At Pewsey Vale School we offer a broad curriculum to all learners. This aims to stretch and challenge students whilst providing opportunities for a range of subjects to be studied. We wholeheartedly believe that all children should be given the opportunity to study all subjects in Key Stage 3, giving them the time to experience and develop the skills necessary to take on the challenge of GCSE courses when they join Year 10.
Our curriculum is underpinned by our core values of:
Our 'Ethos' at Pewsey Vale School is to provide a supportive and challenging learning environment where all students are empowered to succeed. We are passionate about ensuring that every child has access to the best opportunities which will help them achieve and prepare them for their future. Our school community works together to ensure that all students reach their full potential in their academic and personal development.
We believe that teaching must engage students and be challenging in a way that encourages them to take risks and endeavour to break through their perceived barriers. Our teachers have high expectations and students are supported in reaching these. We want our students to be resilient, creative and successful individuals. We strongly believe in a holistic approach to education where personalised learning is at the forefront of our school’s vision. As a small school, we can facilitate this where every student is an individual. Our staff know each young person and their families very well; they encourage everyone to develop and flourish in all areas of school life and beyond.
Through bespoke collaboration with a range of partners and other organisations, we endeavour to raise our students’ aspirations and significantly increase the opportunities available to them throughout their schooling and beyond. We endeavour to:
Secure developments and achievements
Prepare students for “life beyond Pewsey Vale”
Promote active community involvement
Our transition programme enables us to develop strong relationships and personal knowledge of all our students. Being a small school enables us to quickly get to know individuals and create a supportive ethos. Members of the Senior Leadership Team and the pastoral team visit all our primary schools to meet with parents and students. Our Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) meets teachers and senior leaders to discuss the needs of identified students. Students identified as more vulnerable are given bespoke transition with individual/small group visits. We send comprehensive paperwork to primary schools, parents and carers to ensure that views of all parties are considered and that information can be triangulated to provide the best support.
Students start their familiarisation with the school in Year 5 where we run open days for all feeder Primaries. Students have the opportunity to visit for the day where they start thinking about their Super North Stars (big dreams goals and ambitions). This is supported by our offer for the students to attend our annual careers fair and futures event. Throughout the day they experience a range of subjects to familiarise them with the school and to instil confidence. In Year 6 students have a transition day in Term 6 where they spend the day meeting their tutor and experiencing lessons.
Our students arrive in Year 7 feeling confident and secure having already had the experience of working together in their new environment. Tutors have already had the opportunity to get to know the students and their parents as part of the transition programme.
On entry to Pewsey Vale School, all students undergo baseline testing to support our intervention strategies and internal data tracking. This enables us to quickly identify any students in need of additional assistance.
Through Nurture Provision
Nurture provision is provided for a group of our more vulnerable students in all year groups. The subjects followed will be tailored to individual needs but come in the main from the core academic offer for all children but with more intensive support. Nurture provision is not a permanent, full-time provision but based on an integrated model of in-class support and small group withdrawal enabling students to spend as much time as possible in mainstream lessons.
Support staff work alongside mainstream teachers to enable students to access the full curriculum.
Through Enrichment and Capital Culture
We believe learning outside the classroom is as essential to students’ development as learning within the classroom, and so ensure our students experience a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities.
The school has a comprehensive enrichment offer to complement the taught curriculum in subjects. Students are offered opportunities to extend their learning through a range of clubs, visits both abroad and in the UK. As well as performances, exhibitions and the opportunity to represent the school as part of a team. We are committed to ensuring that all learners are able to take part in the enrichment programme regardless of finances, ensuring that we are closing gaps in social mobility for our most deprived learners.
This includes some of the following opportunities (list not exhaustive)
Through Teaching, Learning & Assessment
In Key Stage Three, students study a broad and balanced range of subjects. A three-year Key Stage Three means we teach the skills and knowledge required to fully prepare our learners to begin GCSE courses in Year 10. Year 9 is run as a ‘fundamentals’ year, where we gap assess and ensure we have the correct skills learnt and embedded as a solid springboard to GCSE learning. This year is critical in accelerating the learning of our most able learners. All students are exposed to a full broad curriculum with students choosing their Key Stage Four options in the summer term of Year 9. There is no shortening of the curriculum offered to any student in Key Stage Three.
In Key Stage Four, a traditional core of English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Languages is complimented by a wide range of options, including the Arts, Sport, Design and Technology subjects alongside some vocational courses.
For a very small number of students, we offer alternative provisions through bespoke packages. This is coordinated by the SEN Department.
At Pewsey Vale School, we run a one-week timetable of six lessons per day. Students have a full allocation of lessons and subjects across the week, these are then spread out to allow for a different diet of learning each day.
The allocation of lessons across the school is as follows.
|Key Stage 3||Lessons per week year 7 & 8||Lessons per week year 9|
|Design & Technology: Food, Textiles, Resistant Materials, Computing (Carousel)||2||2|
|Key Stage 4||Lessons per week year 10 & 11|
|English Language & Literature||5|
GL - Guided Literacy
Guided Literacy lessons are lessons dedicated to reading. Students are given the opportunity to read a book of their choice for pleasure during this lesson. All students visit the library on a rotation where they can select new books and discuss what they are reading with the librarian. The teacher will listen to students read each lesson with the aim of encouraging, challenging any misconceptions and teaching new words. Students may read aloud to their teacher as an individual or sometimes in a group setting. Students are encouraged to select books that are slightly more challenging as they progress across the year so that reading material is appropriate and challenges their vocabulary.
PSHRE – Personal, Social, Health and Religious Education
PSHRE lessons for KS3 are based around The Compass for Life model. Students learn a range of topics that include: Leadership, Ambition as well as Health, Mental Health, British Values, Relationships, as well as aspects of Philosophy and Religious Education. Each half term there is a new topic where all the lessons are linked giving an opportunity for students to formulate ideas and discuss them with their teachers and peers. These lessons complement assemblies and the work driven by the school House System. As a collective, they aim to provide an opportunity for thought, discussion and promoting the values of modern British society.
PSHRE lessons for KS4 focuses on key skills that will prepare every student for life after Pewsey Vale School such as CV Writing Skills, Financial Management Skills, Understanding Discrimination, Human Rights, Respect, Exploring Religion and other Faiths, Domestic Violence, Child Sexual Exploitation, Safe Use of Social Media, Mindfulness and Drugs Awareness etc. Other life skills are also studied such as Persuasive Writing Skills, Building Confidence and Resilience.
In addition, we deliver a series of drop-down days that provide complimentary workshops and events that enable students to explore these themes and topics in detail. The drop-down days typically include our Careers Fair, E-Safety Workshop, Sports Day, ‘Take your Child to Work’ Day, Anti-Social Behaviours, Army Team Building Day.
PE – Physical Education
Students in Key Stage Three have three lessons of PE a week, two lessons are focused on the main activity of the term, and the third lesson is focused on fitness/OAA. In Key Stage Four all students have Core PE on their timetable (two lessons a week), and there is also the additional option to study for an accredited course in PE.
IT – Computer Science
All students learn the competencies of Computing throughout the school. In the lower school, students study programming, ICT skills and competencies of computer science. In the upper school, students are taught these skills through their subject lessons, including in PSHRE and discrete programming in Mathematics.
MFL – Modern Foreign Languages
All students will be taught German in Key Stage three with our most able learners also being taught French for one lesson per week.
Through promoting Literacy
To improve the literacy skills of all students regardless of the starting point. It should improve reading, writing, speaking and listening and enable them to communicate clearly. Subject-specific literacy documents are used in the same format across the school to standardise the form and provide consistency to the students. This document can be found in all student books/folders and in an A3 copy on the desk. This provides a scaffold for learners to develop their use of Tier 2 and 3 subject-specific language, to spell and punctuate accurately.
Homework is a key part of the offer at Pewsey Vale School. It is rigorous, set regularly, followed up and has high status. It is used to:
The impact of the school’s curriculum is measured through several means: