The whole school curriculum intent
The curriculum intent at Paulet fits within our school statement of values.
Our curriculum aims to provide a broad and balanced education that challenges all students, promoting a positive attitude towards learning and encourage our students to be lifelong learners. We aim to enable students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the subjects studied. We passionately believe that all students can succeed in school with the correct guidance, academic, vocational, and extra-curricular opportunities; students can leave Paulet ready for the next stage of their lives.
Learning at Paulet is about more than academic achievement. We recognise the need to develop character in our learners to enable them to succeed inside, and beyond, the classroom. Character is developed through our academic and pastoral curriculum, as well as the extra-curricular offer we provide. We aim for our learners to be positive, culturally aware citizens who can make positive contributions to our school and wider communities.
We recognised the need for our students to be physically and mentally well and our curriculum aims to educate students on how to lead healthy, active lives as well as providing support and guidance for students when they face challenges in their physical or mental health.
We call this The Paulet Way.
The school day
Students are taught in 5 sixty-minute lessons during the day. Periods 1 and 2 and periods 3 and 4 are taught as double lessons. The double lessons have a 15-minute breaktime. These are staggered at different times of the double lesson for different year groups. This enables students to have increased space in social areas and quicker access to our canteen services.
We currently run a 2-week timetable.
All students have a 30-minute registration session with their form tutor and form group at lunch time. Similarly, to breaktimes, lunch time is split to enable students a better lunch time experience.
8.30 – 10:40 Period 1and 2
10.40 – 12.50 Period 3 and 4
12.50 – 13.20 Years 7 and 9 Lunch / Years 8, 10 and 11 registration period
13.20 – 13.50 Years 8 and 10 and 11 Lunch / Years 7 and 9 registration period
13.50 – 14.50 Period 5
Assemblies take place every week on a 2-week rotation. Week one is Year group assemblies and week 2 is house assemblies. These focus on a breadth of content such as Paulet Character, British Values, PSHE (Personal Social Health Economic education) and other topical issues that arise in the world around us.
At Paulet we believe that learning inside the classroom is only part of a child’s education. We provide a vast range of activities, experiences, and opportunities for our children to grow and develop.
Trips including foreign visits to France, Bay of Naples, Madrid, Iceland, Biannual ski trip (Austria in 2019) and biannual 6th form New York trip allow children and students the chance to explore the world, to meet new cultures and make some memories which will last a lifetime.
Students can learn to play an instrument; there are several peripatetic tuitions available including vocal tuition and students can also work towards graded music exams at Paulet. Students can also having singing tuition or join the choir and take part in our annual Christmas Carol Concert.
Students can take part in a school production, look after our chickens, be in the technology club, play for a sports team, go to homework club, read in the library, play chess, attend gaming or coding club and much much more. The best place to see these events is on our Pinboard which can be accessed from our webpage.
Students in year 10/11 and 12/13 this year can also work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver Awards. We currently have over 100 students to start the program this year. Students can access financial support for this program if they receive free school meals.
Transition to Key Stage 3
Our pastoral teams meet with our partner schools to help understand the needs of our students as they start their life at Paulet. We run a summer school for our Year 6 entrants in the summer term. This enables students to join us in Year 6, already having some familiarity with key members of staff, with the school building, the style of lessons etc. This enables our Year 7 students to start life at Paulet with confidence.
We also undertake assessments with our new year 7 students. We conduct cognitive ability tests called CAT D tests and GL tests in English, maths and science as well as reading tests. This helps us to fully understand the ability profile of our students on entry and to track their progress in Years 7,8 and 9 before students commence Key Stage 4.
The Year 7 and 8 curriculums
Students in year 7 and 8 experience a broad range of subjects which are detailed in the table below. Most subjects are taught in form groups. Students have 6 hours per fortnight in English and a one hour literacy hour which is taught in the library. Part of the literacy hour is focused on reading and we run a program called Accelerated Reader which sets all students appropriate reading for them to make at least good progress
In maths and science students are grouped by ability after the first half term. In performing arts, design technology and P.E. students rotate around different specialisms. In design and technology students will experience around 9 weeks each of textiles, food technology, resistant materials and electronics, in performing arts students do a term each in music, drama and dance and in PE students are able to experience different sports across the year.
Year 9 curriculum
In year 9 students are independently set in maths and science. This enables teachers to best prepare students for the rigours of the new GCSE qualifications they will sit in Year 10 and 11 and set appropriately challenging work.
Students continue to have a broad curriculum in year 9 which prepares them for the wide range of choices when they take their GCSE options. These other subjects are taught in mixed ability groups as this is how they are grouped in KS4.
Students in year 9 make some choices about their curriculum; this is to help them to focus on subjects which they are more likely to choose as an option for their GCSEs. Students make a choice between French and Spanish. This enables students to specialise in the language of their choice before making their GCSE options later in year 9. Many students will choose a language as a GCSE option, a few students will continue to study both languages if they are particularly strong linguists with an interest in a career in linguistics.
Students also choose two creative subjects from music, drama, art, art textiles and design technology. Student voice conducted in 2016 told us that students in year 8 would like to have the chance to specialise more in their creative curriculum in preparation for their GCSEs. As the maximum number of creative choices students can make in their GCSE options is 2, the 2 from 4 curriculum model has been developed and is popular with students and teachers. Students can change these subject choices at Christmas, if they choose to, before they take their options in the spring term.
Students make their GCSE and vocational option choices in the Spring term of Year 9.
Students at Paulet receive comprehensive guidance when making their guided option choices. This includes an options guidance on our website and Key stage 4 curriculum webpages, assemblies given by subject teachers, careers guidance in form time and a parents information evening which includes talks on the options process as well as parents evening.
Assessment and reporting in Key Stage 3.
At Paulet, we monitor the progress of every child in Key stage 3 at regular assessment points. These assessment points follow the curriculum plans in each subject area. The completed assessments (test scores or pieces of work) are compared to benchmarks test scores or benchmark pieces of work. We then progress indicators to summarise a child’s progress in a termly data report. These progress indicators are detailed below.
Exceeding – your child is making above expected progress in context to their starting point in KS3. This means they have made excellent progress and the assessments they have produced are consistently above the benchmarks set.
Expected – your child is making expected progress in context to their starting point in KS3. This means they have made good progress and the assessments they have produced are consistently in line with the benchmarks set.
Below – your child is making less than expected progress in context to their starting point in KS3. This means the assessments completed are on average below the benchmarks set. Your child needs to work hard in school and at home to improve their rate of progress.
Concern – your child is making significantly less than expected progress in context to their starting point in KS3. This means the assessments completed are on average significantly below the benchmark standard set. Your child is falling behind and action needs to be taken to address their progress. Please make contact with the subject teacher using the school email system.
Students of different starting points and abilities are set different benchmarks allowing all students to achieve any of the described progress indicators. The benchmarks a student is compared to depend on their attainment in the end of Key Stage 2 primary tests in English and maths and the testing we do on entry in Year 7.
Students also sit end of year examinations in English and maths. These tests are called GL assessments and are national tests sat by students in many schools. The results from these tests help us to understand students’ progress compared to others nationally and help to validate our own internal assessment data. Students sit these tests at the end of Years 7, 8 and 9. Parents access reports online through www.Go4schools.com. A help guide for logging into Go4schools as a student or parent can be found here.
The Key Stage 4 curriculum
At Paulet all students study the core curriculum of English, maths, science (double award), participation in PE lessons (non-qualification), ethics and philosophy (non-qualification.) PSHE (Personal Social Health Economic) education, citizenship and SRE (Sex and Relationships Education) are taught in registration periods as well as across the curriculum. Please see our Character Education and Personal Development section for further information. As well as this, students make 3 option choices. Please see our Year 9 options guidance page for further information on the guidance they receive.
The table below details the option choices for 2021
Assessment and reporting in Key Stage 4
Students are regularly assessed in each subject they study following the curriculum plan in place. Assessments vary from in class work and home learning tasks to formal tests sat in the exam hall. Student’s work is graded where appropriate following the specifications grading scheme. For GCSEs this is grades 1 – 9 (9 being the highest grade) and for vocational subjects graded pass, merit, distinction, and distinction*at level 1 or 2. A distinction* at level 2 is the highest grade. A level 2 pass is the equivalent to a grade 4 and a level 2 distinction is equivalent to a grade 7 at GCSE level. The assessment data collected is used to identify where each student is currently and then we forecast what they will likely to achieve at the end of year 11.
All students are set target grades in their Key Stage 4 curriculum subjects. These are based on national benchmarks called FFT20 estimates that are moderated and adjusted by our subject leaders to set appropriately challenging targets for each student.
Data reports are provided for parents 3 times per year. The data report includes each students’ target grades and their forecast grades (the grade we expect the student to achieve at the end of the qualification.) These reports are available to view for your child using Go4schools.com as well as a range of other information such as home learning set, behaviour and attendance data.
6th Form Curriculum
All students in year 11 have the opportunity to progress to our 6th form college as well as candidates from other centres. Students are interviewed by senior teachers, have assemblies, and can attend a 6th form open evening to gather information about our 6th form curriculum choices. Students then have to apply to our 6th form, and they are made a conditional offer. The conditional offer stipulates what grades students need to achieve to secure their place.
Students have a wide range of curriculum choices which are detailed below. All A level and vocational subjects have 10 hours’ worth of lessons per fortnight. In 2021, students had the chance to attend taster sessions in these subjects in the summer term.
Students who don’t achieve a grade 4 or equivalent in GCSE English and maths must continue to study them in the 6th form. Students are supported to improve their grades with timetabled lessons and drop-down sessions.
All our 6th form curriculum courses are 2 years in duration. Therefore, students who register in our 6th form are committing to 2 further years of study.
Students receive careers education as well as guidance and support in applying to universities, apprenticeships, or the workplace.
Students are supported pastorally through regular meetings with a learning mentor. The mentor supports students to make the most of their allocated study periods, their attendance and offer wider pastoral support. The mentor will write a reference for the student should they wish to apply to universities in their final year or when students apply for employment opportunities.
Our 6th form centre offers a varied and valuable enrichment programme. All students are also timetabled for 1 hour per week Enrichment hour on a Wednesday afternoon to choose between a range of activities such as: The Duke of Edinburgh Award, the extended project qualification, volunteering, sports etc.
Students can go on alternating biannual residential visits skiing or to New York which is only open to 6th form students. Reward trips such as to Birmingham Christmas shopping also take place, and we can’t forget the annual Year 13 leavers Prom!
Assessment in the 6th from runs in the same way as described in Key Stage 4.