CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

Formby High School offers a diverse and inspiring curriculum for students across all year groups. We aim to prepare our students for exciting and productive futures in an expanding global society by providing a curriculum which balances academic rigour with creative and enterprising opportunities. Classroom learning is further enhanced by cross-curricular enrichment activities, educational visits and work with visiting practitioners. Students are encouraged to develop independent learning and thinking skills, and follow curriculum pathways that suit their ability, interests and ambition, and ensure they are ready for life beyond school.  The overall intent of the Formby High School curriculum is captured in the infographic below.

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The three documents below will allow you to discover more about Formby High School’s curriculum and how it supports the needs and captures the interests of all students.

Curriculum Statement – this outlines the school’s curriculum intent, providing an overview of the purpose of our curriculum, the most important features of the curriculum and how it is delivered in practice.

Curriculum Policy – this provides more detailed information about students’ experience of the curriculum at each Key Stage, including the subjects students study, the Key Stage 3 ‘Discovery Year’, options choices and our Reaching High curriculum provision for some of our students with more complex SEND.

Curriculum Model – this provides a colourful graphic representation of the organisation of the curriculum in each year, demonstrating how the 49 periods per fortnight are allocated to each subject area.

Please click on any of the images below to access the full documents:

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The FHS Curriculum Journey

During their five or seven years at Formby High School, all students will embark on an exciting and engaging curriculum journey from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 and, for those students who remain with us for their Sixth Form study, through to Key Stage 5.  At different points on this journey, students have the opportunity to make choices about some of the subjects they study, enabling them to experiment, providing depth and breadth of learning, and pursue subjects of particular interest.

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KEY STAGE 3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is taught to students in Years 7, 8 and 9 and they cover the breadth of the National Curriculum in all subjects, following a broad curriculum that prioritises developing the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them for the challenges of GCSEs.

Key Stage 3 has been made more efficient with opportunities for all students to progress, and a major focus on programmes of study that are new and challenging.  This provides an opportunity to build on the work covered in primary school, whilst enhancing and refining essential skills and knowledge. Teaching establishes a word-rich culture, promoting vocabulary development, high levels of literacy and an interest in reading. Students are also encouraged to explore the big picture around the topics they study, making connections within and between subjects and to the wider world, demonstrate a real spirit for enquiry and ‘cultural capital’.

During Key Stage 3, students study the National Curriculum subjects set out in the table below.

Art English Music
Computing Geography Physical Education
Cooking and Nutrition History Religious and Values Education
Design Thinking Mathematics RESPECT
Drama Modern Languages Science

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Students follow a two week timetable comprising 49 lessons which is organised as per the diagrams below in Years 7 and 8:

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A small number of students with complex special educational needs follow the more accessible Reaching High curriculum which focuses on embedding their knowledge, skills and understanding of important concepts in English and Mathematics, providing them with essential foundations to access other subjects across the curriculum.

When students reach Year 9 they embark on their Key Stage 3 ‘Discovery Year’.  In addition to the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Spanish, RAVE, PE and RESPECT, students in Year 9 also have the opportunity to study from a broad range of other subjects prior to taking their GCSE options and commencing Key Stage 4 in Year 10.  In many subjects this means continuing to be taught Key Stage 3 National Curriculum content but approaching it in a way that develops the depth of understanding required for GCSE study.  The ‘Discovery Year’ provides more time for subject areas to experiment and explore even more ambitious content and give students exposure to new subjects before making GCSE choices. It also allows more opportunities for personalisation and for students to pursue specific interests. Our ‘Discovery Year’ options courses include:

  • Arts Award
  • Business Studies
  • Creative iMedia
  • Dance
  • Design Thinking (Engineering)
  • Design Thinking (Hospitality and Catering)
  • Environmental Science
  • Higher Project Qualification
  • Latin
  • Music Technology
  • Sports Leadership

All students have to select at least one of the Creative Arts subjects (Art, Drama, Dance, Music or Music Technology) amongst their four choices.  In addition, they all choose between Creative iMedia and Computer Science, enabling them to specialise in terms of the computer skills they develop in Year 9.  For the subjects that students choose not to continue to Year 9, they do not miss out as the curriculum in Years 7 and 8 has been carefully constructed and sufficient teaching time allocated to ensure the National Curriculum is taught in full.

Click here to find out more about the ‘Discovery Year’ Options process and access the supporting documents.

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KEY STAGE 4

At Key Stage Four (Years 10 and 11), all students follow a core curriculum of English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science (including the option to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate GCSE subjects), Religious Studies, RESPECT and Careers. They choose to follow one of our specialist pathways, incorporating GCSEs and vocational qualifications. In addition to the core curriculum, students make GCSE options choices during Year 9 and are currently able to select from the range of courses outlined below. All GCSE examinations are taken at the end of Year 11 with the exception of Religious Studies which is completed in Year 10, providing students with a vital experience in one subject prior to taking the bulk of their GCSE examinations the following year.

GCSE Courses Vocational Courses
Astronomy (extra-curricular) French Creative iMedia
Business Geography Engineering
Computer Science History Hospitality and Catering
Dance Music
Drama Physical Education
Fine Art Spanish

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The Key Stage 4 curriculum is organised into pathways, with students being advised as to the most suitable pathway for them to follow.  Again, students follow a two week timetable comprising 49 periods with time being distributed between subjects as per the second diagram below.

Click here to find out more about the Options process and to access the Year 9 Options Guide.

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KEY STAGE 5

At Key Stage Five (Years 12 and 13) students have the opportunity to follow one of four pathways. These are outlined in the first image below. Typically, students will follow a three course pathway (A Level, VTQ or a combination of both). Those who have a very high attainment at GCSE and who demonstrate the academic potential and capacity to cope with a more academically demanding curriculum will be able to select four A Level courses and will study all four subjects during Years 12 and 13.

Students will also participate in our Enrichment Programme which offers a wide range of additional accredited qualifications and practical activities, including Extended Project Qualification, Arts Award Gold, Tomorrow’s Teachers, Level 3 Core Mathematics and more!

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