Curriculum at Challney High School for Girls

Challney High School for Girls strives for excellence through RESPECT shown to others by provision of OPPORTUNITY to promote ACHIEVEMENT whenever possible.

We want our students to leave the school equipped and prepared for successful futures in the fast changing world of which they will become influential adult members.  All this is possible with our broad and balanced curriculum that we deliver through consistently good teaching.

We follow the National Curriculum, ensuring that all statutory requirements are delivered without compromising the personalised needs of our students that they require to be successful in future.  Fundamental British Values as well as Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aspects of education are important to us and have become a focus of how we teach.  Our girls have access to excellent support, both from staff and peers, to achieve their potential.  We pride ourselves in keeping up-to-date knowledge of all the curricular changes that are taking place and will continue to do so in the future so that our students are never at a disadvantage when they go out into the wider world with their qualifications they have gained at Key Stage 3 and 4 with us.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9):

Many subjects like Art & Design, Geography, History, ICT, Music, PSHCEE and RE are taught in their form groups (mixed ability).  However, in English, Mathematics, Science, DT and PE, students are set according to their abilities.

In MFL, students learn either French or Spanish in Year 7 and continue to study it in Years 8 and 9.  This gives depth to their learning of the language leading to better appreciation of cultures that use these languages.  At GCSE, students will have the chance to decide to continue with French or Spanish.  They will also have the option to complete a GCSE in Urdu, if they are already competent in speaking and/or writing in that language. 

In addition, from September 2016, a few students from Year 8 have an opportunity to study Latin here at Challney Girls after school once a week.  In future, students from other schools near us might join them.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11):

KS4 curriculum is at the cusp of many big changes to how and what our youngsters are taught and assessed.  New GCSEs will have numbers (1 to 9) instead of grades (G to A*), very little, if any, controlled assessments, a lot of concepts moved down from A Levels, some subjects with longer, more and non-tiered examination papers, to name a few. 

The KS4 curriculum has two main elements:

A)   Core Subjects – English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education (RE), Physical Education (PE) and Personal Development Curriculum (a combination of PSHCEE and citizenship).  These are compulsory subjects for our students.  However, parents are allowed to withdraw their daughters from RE lessons. 

B)   Options subjects – Students choose three of the courses on offer along with reserves (in case we cannot run a course due to low intake or if it is over-subscribed).  We introduced pathways in September 2016.  We felt that pathways were an ideal way to make sure that the study of demanding academic subjects is well supported by creative subjects.  This allows us to give students various directions to achieve grades whilst building their skills through a broad and balanced curriculum.  We use information from many sources available to us to help them make the right decision.  We have three pathways:

EBACC PATHWAY – Government is very keen on students following an aspirational pathway where they have to choose a humanities subject (geography or history) and a modern foreign language (French, Spanish or Urdu) along with the core curriculum of English, mathematics and science.  Some universities and employers also see this as a good benchmark of skills needed to succeed in an academically demanding course or employment.  This pathway is suitable for students who prefer to study more academic subjects to creative ones.

CHALLENGE PATHWAY -  This pathway allows students to choose a combination of academic and creative subjects from blocks of subjects.  We will give them a lot of flexibility (within the limitations of the subjects available) when it come to their selection. 

ASPIRING PATHWAY – This route is most suitable who will find it difficult to achieve success in subjects offered for the Ebacc and Challenge pathways.  They get a free choice from a wide range of subjects which may be GCSEs, Vocational qualifications (VCERT Level 1, Cambridge Nationals Level 1 and Award Level 1) or Entry Level Certificates.  Students who show accelerated progress in Year 10 can move on to some of the subject choices in the Challenge pathway.  Students can also opt for additional time in English or mathematics or both to improve their grades in these subjects.