To find out more about specific KS4 subjects, please use the links below.
The Core Curriculum
As part of the Key Stage 4 National Curriculum students have to study the following compulsory subjects.
- English Literature
- English Language
- Physical Education
Studying these subjects will give you up to 4 GCSE grades or equivalent in your core subjects and will take up 17 lessons of your timetable.
The Optional Curriculum
Students will choose four options subjects from the 18 available. These subjects will take up a further 8 lessons on your timetable.
Some students will follow a curriculum designed to meet their specific needs and this will be discussed personally with those students.
The Government has introduced a new ‘qualification’ which it is calling the English Baccalaureate. At Melior we have always offered the subjects that make up this basket of qualifications. Some have been compulsory – English, Maths and Science, and others have been optional – Geography, History and a foreign language.
At Melior we have left it up to the students and their parents to choose the optional subjects which are suited to their skills and aspirations. So far the Government has left the optional subjects optional but has said that students who complete the EBacc will gain a certificate to recognise this. There is no indication yet that this certificate will be of any benefit to the students in terms of Further and Higher Education and employability.
In order to make sure that no Melior student is disadvantaged in the future, we have designed the options blocks to ensure that as many students who want to, will be able to study the EBacc qualifications as well as being able to choose from the large range of other qualifications on offer at Melior.
The following is a statement from the Government about the EBacc.
What is the English Baccalaureate?
The Government believes that schools should offer pupils a broad range of academic subjects to age 16, and the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) promotes that aspiration.
The EBacc is not a new qualification in itself. It will recognise students’ achievements across a core of selected academic subjects in getting good passes in rigorous GCSEs. The English Baccalaureate will cover achievement in English, mathematics, sciences, a language and a humanities subject. We intend to mark individual students’ future achievements through a certificate.
What subjects and qualifications will count towards the English Baccalaureate?
Full GCSEs at grades A*-C and Double Award GCSEs at grades A*A*-CC in English, Mathematics, Science, a foreign language and a humanity subject (Geography or History) will count towards it achievement.
Below is a list of the subjects that your child will be studying during Year 7 & Year 8. Each lesson is 1 hour long. In all subjects your child will be building on and extending the work that they covered at primary school.
In English lessons students study:
- Speaking and listening: they participate in class discussions, give an individual presentation to the class and participate in role play.
- Reading: they read a range of texts, both media and fiction and learn how to find information, work out meaning and select material from texts to support a point of view.
- Writing: they learn how to write both fiction and non-fiction texts. They also learn how to plan for writing and revise writing to ensure accuracy with spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- Knowledge about language: they learn about sentence structures, text organisation, Standard English and spelling rules.
The department set project based Homework for KS3. In addition, individual teachers may set supplementary homework or extension studies such as learning spellings or reading.
The Mathematics curriculum at KS3 will teach pupils to develop fluency, reasoning and to solve problems within the following areas:-
- Ratio, proportion and rate of change
- Geometry and measures
- Statistics and probability
In addition to the above content, through the learning of mathematics, pupils will be also taught more general thinking skills needed to prepare them for the world of further education and/or work.
Students will develop their skills and knowledge in three areas:
- Resistant Materials they will learn the use of tools & equipment including hand tools, machine tools and computer controlled machines. They will complete a range of focussed practical tasks to develop skills which will then be put into practice through a number of design and make projects. They will develop their graphic drawing and ICT skills to complement their projects. (2 D design)
- Food, they will learn the use of basic tools and equipment, including the cooker, food processor and microwave. They will make a range of recipes which focus upon a healthy diet and produce ‘in season.’
- Textiles, they will learn the use of basic tools and equipment and the use of a sewing machine. They will learn about the origins and construction of fibres and fabrics and will complete a range of focussed practical tasks to develop skills which will then be put into practice through a number of design and make projects.
It is important that students bring the necessary resources with them so that they do not miss out on practical sessions where they will be developing their skills. In Food they cook every week so need to bring their ingredients from home with a suitable container to take their prepared food products home in.
In Geography lessons students will develop their geographical skills such as using maps and plans, using scales and measuring distances, using grid references and the compass. They will develop their knowledge of :
- Places by studying topics such as the home region and the British Isles.
- Physical Geography by studying topics such as weather and climate and river basins.
- Human Geography by studying topics such as settlements.
- Environmental issues by studying topics such as the management of sources of fresh water.
It will be useful to the students if they have access to an atlas.
Pupils will study a range of subjects from 'What is History' where we will look at the skills we need for History and then practice these skill investigating 'What happened to the Tolland Man?' through The Norman Conquest and onto Life in Medieval England ending the year looking at the Tudor Monarchs.
We start with in investigation into the Plague at Eyam and move on to look at what life was like during the English Civil Wars and under the rule of Oliver Cromwell. We will also explore the amazing inventions brought about by the Industrial Revolution and what happened during the American War of Independence
We focus our learning on our investigations into the cause and consequences of The Great War, 1914-1918 and life during Second World War, 1939-1945. We will also explore the Holocaust as part of our studies before moving on to pre-GCSE preparation, re-visiting the skills we have learned throughout KS3 and exploring in brief some of the topics pupils will study as part of the GCSE course. Pupils will benefit from access to the internet and/or local library for reading and research.
In art lessons students will develop their skills in: painting, drawing, 3d, textiles clay and manipulation of mixed media. They will work from direct observation and imagination. They will study the role of other artists and craftworkers. All students will explore a range of different materials through different projects.
In Music lessons pupils will perform, compose, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres and cultures. Pupils will learn to use their voices for performance opportunities and to help with compositional tasks. Various pieces of Music technology are also introduced to aid in these areas. They will also explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
In Science lessons, students will be given the opportunity to develop their practical skills in a science laboratory – lots of experiments! The science department also has interactive text books that are used with the netbooks – you will be able to carry out virtual experiments, watch scientific video clips or even just read the text and look at the pictures! The topics that will be studied include:
- Cells, tissues & organs
- Food webs
- Fossils and rocks
- Energy and forces
- Chemical reactions and safety in the laboratory
All students experience a practical PE programme during which they develop basic skills, learn to cooperate with others and about the importance of Health and Fitness. They will study the following areas: football, netball, hockey, rugby, badminton, tennis, athletics, cricket, table tennis, volleyball, fitness, basketball and rounders. It is important that students have the correct kit with them on the correct day so that they can make full use of the opportunities offered to them.
In language lessons students will develop their ability to speak, listen and understand, read and write the following languages:Names and greetings
- Year 7: French
- Year 8: French
- Year 9: French
*additional languages are available through enrichment
ICT is embedded across all curriculum areas. Information Business is primarily a Computing curriculum, which includes a taste of Business and Media.
The main ICT/Computing skills that are taught to the pupils are:
- Communication & Networks
- E-Safety and Cyber Bullying
- Understanding Algorithms
- Programming skills
- Hardware and Processing
- World Wide Web and Using the Internet
- Impact of ICT in Society and Businesses
- Business Documents
- Market Research
- Modelling Spreadsheets and Creating Graphs
- Group and Project work
ICT is used within all lessons across the curriculum to transfer the skills and techniques learnt in ICT to other subject areas. Pupils can access lesson content and assessments from home via our Dynamic Learning VLE accounts.
Students will study a range of topics covering spiritual, moral, social, cultural and ethical issues. In Year 7, they will study aspects of personal safety (bullying & road safety), personal development, the major global faiths, festivals, beliefs about life after death and religious figureheads. These units provide a grounding for future studies in Year 8 and on into KS4. Pupils will be encouraged to develop their own opinions and beliefs and understand and appreciate viewpoints and beliefs different to their own.
Pupils will also study the statutory SRE (Sex & Relationships Education) curriculum during their Cultural Studies lessons. In Year 7, they will learn about growing up, puberty and the importance of personal hygiene. The following year pupils will study the pressures they may face in relationships and how to deal with them effectively and appropriately. They will also study the risks and consequences of physical relationships such as pregnancy and how and where to seek advice and support about such issues.
Drama is a popular subject at KS3. Students are encouraged to experiment with devising techniques and create original work. The emphasis is always on engaging an audience through dramatics forms and structures. There is a strong progression of storytelling which allows all youngsters the opportunity to show progress and success at GCSE.
Taught in professional studios, Melior students take pride in their work and with a clear use of self-evaluation and target setting, learners are always keen to demonstrate their pieces.
For those students who need a boost with their Literacy & Numeracy there are classes to accelerate reading and writing skills.