Date 20th March 2017


Dear Parents/Carer,


Curriculum Consultation Evening 

As you are aware there have been significant national changes to the curriculum over the last two years. For students this will mean that:

  • All exams will be taken at the end of year 11.
  • There will be little or no controlled assessments involved in the new GCSE courses.
  • There will be a greater emphasis on exams even in practical or vocational subjects.
  • There will be no opportunities for students to re-sit all or parts or their course (with the exception of a very small number of vocational subjects).
  • There will be a limited number of subjects with tiered (foundation and higher) papers.

In order to support students in Y11 with the new curriculum demands we are proposing to make some changes which will impact upon the whole school as detailed below:

 Year 11

On Friday afternoon (period 5) students in year 11 will receive a personalised programme in their final year to focus on subjects that they need to make further progress in. This may include a 6 week intense programme in one particular subject followed by another 6 week programme in another curriculum area. These, the new timetable change will come into effect as of September 2017.

The targeted intervention programmes will be in addition to normal curriculum time and students will not be withdrawn from any of their core or other examined subjects. It will also mean that students will not need to stay behind after school to receive additional support. We would also like to emphasise that all intervention programmes will be led by subject specialist staff. The intervention programme in year 11 will be personalised for individuals and will focus on areas that each student needs to enable them to achieve 8 or more GCSE’s at the new expected standard.

This level of support is unprecedented, but as a school we feel that students are going to need high quality, personalised support to respond to the demands of the KS4 curriculum.  

Years 7-9

To ensure that students will benefit from the additional support in this crucial year, the school would need to close every Friday at 1.15pm instead of 3.00pm for Year 7-9 students only. This is necessary to allow specialist staff across all departments to focus on individualised programmes with Year 11 students.  Students in Years 7-9 will still be able to have their lunch in the school canteen. 

Music and Drama lessons will be taught on a half termly rotation basis to facilitate the Friday closure ensuring that the students still have access to a very ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum in Year 7-9 with a strong focus on core subjects and core skills.

Year 10

In year 10 students will not be affected by this change and will continue to follow the same options pathway that they are currently studying in year 9. However, students in year 10 will also benefit from having additional time in Maths and English.  

We believe that the proposed curriculum model will benefit all students and raise the attainment and progress of all students by the time they leave High Arcal in Year 11.

We appreciate that there may be childcare issues for the parents of some students in Yr7-9 on Friday afternoons but be reassured that the school will offer supervision if required.

The timings of the proposed curriculum model and timetable would be as follows:


Monday          – 8.40am – 3.00pm

Tuesday         – 8.40am – 3.00pm

Wednesday   – 8.40am – 3.00pm

Thursday       – 8.40am – 3.00pm

Friday            – 8.40am – 2.00pm (except for Yr 10 & 11 – 3.00pm)

The school highly values your thoughts and opinions and as such would like to invite parents/carers to a curriculum Consultation Evening on Thursday 6th April 2017 in the school hall at 7.00pm.

If you would like to attend please can you complete the slip below and return it to your child’s form tutor or send it FAO: Mr Dhami, The High Arcal School,  High Arcal Drive, Dudley, DY3 1BP.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr. S. Dhami

Deputy Head