Curriculum at Hampstead School
We interpret the curriculum at Hampstead School in the broadest meaning of the word; the total educational experience of students. Our curriculum embodies our school’s values; therefore we have placed decisions about what we teach and why we teach it at the heart of our school community. Our curriculum is rich and ambitious, designed to instil a love of learning in students. Through our curriculum we aim to grow passionate, life-long learners who are well informed and highly skilled. In so doing we aim for all our students to reach the highest possible educational standards armed with the intellectual fortitude, and the emotional and social intelligence essential to create the best future for our society.
We understand that knowledge and skills are built over time. We have designed and sequenced a curriculum that contain the best of what has been thought and written in our society and thought deeply about how all students can be engaged and challenged in this content. Knowledge gives power to students to be creative thinkers and problem solvers; this is why we emphasise remembering and the development of networks of knowledge in our curriculum planning and in our teaching. At Key Stage 3 in Years 7 to 9, each of our subject disciplines is broken into a set of ‘Fertile Questions’. These big questions are designed to encourage deep thought and intrigue around important concepts within subject disciplines creating a solid foundation for later years.
Our curriculum is dynamic and flexible. We understand the importance of responding to the needs of society and our students, as well as the demands of academic qualifications to ensure that each individual reaches their potential. As a school we adhere to our curriculum principles when making curriculum decisions.
Please CLICK HERE to see our curriculum principles.
Structuring the Curriculum
When students are admitted into the school they are grouped into two mixed ability bands, and further into mixed ability tutor groups. They are taught in these tutor groups for many of their lessons, with some being setted depending on the information we receive from primary schools. Students who are identified with a comprehension reading age of below 10 years are withdrawn from mainstream geography, history and English and taught in small literacy classes. There is fluidity of movement back and forth from these groups where necessary.
The Art and Design Faculty teach a rotation of subjects with students following modules in textiles, art, resistant materials and food - each of half a term in duration. PE includes a swimming component and is taught in single sex classes.
Years 8 and 9
The Year 8 and 9 curriculum builds on what students have learned in Year 7. Ability setting increases in a greater range of subjects. The Art and Design rotations continue. PE is taught in single sex classes and in Year 9 all students begin a qualification in either PE or Dance.
Years 10 and 11
Students undertake the GCSE options process in the spring term of Year 9, where they are guided into a pathway appropriate for their needs.
The current Year 10 are now following three pathways: The GARGARIN pathway allows the majority of students to follow traditional GCSE subjects leading to the EBacc. The HILARY pathway allows students to opt for a Humanities subject together with more vocational subjects such as Health & Social Care or Leisure and Tourism. Students following the JOHNSON pathway have an additional five hours of mathematics and English in order for them to maximise their potential in these crucial subjects.
In consultation with parents, a minority of students at Key Stage 4 may be directed to suitable alternative provision off site in order to meet their needs. Although these students follow a separate curriculum with a different provider, they remain part of Hampstead School.
In Year 12, most students follow level 3 courses leading to A level or BTEC. There is also an opportunity for re-sit classes in GCSE Mathematics and English for students who attained below a Grade 4 in these areas to enable them to improve. Some students are offered a level 2 pathway including a range of GCSE and BTEC subjects, together with re-take Mathematics and English.
Students in Year 13 are almost all completing the second year of level 3 qualifications resulting in A levels or BTEC. Those who still have not attained a good pass in GCSE Mathematics and English have the opportunity to continue these courses.