Curriculum

Curriculum

Pupils at Caterham School are taught with commitment and enthusiasm.

The professional expertise demonstrated by the staff combined with our personalised tutorial system ensures a high academic standard.

We recognise the need to address the career aspirations of pupils and so we have an excellent record of academic achievement and entry into higher education. We aim to achieve an all-round education whilst providing the opportunity for personal development and life skills.

Overview

Caterham School is committed to providing a rigorous academic and intellectual education which will challenge and engage pupils, offer continuity and progression of learning to foster a life-long love of learning for its own sake and provide them with a secure foundation on which to continue into Higher Education and into the careers of their choice. 

The curriculum is intended to give pupils experience in linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical, and aesthetic and creative aspects. 

In the Senior School, in Key Stages Three and Four, the core curriculum of subjects provides the opportunity for pupils to acquire skills in speaking and listening, literacy and numeracy. These are further developed in their other subjects. Pupils have 40 periods per week (35 or 40 minute periods) below the Sixth Form.

All pupils study a core curriculum of Mathematics, English, Science, a Humanity and a Modern Language until the end of Key Stage 4, and there is also the opportunity for them to build around that a combination of other optional subjects. Quite deliberately, the school chooses each year to construct timetables around pupils’ choices and not the other way around; thus there are no predetermined ‘Option Blocks’ for GCSE and A Level. The School aims to run any course for which there is sufficient demand. 

All curriculum subject matter is appropriate for the age and aptitudes of the pupils in each school year, including any pupils with a statement of special needs/ disability whose needs are reviewed annually. Our curriculum provision enables all pupils to have the opportunity to learn and make progress including those with educational special needs. Every opportunity, for all pupils, is provided to enable pupils to develop their speaking, listening, literacy and numeracy skills, as set out in the schemes of work for each curriculum area. 

The curriculum provides for the teaching of PSHEE which is taught to class groups as a timetabled discrete subject, working concurrently with the PSHEE policy and schemes of work where further details can be found. The PSHEE curriculum reflects the schools’ aims and ethos. The documents work and should be read in conjunction with one another, along with Teaching and Learning, Special Educational Needs/Disabilities and the provision for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education. 

 

First and Second Years
In First and Second Years (years 7 & 8), all pupils receive a broad introductory curriculum which gives them experience in all of the aspects outlined above. In addition to Mathematics, English, Science, two Modern Languages and Latin, they study History, Geography, Philosophy and Theology, Art, Music, 3D Design and Computer Science. They also have lessons in PE and Games, and have PSHEE, citizenship, study skills and introduction to iPads. 

Third Year
From the Third Year (Year 9) an element of choice is introduced to enable pupils to explore those subjects more fully for which they have a natural enthusiasm and/or aptitude. In the Third Year, all pupils study the core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Philosophy and Theology, at least one Modern Language, PE and Games. Science is taught separately as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. This curriculum is supplemented by a choice of three further subjects from Latin, Greek, Modern Languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian), Art, 3D Design, Computer Science, Music and Drama. An options booklet is provided to help pupils and their parents to make informed choices. 

Fourth and Fifth Years
In the Fourth and Fifth Years (Years 10 and 11), the core curriculum is English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, a Humanity (Geography, History, Philosophy and Theology) and a Modern Language (French, German, Spanish, Italian) as well as PE, Games and PSHEE. Pupils study Science as three separate subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) in the Fourth Year and then for the Fifth Year, a choice is made as to whether they opt for the Dual Award or continue all three sciences to GCSE. The core curriculum provides continuity and progression of learning, and to this core is added two further subjects selected by the pupils. These are chosen from Latin, Greek, Modern Languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian), Humanities (Geography, History, Philosophy and Theology). Business Studies, Computer Science, Art, 3D Design, Music, Drama and GCSE PE. An options booklet is provided to help pupils and their parents to make informed choices. GCSE examinations are taken in all academic subjects except Maths, English Language and Sciences, which take IGCSEs. 

The Sixth Form
At Sixth Form, we retain an open policy regarding pupils’ choice of A Level subjects. Pupils have a free choice of any four or in some cases five A Levels, and the school aims to run any course for which there is sufficient demand. All of the subjects offered at GCSE are available at A Level, as well as Further Mathematics, Economics, Business, Psychology and Politics. Advice is given to all pupils regarding their A Level choices and this advice includes an interview with each Fifth Year pupil by the Year Head or senior member of staff. An options booklet is provided to help students and their parents to make informed choices, and a Sixth Form Open Evening allows them to experience the flavour of different A Level lessons before committing themselves to specific subjects. 

All pupils initially study at least four AS Level subjects. The Sixth Form curriculum of examination subjects is supplemented by an innovative non-examined ‘Forum’ programme, including expert led lectures and seminars on topics such as drug abuse, sexual health, and safe driving.  Enrichment lessons are also offered in such areas as the Art of Public Speaking, Leadership (Practical and Theory), Coaching, App making and Community Partnerships. This programme is designed to prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and opportunities of adult life. 

English as an Additional Language
Students whose first language is not English are assessed prior to entry into Caterham School and again upon arrival during their induction programme to assess their English language capabilities and needs. Extra support is provided through timetabled EAL (English as an Additional Language) lessons. These lessons aim to develop the students English language skills and communicative ability and to build the students confidence to succeed in an English speaking environment.

In the Fourth Year, pupils have the opportunity to follow either the GCSE English programme or prepare to take the FCE exam (First Certificate in English). 

In the Sixth Form, students attend an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) preparation course of two periods a week. They remain on this course until they secure a score high enough IELTS score to enter their preferred university.

Learning Difficulties and Disabilities, Special Educational Needs and Gifted and Talented
At Caterham School we strive to screen new pupils for learning difficulties and disabilities during the first half term after their entry to the School, as well as acting upon any information passed on by the pupil’s previous school. The screening tests highlight those pupils who are gifted and those who have specific learning difficulties. 

Pupils who have been assessed as having a learning difficulty and/or disability or those with specific Special Educational Needs have their needs considered individually by qualified specialist staff. Gifted children are provided with opportunities to extend their knowledge in extension work in the classroom or small group activities. There are also a plethora of clubs and societies that stretch and challenge, together with enrichment classes for Sixth Form pupils. The provision for a pupil with a learning difficulty depends on a pupil’s need having been formally diagnosed; and may include such help as group support within the classroom. Teaching staff are well informed, have up-to-date knowledge of effective learning and teaching strategies and are skilled at teaching pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those with particular special educational needs. 

Careers

Careers guidance is provided by a well-resourced Careers Library which is available to all pupils and by the Careers Department which provides support and advice as well as organising additional visits by outside agencies, speakers and advisers. The Careers Department supports the organisation of work experience for Fifth Year pupils. For University application, there is a rigorous process which is organised by the Head of Sixth Form.

Private Study
Sixth Form pupils have provision for Private Study which includes use of the Pye Sixth Form Centre, the Maggs Library and the numerous computer facilities located in departmental bases. In some cases, the Sixth Form Team may insist that a pupil attends Supervised Private Study. 

Games
The Games programme involves the use of facilities at the Old Caterhamians Sports Ground and on the main school site. The multi-gym, Sports Hall, Astroturf, and various indoor facilities are used for a range of sporting activities during Senior Games afternoons.

In the Senior School, each pupil, regardless of age, participates in a full Games programme on one afternoon of the week.

Academic Ethos
In the Senior School, considerable emphasis is placed upon examination success (most pupils will obtain between 9 and 11 GCSEs and 3 or 4 A Levels) though it is important that as much attention is given to those who find academic work challenging as to the high-fliers. Colleagues are expected to monitor academic performance closely and take remedial action promptly in the case of those pupils who are struggling. All pupils are expected to give of their best and to be encouraged to develop their natural talents to the full. Modest results for pupils who may find academic work challenging are as worthy of recognition as are outstanding results for another who may be naturally gifted.