At Thomas Middlecott we teach a broad and varied curriculum that aims to inspire and motivate each and every student to find their strengths and passions within education.
Year 9 is structured to prepare students thoroughly for KS4. Students study topics that will improve their reading, writing, speaking, listening and analytical skills. They also study a play by Shakespeare and are introduced to film studies. In term 5 they will be placed in their KS4 groups and begin to work on material that is directly relevant to their GCSE courses. Groupings will be based on detailed assessment of students’ individual skills and abilities.
Students in KS4 study either two separate GCSEs in English Language and English Literature or a single combined GCSE in English. They complete controlled assessments in; Creative Writing, Extended Literary Texts, Speaking and Listening and a play by Shakespeare. Those taking the double award also take examinations in a modern drama text, a twentieth century novel and complete a controlled assessment about the spoken word.
Following the significant changes to GCSE English in June 2012, it was decided to restructure year 11 to allow some students to drop English Literature and concentrate on English only. This provides additional time for revision and exam preparation. English Literature classes study an English novel and a 20th century poet. All students complete their Speaking and Listening assessments and students who need additional help with controlled assessments or exams will be required to attend revision sessions.
Key Stage 3
In sets 1 and 2 students have embarked on the GCSE Higher Tier course in mathematics.They learn to solve complex problems numerically and algebraically. The work on solving equations expects students to use a variety of methods, including expansion, factorisation and the use of graphs. Students are able to transform shapes and recognise the effect on the perimeters and areas of the shapes. The work on shape includes calculations of surface areas and volumes of prisms. Representation and interpretation of data forms an essential component of the course.
Set 3- Students in Set 3 are following the GCSE Foundation Tier course in mathematics. They learn to solve exam style questions both numerically and algebraically. The work on solving linear equations expects students to use flow charts and simple graphs. Students have calculated sizes of angles in shapes. Students are able to transform shapes through translations and reflections. Questions on Circles include finding perimeters and areas. Representation and interpretation of data forms an essential component of the final assessment.
Set 4- Students in Set 4 are following the GCSE Foundation Tier course in mathematics.They learn to solve exam style questions both numerically and algebraically. The work on solving linear equations expects students to use flow charts and simple graphs. Students have measured and calculated sizes of angles in shapes. Students are able to transform shapes through translations and reflections. Questions on shape includes finding perimeters and areas of squares, rectangles and triangles. Representation and interpretation of data including calculating averages, constructing pie charts and scatter graphs.
Key Stage 4
Set 1- Students in Set 1 take the GCSE Edexcel Mathematics Higher Tier exam. They cover most of the syllabus in year 10 and since the start of this school year students have been revising the key concepts assessed at the higher tier. They have learnt to solve complex problems numerically and algebraically. The work on solving equations expects students to use a variety of methods including expansion, factorisation, completion of squares and the use of graphs. Students have applied the trigonometry formulae to calculate lengths of sides and sizes of angles in shapes. The work on Circles included finding perimeters and areas of sectors, as well as circle geometry. Sampling techniques, representation and interpretation of data are essential components of the higher tier course.
Set 2- Students in Set 2 take the GCSE Edexcel Mathematics Foundation Tier examination. They cover most of the syllabus in year 10 and since September students have revised expansion and factorisation to solve equations. In Shape, students have been shown how to calculate surface areas and volumes of solids. The work on statistics includes work on cumulative frequency curves and estimating the mean.
Set 3- Students in Set 3 take the GCSE Edexcel Mathematics Foundation Tier exam. They cover most of the syllabus in year 10 and since the start of this school year students have been revising the key concepts assessed at the Foundation tier.They learn to solve problems numerically and algebraically. The work on solving equations expects students to use a variety of methods including expansion, factorisation and the use of graphs. Students have applied Pythagoras’ theorem to calculate missing lengths in triangles. The work on Circles includes finding perimeters and areas. Writing suitable questionnaires, representation and interpretation of data are essential components of the foundation tier course.
Students have been preparing for the GCSE foundation exam. They cover topics on data handling, including interpreting and constructing graphs, frequency tables and the averages. Shape, space and measure has been recapped. All basic number work has been revised including rounding, negatives, percentages, decimals and fractions. Students have also had past papers and time to reflect on their own learning needs, ensuring any gaps in their knowledge were addressed.
To see the homework timetable for KS4 students, please download the document in the section on the left.
In Year 7 Science, students cover 12 topics including basic laboratory safety. These topics include reproduction, acid and alkalis, space and the solar system and electrical circuits. Many of these topics allow for both practical work, research and investigation. At the end of each topic, pupils are assessed, allowing us to produce an up to date level. These levels range from 3-7. During the year, pupils may also taken part in a Science/PE theme day, allowing them to gain a different perspective on healthy lifestyles.
During year 8, students study a range of subjects. These include chemical reactions, food and digestion, light and sound.
Science has continued to allow students the opportunity of practical work, group work, investigations, presentations and research. This year homework has been predominantly set throughout the year from homework books. Each topic has questions ranging from level 3 to 7 to allow further opportunity for formal assessing. To meet the new national strategy of ‘assessment for learning’ the department has introduced ‘level assessed tasks’ that are peer and self assessed. This is going to aid future teacher assessment for the end of KS3.
Students will conclude the course content of KS3 at Easter. To help the transition to KS4, we will conduct a series of investigations in the final term. 25% of the GCSE marks come from being able to conduct an investigation and answering formal questions about that investigation. It is very important that your son or daughter enters KS4 after the summer with the correct attitude to learning.
Modern Foreign Languages
All students in years 7 – 9 study French. At the end of year 9, they may then opt to study French for GCSE in years 10 and 11. They will learn about culture in France, and other French speaking countries, and the department runs trips abroad to broaden their capabilities and experiences as beginning linguists. Language days are held to further motivate our students to learn another language.
The Key Stage 3 curriculum is based solely on the topics that students will meet in Key Stage 4. This is to ensure that there is a smooth transition from year 9 to year 10.
Assessments undertaken by our Key Stage 3 cohort are based on those in Key Stage 4. This means that they will be assessed in each of the 4 attainment targets in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing for each of the topics studied. The marks awarded are weighted in the same manner that they are in Key Stage 4:
- Listening – 20% of the overall mark
- Speaking – 30% of the overall mark
- Reading – 20% of the overall mark
- Writing – 30% of the overall mark
Humanities provides the opportunity for students to engage in a broad humanities experience. The course allows students to study the key features and characteristics of issues, themes and, where appropriate, the social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversities of the societies studied and the past and current experience of people in these societies. Students study the attitudes and values that inform human behaviour, influence human experiences and shape a sustainable future. In Year 11 students study the History section. They study Unit 2: Human perspectives on the past/Society in change – the United Kingdom, 1939-1974. This will be assessed by one examination paper of 1 hour duration worth 25%. Students also do Unit 4: Contemporary themes and issues/Rights and responsibilities. This enquiry/controlled assessment is worth 25%.
The GCSE syllabus requires students to explore music through performing, composing, listening and appraising. Currently the year 11 students have been focusing on the completion of the first composition task where they have been required to create their own piece of music. In addition they have been recording their solo and ensemble performances for their GCSE submissions. During the spring term the students will focus on completing the second composition task for their GCSE coursework. During this task student will be expected to compose their own piece of music in a set time limit. All coursework will be completed by the end of the Spring term allowing students to focus on revision for the examination in the Summer term.
Modern British Values
At Thomas Middlecott Academy we are dedicated to promoting values that ensure that our students develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility. We prepare the students for life in Modern Britain because values such as individual liberty, democracy, the law, mutual respect and tolerance are embedded within the curriculum and the Academy ethos. In addition these values are promoted at various times throughout the school year, and regularly in assemblies. Our Academy embodies a democratic model in the way we work, the way we are structured and our general ethos and culture in the Academy. Additionally our rules and regulations are there for the benefit of everyone, and our Academy takes a holistic approach to teaching British Values rather than concentrating on individual subjects.
To find out more about British Values at Thomas Middlecott, please download the document on the left.