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The curriculum at Barnwell School allows our students to become:

To support all students in their academic and social development, we have designed a personalised curriculum along the following principles:

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9)

All students study curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science and Modern Foreign Languages (French and German), Humanities (Geography, History and Ethics), Expressive Arts (Music, Dance, Drama and Art), Design & Technology (Graphics, Resistant Materials, Electronics, Food and Textiles), PE, Computing & ICT and Business & Enterprise in Year 9. Throughout Key Stage 3 there is a clear focus on developing students’ social, moral, cultural and independent learning skills. In core subjects students are taught in ability based groups.

Cross curricular Theme Days are held regularly throughout the year to give students enhanced experiences that build on the strong Social, Moral and Cultural ethos of the school.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)

All students study a broad and balanced curriculum allowing a variety of different progression routes into sixth form, further education and apprenticeships.

Students follow one of three pathways: Traditional, Applied or Accelerated, students are guided onto their pathway with full consultation with parents. Students opt in Year 9 for their Key Stage 4 subjects, the options process begins during the autumn term, all students receive significant information, advice and guidance prior to making their choices, both students and parents are supported at every step along the way.

All students study a core curriculum of

GCSE English Language, English Literature, GCSE Mathematics, GCSE Science (Triple or Double), SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) and PE.

The English Baccalaureate is also available within our Key Stage 4 curriculum.

Key Stage 4 Pathways:

Traditional Pathway

Double Science Humanity / Language or Computer Science

Plus 3 further Options

Traditional Science Pathway

Triple Science Humanity / Language or Computer Science

Plus 2 further Options

Applied Pathway

Double Science Humanity / Language or Computer Science

BTEC Option

Plus 2 further Options

Accelerated Pathway

Core Science

BTEC Option

Plus 2 further Options

Work Experience

Students are also able to take further GCSE subjects, agreed after consultation, selected from the following:

Key Stage 4 BTEC Options:

BTEC Health & Social Care

BTEC Construction

BTEC Sport


Key Stage 4 GCSE Options:

Art, Computer Science, Catering, Drama, Textiles, Geography, French, German, History, Graphic Products, Business Studies, Resistant Materials, Music, Dance, Art Photography, Sociology, Religious Studies

All students participate in a full SMSC programme which includes impartial Careers Education Information and Guidance, Ethics and PHSCE. Furthermore, all students participate in recreational PE as part of their curriculum.

As recently announced by Ofqual, all GCSE examinations are now linear (taking place at the end of the two-year course) and controlled assessments form a very important element of assessment in only some subjects.

Core subjects (English, Mathematics and Science) are taught in ability groups.

Sixth Form (Years 12 & 13)

Our sixth form curriculum is delivered as part of the Stevenage Sixth consortium. Barnwell Students benefit from a highly flexible and diverse range of Level 3 academic and vocational qualifications.

Every student is able to study up to four A-Level/BTEC subjects, agreed after personalised consultation sessions. Barnwell School offers a large range of academic Level 3 qualifications, including the following:

Sixth Form BTEC Options:

Health & Social Care, Applied Science, Law, Forensic Science, Business Studies, Sport, Dance, IT

Sixth From AS/A Level Options

Art and Design, English Language, Mathematics, Art, Photography, French, Media Studies, Biology Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Psychology, Drama, Sociology, German, History, Product Design, English Literature, Law

We also support students for whom Level 2 studies are an appropriate pathway, including students who are improving their achievement in English and Mathematics. The programme is very innovative and developing rapidly as an exemplar Level 2 provision which is partly delivered by external partners.

Ofqual have recently announced that A-Level exams take place at the end of the academic year. Therefore, students no longer sit modular examinations during the academic year. Instead, students will take AS Level examinations at the end of Year 12 and A Level examination at the end of Year 13.

Vocational Level 3 assessment comprises of a range of continuous assessment, controlled assessments and formal examinations. Students’ progress is carefully tracked and monitored by individual teachers, subject leaders and sixth form leadership.

All students in our sixth form participate in a comprehensive enrichment programme including a week of Work Experience in the summer term of Year 12. A wide range of sports and mentoring activities are also included within the school’s enrichment programme. Student leadership within the sixth form is strong.

Finally, sixth form students also receive a personalised programme of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). Within this part of the curriculum, students will continue to develop their independent study skills and receive personalised careers education and guidance. Students are fully supported in all their future career aspirations. A vast majority of students complete the UCAS application process; support for these students is exemplary, including the students who complete Oxbridge applications.

As part of our student progression plan we have an apprenticeship company based at Barnwell School called Solveway, they provide Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeships in a range of areas including IT, Business Admin and Graphic design. Barnwell students are able to progress onto apprenticeships at the end of Key Stage 4 or Sixth Form.

"Leaders have developed a wider curriculum which is broad and balanced. It provides pupils with a range of opportunities to learn in all subjects​"

Ofsted - January 2018

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