Curriculum

At The Astley Cooper School we believe that all students should be treated equally and given access to the opportunities available. 

All children should be free from discrimination and fear in school and have a secure environment in which to learn. 

We ensure that all students have access to opportunities to:

  •  develop lively, imaginative and enquiring minds and the ability to question and argue rationally
  • apply themselves to extended tasks and take responsibility for their own learning
  • develop physical skills and artistic skills
  • acquire understanding, knowledge and skills relevant to adult life and employment in a fast-changing world
  • use language and numbers effectively
  • develop personal moral values, promote respect for other cultures, religions and ways of life
  • develop a concern for the environment and an understanding of the world in which they live and the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations
  • appreciate that human achievements and aspirations take their place in society in an informed, positive and active way

Detailed syllabuses and schemes of work may be examined on application to the school.

The School Day

Morning

8.25                   Staff and students to tutor bases
8.30                   Registration and Assembly
8.50 - 9.50         Period 1
9.50 - 10.50       Period 2
10.50 - 11.00     Private Reading
11.00 - 11.20     BREAK
11.20 - 12.20     Period 3
12.20 - 1.20       Period 4

Afternoon

1.20 - 2.10         LUNCH
2.10 - 2.15         Registration
2.15 - 3.15         Period 5

How the Curriculum is structured

Years 7 and 8

Our classes are relatively small, enabling staff to have detailed knowledge of each student and allowing more tailoring to individual needs, whether to provide extra challenge or give extra support.

We follow the National Curriculum which consists of the core subjects (English, Mathematics and Science) and the foundation subjects Art, Computing, Dance, Design Technology, Food Technology, Geography, History, a Modern Foreign Language, Music, Physical Education, Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). 

For a small number of students, we ease their transition from primary school by replicating their KS2 classroom in our nurture group. This is to ensure all students have the opportunity to develop and recall the skills needed in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. The transition groups are identified using information provided by our feeder schools.

We have developed an exciting programme of study within our PSHE programme which focuses on developing personal, learning and thinking skills.  Our curriculum is designed to cultivate the learning habits of developing expertise, reflection, persistence, exploration, recall, observation and expression.  We seek to promote leadership and teamwork, engender enterprise and creativity and promote independence as well as providing students with the opportunity to work with outside agencies through our broad and balanced curriculum.

Students can also achieve PiXL Edge awards by completing projects linked to our learning habits.

The school week is divided into 25 periods and the timetable runs on a fortnightly cycle.

Subject      Number of hours per fortnight

                                               KS3
English                                     9
Mathematics                            9
Science                                    8
Art                                            2
Computing                               2
Drama                                      1
Geography                               3
History                                     3
Modern Language                   3
Music                                       2
Physical Education & Dance   4
PSHE*                                      1
PRE**                                       1
Technology                              2
__________________________________
Total                                       50

*   Personal, Social and Health Education
 **  Philosophy, Religion and Ethics

Years 9, 10 and 11

As students embark upon courses leading to GCSE, BTEC and other qualifications, we provide an element of choice in their study programmes.  New courses are introduced in Year 9 which enable students to concentrate on areas of the curriculum where they may have a particular interest or strength.  Beginning Key Stage 4 in Year 9 enables students to reinforce the skills previously taught at KS3 as well as prepare for the transition into Key Stage 4.

All students in Key Stage 4 are required to study English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and two sciences within their core programme.

As students progress through Key Stage 4, additional hours are allocated to the core subjects and drop down days are created for PRE and PSHE.

The Key Stage 4 option blocks are created with the abilities and talents of each cohort in mind as well as ensuring that we meet accessibility requirements of the Humanities, MFL and the Arts combination. Students and parents are provided with an options survey to ensure the option blocks are most appropriate to each year’s cohort. This is then followed by interviews with a member of staff to determine appropriate option choices for each individual student.

Students study subjects from four option blocks. Students in Key Stage 4 must study at least one English Baccalaureate subject outside their core studies. 

An exciting variety of option subjects is on offer:

  • Art and Design
  • Computer Science
  • Dance
  • Drama/Production Arts (Design)
  • Ethics
  • Catering & Hospitality
  • Spanish
  • Geography
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Music
  • PE
  • Resistant Materials
  • Single Sciences

Options are chosen with guidance from senior staff.

Enrichment activities, such as clubs, ski trips, Duke of Edinburgh and visits abroad, aim to develop the skills of our students beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

We do insist upon a broad and balanced choice to enable students to gain a suitably diverse experience which will provide a firm basis for their adult lives.

 Mr T Lally, Assistant Headteacher