Learning in Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 is the phase of the British National Curriculum that our Years 7, 8 and 9 students follow. We take the best of this robust academic system and blend it with our own focus on STEAM, Performing Arts and Sport to provide our young Secondary School learners with a variety of rich learning experiences. At Key Stage 3, pupils move away slightly from the Primary School model of spending much of their time taught as one class together. We teach Maths, English and Mandarin in groups - where students will be in a class with other pupils who have a similar level of ability. The rest of our curriculum at Key Stage 3 is taught within form groups. We find that this kind of grouping works well for most students as it challenges them to an appropriate degree. Regular assessment of pupil progress through projects, presentations, tests and enquiry helps us to check that children have the correct level of support and challenge, there is often movement between groups as a consequence.
Students get to grips with a wide range of subjects during their Key Stage 3 years, all taught by specialist teachers who are real enthusiasts for their own subject. Our focus continues to be on active learning and building our children’s curiosity. Performance and presentation will be essential for our pupils as they progress in both their educational journey and beyond. Our Juilliard inspired curricula in Drama, Music, Music Technology and Dance allow our pupils to develop these skills; for example, our Year 7 students choose an instrument of their own to learn over one year and take opportunities to perform with their peers. We also focus on STEAM subjects and the design thinking process, presenting our children with challenges that allow them to be creative and collaborative, to test and evaluate their applications and of course, to improve them. All essential skills for life. Our focus on Sport ensures a wide variety of regular and different activities, developing team-working and communication skills and inspired by our committed team of teachers – including Marlon Devonish, Olympic Gold athlete who inspires us all to be the best we can be! The health and wellbeing of our children is key to their futures and we believe strongly in the holistic approach to the learning described above. As our pupils progress through Years 7, 8 and 9, they begin to form an idea of their own strengths and interests, helping them to make choices about the subjects that they’d like to study in Years 10 and 11.
As an international school, we realise that languages are important, and our programme is designed so that students will have time to study two, which they are able to choose themselves. The choices we offer are Mandarin, French, German and Spanish. If students aren’t native or fluent English speakers, then we support them through our comprehensive EAL (English as an Additional Language) programme as one of their language options. We follow the Cambridge Assessment English framework which provides our EAL learners with an internationally recognised certificate showing their level attained in English. Students regularly move from EAL to mainstream classes after demonstrating appropriate progress through the results of their Cambridge examinations.
All the subjects students will study are described in our curriculum guide, but, as always, ask us if you’d like to know more about any of them. We know that our children move from a wide variety of different international education systems and we will be happy to help you to find the right pathway in Years 7, 8 and 9 for your own child. You will always meet our school leaders during a visit to the campus and this is a great time to talk through all of the options and find the one that best suits.