11 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications