Curriculum

sandbach high school

Our Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

We have the sincere intention that all of our students develop into model citizens with the knowledge and skills to thrive. We want them to have the confidence to make a difference to society. We are ambitious for all of our students and therefore intend to equip them with the knowledge, skills and personal attributes to progress into useful and fulfilled citizens.
We believe that our curriculum shapes our students’ futures. We want our students to develop a love for learning. They therefore deepen their academic knowledge through a formal curriculum which focusses on enquiry and investigation. The students and staff at Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College understand the power of specialised knowledge and gain expertise in subjects. They learn independently, express themselves clearly and set themselves high expectations. Our intention is that the accumulation of prior knowledge is used by our students to make well-informed judgements. Integral to our curriculum is the expectation that all of our students will challenge themselves to set the highest goals in learning, behaviour and relationships.
In our school we are proud to have strong academic principles with rich opportunities for all our students. Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum. Creativity is important to us as a community and helps our students to develop personally and academically. Lessons are brought to life through practical application of demanding knowledge to make learning exciting. We are a school of performers! The Arts and STEM subjects have an enhanced place in the Key Stage 3 curriculum.

Nurturing Ambition

Our students learn to respect difference-it is one of our core values. We enrich the lives of our students by encouraging them to look outwards. Enrichment is at the heart of how our students learn. It is at the heart of what we do here! Educational visits are important and students experience a wide range of culture, history and the arts at a local, national and international level. Our core value of creating opportunity is demonstrated by our strong, sustained links with international partners. We believe looking outwards is vital in developing our students as model citizens in modern British society recognising the needs of our community. Students learn the importance of respecting others.

We nurture ambition. This is a characteristic across the whole of our the formal and wider curriculum. The core skills of PSHCE, literacy, oracy and numeracy permeate all aspects of school life. This emphasis on academic literacy means our students have the social capital to be included in society and included in debate. Our students have a voice. Our three year Key Stage 3 curriculum means students understand the disciplinary dimensions of a broad range of subjects and have the substantive knowledge required to make horizontal links are made across subjects. A signature of our curriculum is that learning a Modern Foreign Language is part of our core curriculum up to the end of Key Stage 4. This builds powerful knowledge and skills relevant in later life and therefore achieving our value of shaping futures. Our students access high quality guidance to determine their future plans. Students access a wide range of subjects at Key Stage 5 in our College, building on the knowledge and skills acquired previously, in order to access opportunities appropriate to their aspirations.

We create opportunity for personal growth for all our students. We believe in the education of the whole child. In addition to strong academic success and the acquisition of powerful knowledge and expertise, our curriculum gives voice to young people. This develops their ambitions and equips them with the qualities that will enable them to pursue their goals. We believe this is a key strength of our school. Student voice at all stages allows students to participate in shaping the school community. However, our ambitions are high and so students participate in a wide range of local and national initiatives which develops them as active citizens, setting good role models as contributors to the community to their peers and developing autonomy. Students learn the importance of supporting and taking care of each other.

Proud Reputation

We are proud of our reputation around STEM. All STEM subjects play a prominent role in our curriculum. In KS3, students study a wide range of Technology subjects in yrs 7 and 8 and select several specialisms for yr 9. At KS4 all students choose either a Combined Science GCSE or discrete GCSEs in all three of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. These subjects all run in KS5. 

Students have a diverse provision in Modern Foreign Languages. Nearly all students enter a GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language. Half of the year group study Spanish, half French and German is studied as an option at Key Stage 4 with all these languages studied to A level. This is a unique provision in local schools. Following detailed consideration it is fully supported at Trustee level as an important element bringing depth, breadth and cultural capital to the curriculum. These languages are supported by extra-curricular activities including exchanges with partner schools abroad.

Curriculum Delivery

We are proud of our teachers as they are subject specialists and demonstrate to our students their passion for their subjects. Therefore, we know the importance of ensuring that the quality of teaching and learning is placed at the heart of the school’s professional development. Our teachers give careful consideration to planning and sequencing knowledge-rich programmes of study across all key stages. We are proud that there is a foundation of metacognition and retrieval in its delivery.
Our environment is inclusive which ensures equality of opportunity for all. Our taught curriculum offers a broad range of experiences. This curriculum is offered to all students and all students at Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College are encouraged to follow courses which reflect their interests and aptitudes. After common provision at KS3 very nearly all students have three free option choices at KS4 in order to ensure that no student’s pathway is predetermined by expectations based on background. A very small number of students receive extra support for literacy, numeracy and employability skills in KS4.
In our KS3 we are proud to place emphasis upon creative and expressive subjects with students learning Art, Drama, Music and Dance through specialist teaching. We offer a wide range of GCSE and vocational subjects with clear progression routes into KS5. In addition an extensive range of extra-curricular provision flourishes, including events in school, trips and residential visits locally, nationally and abroad. The implementation of our Curriculum creates opportunity for all of our students.

 

Our students have considerable opportunities to enhance further their development in SMSC and British Values. Positive personal traits are supported and developed through a rich provision including weekly PSHCE/Life Choices lessons, tutor time, assemblies and Alternative Curriculum Week with support from specialist agencies. Students from all years participate in regular, scheduled Student Voice meetings giving feedback on the curriculum. Our Post 16 students play a leadership role within College through their running of the Student Union. Students play a key role in the school’s wellbeing programme through the Student safeguarding team.
In our College, courses are offered to reflect the diverse intentions and requirements of our students. Over forty different courses are studied. Where possible Curriculum Areas offer a choice to suit learners’ different career aspirations and prior attainment. Both College and Key Stage 4 pupils work with the school’s own Careers Advisor in order to prepare them for the next stage in their learning or career.

Curriculum Impact

As a consequence of their education at Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College, students achieve high levels of literacy, numeracy and oracy giving them the best possible life chances. Our students leave with the essential knowledge, skills and attributes to be educated citizens and outstanding members of society.
Students at 16 plus and 18 plus progress to a wide variety of destinations. These include academic courses at university, higher level apprenticeships and employment.
Progress across all areas of our curriculum is very positive. It is above average in all three areas at Progress8 and in line with national rates at KS5. Retention rates are above average in KS4 and in KS5.
The way students embody the values at the heart of the curriculum provision is recognised by a number of awards and in the outstanding designation in the Ofsted Section 8 inspection in November 2017.