Key Stage 3

KS3 Curriculum Overview

We have a two-year Key Stage 3. During Years 7 and 8 all students follow the same courses. All students study: English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, French, German, Art, Music, Dance, Personal Development, Physical Education (PE), IT, Technology and Religious Education (RE). Some classes are set according to ability (Mathematics, English, Science and MFL) with other subjects taught in mixed ability classes.

Our students in Years 7 & 8 will follow the United Learning ‘Mastery Curriculum’ in English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Computing, Music and PE.  A mastery curriculum breaks the key knowledge relating to each subject area into units with clearly specified objectives, which are pursued until each Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is achieved.  Students work through each block of content in a series of sequential steps and must demonstrate a high level of success on tests. Typically, about 80% of our students are expected to have mastered the threshold concepts before progressing to new content. Retention of this knowledge is then assessed in future testing and any gaps which emerge are addressed.

At the end of Year 8, students choose their options and begin to study their GCSE subjects from Year 9. The options process begins in March with assemblies and then a Parents evening to explain the options process.  Subject options are made by Easter. 

KS3 English

In Year 7 and Year 8, pupils are encouraged to develop their reading skills by studying more complex texts, including novels from our literary heritage such as ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ and ‘Oliver Twist’. They practise writing stories and other formats such as letters, reviews, speeches, reports and blogs whilst also improving their spelling, punctuation and grammar. 

Speaking and Listening is also a focus and pupils practise delivering speeches and presentations, as well as participating in group discussion tasks, in order to ensure they are ready for the world of work by the time they leave Central Academy. 

KS3 Mathematics

In year 7 and year 8 pupils in maths follow the mastery curriculum. This curriculum breaks the key knowledge relating to each subject area into units with clearly specified objectives, which are pursued until each Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is achieved (pass mark of 70%). Pupils work through each block of content in a series of sequential steps and must demonstrate a high level of success on tests. 

Paper homework is set once a week but all pupils have access to online revision tools to help them personalise their study. 

KS3 Science

In Year 7 and 8 pupils follow the United Learning curriculum, covering the National Curriculum content. Pupils are assessed using key performance indicators, as well as end of unit tests. Units covered are either Chemistry, Biology or Physics and the pupils will use a range of practical work to assist with the theory covered.

KS3 Humanities

Geography Curriculum Key Stage 3

In years 7 and 8, pupils explore a wide range of physical and human geography topics including plate tectonics, weather and climate, population and urbanisation. Throughout each topic pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of key global issues in specific locations. Pupils practice essential geographical skills such as map reading and data analysis and are assessed on these regularly to track and monitor progress.

History Curriculum Key Stage 3

In years 7 and 8 pupils study the Middle Ages, Tudor Time and the Civil War. Through these topics pupils learn to analyse historical sources to evaluate the causes of historical events. Pupils also investigate the influence of significant individuals during key phases and events. Regular assessments take place, to help track pupil progress and prepare pupils for exams in KS4.

Religious Studies Curriculum Key Stage 3

In KS3 pupils explore a range of different religions to develop their knowledge on differences in culture and to promote tolerance. Pupils are encouraged to share and express their own views and opinions on different celebrations and traditions. Key religions explored include Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. 

KS3 Computing

In year 7 and 8 pupils learn about fundamental basics of computer science including; binary conversions and how computer store data, computer hardware, different programming languages and image manipulation.  As well as this they undertake a curriculum that prepares them for the wider world, looking at e-safety, mainstream programs and higher thinking skills.

KS3 Art

Art Curriculum in KS3

In years 7 and 8, pupils are encouraged to look at a range of artists, art movements and cultures as they develop skills in line, tone, colour, pattern, shape and texture which they use throughout the key stage. Termly observational drawing assessments are integrated into the curriculum using consistent criteria so pupils and staff can see progress.


Dance Curriculum in KS3

In years 7 and 8, pupils are encouraged to take part in practical lessons in a range of dance styles. They will develop their coordination and timing skills and have the opportunity to take part in two dance shows held at The Sands Centre. Assessment is based on their technical, expressive and coordination skills.


Music Curriculum in KS3

Music lessons in years 7 and 8 are practical and based around performing, composing and listening to music. Students learn about a variety of styles and genres of music, including blues, reggae, pop and classical, while developing their keyboard, guitar and singing skills and learning how to compose their own music. 

KS3 Physical Education

In years 7 and 8 PE, pupils are encouraged to develop key skills within a number of different sporting activities and improving their ability to apply these within game situations, successfully employing appropriate tactics and strategies to succeed. Pupils must also advance their ability to evaluate skills, allowing them to identify personal strengths and areas for development. Pupils are assessed in individual sports with their most successful activities forming their working at grade. 

KS3 Personal Development

In years 7 & 8, all pupils complete one lesson of personal development each week covering different aspects of PHSE (Personal, Social & Health Education). Topics covered include healthy active lifestyle, alcohol, puberty and personal hygiene. Although they are no exams within the subject, pupils are assessed twice each term, with extended writing tasks used to assess their progress. Within the final half term of the academic year, pupils will also have the opportunity to achieve a bronze, silver and gold certificate for sports leadership. This is an accredited United Learning qualification. 

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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