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Kirkstone House School

Kirkstone House School

Flexible Curriculum and Teaching

A unique feature of the school is its flexible curriculum which caters for the needs of all pupils whatever their ability. Some pupils leave us to go on to University to study subjects such as Medicine, Engineering, Music and Agricultural Management, to name but a few, whilst other pupils have gone on to study vocational courses such as Animal Management; Fashion; Photography and Film Making at college. It is our wide curriculum; carefully planned differentiation and degree of pupil and parental choice that enables us to fulfil our aim of enabling each pupil to fulfil their potential.

Our full range of courses can be seen in the designated areas of the web for both Juniors and Seniors, but it is useful in general terms to flag up the fact that we offer an exceptionally wide curriculum which includes subjects at various levels including: Entry Level Courses; BTECs; GCSEs and Post 16 Courses.

An example of our flexible curriculum can be seen in Senior School in relation to Modern Foreign Languages. Pupils have flexibility in how many languages they study, if at all. Some pupils will take two, French and Spanish; others only one and some pupils will choose to have this curriculum time developing their skills in English and Maths. It is important to say here that we never ask pupils to opt out of a subject; the full curriculum is available to all, but we do recognise pupil and parental preferences.

Pupils who are very able may be fast tracked through some subjects such as English GCSE and Mathematics in order to move on to higher courses or to begin 6th form programmes of study.

Pupils who need support are exceptionally well supported by the Learning Support Department both in and beyond the classroom. Pupils can choose how many courses they wish to take at GCSE.

We do not take SATs as we believe that pupils should have the opportunity to study courses with breadth and balance as opposed to being tutored to gain levels on externally set papers which are not always a helpful indication of pupils’ achievement or progress.

However, pupils are assessed at all levels on an on-going basis by teachers against their set targets. These are reported to parents at regular intervals.

Teachers are well qualified and undertake on-going professional development. There is regular sharing of good practice amongst staff and many extend their subject knowledge and passions beyond the classroom through a range of extra-curricular activities and enrichment programmes.