The Curriculum and Teaching

In the secondary school at Rainbow we follow schemes of work based on the English Curriculum. This is a well-established and documented curriculum which puts an emphasis on:-

  • The development of skills
  • Encouraging students to think independently
  • Encouraging students to solve problems for themselves

Some rather more traditional approaches, such as remembering facts, memorising text or learning mathematical equations by heart, are far less important than understanding the principles embodied in them.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9), we put strong emphasis on the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. English is taught mainly as a first language, with a focus on use of language through speaking, listening and the study of both fictional and non-fictional texts. In each year we have a significant number of students for whom English is an additional language and we have two full-time teachers to cater for the needs of these students. Science at Key Stage 3 is taught as a single subject, integrating components of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and following the Spotlight Science course. In Mathematics, the course focuses very much on developing skills in numeracy, with the emphasis being on applying mathematical principles to solve problems. These three core subjects are all assessed formally at the end of Year 9 in preparation for IGCSE.
Together with the core subjects, Key Stage 3 covers a broad range of subjects. All students take a Modern Foreign Language, either French or German, whilst ICT is compulsory right the way through to Year 11. Years 7-9 also take History, Geography and four essentially practical subjects, Drama, Music, Art and Physical Education. As in Key Stage 4, students who have difficulties with aspects of their learning are given additional assistance through the Learning Support department. There are also timetabled lessons in Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship, which deal with aspects of personal development not necessarily covered in the formal curriculum.


KS3 national curriculum level descriptors , Click for details

Key Stage 4 and 5

The curriculum at Key Stages 4 and 5 is very much determined by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Board, through whom we enter students for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in Year 11 and for Advanced Level examinations in Years 12 and 13. Our subject range at IGCSE is very broad; all students must take English, Mathematics, ICT and either Coordinated Science or the three separate sciences, but can choose three or four further subjects from  Accounts, Art and Design, Business Studies, Drama, Economics, French, Geography, German, History, Music, Physical Education (taken as an examination subject) and Sociology.
To qualify for the 6th form, students need five subjects at IGCSE at C grade or above, including Maths and English, although it should further be noted that this is a minimum requirement. The 6th form at Rainbow has grown and flourished in recent years. A Level results have been outstanding and, with strong support from the Careers Department, our students have enjoyed great success in securing places at good universities around the world.