Curriculum Intent

The curriculum at The Hurst Community College will enable all our students to become:

  • successful, independent learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • confident and resilient individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Principles Guiding Curriculum Development:

Curriculum decisions are driven by a moral purpose. We believe that the curriculum should ensure that all students make good progress across all Key Stages and that all students maximise their access to post 16 education and beyond.

The curriculum principles are therefore to:

  • provide a broad and balanced curriculum
  • meet the individual needs, aptitudes and interests of all students
  • promote high levels of achievement, providing accreditation so that all achievements are recognised
  • promote successful progression to the next stage of education, training or employment

In practice, the curriculum at The Hurst Community College at all Key Stages provides access to a range of subject areas, many of which offer both traditional and vocational pathways.  Students are guided onto courses which best suit their needs

Through the enrichment and extra-curricular programme (attached) the College will provide students with highly positive, memorable experiences with rich opportunities for high quality learning. It will provide opportunities for the development of leadership skills and contribute to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Curriculum Implementation

The School Week

We run a one-week timetable based on six periods a day of fifty minutes each, totalling thirty periods each week. (On Wednesdays, periods are slightly shorter to allow for an early finish and staff training.) Many of these are double lessons, for example in PE, Technology and in Option subjects in Years 10 and 11. Learning also takes place during tutor times every morning and afternoon, and in a host of after school clubs and activities. 

Curriculum Content

The Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 curriculum content is outlined in the new national curriculum which can be found on the DFE wesbite: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4. Pupils in Key Stage 4 follow GCSE and BTEC courses offered by different awarding bodies as indicated in the GCSE Examination Boards table below. Students work in a mixture of classes that are set, broadly banded and of mixed ability, dependent on the subject and stage at which it is being studied.

Personal Development Learning

Students in Key Stage 3 all have one lesson a week of Personal Development Learning (PDL). This covers statutory areas of Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Religious Studies. Key themes from these areas are also covered by both key stages on our Learning for Life Days when the ordinary timetable is suspended. In addition, Pupils in Year 7 have one lesson a week of The Edge where they develop broader attributes such as leadership, organisation, initiative, resilience and communication.

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)

Careers advice and guidance is mapped out across all years 8-11. Careers advice ensures that the needs of all individual students are met. Our guidance ensures that students can:

  • achieve in line with expected outcome for their Key Stage by following an appropriate course
  • access the Ebacc subjects when appropriate and progress to facilitating subjects at A Level
  • access a number of vocational options where appropriate, which will develop the skills required for the world of work

A Curriculum for All

We offer a curriculum that allows all to succeed. In Year 7, for example, a very small number of students who have not yet mastered basic literacy skills follow our Alternative Curriculum during some of their lesson time, where they receive an enhanced focus on literacy until they are ready to access the standard curriculum in all areas. Equally, higher attaining students are constantly challenged by, for example, the opportunity to take triple science at GCSE (following a clearly outlined selection policy). More academically inclined pupils are strongly encouraged to take the Ebacc suite of GCSEs (English, maths, science, a foreign language and geography or history) alongside other subjects, including Further Maths.

Subject Details

Key Stage 3

Subject

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Number of 50 minute lessons per week

English

4

4

4

Maths

4

4

4

Science

4

4

4

Geography

2

2

2

History

2

2

2

French or German

3

3

3

Art

1

1

1

Drama

1

1

2

Music

1

2

1

ICT

2

2

2

Technology

2

2

2

PE

2

2

2

PDL (see above)

1

1

1

The Edge (see above)

1

0

0

Total

30

30

30

Key Stage 4

Subject

Year 10

Year 11

Number of 50 minute lessons per week

Core subject: English Language and English Literature GCSEs

5

5

Core subject: Maths GCSE

5

5

Core subject: Science GCSEs

6

6

Core subject: Games (not assessed)

2

2

Ebacc subject:  Geography, History or a Modern Foreign Language GCSE

3

3

Option subject A: (Chosen from Options or Ebacc subjects below)

3

3

Option subject B: (Chosen from Options or Ebacc subjects below)

3

3

Option subject C: (Chosen from Options or Ebacc subjects below)

3

3

Total

30

30

GCSE Examination Boards

Core, Ebacc or Option element

Subject (all GCSEs unless stated)

Examination Board

Core

English Language and English Literature

AQA

Core

Maths and Additional Maths

AQA

Core

Science

AQA

Ebacc subject

Computer Science

Edexcel

Ebacc subject

Geography

AQA

Ebacc subject

History

AQA

Ebacc subject

Modern Foreign Languages – French

AQA

Ebacc subject

Modern Foreign Languages – German

AQA

Ebacc subject

Modern Foreign Languages – Spanish

AQA

Option

Art and Design – Fine Art

Edexcel

Option

Art and Design – Photography

Edexcel

Option

Art and Design – Textiles

Edexcel

Option

Art and Design – Graphics

Edexcel

Option

Business Studies BTEC

Pearson

Option

Design Technology

AQA

Option

Drama

AQA

Option

Engineering BTEC

Pearson

Option

Hospitality and Catering

WJEC

Option

ICT – CiDA Level 2

Pearson

Option

Media/Film Studies

AQA

Option

Music

Edexcel

Option

Religious Studies – Philosophy

AQA

Option

Physical Education

Edexcel

Option

Child Development

OCR

Option

Health and Fitness –VCERT

NCFE

Option

Triple Science (by selection process)

AQA

Curriculum Impact

The curriculum we have is progressive, dynamic, flexible and suits the needs of our learners.  Students have the opportunity within the curriculum to succeed.

Additional support needs of learners are recognised significantly within our curriculum through the Alternative Curriculum (AC), regular ELSA and EFA sessions and alternative packages in and out of school.  Achievements within the curriculum are celebrated through our Pastoral Leaders, Heads of Department and programmed assemblies.

In the latest Parent Surveys (conducted in 2018), 96% of parents believed that their children were making good progress at the school, while the Pupil Survey says that 93% of students feel that they make good progress at school.

In 2017 96% of students went on to sustained education or employment compared to 94% nationally.

In 2016 98% of students went on to sustained education or employment/training destination compared to 94% nationally.

In 2018, the school’s validated P8 score was -0.02.

Monitoring and Evaluation

In principle, courses on offer should:

  • allow students to succeed in reaching national recognised outcomes for their age group
  • promote work readiness
  • entitle students of appropriate ability to access aspirational progression pathways

The curriculum is constantly monitored at both KS3 and KS4 by Heads of Departments and their Senior Links, with reviews of progress at KS3 and results at KS4 taking place annually with the Headteacher.

For more information on how progress is monitored please see the Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy. It may also be useful to look at the Life Without Levels Policy in order to understand the way The College monitors progress at KS3.