Curriculum Overview
Whole School Curriculum Plan
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Curriculum Overview


The curriculum starts for students as soon as they have been offered a place at The Thomas Cowley High School. The school has a fantastic relationship with all Feeder and Non-Feeder primary schools which allows a smooth transition from Primary to Secondary settings. The school visits all students that have been offered a place whilst they are still in Y6, meetings and questionnaires take place to allow the school the opportunity to build a rapport with the students and their families.
Questionnaires are sent to the Year six students who have been offered a place at the TCHS. Questionnaires are also sent to their parents/carers and their current teacher.
The questionnaires provide:
The student with the opportunity to tell the school about themselves, name one friend they would like to be in the same House as and choose the House they would like to be in. It also allows the parent/carer the opportunity to inform us of any relevant information relating to their child e.g., medical information, intervention etc. Additionally, they have to option to be contacted by the Special Educational Needs Department and identify positive and negative peer relationships.
When the information from each questionnaire is collated it is forwarded to relevant staff members, Head of Year 7, Form Tutor and SEN Department. In addition to the Year 6 Teacher Questionnaires, meetings are also arranged with teachers in order for us to prepare for and support the smooth transfer of individual year 6 students.
Transition Plus
Students are usually identified for Transition Plus as a product of the existing Transition arrangements detailed above or by the SENCo when visiting Primary Schools for Annual reviews.
Students that are identified are then invited to the school to spend the morning ion the Cottages to take part in a number of activities. The aim of Transition plus is to introduce the students to the SEN staff and the school site, including the Cottages, in order to make the students a little more comfortable with the transition to secondary education.  
Summer School
The year 7 summer school is designed to aid successful transition for students. Its sole purpose is to ensure that students have the opportunity to get used to their surroundings, meet other students that will be in their year group and to allow any anxiety to be quashed before students commence in September. The summer school runs for 2 days nearing the end of the Summer and all activities involved are centred around a children’s novel (2015 – Demon Dentist by David Walliams). The idea is that by using a thematic approach, all activities will belinked and pupils can start to explore all aspects of a novel. Workshops that are covered involve: cooking, physical activities, reading, writing, speaking and listening, creating, designing, teamwork, presenting work and critical thinking skills.
Key Stage 3 – Years 7 and 8 Mastery Curriculum
Mastery Curriculum
Students in Year 7 and 8 study a Mastery structured curriculum as a consequence of ‘life after levels’. The Mastery pathways are benchmarked against national data and clear progress can be tracked and measured.
Year 7
Projected GCSE grade range in Y11
A*-G Approximate equivalence
8 to 9
6 to 8
A – B
4 to 6
B – C
3 to 4
C – D
Foundation 2
E – F
Foundation 1
F - G
Y7 and Y8 are arranged in Bands according to educational ability. In Year 7 Bands Z and Z are mixed ability, W includes students of higher ability and Y includes students with low literacy levels. Whilst in Y8 Bands V, W and Z are mixed ability teaching groups, whilst Bands X and Y include students with low literacy levels. It is the school’s belief that the students in Band Y (in Y8, Bands X and Y) should receive extra Literacy intervention and to that end, these students do not study a Modern Foreign Language.
Y7 and 8 follow the schools Literacy and Numeracy strategy. Numeracy activities take place during Tutor times as well as all subjects maintaining a common approach to the use of Numeracy in their subject. After a very successful trail, the Maths department have also embedded ‘Numeracy Ninja’s into the beginning of their Y7 Maths lessons to improve, Mental Arithmetic, Multiplication and Problem solving.
The Literacy strategy is delivered in 2 parts
·     Accelerated Reader – Students work through a stepped approach to reading and complete quizzes on each book they read. This has had a very marked effect on raising the reading ages of students in Y7 and 8
·     Read, Write, Inc – Students embark on the ‘Fresh Start’ 33 week programme which aims to ensure all students are able to read and write fluently. Students are tested every 8 week throughout the programme to assess their progress.
Students in Y7 and 8 study a traditional curriculum which is broad and balanced. Extra time is allocated in the curriculum for core subjects at Key Stage 3 to ensure students have enough knowledge and understanding before embarking on their GCSE course.
Key Stage 4 – Years 9, 10 and 11
Students take their options during Year 8. The option process ensures that each student can access a personalised pathway at Key Stage 4. Pathways are defined by the student’s prior attainment and ensure that those students, who are able, will follow an Academic core curriculum. Students with a low prior attainment score will follow an alternate pathway which will allow them to receive extra English lessons rather than take a 3rd optional subject. Some students have the opportunity to study an extra optional subject outside of the curriculum allocation.
Students across both Key stages receive a very diverse and wide ranging provision which meets their needs and will equip them to become lifelong learners as well as keeping them healthy and safe. Our PSHE, SRE and RE provision is reinforced with discreet input which ranges from Tutor times through to themed days, all of which ensures that the students at the Thomas Cowley High School are recipients of a very broad and balanced curriculum.
Personalised pathways are available to students in Key Stage 4 and some students have opted to take on additional qualifications. Students also receive intervention from subject specialist staff which is timetables. Students also receive support from a Learning Mentor to ensure they are making sufficient progress.


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The Thomas Cowley High School
PE11 4TF
Telephone:  01775 820254
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