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.