Whole School Curriculum

INTENT -  IMPLEMENTATION -  IMPACT 

“The curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and the understanding to be gained at each stage (intent); for translating that framework over time into a structure and narrative, within an institutional context (implementation) and for evaluating what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations (impact).” 

(Ofsted, Curriculum: intent, implementation and impact.  Development work for the new inspection framework, 2017)  

 

  1. Rationale 

The curriculum can be defined as ‘the totality of the lived experiences a student receives as they move through the school’. 

As a part of our Curriculum 20:20 initiative, we analysed our school's position in relation to this statement and OFSTED's curriculum indicators and refined our Curriculum Intent statement. Changes that had a cross-curricular impact were discussed with LMT and Governors in relation to the whole school curriculum.  There were four major changes: 

  1. Improve outcomes at the top end in Science and we therefore changed Triple Science to an option allowing for an extra five hours to be allocated to the teaching of Triple Science 

  1. We believe that Music and the Creative Arts enrich the lives of our students whilst at school and in their future adult life. All aspects of school life benefit from the positive impact the Creative Arts have on learning and teaching and students should have the opportunity to study these subjects for as long as possible. In 2020, the Governors favoured breadth over stipulation resulting in a Language now not being compulsory at GCSE 

  1. Introduce an ASDAN qualification to provide lower ability students with an additional qualification where they can succeed 

  1. Offer a more varied and full foundation pathway in the Sixth Form with the introduction of a Level 3  Cambridge Technical Certificate in IT and a Level 3 BTEC in Applied Psychology for those students that do not follow the traditional A level pathway 

This policy aims to outline how the curriculum is organised at Guildford County School to ensure that all students gain the knowledge, skills and understanding required to be successful against both local and national expectations.  

The policy encompasses:  

  • Intent – the rationale, purpose and design of the curriculum as a whole;  
  • Implementation – how the curriculum is organised and delivered in our specific context;  
  • Impact – how improvements in pupil knowledge, skills and understanding are measured.  

Fundamentally this policy seeks to explain how County has aligned its curriculum to meet the expectations of national policy objectives while also provide guidance for how subject leaders and classroom teachers should align their curriculum to meet whole-school expectations.  

Nine Box

  1. INTENT 

We aim to provide a rich and varied curriculum that enables equality of opportunity to learn. Students are inspired to become the best versions of themselves, contributing positively to the world around them. The school curriculum seeks to provide outstanding personal development by supporting, promoting and instilling the values of GCS – Give, Create and Succeed throughout Year 7 to 13.  

Give – Promote active community involvement… 

  • Develops personal and moral values, respect for shared British values and for other cultures, religions and ways of life 
  • Supports pastoral care that nurtures the child’s physical and mental health and well-being and promotes a culture of care and concern 
  • Involves working with the community to promote local, national and global awareness 
  • Expands students’ understanding of the world in which we live 

 

Create – Secure development and achievement… 

  • Develops lively, imaginative and enquiring minds and cultivates the best habits of independent thought and learning in the pursuit of excellence 
  • Appreciates achievements and high aspirations that allow all children to discover their strengths 
  • Builds sound numeracy and literacy skills 
  • Explores Music to promote creative thinking across the subjects 

 

Succeed – Prepare students for life beyond Guildford County… 

  • Challenges, motivates and inspires and leads to lifelong interest in learning 
  • Prepares students for further education whether academic or vocational and for the world of work 
  • Assists students in their journey to become rounded young adults, enabling them to take their place in society as informed, confident and responsible citizens 
  • Embraces new technology and equips students for a world of rapid and continuous change 

 

  1. Implementation – School Level 

The Curriculum in the Lower School ensures full coverage of National Curriculum subjects and entitlement areas. It offers a rich and varied curriculum designed to give continuity and progression within the school and between phases of education, increasing students’ choice during their school career. There is a strong focus on breadth of curriculum, with students studying a full range curricular range in addition to the core subjects. As a result, students are able to experience all subjects in order to develop their individual areas of interest and to make informed choices when deciding upon GCSE options subjects in Y9.  

The SEND Department at Guildford County School aims to identify and overcome potential barriers to learning and to meet the needs of all SEND students within and beyond the school setting. Guildford County School SEND provision takes into account the full scope of student support, first and foremost this is the delivery of high quality, whole class teaching, guided and group work and individual interventions where absolutely necessary. However, we are keen to ensure that students with SEND do not have a narrow curriculum due to their learning needs. We have a number of pupils who do not have English as their first language. As such, our EAL students have the opportunity to attend EAL Club with a member of our TA team. Here, the focus is on widening their vocabulary and recycling language presented in their other lessons. With the changes made to the GCSE Curriculum the need for more complex vocabulary and an even greater emphasis on analysis of language becomes a key area of focus.

All students receive a broad and balanced curriculum in the Upper School by offering a wide range of GCSE subjects. The Upper School focuses on depth of learning, with students guided to develop their knowledge of key concepts and to understand the underlying links between different subjects and ideas. There is a clear emphasis on the in-depth development of the key skills and knowledge required for exams, whilst still ensuring subjects are engaging and enjoyable for students. 

All students study Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) in the Lower and Upper School with all students taking a GCSE in Religion and Education at the end of Year 11. We felt the move the PRE encourages students to develop and justify their views on a variety of different ethical and philosophical issues. The lessons focus on students arguing as well as understanding and discussing the opinions of others without learning towards promoting any particular faith or worldview. 

For SEND students who cannot access the full curriculum, an ASDAN qualification addresses gaps in students’ knowledge and skills and reinforces literacy and numeracy skills. 

We aspire to improve the quality of education provided for PP students at County. Within it, we accept a need to ensure all PP students have access to the breadth of core and co-curricular opportunities provided by the school and ensure they make excellent progress, compared to all students nationally, attaining high enough to have all post-16 options open to them. 

Once a week, during tutorial time, all students receive formal PSHE education, as well as ongoing SMSC education across all subjects where appropriate. Science lessons, PE lessons, ICT lessons ensure students learn how to keep themselves and each other safe, including - but not limited to - Relationships and Sex (RSE) Education, Health Education and Online Safety. A range of assemblies, intended for different audiences, will also be used to deliver SMSC and PSHE education across both Lower and Upper School. The learning environment in which our students engage in should be supportive, safe and welcoming to gender and cultural diversity. 

In the Sixth Form, most students follow an A-Level Pathway, studying three subjects and possibly four through to the end of Year 13. There is a Foundation Pathway designed for those students who do not have the minimum grade to commence A-Levels. 

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is available for some of our students who wish to undertake it. 

 

  1. Implementation – Classroom-level  

Teachers constantly strive to achieve outstanding progress for every student by planning and delivering lessons that are always of the highest standard in their subject area. Our approach in the classroom is to recognise, nurture and foster the individual talent and confidence alongside collaboration, respect and empathy. Challenge lies at the heart of all that we do and it is not seen as an extra but an intrinsic core and thread.  

Teaching should build cumulatively deeper understanding through a well-planned sequence of learning. This should ultimately build the capacity for skilful performance against each Assessment Objective area in each phase of learning to prepare students for the rigours of the GCSE exams in their subject. Concepts such as retrieval practice and regular assessment should be applied so as to ensure students have retained key knowledge, skills and understanding at each phase and Assessment for Learning techniques should be used to identify the needs of students and plan learning.  We aim to challenge and extend thinking skills, problem solving, via creative approaches – thus equipping our students for the vital skills required for today’s society. 

Teachers should identify and exploit opportunities to develop student literacy and use of mathematics wherever possible, also working collaboratively with Teaching Assistants where available to improve rates of progress.  

Home Learning is essential to raising educational standards and fostering high academic achievement. At County we set meaningful home learning tasks designed to challenge, consolidate and further the learning process outside of lesson time. 

 

  1. Impact 

The curriculum should make a significantly positive contribution to the Personal Development of all students.  

In the Lower School, attainment and progress will be measured against Key Stage 2 starting points. Acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding in each subject will be measured using formative and summative teacher assessment. In the Upper School, attainment and progress in each subject will be measured by GCSE outcomes against FFT KS4 benchmarks.  

The overall effectiveness of the implementation of the school curriculum will be measured using the school performance measures outlined in the DfE Statement of Intent.  

The quality of curriculum leadership and management, as well as the quality of education provided by the curriculum will be measured via our Quality Assurance work which informs school self-evaluation.  

 

Lower School, Upper School and Sixth Form 

All students follow the following core program which operates on fifty 60 minute periods over a two week timetable.  The amount of time provided for teaching the curriculum is reviewed by the Leadership Team annually.

Curriculum whole school

 

 

News

12th August 2021

GCSE Results 2021

Thursday 12th August 2021 - GCSE Results at Guildford County School Today we are celebrating the hard work, dedication and impressive achievements of our GCSE students here at Guildford County School.  Our deepest thanks go to the Exams team for making sure that the morning ran so smoothly and also to the Sixth Form team for ensuring that enrolment to our hugely successful Sixth Form was slick and efficient.  We would also like to thank the many other staff who attended earlier on today to help with the distribution of results and to offer their congratulations and support to the students themselves. Whilst Year 11’s studies this year were significantly disrupted by the pandemic, not least when it was announced that GCSE exams this summer were to be cancelled, we want to celebrate very sincerely the culmination of 5 years’ hard work by each and every student since they joined the County family in Year 7.  The lack of public exams this year was a challenge for everyone, but we do feel that we were able to give a ‘real’ experience to all of our students by hosting our own, internal exams series, which, as with A level, formed a key part of our assessment process this year.  Whilst our students did not get a chance to show what they would have achieved in formal GCSE exams, there has been a complex process to allocate a ‘Teacher Assessed Grade’ (TAG) for each student in each subject.  It is important today that we do not let any discussion of this process overshadow the huge amount that has been achieved by every single student over a great number of years.  It is important that they can move on to the next stage in their education with the sense of achievement and recognition that they all so rightly deserve. As with the summer exams of 2020, the DfE are not compiling or publishing any school performance figures this year.  In keeping with this, many schools, including us here at County, will not at this stage be publishing school level performance figures for this summer for GCSE.  We are, however, delighted to be able to share with you some individual stories of success.  Deserving of special mention are Daisy, Madeleine, Ella, Ellie, Josh and Joseph who have all achieved outstanding individual results.  We are also tremendously proud of James, Ruby, Lili and Leonie who topped the value-added charts, achieving well above their individual target grades.  Steve Smith, Headteacher of Guildford County School, comments that, ‘today represents the end of one phase of each student's education and is a terrific opportunity to recognise and celebrate what they have all achieved.  We are delighted to be able to congratulate the Year 11 Class of 2021 for their fantastic results and also to wish them well as they move on to the next phase of their lives with our full support and our very best wishes for the future.  For most, this will be here at Guildford County Sixth Form and we cannot wait to welcome them and a large number of external recruits, through the doors in September.  External students still unsure of where to go next should get in touch with our Director of Sixth Form, Helen Nurton (hnurton@guildfordcounty.co.uk) to find out more about joining the County community.’ Read Full Article
10th August 2021

A Level Results 2021

Tuesday 10th August 2021 - A Level Results at Guildford County School  Today we are celebrating the hard work and successes of our Sixth Form students here at Guildford County School. Our sincere thanks go to the Sixth Form and Exams teams for making sure that the preparation for today and the results distribution morning itself ran so smoothly and also to the many other staff who attended earlier on to help with the delivery of results and to offer their congratulations and support to the students themselves. Whilst the studies and preparation for the culmination of Year 13 were not the same as in most years, due to the cancellation of public exams, we do feel that we were able to give a ‘real’ experience to all of our students by hosting our own, internal exams series as a part of our assessment process this year. We want to celebrate the many achievements of each and every student leaving us today; over the course of the 7 years that they have been with us, their footsteps have left a permanent and positive mark in the history of our school.  Whilst our students did not get a chance to show what they would have achieved in formal A Level exams, there has been a complex process to allocate a ‘Teacher Assessed Grade’ (TAG) for each student in each subject. It is important now that we do not let any discussion of this process overshadow the huge amount that has been achieved by every single student over a great number of years. It is important that they can move on to the next stage in their education with the sense of achievement and recognition that they all so rightly deserve.  As with the summer exams of 2020, the DfE are not compiling or publishing any school performance figures this year. In keeping with this, many schools, including us here at County, will not at this stage be publishing school level performance figures for this summer. We are, however, delighted to be able to share with you some individual stories of success. Two County students Rachel and Emily have secured places at Cambridge University.  Rachel will study Natural Sciences, and Emily begins her career as a doctor, studying Medicine.  We are also tremendously proud of Chloe who has secured a place at the University of Bristol to study Veterinary Science and Charlie who will be studying Music at the Royal College of Music in London.  Special mention goes to Shannon who has overcome many personal challenges throughout her school journey to shine in her Sixth Form studies, securing a place on a Business Management degree course; to Olivia who is the first in her family to attend University and has flourished in her A Level studies; and to Millena who arrived in the County family with English as her second language – she has shown exceptional tenacity and dedication to secure a place studying Marketing, also the first in her family to attend University.  At the time of writing, 90% of all of our departing students have secured places at Universities from Edinburgh to Bournemouth, Bath to Northampton, including 22 offers from prestigious Russell Group Universities.    Steve Smith, Headteacher of Guildford County School, comments that, ‘today represents the end of one phase of each student's education and the opportunity to recognise and celebrate what they have achieved. We are delighted to be able to congratulate the Class of 2021 for their many achievements and also to wish them well as they move on to the next phase of their lives with our full support and our very best wishes for the future. I am hopeful that many will choose to become members of our ever growing alumni community and that we will then be able to continue to watch their successes over the years to come.’Read Full Article
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