Curriculum

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Click on the tabs below to find out more information about the key stages and aspects of the curriculum:

Our curriculum aims to encourage a love of learning so that all our pupils can achieve, or even exceed, academic expectations.

Ph_usjf_20Whilst our excellent GCSE and A level results speak for themselves, we do not just take pride in our top students with their garlands of straight A*s; we also strive to ensure all our pupils do better than expected, at whatever level that may be. Our reporting and assessment system ensures all pupils are continuously monitored according to their own abilities. Doing well at school, however, is not just about ticking boxes and accumulating certificates: we put a real emphasis on our students taking genuine pleasure in their learning and relishing scholarship.

We work with parents to achieve the best education for their children in all areas. We are ambitious in challenging our pupils not only to fulfil but also to maximise their potential in their studies and their activities. The education of the mind and body go hand in hand, as the one informs the other. Happy, emotionally fulfilled and active children achieve the best results. We therefore place the highest value on the quality of teaching and learning both in the classroom and in our extra-curricular programme.

Ph_usjf_14Our aim is to provide inspirational teaching that challenges and extends the abilities of all our pupils, recognizing their individual needs and encouraging in them a genuine love of scholarship. Encouraging individual thought and independent learning has enabled us to create a closer focus on each boy to ensure that he is understanding and progressing with his studies.

Communication with parents and Heads of Year is an important part of this process. We welcome feedback and will contact parents if there are any concerns with progress. Early communication is the key to solving many difficulties.

For further details, please consult the Curriculum Policy Ph_usjf_18The core curriculum consists of English, Mathematics, Science and a Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish). These subjects are studied at Key Stages 3 and 4. Boys also study Art, Classical Studies (with Latin), Design & Technology, Drama, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology, Life Skills, Music, Physical Education and Games, and Religious Studies.

Ability setting is introduced in the core subjects to assist in the effective delivery of their teaching to the whole year group. These are carefully considered using the evidence of term and test performances along with those which measure ability that are used as our benchmarks for grading boys each half term.

As they mature, boys discover where their strengths and interests lie and so which directions they want to pursue with their education. We encourage them to study more than one Modern Foreign Language, and to develop their abilities in Creative Arts. At GCSE, they will select three options for study in addition to the core curriculum, making decisions as to whether to study combined or separate sciences and which Modern Foreign Languages.

To find out more about the GCSE curriculum please download the current course guide GCSE Booklet 2017
Ph_usjf_06In the Sixth Form, pupils are encouraged to select four subjects for study at AS level with most going on to complete three at A2. Our Sixth Form Partnership with The Ladies’ College enables the Colleges to offer a wider range of choices, including ‘additional’ A level subjects such as Economics, Film Studies, Photography and Psychology.

Sixth Form studies are designed for those with academic aspirations. There is a minimum entry requirement of five GCSE passes at grades A* to C (including English Language and Mathematics) in order to begin AS Level study. Further to this, it is expected that pupils will achieve at least a grade B in subjects to be studied at AS level, or in related subjects where they are not taught at GCSE.

The majority of boys go on to study at University, many at Russell Group Universities, with some choosing to undertake more vocational training or enter the workplace locally. A comprehensive programme of careers advice and support is delivered throughout Years 10-13.


Elizabeth College has a partnership with The Ladies’ College at Sixth Form level and this allows us to offer a wide variety of AS and A2 courses, many of which are taught in co-educational classes.


Current A-level choices are outlined in the attached booklet, please click here for full details of the 2017 courses.

 

Ph_usjf_04It is important to note that the inclusion of a subject in this booklet does not guarantee that it will appear on the final timetable in the case of insufficient demand. It should also be noted that on occasion some combinations of subjects may prove impossible to timetable. Subject groupings will be decided on the basis of student interest at this stage. Once the subject groupings have been decided, students will be asked to make their final choice of subjects. Please note that this also applies to A2 subjects where insufficient demand is indicated when students are consulted during the course of Year 12.

Homework will encourage your son to put what he has learned into practice. He will develop self-reliance, and self-discipline. Homework has many important functions, which include:

• Helping students to make more rapid progress in learning
• Encouraging independent learning and self discipline
• Allowing students to practise skills learned in the classroom
• Giving students the opportunity to use materials and sources of information that may not be available in the classroom
• Involving other members of the family in the student’s work to their mutual benefit
• Giving opportunities for sustained research
• Giving students experience of working to deadlines
• Aiding the preparation of learning styles essential for success at tertiary education

ph_usjf_th22Homework is set according to a specific timetable for each Year Group and seeks to be relevant, appropriate and interesting. Year 7 are set a combination of traditional style short tasks alongside guided research activities aimed at developing their independent learning. This pattern is extended through Years 8 and 9. In the GCSE and A level years, homework becomes focused on exam preparation, steadily increasing in length and frequency.

Elizabeth College is committed to the provision of support for pupils with additional learning needs. Pupils having such needs are defined as having “a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made.” The provision of Learning Support at the College is intended to allow these pupils to enjoy access to the full richness of our curriculum, in order that they are empowered to achieve or exceed their academic potential.

Ph_usjf_12The College has a number of pupils in every year group who are listed on the Inclusion Register. This is a confidential document, giving details of the nature of difficulties, support provided and strategies to be used, as well as any special arrangements required for assessment purposes, such as extra time to be allocated for examinations, for example. All our teachers refer to this document, and are in regular contact with the Head of Learning Support, in order to ensure that the learning needs of all the pupils in their classrooms are being given appropriate consideration.

The College applies the principles of the National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN), accepting that a child may have a learning difficulty as a result of one, or a combination, of conditions, which may be temporary or long term, mild or severe. Likewise we recognise that all children and young people are of equal value; they have the same basic emotional, social and educational needs regardless of their gender, ethnic origin, ability or disability. However, some children and young people will have additional needs that require extra help and resources. Broadly these pupils’ needs are divided into four categories. Many pupils have needs spanning more than one of these categories.

Ph_usjf_29Boys challenged by literacy-related difficulties, mainly because of dyslexia, form the largest group on the Inclusion Register. Most of these have at least one weekly session of literacy support on a one-to-one basis, following highly structured and individualised programmes of study, with the primary aim of boosting literacy skills to an age-appropriate level within a maximum of two years. The course is computer-based and highly intensive, with as many activities in a single session as time allows, although all pupils will move through the programme at their own individual pace.

Other pupils require support because of communication disorders such as Asperger’s Syndrome, attentional differences like ADHD or physical challenges such as dyspraxia. There also are a few pupils for whom English is an additional language (EAL). They generally cope very well, but may benefit from working with Learning Support teachers if they find themselves challenged by language-related difficulties. Curriculum Support for all these boys is tailored to their needs, and may encompass teaching organisational skills or even social skills. We also offer study skills workshops, aimed at our older pupils who are working towards public examinations. Alongside learning techniques for maximising performance in examinations, pupils are encouraged to try out alternative study methods and memory strategies.

ph_usjf_th10The early identification of any of these additional learning needs is important, and all staff members are trained to look for areas of concern which are then referred to the Learning Support Department. Making provision for support to be given may then require a formal assessment to be arranged by the Head of Learning Support. The wishes of the boys and their parents are fundamental to the support we offer and any provision is kept under review, with regular communication between the Head of Learning Support and parents.

Since the College is deeply committed to the provision and development of learning support, the additional fees charged for such support are subsidised. A small termly basic fee is charged, and any fees for regular sessions are dependent upon the level and nature of support given. Our research indicates that our fees are very competitive, and represent exceptional value for money when compared with a cross-section of UK independent schools.

Further information on College’s objectives with regard to Learning Support, and the role of the Head of Learning Support, is contained in our policy document which is available from the Principal’s PA.

Ph_usjf_16Communication is fundamentally important to us. Regular feedback about academic performance is provided by careful and consistent marking of work, by comments to individuals and groups, in discussions with parents and in formal reports. Mid-term gradings give an indication as to whether boys are working to their potential. They provide immediate information on pupil performance with brief comments if required. Each term ends with a fuller written report along with a further grading.

Annual Parents’ Evenings provide the formal opportunity for parents to meet with subject teachers. However, we urge parents who are concerned about their son’s performance to make immediate contact with the teacher, tutor or Head of Year at College rather than waiting for the next parents’ meeting.

Ph_usjf_19The assessment of pupil achievement should be regarded as one component of the overall programme of educational planning in the College. The system of reporting seeks to ensure that parents and pupils are fully aware of both general and individual progress. It is intended to support educational goals, give positive reinforcement to our pupils and give valuable feedback to the classroom teacher.