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Curriculum / Setting

Curriculum Intent

Curriculum Intent

Our aim is to provide an excellent education that will enable all students to make exceptional personal progress and prepare them for the broad range of opportunities that exist locally, nationally and in the global economy. Our curriculum is designed to allow students to develop their knowledge and skills base so that they are fully prepared to be robust and engage with the wider world.

Our curriculum is one of opportunity for every student; allowing them to explore, nurture and develop their interests and talents, alongside installing key academic principles and rigour. Personal, academic and social development resonates through our curriculum, empowering students to become independent learners, conscientious workers who are resilient to challenges that they encounter in their studies. We recognise the broad range of skills, talents and abilities that our students possess and we ensure that the school’s curriculum supports and enhances these at every opportunity. Our curriculum is fundamentally structured so there is clear cohesion, sequencing and progression between Years and Key Stages.

Monk’s Walk’s curriculum is designed and constructed by these key principles:

  • A thorough and broad core curriculum delivered by each department accessed by all students. Securing knowledge, understanding and skills that are the foundations of all subject learning and progression, enabling students to question and enquire within each discipline.
  • Literacy, numeracy and communication skills run through the whole curriculum. Students develop and nurture these key skills that underpin their learning across all subject areas.
  • A spiral curriculum, which reinforces prior learning and increases the complexity of the subject matter and skills mastery. Challenges and ambitions are enhanced as the curriculum expands through the Years, presenting new academic, technical and vocational learning experiences.
  • Entitlement and opportunity for all students. All students, no matter what their specific needs are, have the freedom to access to all subjects and extra-curricular events to decide their future learning pathway. Specialisation occurs when it is relevant and suitable for students. Cultural capital is developed within the classroom and enhanced through the variety and breadth of school events, visits and trips. Careers and enterprise education is delivered in every key stage, allowing students to explore, understand and experience the range of future employment opportunities that are available to them.
  • Personal wellbeing and safety education that is age appropriate which is delivered to all Year groups. Providing knowledge, understanding, advice and support for issues that students may experience.

Key Stage 3

Our comprehensive three-year key stage 3 curriculum is adventurous, challenging and aspirational for all of our students. Its content is mapped against the National Curriculum.  At the heart of our curriculum design is ensuring all our learners acquire deep understanding and knowledge within a broad range of subjects, while also developing fundamental skills that they can utilise within and beyond the classroom. We continually work to ensure our curriculum is coherent, relevant and vertically integrated, both within and across subjects, to promote connections and links between the knowledge and experiences encountered. We are deliberate in our aim to offer both breadth and depth of study at KS3 with adequate time allocated to allow for this. To further enhance this, and ensure our curriculum is both rigorous and robust, we have dedicated themes that our curriculum is built around which offer students and staff a clear focus. These are; the 'Year of Adventure' (7), the 'Year of Challenge' (8) and the 'Year of Aspiration' (9).

Key Stage 4

Our key stage 4 curriculum broadens and develops the learning established at key stage 3 and prepares students for key stage 5. The core subjects underpin the KS4 curriculum, English, maths and science are taken by every student, along with at least geography, history, computer science or a MFL. Students have the freedom to choose four option subjects that appeal to them, allowing for specialisms that will be advantageous in their future lives. The range and type of subjects available to study increases, offering choices of academic and vocational qualifications. Information and independent guidance on careers, apprenticeships and future learning pathways support and supplement the academic and vocational studies.

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5 we offer students a broad, relevant and appropriate academic curriculum which allows them to build on their Key Stage 4 achievements and gain qualifications which lead to a successful transition into Higher Education, employment or training.

Curriculum Implementation

The curriculum is delivered by subject specialist teachers from Year 7 through to Year 13. This creates precise subject specific continuity in the knowledge, understanding and skills that need to be taught and learnt in every subject. Leaders ensure that staff are appropriately trained and there is a constant drive towards developing and improving teaching and learning throughout the school.

Rigour, challenge and student progress is central to the school’s curriculum and therefore in every lesson and learning opportunity. Each subject has a clear programme of study and assessments for each term and year group. These are clearly shown through our subject overviews which detail the general content of each topic and the linked assessment. Information on resources that can be used by students outside of the classroom, including additional reading material form an important part of the subject overviews. Prep is used to build upon prior understanding and gain new knowledge for the next stage of learning. Our key stage 3 pathways identify the contents and concepts for each unit of work along with the skills needed to learn that particular topic. These pathways are linked to individual students’ ability and presents the challenge of making progress above expectation. We understand that in Year 7 students will be experiencing some subjects for the first time, we ensure that this transition period is inspiring and engaging for them, hence the school phrase that Year 7 is the ‘Year of Adventure’.

Regular use of assessments and feedback to students allow the checking of understanding and the reinforcement of key knowledge and skills. Teachers use their class context sheets, access to learning maps and subject pathways or subject exam grade descriptors to provide individual feedback to students. Formal internal exams play an important part of this assessment process, we value the specialist teacher feedback students gain by taking these exams. At key stage 3 all students take annual formal internal exams in English, Maths and Science. For key stages 4 and 5 students take formal internal exams in all subject they study.

The use of school activities, house events, clubs, along with trips and visits, support the positive and inclusive learning environment. We actively encourage all students to participate and be part of the wider school community through these opportunities. Leaders monitor, and where necessary proactively intervene, the uptake of extracurricular opportunities by specific groups, for example disadvantaged students.

Curriculum Impact

Through the effective delivery subject content alongside the appropriate use of subject pathways and assessments, students are prepared for their next stage of their education during a school year and from one year to the next. They achieve well due to having access to a well taught broad curriculum that provides them with knowledge, understanding and skills. Achievement in public exams at the end of key stage 4 and key stage 5 is consistently good for all groups of students. This successfully prepares students for the next stages in their education and careers, providing them with the opportunities to make choices that are personal to themselves.

Students develop positive learning habits and skills that will assist them as they progress. As the school curriculum is broad there are always opportunities for students to choose and develop knowledge and skills which are preferable to them. This allows both academic and vocation success.

The delivery and nature of our curriculum allows our students grow in self-confidence. They develop values and communication skills that assist them in their academic studies and career choices. With the combination of these outcomes, our students, at the conclusion of their studies at Monk’s Walk, are comprehensively prepared for the opportunities that are available to them in the wider world.

M Year KS4 options

This section gives information for the M Year Options process for 2022.

Here is the presentation from Mr Haynes about the options process:

1. Please read the Options Booklet carefully before finalising your choices.

Options Booklet

2. Before finalising your options choices, you should speak to your subject teachers and get their feedback on your choices on the following subject reference form:

subject reference form

3. Once this is done and you have attended your guidance interview and talked over your choices with your parents/carers, enter your choices for subjects you will study over the next 2 years by filling in our options form. Please note you should be logged in on your school student email address when you fill the form in.

Options Form (NOW CLOSED)

Please note that the options form is now closed. Please contact Mr Haynes directly if you need to discuss your options choices.

Below are videos from each subject giving you some extra information about the kinds of things you will study in each subject and how the courses are run. Each link will take you to the relevant video in a new browser tab.

art

Computer Science

Creative iMedia

design technology

Drama

Geography

Health and Social Care

History

Languages

Music / Music Practitioner

PE / Sport

Religious education

sociology

travel and tourism

KS3 Curriculum

Subject

Year 7

(hours taught per week)

Year 8

(hours taught per week)

Year 9

(hours taught per week)

English

3

3

4

Maths

3

3

3

Science

3

3

3

Languages 

3

3

2

Geography

1.5

1.5

1.5

History

1.5

1.5

1.5

RE

1

1

1

Art

1

1

1

Design & Technology

2

2

2

Computing

1

1

1

Music

1

1

1

PE

2

2

2

Drama

1

1

1

PSHCE 

1

1

1

In Years 7 and 8 students study French and Spanish, in Year 9 they study French or Spanish.

Teaching Groups and Settings 

  • Teaching in Year 7 is mainly in mixed ability form groups of about 28 pupils.
  • When setting occurs it is by ability within the subject or a pair of related subjects.
  • Setting starts for Maths and English in Year 7.
  • RE and Science in Year 8.
  • Design & Technology is taught in smaller groups of about 17-20 from Year 7.
  • Key Stage 4 groups are generally slightly smaller than in Key Stage 3, but vary considerably
  • Setting is regularly reviewed and students are moved between sets as the need arises

KS3 Assessment

KS4 Curriculum

In Key Stage 4 the curriculum consists of a substantial core studied by all students and optional subjects from which students can choose four subjects to study.

Subject Year 10 (hours taught) Year 11 (hours taught)
English Language and Literature 4 4
Mathematics 3.5 3.5
Science 5.5 4.5
PSCHE 0 1
RE 0 1
PE 2 2

Key Stage 4 GCSE Optional Subjects 

Art Computing D&T Food & Nutrition
D&T Graphics      D&T Product Design     D&T Textiles
Drama French Geography
History Music PE
RE Spanish  

 

 Key Stage 4 Vocational Optional Subjects at MWS

BTEC Health and Social Care CNC iMedia
Music Practitioners BTEC Sport
BTEC Travel and Tourism

 

 Key Stage 4 Vocational Optional Subjects at College

Animal Care Child Care
Hair and Beauty Motor Vehicle
Multi-Trades

KS4 RE Curriculum Coverage

KS4 PSHCE Curriculum Coverage

KS5 Curriculum

Monk’s Walk is part of the Welwyn Hatfield 14-19 Consortium along with four other secondary schools. 

The consortium offers over 30 A Levels, of which over 20 are taught at Monk’s Walk. 

In addition to the academic subjects, the consortium offers a range of vocational qualifications that are equivalent to A levels.

All Monk’s Walk consortium students are members of a form group with dedicated academic and pastoral tutor time. This is accompanied with a full enrichment and PSHCE programme which supports future career and university applications.

Consortium Information

KS5 RE Curriculum Coverage

Setting

It is important that all students have the opportunity to be taught in classes that challenge their abilities. Setting in subjects allows students to be taught according to their abilities and create an environment that stretches their knowledge, understanding and potential. Reviews of subjects’ setting procedures happen each year.


Year 7

Maths and English are the only subjects that have setting in Year 7. All other teaching, apart from Design Technology who have smaller group sizes for workshop purposes, is in mixed ability form groups of about 28 pupils.


Year 8

Maths, English, Languages, RE, MFL and Science have setting in Year 8. These subjects set with four forms together, making four sets. 


Year 9

Maths, English, Languages, RE, MFL and Science have setting in Year 9. These subjects set with four forms together, making four sets. 


Other Subjects at Key Stage 3

Design Technology is taught in smaller mixed ability groups of about 17-20 from Year 7.


Key Stage 4

English, Maths and Science all set separately in Years 10 and Year 11.  For these subjects the year group is divided into 2 groups of four or five sets.  All other subjects are taught in mixed ability classes.


How is setting a student decided?

Setting is based upon a student’s academic performance and ability. This is decided by teacher’s judgement of a student’s current performance and prior attainment data. For example, in Year 7 a student’s KS2 maths result will be taken into account when deciding the set for that student. If a student believes they are in a set that is not appropriate for their level of ability then they can discuss this with their class teacher. Parents can support this process by contacting the teacher or Head of Department.


Movement between sets

Movement between sets can take place when the subject teacher and Head of Department believe it should take place.  This process is not very common as the majority of students are placed in the correct set according to their ability at the start of the school year.  When movement does happen, parents and students are involved in the discussion of a possible change of set before it takes place.

Relationship, Health and Sex Education

We recognise that the school plays an important part, alongside parents, in giving students an understanding of healthy relationships and good sexual health. We have embedded opportunities for learning into the curriculum, as listed in the document below.

Relationship, sex and health Education