Curriculum Intent and Implementation
We have an ambitious, knowledge rich curriculum that supports our students to achieve academically and beyond the classroom. Our curriculum is well sequenced and coherent, planned backwards by subject experts to create an equitable experience for every student. Our curriculum builds students' knowledge and skills to actively participate in society and provides a strong foundation for further study, understanding the world and fulfilling lives. The curriculum is informed by cognitive science research and is constantly reviewed and updated to reflect our local and global context.
The principles of Barnhill’s curriculum intent are;
We are proud to be a school both in, and for, the local community and we recognise that students join us from a range of different starting points. Teachers at Barnhill Community High School have high expectations of all students regardless of their starting points. All students have access to the full curriculum through quality-first teaching and all students study creative and practical subjects alongside the more traditional core subjects. Additional support is given to students who join the school who require intervention but this is in addition to, not a replacement of, the full curriculum experience.
Reading is a key foundational skill to unlocking the curriculum. We have a focus on reading and vocabulary development. All subject areas teach disciplinary literacy and promote reading to support students to read fluently and with comprehension, and to develop a joy of reading
The Curriculum Journey
Key Stage 3
Students follow a 3 year KS3 programme at Barnhill. The KS3 curriculum is designed to develop students' knowledge and skills in a broad range of national curriculum subjects. Our curriculum is aspirational and is designed to go beyond the national curriculum. Our aim is to provide all students the foundations to proceed with confidence onto their KS4 pathways. The curriculum is broad, balanced and accessible for all students, regardless of their barriers and/or SEND needs. Where appropriate the curriculum is adapted to build upon the foundations of literacy, enabling students further access as they move through their curriculum journey.
Students are placed in sets in English and maths based on literacy and numeracy ability, This allows students to receive highly focussed support for their studies whilst all covering the core material needed to meet National Curriculum requirements. Settings for all year groups are fluid and constantly reviewed.
Students in KS3 are taught in mixed ability sets for geography and history and expressive subjects to allow the development of inter-personal and teamworking skills. A carousel of subjects has been introduced at KS3 with smaller class sizes to ensure that we continue to provide all 3 disciplines in design and technology.
At Key Stage 3 students build on their learning from primary school. Students study English; mathematics; science; art, design and technology; computer science; history; geography; French or Spanish; food and nutrition; drama; music; physical education; and social sciences (citizenship, religious education, personal, social and health education). PSHE teaching is also complimented by a tutor and assembly programme of study.
Key Stage 4
At Barnhill Community High School it is our belief that a challenging and stimulating curriculum at KS4, offering a broad and balanced selection of subjects for all students, is our key role. Our curriculum is one which promotes examination success and recognises personal achievement at all levels.
Every student who is capable will follow the EBacc route at KS4 with two other choices to ensure breadth of learning. Students are encouraged to carry on with their specialist subject chosen in Year 9 with strong take up of the arts and social sciences. Our breadth of offer at KS4 caters for the full range of ability with GCSEs, vocational qualifications and the Princes Trust qualification for Students who need extra support with their personal and social development. Triple science is offered to extend our most enthusiastic Scientists not just our most able ones. Photography GCSE and Child Development BTEC are examples of popular KS4 courses that we offer to meet the skills and interests of our intake.
Core RE, Citizenship, PSHE and IT continue at KS4 to ensure that the Community and Respect parts of our ethos continue to feature strongly.
All students study GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science (combined or triple science). Most students also study at least one modern foreign language, History and Geography. Further GCSE options include Art, Citizenship, Computer Science, Product Design Photography and vocational options include Child Development, Drama, Health and Social Care, Hospitality and Catering and Sport Science
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 we continue to offer academic and vocational routes to our learners. Our breadth of offer includes Languages, STEM, the Arts and Humanities. A fourth subject is encouraged for our most able learners to broaden their skill set in Year 12 whist courses such as Financial Studies and Medical Science are popular for those students with less academic profiles who perhaps will go onto apprenticeships or vocational courses at university. Most popular subjects are offered in more that one option block maximising the combinations that Students can chose from. The decision has been made going forward to offer only the full A-Level qualifications rather than AS levels in year 12. This will maximise learning time for students and teachers and will give Students the time to thoroughly grasp key transition concepts in the first year of their course, building the foundations for excellence in Year 13.
The Barnhill Community High School Sixth Form curriculum offered includes A-level courses in Art, Biology, Business Chemistry, Economics, English Literature, Geography, History, Mathematics, Politics, Physics, Psychology, and Sociology, and vocational courses in Business, Medical Sciences, Sport, and Health and Social Care.
Please click here for more information on the Sixth Form curriculum, including how the school meets the study programme requirements for students in the Sixth Form.
Click here to visit our Sixth Form page.
The Personal Development Character Curriculum
The opportunities students are offered outside academic subjects are extensive. In addition to the timetabled curriculum, over a number of days each year the school timetable is collapsed so that quality cross-curricular activities can be organised. These are called Deep Learning Days. These days offer varied opportunities to explore individual or cross-curricular subject disciplines in greater depth.
As a school we observe particular weeks to support students’ character development, including Safer Internet Week and Anti- Bullying week. Additionally, a wide programme of school visits are organised each year to places of local, national and international significance/interest. These include trips to the theatre, the coast, museums, the zoo and further afield to France. The school is proud to run the Duke of Edinburgh programme at Bronze level. Students are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities on a regular basis through the enrichment programme.
Click here to visit our Personal Development page.
Lessons at Barnhill Community High School follow the Barnhill Learning Cycle below;
This cycle is based on the science of learning any supports students knowing and remembering more as well as our whole school focus on reading and vocabulary development. Each department has adapted the Barnhill Learning Cycle to meet their subject specialisms, for example creative subjects will spend much more of their lesson time in the application phase whereas in a maths lesson you may cycle between the activation and application phase many times in one lesson.